Meet Joe Croft of Ju-Ju-Be Diaper Bags

Be All Diaper Bag in Lotus LullabyI think it is safe to say that Ju-Ju-Be should be described as a phenomenon more so than a diaper bag line.  Ju-Ju-Be has the most incredible following of devoted parents around the world that rivals that of most Hollywood celebrities.  Moms and dads don’t just love Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags, they are addicted to them.  This is of course, for good reason!  Ju-Ju-Be offers some of the most sought after diaper bag designs on the market.  In addition to their unique prints, fantastic features and unmatched quality, Ju-Ju-Be has covered all of the bases with their various design and size options.  Within the Ju-Ju-Be line you will find what you are looking for, big or small, from messenger diaper bags (BeAll & BeTween) to backpack diaper bags (Packa-Be & Be-Right-Back), Tote Bags (BeSpicy & WannaBe) and dad bags (JJB messenger or Packa-Be).

I remember the first time I saw a Ju-Ju-Be diaper bag, and the amazing owner and designer Joe Croft was showing me the great detailsPackabe in Zany Zinnias that make Ju-Ju-Be different.  Among these are the coolest features that I have ever seen in a diaper bag line.   Most Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags feature a waterproof exterior that is Teflon treated to protect it from stains and spills (you can squirt mustard on it and wipe it clean without leaving a trace, it’s true!), as well as a waterproof interior with an agION anti-microbial treatment (because us moms aren’t big fans of germs).  But wait, there’s more!  Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags boast Thinsulate insulated bottle pockets to keep things cold or hot!  Other details like strong metal hardware and smart magnetic closure (instead of the ever annoying loud Velcro – phew you won’t wake the baby when you open your diaper bag!), and every pocket you could ever dream of needing in your baby bag are the icing on the cake.  Last, but certainly not least, most Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags feature a removable changing pad with memory foam and anti-micorbial treatment allowing for the ultimate comfort for diaper changes on the go.

Shop the entire line of Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags at RosenberryRooms.com or stop by our store in Raleigh, North Carolina to find one that is right for you (or two, or three … remember, they are addictive).   I hope you enjoy reading my interview with Joe Croft (owner/designer of Ju-Ju-Be).  I am always fascinated to learn about creative business owners, and I loved learning more about Joe through our interview.  Joe is not only interesting, inspiring, (really) smart and witty, but as you will see, very funny.

Susie Fougeorusse

How would you define the Ju-Ju-Be style philosophy?

“Bursting from the seams!!!”  We do everything full throttle with passion, zest, and a vivacious boldness that leaves subtlety in the dust.  Sorry for anyone that’s a middle-of-the-roader.  You’re going to have to get some guts to jump on our design wagon.  I guess we do some things that are toned down in color, but not toned down in features and in smart design.  We just can’t help ourselves.  It’s too much fun to put all the good stuff in there.  It’s definitely no fun to do things that are mediocre.

What inspired you to become a designer and start a business?

I knew I wanted to become a designer from when I was a kid.  I always broke things and took them apart to see how they worked.  Then I always loved drawing and making up new things Be Prepared in Midnight Eclipseon paper that no one thought of before.  In kindergarten I drew a bunch of circles on a piece of paper…when my teacher asked what it was I told her “A bunch of people in Mexico wearing sombreros and I’m looking at them from an airplane.”  Pretty good for a kid that had never been to Mexico and never been on an airplane.  I was probably just angling for a good grade, so you can count in the fact that I had half a design brain and half a marketing brain!  I did go to Stanford and got a Product Design degree.  So that set me on a pretty sure course.  There were only 12 in my graduating class…(it’s a small program) since there aren’t too many people that have half a design brain, half a marking brain, and half a business brain.  The business part is the one that is sometime fun, but mostly not that much fun.  I love the numbers part of it, but hate the problem resolution part of it.  There are always problems.  And you always have to come up with solutions that are a compromise.  And that part gets tiring.  But it’s rewarding, and I’ve always chosen the things that are the most rewarding (and the most work) instead of choosing the easy route.

