If you’re a woman in the industrial design or engineering space, you’re used to being outnumbered. Try to design a product especially for women and the hill only gets steeper. We get it. Our client, Sam, gets it. She's the founder of Babyation, a company known for their revolutionary breast pumps. When Sam was looking for a design and engineering team to support the development of Babyation’s second product–a team who could truly understand and empathize with the end user–Loft immediately stood out.
We proposed starting the partnership with a Slingshot [hyperlink to Slingshot post] – a two week intensive work session that kicks off with a deep dive and team brainstorm. “We came out of the two weeks with so much more than expected,” says Sam, “Our internal conversations developed from “how can we work with Loft more?” to, “How can we bring them on as de facto members of our team?”
When we asked her thoughts about Slingshot, Sam said “I very rarely have my expectations exceeded to such a degree, but they were!” Slingshot created an atmosphere where anything was possible for the Babyation team. We showed them the sky was the limit, and they matched the potential with their energy and passion.
Women’s health products often have a more difficult journey through the innovation and product development process than others in the healthcare space. For years Sam was the only one able to test the prototypes of Babyation’s products, but collaborating with Loft opened new doors. “We already knew we wanted to work with women, but working with Loft was so eye opening to us about what it could [actually] be like,” Sam shared, “It was a magical experience.” Our team of female designers, creatives, and engineers brought their life experiences to the table to help make this product better. “How cool and how magical for someone to say this is my vagina and this works with my vagina – and be able to use that experience?” Sam mused, “No male engineer is going to have that specific piece of data.”
Working with Loft allowed Sam to breathe a sigh of relief. She wasn't the only on-body tester anymore, and she didn't have to be the only one to give critiques. She felt like she was talking to real humans, asking the tough questions and sharing out-of-the-box ideas. That’s because at Loft, everyone is free to express themselves with no judgment—we've worked hard to create an environment where we say what's on our mind and don't hide the message with acronyms and jaded technical terms. It stifles productivity and our client’s experiences are more positive when they’re just talking to another human, another woman, another mother, about their needs.
By going through Slingshot, Babyation was able to keep the ball rolling on their development goals. “We could not believe how much progress we made in those two weeks, but also the caliber of what we received. Those two weeks circumvented about 8 months of development,” Sam said, “What we did in those two weeks was fantastic.” Working with Babyation to develop their second product was a joy for us as well. The chance to create a product that will make a real impact on the lives of the people who use it is why we do what we do. Sam mentioned that developing Babyation’s second product with Loft was a relief. “This was a whole new product, but we had all the knowledge from our first product, and we got to do it all over again in the way [we] wished [we] had done it the first time.”
One of Sam’s key takeaways from the process? “Any time female founded companies of any discipline can come together and support one another, that's the goal!”
We could not agree more.