Where Strollers Come From
Where babies come from can seem like a bit of a mystery to the uninitiated. Where the 4moms Origami stroller comes from is a lot easier to understand. It comes from Pittsburgh.
Okay, maybe it's not quite that simple.
The Origami stroller is made by Thorley Industries, a Pittsburgh-based technology firm run by Rob Daley and Henry Thorne. It's sold under the 4moms brand, along with other high-tech baby products like the mamaRoo, a device that uses motion to soothe babies, and the Cleanwater Collection, a bathtub for babies and toddlers that helps parents maintain a safe water temperature. The company is also getting ready to release the Breeze, a portable crib and playpen.
At Thorley Industries, Daley runs the business side while Thorne, an engineer who used to build robots for General Motors, heads up the designs. The ideas for their products come from an advisory panel of moms and their own observations. According to The Wall Street Journal, the idea for the Origami came after Daley saw that a stroller demonstrator at a trade show needed to get on one knee to fold it up. As any parent can tell you, folding a stroller while also wrangling a kid and kid gear is tough -- and thus the idea for the Origami was planted.
4moms's high-end baby gear has generated a lot of interest. Celebrities like Elton John, Hillary Duff and Victoria Beckham use the mamaRoo, the Origami has been featured on "Ellen" and "The Today Show," and 4moms' sales revenue went from $3.2 million in 2010 to $7.4 million in 2011 [source: Pittsburgh Business Times]. Newell Rubbermaid, the parent company to widely-known baby product-maker Graco, bought a 15 percent stake in the company [source: The Wall Street Journal].