If you’re a mother of a baby or a toddler, you would probably have heard of Tula — the baby carrier brand that has garnered a passionate cult following all around the world.
Just how popular are these carriers? Well, their limited edition versions sell out seconds after they are available on the site and can go for up to ten times the original price in the secondhand market. Now, how’s that for in demand?
With Tula recently launching a new Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier, we speak to local Tula-loving mother-of-one, Leanne Seng who has owned 14 Tulas (including several limited-edition designs), and got her to share her tips and tricks to scoring a coveted Tula.
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Mummyfique: Wow, 14 Tulas. We are sure you’re the envy of many mummies out there. How did you first get introduced to Tula?
Leanne: One of my friends introduced Tula to me when I was pregnant. She highly recommended it, saying that it was a lifesaver and that there were many pretty designs to choose from.
She also showed me how you can get customised accessories to match your Tula and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. After getting my first Tula, I joined various Facebook groups and spotted many pretty wrap conversion Tulas, after which I was on the path of no return.
*Ed’s note: For the uninitiated, there are several types of Tula carriers. The canvas ones are usually readily available online and at retailers. They come in a variety of prints.
The ones that tend to be harder and more expensive to get are the wrap conversions. These are made from woven wrap materials and there are three types: full wrap, half wrap and semi wrap, each with varying proportions of the carrier made using the woven wrap material.
The most expensive Tulas are the hand woven ones where only a few pieces exist in the world, and these are sold at US$600 on Tula’s website.
How did you go about acquiring your collection of Tulas?
Wrap conversions are launched once every fortnight on the official Tula site. A preview of what’s available will be up on the Baby TULA Facebook page a few days before the launch but it will only feature a few of the designs that will be available, and not the whole range, so you won’t really know what’s available until the actual launch instelf.
There are region specific exclusive launches, including a Singapore one. These launches are only for Singapore residents with a Singapore mailing address and they happen once every couple of months. Some online retailers also have designs that are exclusive to them, so I have camped at their websites to catch the launches when I see something I like.
I have also gotten some of my Tulas from online communities that allow you to buy, sell and trade Tulas.
Can you share some tips and tricks to scoring a rare wrap conversion Tula, since they seem to sell out very quickly?
There’s definitely some luck involved as you are competing with mummies from all over the world for the wrap conversions. Here’s what I usually do:
• Sign in to Baby Tula and Paypal before the launch and ensure all your details (name, address, payment method) are keyed in and saved correctly.
• Use a computer instead of mobile phone. (I tend to find the speed faster.)
• Keep refreshing the page a minute before the launch time.
• Don’t hesitate to buy once you find something you like in stock.
Generally the wrap conversions are not too difficult to get as long as you are quick.
To learn about the exclusive launches to Singapore, you should join the endorsed Singapore Tula Facebook groups: Singapore Tula Love; and Tula Love & Stocking Buddies, Singapore. You can also buy, sell and trade Tulas within this group and learn more about all things Tula.
There are also ‘right to buy’ (RTB) opportunities where you enter a lottery of sorts to win the right to purchase exclusive designs. You key in your details and they conduct a random draw to determine who can buy the design. It doesn’t happen very often and I was once lucky enough to get the RTB for an exclusive Koala design from an Australian retailer, Chubba Bubba Boutique.
Can you share more about the Tulas you currently own?
I’ve never had more than six Tulas at any one point, and now I have five. I use a canvas Tula daily for running errands and the full wrap conversion belongs to my husband. I also have three half conversion wraps that I really love and can’t bear to sell away.
Of the 14 I have had, five have been canvas Tulas, while the rest were wrap conversions. Initially I really liked the full wrap conversions as they are super soft and comfy. However, as my daughter grew bigger and heavier, I sold off some of my full wrap conversions and only bought half wrap conversions as they offer more support.
By and large, I have ‘broken even’ on my Tulas in terms of cost, as some of the Tulas I’ve owned have fetched higher values, while others haven’t. It really depends on the demand as well as the condition of the Tula. My most expensive Tula is a Love Gracieux Tula that I spent about S$1,100 on, including getting matching accessories.
Hood, drool pads and reach straps that allow you to cover your child’s head easily when you are carrying him on your back are some of the more popular accessories that you can get made. There are quite a number of local Tula accessory makers, as well as overseas ones.
The new Tula is a great idea as previously you had to use an infant insert if you were babywearing a young child and it is quite inconvenient and hot for the baby. I might purchase one if I have a second child.
Any other Tula related products that you have?
I have six Tula blankets (they come sold in sets of three). They are made using 100 percent viscose from bamboo and are very breathable, which suits my daughter well as she doesn’t really need thick blankets.
And what does your husband have to say about your Tula collection?
He has thankfully been really supportive, even though he was pretty shocked when he first found out how much these carriers can cost. He enjoys babywearing and has his own Tula.