With a desire to become the most trusted resource for feeding and soothing babies in the short term, Smilo is on a mission to deliver the most innovative and safe essentials for every stage of childhood.
Josh Wiesman, CEO and cofounder, is not only one of the biomedical engineers behind the brand, but also a father himself. He lives in Boston with his wife Kristina, daughter Elena who is 6, and 3 year old son, Johnny. (Pictured, left.)
Here’s what Josh shared with us about parenthood, the importance of style and his approach to designing Smilo’s products with both of these in mind.
Did being a parent influence your inspiration for creating Smilo?
Being a parent absolutely had an influence. We were developing products for other brands and noticed our own family and friends were still struggling trying to find the best products. So, we decided to stop licensing the products and build our own brand. While we were designing our products and pricing everything out we were thoughtful about pricing. We wanted our products to be available to everyone and not a super ultra brand that’s not attainable for everyone. People want the best products for their children no matter who you are.
What surprised you most about being a parent?
The one thing that really stood out to me is the amount of clothes you can actually go through. I’m surprised by the amount of laundry we need to do each day. And, the amount of plastic that you acquire. We try to be really thoughtful about what we bring into the house.
How involved are you with shopping for and/or dressing your kids?
Truth be told I’m not as involved in the shopping aspect but certainly involved in the helping to dress them. We let Elena and Johnny have an active role in picking out their clothes, and we try to be hands off and let them form their own style.
With Johnny, we show him options and let him decide so he gets to choose what he wants to wear.
Elena is a strong, opinionated 6 year old and tends to be picky. Sometimes she wants to wear sparkles, and sometimes it’s a summer dress in the middle of winter in Boston.
How do they differ in their personal style?
It’s pretty awesome. Our kids personal style is definitely a reflection of their personalities. Kristina and I just try to course correct the most dramatic of issues, like wearing rain boots on a sunny day. We like to see their styles develop as they grow.
For Smilo, the designs and colors we use are energetic, fun, confident and deliberate.—Josh Weisman, CEO and cofounder, Smilo
Why is style important to you?
Personally and for the family – it is important because I think it’s an expression and extension of your personality. Style goes beyond clothes and into the products we all use. For Smilo, the designs and colors we use are energetic, fun, confident and deliberate. I’ve noticed these tend to be the types of products we interact with too.
Do you think this approach influenced the design of Smilo products? Why did you design these products the way you did?
At Smilo, we’re always focused on marrying style and technology. We are confident in the technology but want to deliver it in a form and style that is more in line with trends in home decor, style and appliances. A lot of other brands in our category are defined by the characters they use — we wanted a line that is original and identifiable and independent of characters.
Any tips / strategies to share for balancing running a company and a family?
Communication is key between me and Kristina, but also with our kids. We review family schedules daily to make all of our schedules work. We also emphasize our own independent time – whether that is going to the gym or taking some time to recharge – but we know we need to be a well-oiled system.