When I became a mom, I knew life would change in a million ways. But it never occurred to me that jewelry would be off-limits. Who knew that babies are attracted to shiny objects? (OK, I guess I knew that. But who knew how tenacious babies could be in a jewelry tug of war?) My collection of baubles from around the globe collected dust as I changed diapers and pureed veggies.
Then baby #2 came along, and wearing jewelry seemed a distant dream. Moms around me were starting to wear teething necklaces, but I didn’t find them particularly attractive. And most came with warnings that they should NOT be handed to babies, that they were NOT toys. Seriously? Try telling that to a 9-month-old with a vice grip on your strand of silicone “gemstones.”
That’s when I decided to make jewelry that could be handed to babies, jewelry that was baby-safe, baby-proof, and capable of holding baby’s attention long enough for mama to finish her lukewarm coffee. My husband, ever the romantic, bought me a 3D printer for my birthday, and we created prototype after prototype in our garage. Thus, Wee Likey was born. I think of the company as baby #3 and pray that it doesn’t keep us up nights like babies 1 and 2.
Baby & Me Bangles
Our first line, Baby & Me Bangles, was inspired by vintage plastic jewelry, particularly Bakelite bangles. Bakelite exploded in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. Armloads of colorful, clacking bangles were all the rage. I love the way they look, but I wouldn’t want my baby gnawing on Bakelite. Unlike most plastic jewelry, Baby & Me Bangles are made with food-grade plastic. They’re BPA-free, PVC-free, and phthalate-free, so you can be worry-free when you hand them over.
Our bangles are great for teething babies, but they find their higher calling as linking toys for toddlers and preschoolers. You’d be surprised how long a 4-year-old will spend linking and unlinking a handful of Baby & Me Bangles. (Or maybe you wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe you’ve watched enough Caillou to understand the strange psychology of the preschool set.) What better way to teach kiddos about sharing than nonchalantly handing over your prized jewelry?
Another thing I realized as a new mom: diaper changing tables are BS. They’re pricey. They take up space. Some of them take hours to put together. And after four days of soiled diapers, you discover that your bed makes a perfectly fine changing surface. So does the floor. The couch. The ottoman. The backseat of your car.
I set out to design a diaper caddy that would look good in any room. So many baby products have an Easter aesthetic – pastel colors, cutesy prints. Our diaper caddy looks like a boombox because that’s the coolest thing I owned in the ’90s. I want parents to tap into that sense of cool even when they’re dealing with (literal) crap.
Wee Likey is still in diapers, and we hope you’ll watch us grow. Check back often for new colors and designs. If you’re dying for a particular color or just bored silly with nursing and Netflix, let’s touch base.