Imagine walking into a shop to buy a buggy for your new baby and being told that there were only two choices – in fact really one choice, but in two different colours. Unimaginable? Not in 1981.
Luisa Scacchetti, like thousands of style-aware, fashion-conscious modern thinking women in the early eighties found that when it came to having children they pretty much had a choice between an antiquated pink pram or an antiquated blue pram.
But Luisa wasn’t prepared to put up with buying a pram that she simply didn’t want. So she set about researching better alternatives, looking for prams, and then other products, that were stylish yet also practical, modern but also suited to the budgets of hard pressed new parents.
Eventually she found what she was looking for…in Italy! Luisa, realising that other mothers must also share her frustration at the poor products available to modern mums decided to take a risk and start a business selling the sort of baby equipment that she would use for her own children.
So, in 1981, in a small shop in her home town of Huddersfield new mother Luisa Scacchetti sold her first pram. Word quickly spread, and soon mums were queuing up – travelling from across the UK to get their hands on one of Luisa’s growing range of great baby products. The business blossomed, rapidly growing from the small shop to a large retail unit in Northampton – and it’s at this point the Mamas & Papas name is born.
This year, our little family firm is celebrating its 30th birthday. From humble beginnings here at Mamas & Papas we now boast a product range of over 3,500 products, including prams, high chairs, cots, bedding, baby and maternity clothing. The company has even expanded internationally with products now on offer through the world.
Today, just as in 1981, the company’s philosophy is that when it comes to even the smallest aspect of the Mamas & Papas business – ‘everything matters.’
The success of the last 30 years is partly down to an absolute refusal to compromise – on design, on functionality, on overall quality. “After all” says Luisa, “You wouldn’t want to compromise on being a parent, so why would we compromise on the quality of what we offer you as a parent?” The products last, which means if you buy a Mamas & Papas pram for your first child, the chances are you will still be using it for your third. And that means quality and value for money.
Very much still a family business, Luisa’s daughter Amanda is Product Development Director for Mamas & Papas hard goods – the very same baby who narrowly escaped being confined to a 1980’s pink pram! Husband David works on the commercial side of the business, and her other daughter, Olivia, is Creative Director.
And Luisa? She still personally approves every product that is offered by Mamas & Papas to make sure it fits with her own beliefs and very high standards of both being affordable and yet also high quality.