On the lookout for a great baby changing bag? Look no further; here’s the story of how our beloved Caboodle Bags have helped thousands of families, and in particular new mums, for decades...
Plenty of parents have the struggle of finding the perfect baby products - whether this is the best kind of nappy or the sturdiest pram. The founder of Caboodle bags, Ruth Kirby-Smith, had just the same problems some 33 years ago, her biggest struggle finding a baby changing bag which not only had enough room for everything she needed, but was stylish too. It was with great frustration that she decided to take matters into her own hands and design her own bag, which started the Caboodle range!
The idea of the Caboodle bag first started to brew in the early 80s when Ruth was at the height of a successful academic career. She gave birth to her first daughter, Julia, in 1981 and simply could not find a big enough bag to fit in all of her bits and bobs. If you’re a parent, you’ll be no stranger to the truck load of bits and bobs you need to carry with you, even for a quick trip to the supermarket or a simple stroll in the park!
Ruth searched the marketplace and tried out a few bags, as many new parents find themselves doing. She tried a dreadful orange duffle bag to no avail and even tried a baby changing bag from a bedding company, essentially a quilted bag with a zip down the side; neither were what she needed. So what did she do? She bought a large bag with lots of pockets and kitted it out with plenty of plastic bags and a towel for a changing mat. This was to become Ruth’s new bag for travelling with Julia, her makeshift design becoming ‘an essential piece of kit’ for a busy new mum.
Ruth had the joy of finding herself pregnant once again in 1983 with her son, Alex. At this point she had decided to stop working and became a stay-at-home mum, but the concept of ‘the perfect baby changing bag’ was at the forefront of her mind once again. She spent all of her spare time (if such a thing exists for the parents of two young children!) scoping out the market, designing her ideal baby changing bag, thinking of a name for her brand and finally finding a producer. All of this hard work culminated in the launch of Caboodle Bags in 1986.
When her minimum order of 1,000 bags arrived, Ruth’s next mission was to get in the car and sell them! Many parents found the common sense design of this brand new baby changing bag refreshing and the business very quickly became a success. From here, the Caboodle family worked on developing more colours and styles so that the bag was as stylish as it was useful. Ruth left her academic job for good, and aside from her initial investment, felt that she had nothing to lose in pouring her heart into promoting her fantastic baby changing product full time.
The Caboodle range has been a godsend for new parents year after year and in 2009, the Caboodle bag went full circle when Alex, Ruth’s son, prepared for the birth of his own baby. Ruth became a proud grandmother to baby Katja, and Alex and his partner were just as pleased with their Caboodle changing bag as thousands of other satisfied Caboodle customers.
On 29th April, 2014 Ruth was blessed with a second granddaughter, Isola, who was born in Singapore to her daughter Julia. In mid-May, Ruth went out to offer her support in Isola’s early weeks and also travelled to China as part of her trip, bringing back samples of the new range (which are on the market now!). Julia loved the new black Everyday bag and claimed it right away. Julia now uses a Fun ‘n’ Funky bag for overnight trips and the Everyday bag for day-to-day trips and so the circle of life, and of this timeless design, continues.
At Caboodle bags, we know that amazing style and great design never go out of fashion. Take a look at our full range here.
If you have had a fantastic idea for a baby product as a result of not being able to find what you need on the market, leave us a message on Facebook or tweet us - we'd love to hear from you!