2016 has brought many changes here at Coventry Slings. 2015 was a difficult year for the two founders and one stepped away completely in January this year, and I personally found myself struggling with a lot of family issues.
Thankfully Hayley was there and stepped in to provide more support to keep things running and we had an incredibly successful year.
In February we ran the successful parenting fair at the Alan Higgs centre in conjunction with various local businesses. It was a really different experience running an event like that. From our experiences with the fair and the experiences we as directors have had at other sling shows in the last few years it sparked an idea to run a sling show in the Midlands and so the Midlands Baby Carrying Convention was born and will be a major part of our 2017.
In June we took the decision to incorporate Coventry Slings as a Community Interest Company with myself and Hayley, along with newly trained consultants Gillian and El, as the directors. Taking this company from being my baby to working with these wonderful women has been hard for me, and is something that we are continually working on, but I am so looking forward to reaching new heights with these colleagues.
In 2016 we had an increase of a huge 54% on last years hires. Our most popular hire was the Connecta Baby Carrier once more in all its forms, which had a huge 20% of all hires. We helped well over 200 families carry their babies and expanded what we offer at the library as well.
It has now been three years since the first sling meet we ran, and two and a half years since we started the library and consultancy here. We have grown hugely, and hit bumps, but we have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the families we work with. You make it totally worthwhile for us. Seeing so many carried babies, and the joy and help it can bring to so many families is an amazing experience. Those of you who keep coming regularly, we love seeing your babies grow and change. It’s a privilege to be involved in your lives.