The days of brightly-colored plastic baby toys that clutter new parents’ living rooms are almost over. Now, Instagram-worthy, eco-friendly products are filling up Millennial parents’ shopping carts. A new generation of parents is finding ways to combine its love for aesthetics with the desire to purchase sustainable, ethically sourced products and baby brand Mushie is at the forefront of it all.
Mushie was founded in 2018, by Mushie and Levi Feigenson in their Southwest Houston home with the vision of bringing beautiful baby essentials to modern families’ homes. Inspired by Scandinavian design, each product is designed to be functional, sustainable, and simple. Since its inception, Mushie’s catalog has grown to more than 50 products sold in more than 70 countries.
Developing Brand Identity
Mushie’s brand identity is designed to speak to its core audience. The company prioritizes customer feedback to make improvements according to parents’ and babies’ needs. “Our goal is to make decisions around what to buy your babies as easy as possible, by producing safe, beautiful, and thoughtfully designed products,” says Jessica Terregino, Vice President of Sales at Mushie. “It’s our job to stay hyper-focused on that mission and stay true to the Mushie brand.”
Mushie uses a distinct color palette, a streamlined, easy-to-use shopping platform, and a commitment to ethical, safe, and sustainable products to cultivate a brand experience that really resonates with the modern parent. “You see this brand identity first and foremost in the design of our products, which carries through in our creative content,” Terregino explains.
Developing Mushie’s catalog of bath products, feeding products, bedding, nursing, and first toys requires a multifaceted approach. First, the design team considers safety, ensuring each product is made with nontoxic materials, adheres to safety guidelines, and is designed for durability. Then, they focus on the functionality of the product, to ensure its easy to use and age-appropriate. “That means ensuring all our silicone feeding is dishwasher safe so mom or dad can easily clean,” Terregino explains. “Or adding soft silicone handles to our snack cups so a toddler can easily hold them.”
The final factor is design. “We want products that are equally as useful in the home as they are beautiful to look at,” Terregino says.
Creating Aesthetic Baby Products
No one can deny the influence of social media on parenthood today, from the influx of momfluencers to the ever-increasing list of must-haves for new parents. In today’s time, it’s not simply enough to have the product — it kind of has to be cute too.
Mushie decides on the overall aesthetics of its products early on, opting for a soft, neutral color palette and baby-approved graphics. Silicone is often used to create a smooth appearance and baby-proof durability.
Mushie’s brand identity is also laden with sustainability, “We prioritize 100% food-grade nontoxic silicone and organic cotton fabrics to ensure the durability and longevity of our products,” Terregino explains. “We also scrutinize our single-use plastic footprint in the packaging design of all our products to create the lowest environmental impact.” Additionally, the company works with vetted, fair-trade suppliers.
As more families choose to spend their hard-earned money in ways that benefit the world at large, Mushie looks to give back to the community in ways that consumers will appreciate.
“We view community involvement as a long-term commitment to organizations who are supporting families in need,” Terregino explains. “We strive to do our part in making good things happen in our local communities and on a global scale. Our partners include ChabadAid, which implements humanitarian projects in Nigeria, as well as local organizations such as Texas Children’s Hospital and the Houston Area Women’s Shelter.” Mushie even provides jobs for people with disabilities in Denmark, where their classic baby stacking toy is produced.
As people become increasingly concerned with their ethical and environmental footprint, Mushie provides new parents with peace of mind. No longer do they need to feel as though they are adding to the chaos, but can spend their money with pride knowing that it is not only good for their baby but good for the world too. Maybe that’s a future worth mushing over.
A version of this article was originally published in the 2023 Classics & Specialty Issue of The Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue! Want to receive The Toy Book in print? Click here for subscription options!