In the spirit of International Women’s Day 2017, what could be more appropriate than doing a little ‘getting-to-know-you’ piece on each of the formidable, driven women behind Chekoh - and where to begin but with the Founder, Creator and Owner of Chekoh Baby itself - Krystal Tupi.
Krystal lives by the bay in sunny Margate, an hour north of Brisbane with her three sons Lennox, Duke and Taj and her husband Vinny.
Back when her first son Lennox was born, Krystal searched far and wide for something stylish, comfortable and secure in which to snuggle her first babe. Unsatisfied with what was on offer, particularly in Australia, she decided to take matters into her own hands - literally - with a sewing machine and a kitchen table. When her initial production of handmade wraps were gratefully and enthusiastically received by her friends and family, Krystal saw an opportunity. Amongst her closest circle, word of mouth spread and the demand grew - they wanted MORE. It was then that Krystal decided to put her vision into action and take Chekoh to the next level.
In the interim, may I add, she birthed three beautiful boys and up until very recently, worked full-time doing incredibly demanding shift work as a public servant. It was last year in 2016 that she decided to give Chekoh everything she had, and it has been blossoming and expanding accordingly. Not only does she run the show and raise her three boys but she also makes time for her staff, her family and friends and her customers (and even somehow squeezes in bootcamps and cooking lessons!? I swear she has a secret twin/clone).
I am lucky enough to have known Krystal from high school days and have watched in absolute awe as she, through steadfast determination and grit, created a beautiful, empowering, community-inspiring brand that excelled in the increasingly-embraced movement of gentle parenting and babywearing. It’s Krystal’s understanding of the needs of a parent during their child’s formative early years that has enabled her to consistently grow and create something so very needed by parents; to cater to the primitive, timeless, innate urge to hold their tiny babes against their heart.
I asked Krystal three fun facts to give a snippet of insight into her life (beside being a full on entrepreneurial legend/clone/secret twin/fab cook/super mama). Here’s what she had to say:
Me: What is your favourite song of all time?
K: "I am a walking, talking and woefully singing jukebox! I love anything with a beat but have a soft spot for anything that can make me cry. I have a song for each of my boys and all of these chosen for all different reasons (I have this idea that on their 21st Birthday they will dance with me to ‘our’ song just as we did when they were babes). My eldest was born in the ‘Twilight’ era so Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’ was playing on MTV daily while we were in our Pjs on the lounge and then slow dancing together with him in my arms. My second son’s is Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ and my third is my favourite, ColdPlay’s ‘A Sky Full of Stars’."
Old school RNB is also a favourite, my husband and I danced to a little Lionel Ritchie on our wedding day and there is nothing as smooth to settle the soul (or get my shoulders dancing).
Me: Imagine your teenage bedroom. Whose poster did you have on the walls?
K: "Well my father was quite decor strict when we were younger, no blu-tac, hooks or holes so I spent quite a lot of time trolling through my 90s favourite ‘Smash Hits’ magazine to find pictures of the handsome Hanson brothers, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Luke Perry to plaster all over my school books and diaries. A few years later this morphed into ‘Tracks’ mags and ‘Surfing Life’ and this was literally me, surfing, life."
Me: In the spirit of International Women’s Day, who do you most idolise or admire?
K: "Of course I have a lot of high profile celebrity and style crushes which I look up to for a multitude of different reasons and genres, but being in the line of ‘work’ I’m currently in and producing, I have a huge appreciation for self made, mama-style start ups as I know the sacrifices, time and commitment it now takes to get where they are.
When I first started on the Instagram scene with my own personal account I found this fantastic local brand of boys clothing @beauhudson and purchased a fair few pieces and loved following along the journey of this little boutique brand and really started to idolise Sasha (the owner) and her whole ethos, work ethic and business style. We are also both a Mum of three sons (both our middle child’s are scarily called ‘Duke’ as well!) and I love to see how she incorporates her family into her work life; Sasha is definitely an inspiration for me.
I should also mention here all my beautiful girlfriends, each and everyone one of them is an absolute inspiration and outstanding mama. I have such a supportive circle of ladies who have been in my life since Primary School, our paths have ventured so many different directions but have, beautifully - always veered back to our circle whenever we’ve needed - each and everyone of us. They cross countries, states and seas and all of these friends are now mamas and masters of their own destiny, be it corporate high flying roles in multinational companies, dedicated nurses and public servants, and brilliant new business owners and directors. I could not be more proud of any of their achievements, and am so inspired by their amazing roles as mothers."
It's no wonder this grounded, nurturing mama is sitting atop a thriving business. Her passion, focus and real-life experience in the realm of motherhood translates effortlessly into her work - and we (customers, friends, colleagues and family) reap the rewards in becoming a part of the wonderful baby wearing culture created with Chekoh.
Krystal wears the Cinta Sling and Indigo Sling.