Many parents have contended with the dual issues of making due with poorly-designed lunch gear, and getting the kids to bring home their lunch containers. Lori Hawkins (left) and Sandra O’Malley (right) are two Canadian women who set out to provide a single solution for both challenges.
Their company, Sling Sisters, was already known for making baby carriers. But after a request, the two moms began to create snack and lunch bags using their children as product testers, and Colibri was born.
“I found that with plastic containers, our kids didn't really connect with them. They were more “my product” than theirs,” says co-founder Lori Hawkins. “Sandra and I wanted to make something attractive and fun that kids would get really excited about using and would love them enough to bring them home.”
The Manitoba-based company is proudly Canadian, sewing all of its products in-house to be able to control the quality and ensure that its sewers are well-treated and well-paid.
Because the two moms’ children were young, they designed highly durable products with a few key criteria in mind:
Fun & family friendly
Utterly eye-catching, the playful patterns include ladybugs, ponies, superheroes, rainbows, guitars, monkeys, ninjas, flowers and swirls in an array colours. But there are also grown-up patterns to choose from as well, so there’s a snack and lunch bag for every member of the family.
Easy to clean & versatile
The water-resistant nylon liner can be easily wiped clean or tossed in the washing machine when required. While they are intended for snacks, the bags are multi-purpose. For example, the Small Reusable Snack Bag can fit a full cup of raisins, slices of fruit, a handful of crayons, a calculator, cellphone or a small digital camera.
As the snack bags use FDA-approved materials, they are guaranteed to be food-safe. CPSIA-approved as a non-choking hazard, parents don’t have to worry about their young ‘uns pulling off the zipper pulls. The fabrics are all BPA-free and the zippers are nickel- and lead-free.
Colibri is crafty about creating new products designed to solve everyday problems. “We just came up with a new bag, it’s long and skinny – so they are great for utensils and chopsticks. Before, whenever I sent my daughter off to school with applesauce or a yogurt, she would half lick the spoon and throw it in her backpack – which is never pleasant!” laughs Lori. “I wondered if she would use it for her spoon. She has a ladybug one and loves it.”
Lori’s tip for other moms who are promoting a litterless lunch approach: “As long as you let kids choose their own print, it becomes theirs. They will bring it home because they like it.”
Colibri: Kid-loved, mom-approved.