MATTHEW FEARN, HEAD OF SALES AT BUGABOO UK. NEW FATHER, MATTHEW LIVES WITH HIS WIFE CARLY AND 5 MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER ISABELLE JUST OUTSIDE OF HENLEY-ON-THAMES IN OXFORDSHIRE.
Tell us about yourself in 5 words?
Driven, Sporty, Adventurous, Chatty and Young(ish)
Why would you advise people choose a Bugaboo product?
Bugaboo is a brand that offers performance and style in perfect balance. Our products are made to be simply functional whilst offering a great looking product. I like to think that our products allow people to move freely through their world, be that an urban city centre or out in the countryside.
How necessary would you say a good travel system is?
Arguably it is one of the most important purchases you make as a new parent, not just because they can be expensive but you will use them every day. Your choice needs to be dictated by the lifestyle you lead. If you live in London, travel on public transport and frequent coffee shops and art galleries for example, you need a compact comfort stroller. If you are an outdoorsy person who likes walking or just exploring the world around you, you will be looking for an all-terrain comfort stroller. It is mostly about trying to maintain a little of what you enjoyed doing prior to becoming a parent and having your child enhance that, rather than preventing you from doing the things that you enjoy.
Bugaboo was introduced 15 years ago now. What impact do you think the brand has had on the market?
It is safe to say that Bugaboo reinvented the stroller market when it launched 15 years ago. Strollers hadn’t really changed since the Victorian era and were bulky and immobile for today’s society. Bugaboo’s design was so different and offered a unit which adapted as your child grew from being a baby to a toddler. Since Bugaboo’s first launch, we haven’t stopped innovating and the rest of the market has been following us ever since. It is our job to keep leading the market and to push the industry to bigger and better things.
Which is your favourite Bugaboo product?
It’s a really tough question but I have to say, it’s the Bugaboo Donkey. This stroller is so clever in the way that it starts in Mono (1 child) with a side basket and then the chassis expands to add another seat or carrycot. For people who plan on having more than one child, this stroller grows as your family does without forcing one child to sit behind the other. I have used the donkey with taking out my daughter and three year-old niece together and it was fantastic. My niece was able to sit facing my daughter and she loved it!
I debated this with my wife Carly and we both have a favourite so I’ll tell you both:
For me it’s the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair with Newborn Seat. This product, like Bugaboo strollers, evolves as the child grows and even becomes a chair for adults later in its life. It’s a really simple but intelligent product,
For Carly, it has got to be the Fisher-Price Rainforest Play Mat. It’s not only really engaging for Isabelle but it folds away without having to dismantle it. This might seem really simple, but as for many people, storage can be an issue and so if you want to keep your home streamlined, you need innovative solutions and this offers that.
Describe a typical day at work for you? How do you juggle fatherhood and your career?
When we knew we were becoming parents, I wanted to try and be involved as much as I could be on a daily basis. I travel quite a bit so my routine depends on where I need to be. If I’m working in the UK office, I get up early with my daughter and have a cuddle before bringing her in to her Mum for her morning feed. At work, I have to be really organised in order to maximise my output, without having to work too late. I normally go for a run at lunchtime. I find it recharges my mind and re-energises me for the afternoon ahead. When I can, I try to finish work no later than 6pm so I can be home for bath time, have half an hour of play time with Isabelle before giving her a bottle and putting her to bed. If I’m travelling either in the UK or overseas, I try to avoid staying away overnight if I can. This can involve 4am starts but it means I can get home in time to see my girls.
Any new Bugaboo products on the horizon that you can share with us?
2015 is a huge year for Bugaboo as it marks our first entry into a new market: Sports Equipment. In June we will be launching the Bugaboo Runner. It is compatible with any of the existing Bugaboo Stroller seats and has amazing features like a full handle braking system and intelligent suspension which is built into the chassis. It also looks great! We want to promote a healthy lifestyle for people with children. If you’re already a keen runner or just want to get fit after the arrival of your little one, this allows you to exercise with your child.
Aside from the Runner, we are launching an amazing product in the US and Australia called the Bugaboo Stand. This has the potential to enable you to use your existing Bugaboo Stroller as a high chair or a travel cot and could have a huge impact on the market. We are really excited about this launch and, fingers crossed, we may decide to launch it in Europe some time soon.
Thank you so much to Matthew for taking the time to speak with us. It is always interesting to get a fathers insight into juggling parenthood and a career and we have loved hearing a little bit more about Bugaboo and what is on the horizon for them. We think you’ll agree the Bugaboo Runner and Bugaboo Stand are two very exciting products and we will keep you updated with any more news of the product launches when we can.
We hope you enjoyed the first in our series of mini TAKEOVERS. Let us know what you thought.