The little frog has grown into a great big prince of a baby gear company. the parent-company Boon showed up at JPMA last year with a single product, the Frog Pod, which scooped up the Innovation Award. This year, they're back with half a dozen new products--and a massive, shiny, water-filled booth. And one thing's for sure, the bathroom was definitely too small to contain all of Boon designer Rebecca Finell's ambitious ideas.
First things first, though: the booth. I've gotta guess that Finell's previous experience working for an exhibition design firm and co-founder/CEO Ryan Fernandez' career at Intel helped develop a fine appreciation of boothitecture, because the place was gigantic and slick. They're clearly also demonstrating rule #1 or 2 of a startup: don't undercapitalize. I hope that kind of brand presence and momentum helps open retail shelf and floor space for their products.
Boon's not finished with your bathroom, by the way. They recently launched Flo, a simple clip-on stapler-looking gadget that turns a bathtub faucet into a gentle, arcing waterfall. This makes shampooing easier--if there's one thing the kid hates, it's rinsing her hair--and it also has a bubble bath dispenser. Smart, and cheap, at $14.99.
But the big buzz was around Flair, a sweet-looking molded plastic high chair, which is just visible in the corner of the booth above. The chair itself, molded plastic the color of Baskin Robbins' daquiri ice ice cream, has a curvy seamless seat (with removable pad, tray, leg brace, and five-point harness) that resembles the classic 60's modernist designs of Finland's YrjąŹ Kukkapuro [and no, I did not make that up].
But the Flair also has a pneumatic base that raises and lowers like a barber chair, and there are hidden, lockable casters underneath it so you can roll it around. It's a compelling blend of modernism and traditional high chair design, hopefully just enough to help some more timid folk overcome any lingering modernophobia.
Somehow, according to the press kit, they're getting one version into stores for only $199, though there's also an "elite model" which'll retail for a more understandable $399. Considering the Nest high chair, which the Flair seems designed against, sells for $575, that's still pretty impressive. I'll post some better pictures when they're available.
Boon also displayed a couple of other interesting products, but I'll put them in another post since they're not even remotely visible in the picture above. Stay tuned.