Why did you choose to design diaper bags?

Long story.  Basically, a friend of a friend was pretty high up at BabyStyle and we were going to do a private label project for them.  Long story short, they told us where the opportunity was in the market and we capitalized on a segment that no one was addressing.  So….it was more an opportunity that we jumped on rather than a conscious choice.  I have had 4 kids and did the diaper thing for 10 years straight.  I’m just now emerging out of diapers (Halleleujah!!!), but I feel that I’ve got some good experience!!

What is your favorite part of your daily work … when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?

New stuff, new friends, new bags, new art.  I love newness.  Our Pink Room is an amazing place and it’s rewarding to me to see all the people that have become friends not only with us, butBe All in Sangria Sunset with each other.  It’s a community of people that has grown so much larger than just a diaper bag company, and I love it.  I love to see the Pink Ladies helping each other out with their problems, sharing tips and advice for mothering, recipies for cooking, encouraging each other to exercise and stay healthy…all of it.  It’s great.  Plus, I love new product.  mostly because of the reaction that I get when I show it to our brand fanatics.  They go crazy.  That’s rewarding.

If you had to pick a favorite design from your collection, what would it be?

I love the Be Light… It’s amazingly versatile, it’s the lightest diaper bag on the market (6.4 ozs).  It’s the only one that I know of that is reversible.  It’s got about 18 ways to tie the strap….and I’m amazed at how much it holds.

What sets Ju-Ju-Be apart from other diaper bag designers?

Attitude, style, smarts, and attitude.  We do have features that no one else has.  That’s the smarts.  We have a lot of bold and bright colors…that’s the style.  And then there’s attitude.  Read through our website or catalog and you’ll have a smile on your face.  It’s like sitting down with your most friendly and talkative and spunky and energetic and flighty/flirty and awesomest best friend.  But she’s got a lot of brains, too!!  That’s the attitude that carry’s us through.

Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming designs or introductions to your line?

Sure.  Be Prepared for what Might Be the best bag yet!  Spring line coming in Feb/March and it’ll be totally fabulous!!

Now…Just for Fun

Favorite Food

I’m an equal opportunity eater.  I haven’t met a meal I didn’t like!  Favorite?  Depends on the mood.  I can love a green fruit/spinach smoothie in the morning if I’m in the mood, or I can love a massive slice of NY Pizza.  Mint brownies are a personal favorite for dessert.

Favorite TV Show

Arrested Development.  30 Rock (extra Chuckle).  The Office.

Favorite Movie

Princess Bride is the runner up, but the all time prize winner goes to Jack Black in School of Rock.  He’s sooooooo committed and the humor is way to funny.  Whoever wrote that is a genious.  If Jack Black ad-libbed a bunch of it, I wouldn’t be surprised….he’s a genious.  Dodgeball is a close runner up too….”if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball”.  Fourth runner up is probably Elf or Taledega Nights.

Favorite Weekend Activity

Surf, snorkel, soccer, ski.  All with the kids, of course.

Favorite Band

Too many to list.  Goo Goo Dolls, Shaggy,  Dave Matthews, Paul Simon, Ligabue (a smoky Italian Rock band that kills it), U2(duh), Greenday, Vivaldi, Johan Sebastian Bach (not really rock, but inspirational in the passionate sensory overload with an underlying dominant order)

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Comments

  1. Nanette says:

    Great interview, Susie! Always fun to hear from Mr. Ju-Ju-Be!

  2. Shopfessions says:

    I LOVE Ju-Ju-Be! The best diaper bags in the world!!!! Nothing I’ve found has topped them! Thank you!

  3. marjmama says:

    Ju-Ju-Be rules! And this interview is a great example of why. I love a company so devoted to its fans! Keep up the great work!

  4. Liz Castellon says:

    I love all your jujube products. I have the BFF, Be quick, Be mine, and a few others. I especially adore the jujube be light but I currently don’t own this one. Where can I buy one?
    Difficult to find. Thanks. Liz

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