March 1, 2012

Whoa, On The Other End Of The Stroller Spectrum, Bugaboo USA President Kari Boiler Is Leaving

Maybe it's me? Is every stroller company I've ever bought from going to go through a major management shift?

I got word from the company's publicists that Kari Boiler, the president of Bugaboo USA, is leaving. Boiler's been president for a couple of years now, but she's really more than that. She basically launched Bugaboo in the US from her garage, and built it into a global luxury brand. And she has probably played a bigger role than anyone in creating not just the premium stroller category, but the entire concept of modern, design-driven, kid-related, lifestyle marketing. For better--and let's face it, for worse--that includes the celebrity parent frenzy we've been soaking in for the last decade.

It's crazy to think about, but before the $700 Bugaboo came to the US--helped in no small part by its appearance on Sex and the City--the most a city parent could reasonably pay for a stroller was $289, for a top-of-the-line Maclaren. Within a few years, the influence of Max Barenburg's innovative design was beginning to pop up, and a slew of other premium strollers began pursuing the market Bugaboo proved existed. And which Bugaboo tried to stay on top of, through a series of model shifts and price hikes.

My other major shoutout to Boiler is more personal; she was one of the very first people in the Baby Industrial Complex to take me, and Daddy Types, and the whole idea of parentblogging seriously. We talked many times about working together, and to her great credit, she always valued the importance of DT's independence and credibility in whatever projects we contemplated. I guess we can take grim solace that the current parentblogging world is actually as rotten a pay-to-play-and-retweet-to-win marketing shillfest as we were worried it might become back in 2005.

Bugaboo's in a very different position and market now, and I imagine the day-to-day of the business are very different, too. But I want to thank Kari and her Bugabooger colleagues for their amazing work over the years--and for making their awesome strollers, which we absolutely loved buying and using--and wish them all the best.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Maclaren deathwatch.

1 Comment

Greg.

Thanks for the shout out and this goes right back at you. It was nothing short of an exciting 10 years. We may have paved the way for strollers + performance luxury, but you certainly did this for bloggers through your genuine interest.

I loved your honest and objective view of Bugaboo . I really appreciated our conversations and your funny + witty marketing take on the world.

I look forward to spending time with my kids, family and getting ready for the next creative adventure.

Keep it funny. Thank you, KB

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