Interested in a kids’ product that’s both fun and practical? Jill Koziol, a local mom and co-founder of HoneyBee Child, has created SwingEase—an adaptable swing for children 6-36 months. Safe and comfortable, the SwingEase is perfect for babies and toddlers that cannot yet swing on their own! The SwingEase is portable and machine washable, making it a great accessory for active parents living in New York City. The SwingEase comes equipped with a built-in carry bag for easy travel and portability, making it a great choice for your little one or as a gift!
We recently caught up with Koziol to get the scoop on what makes the SwingEase great for city parents, what it was like starting a business, and just how her innovative play-ground pick works. Read on for our interview with Koziol, and scroll all the way to end of the story for a great video demo of the SwingEase!
Give us some insight into your professional background and family life.
I’m from Maryland originally, and we moved to California so that my husband could attend business school at Stanford. That’s where I came up with the idea for SwingEase. I’ve since moved to New York!
What was your inspiration for creating SwingEase?
With the mild weather in California, I was at the park everyday with my baby. The closest playground to us was actually a school playground. As your readers know, they don’t have swings for babies. So, I was walking home from the park one afternoon and was thinking to myself: I really need a product like SwingEase—maybe I’ll check Amazon and see if I can get one. It never crossed my mind that there wasn’t a product similar to SwingEase on the market yet. From there I called up my colleague, Katie Stewart, who is my co-founder. I met her in a professional setting—we were both consultants at a small firm in Washington, D.C. She also had an engineering background, as well as a small child. I pitched the idea to her, and she helped me check out the patents on similar products. There were a few concepts floating out there, but nothing close enough to our product to deter us from creating SwingEase. From there, we made a prototype, which took awhile and I began to look at things such as fabrics and materials. We finally launched the product in 2013 at a baby expo and won an award from the Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA) for most innovative child entertainment product.
Tell us about how the SwingEase works.
When we were developing the product we tried to keep in mind that in large cities your stroller is essentially your car, so SwingEase is very compact. All you do is take the product out of the box and then very securely wrap the Velcro bottom in the middle of the swing base—the tighter the better. Then you hook the clips parallel to the group onto the lowest link of the chain that holds the swing up. From there you can just place the child into SwingEase—we find that putting the child in from behind the swing is easiest. From there, you are free to swing away.
What safety features does the SwingEase have?
Aside from the fact that a smaller child can’t safely fit in a regular swing, the SwingEase is clean—cleaner than a normal park swing in New York City! The product is also machine washable, so if it does get dirty washing it is always an option. The SwingEase also doesn’t get hot to the touch, unlike the black plastic, making it perfect for the summer months.
I think a huge benefit is being able to keep all of your children in one area of the park. Typically, the regular swings and the swings for younger children are positioned across the playground. When you have multiple children, for example, I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. My oldest wants to swing unassisted and I obviously need to swing my youngest—now I can just go to the part of the playground for the older kids and watch both of them at the same time! It really allows you to manage your children better in a public park.
How would you describe the quintessential SwingEase customer?
I would say parents like myself, parents that are active and want to spend time outdoors with their children. If you have children of different ages or who are twins, there’s an added benefit to that. The SwingEase is perfect for parents on the go that are focused on spending quality time with their kids, as well as safety and cleanliness.
Where is SwingEase available for purchase?
The SwingEase is available on amazon.com with free shipping for Amazon Prime customers. The product is also available on our website, honeybeechild.com. Lullanest, a store based in the East Hampton, also carries the SwingEase.