The locally-based brand Ubbi is most widely known for its style-savvy innovations in diaper pails–which is no surprise given that their pails are beautifully designed, come in a lovely array of colors, and are crafted from sturdy stainless steel. However, recently and in the year to come, the Ubbi brand is branching out in to other categories in the baby realm, as well as taking things to the next level with their diaper pail offerings.
Recently, we caught up with Ubbi’s marketing director Nadine Girard (who is also a mom of two young children herself) to get the scoop on how Ubbi came to be, how its iconic diaper pail came to be (and their recent partnership with Pottery Barn), and what exciting developments they have in the pipeline next.
For anyone that is unfamiliar with Ubbi, what would you say are the top things that a parent shopping for baby gear should know as a consumer?
When we develop a product, we think about the parents first. We want to make functional and easy-to-use products with a contemporary design. The Ubbi diaper pail is a true example of this concept: It’s super easy to use and it doesn’t even require any special bag. There’s no mechanism that you need to operate you just put the bag in the pail, throw a diaper in it, close it, and that’s it. It’s simple and easy which is the thinking we have behind all of the products we make.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your professional background and what is your role at Ubbi?
Interestingly, before working at Ubbi, I was working at Citibank. So I went from a huge company to Pearhead, which is the company that actually owns Ubbi. The two owners of Pearhead, Tom and Ken, started Pearhead in 1999 and I was hired in 2011 to develop and launch the Ubbi brand. Having two kids on my own, the challenge was definitely appealing.
How old are your own kids now?
My own are kids are 4.5 and 7.5., so when we were launching the diaper pail my then 1-year-old was our perfect tester. I remember coming to work with a bag full of dirty diapers and to test all the diaper pails on the market against ours in development. My son was also the baby we used when we launched…he was our little model. Having two children, one out of diapers and one in diapers was definitely helpful because I could bring my experience having used a competitive diaper pail with my oldest and knowing what we can improve upon in the development of our own. I was also using the Ubbi prototype so I knew immediately if there was an issue.
Tell us about Ubbi’s signature diaper pail—what were the goals when you launched that?
The launch of the Ubbi diaper pail in 2011 was a game changer. We essentially revolutionized the typical eyesore plastic container by turning it into a steel construction that achieves maximum odor control while giving it a sleek and colorful look. In nowadays, parents take so much time to create a flawless and high design environment for their baby, so we wanted to exceed new parents’ expectations by improving this basic purposeful product into a highly effective and attractive nursery necessity.
Ubbi recently did a collaboration with Pottery Barn on the lavender diaper pail. Tell us about how you partnered up with Pottery Barn and what makes that product special.
We have an assortment of 13 colors now and three of the colors are exclusive. We started the exclusivity with our orange pail with giggle…and then after that we did another exclusive partnership with Target.com by launching the red Target diaper pail. More recently, we partnered with potterybarn.com to launch the lavender pail, which matches beautifully with a lot of their bedding.
Is there anything new on the horizon for the diaper and potty categories?
We’re working on launching more products in the diapering and toilet training categories. We’re launching now a 3-in-1 potty, which can be used as a toilet trainer, a potty and a step stool and then also a diaper caddy and a wipes dispenser that will launch in the spring.
Are you planning to expand into any additional baby gear categories?
We just launched a snack container [called the Tweat Snack Container] which take us to the feeding category. It’s very exciting for us… The snack container is available for purchase now on our website ubbiworld.com.
To learn more about Ubbi, visit ubbiworld.com!