Kerstin and Ronald, two engineers who become parents for the first time. The baby desperately wants to be carried, but it´s cold outside. A DIY jacket extension solves the problem. It has to be DIY because there is no such product to be found. But how can the panel be attached to different types of zippers? The zip adapter idea was born and from now on, Kumja grew and developed just like our baby.
On one of the thousand walks in the park, Kerstin came up with the name "Kumja = k(c)ome under my jacket" and the first small batch of Kumjas were produced. It was not too hard to find a tailor shop, since the small family lives in Vietnam that time, due to a development cooperation project.
In 2010 the first 200 Kumjas and 1000 zip adapters were actually delivered. For sure on a totally overloaded motorbike as usual in Vietnam. Together with the Kumjas, the family went home for holiday and shipped the first orders in 2010. That is how it all began. Actually, just for fun.
While the family shipped the orders in Germany, Kerstin took care about customer support via email and phone, which is not easy with a 6 hours time shift between Vietnam and Germany. After the first season the demand was clear: we need more Kumjas!
As mentioned above, it all started as a fun project. However, in the end, Kumja (now MamaMotion) grew to a remarkable company. Having fun still plays an important role, but now we also have to get down for business.
These are the most important stages:
- 2010 official founding, Kerstin und Ronald in Vietnam, Lutz (Ronald´s brother) in Germany, 200 Kumjas
- 2011 return to Germany, decision to start a family business to make a living. We need a business name! Something with motion... Almost MulleMotion (Mulle was the name of Ronald´s cat as he was a child...), it became MamaMotion.
- 2012 moved from the living room to the first premises. 40m² in Hannover "Nordstadt". Packaging, shipping, local store and administration all tightly packed together. Thien Ha Thuy was founded as a production company to make sure wages and working conditions are fair and quality requirements can be met.
- 2014 10 people in Germany on 40 m² are not "fair working conditions". We move to the current place - an old pub in the trendy district of Hannover/Linden Nord. The first local store remains in the former location. The patent for the universal zip adapter "UniZip" was issued - but for financial reasons it´s not developed yet.
- 2016 the winters get warmer year by year, no Kumja boom anymore :/ ... Time to find an alternative economic base - the MaMo baby carrier development starts...
- 2017 one of the first time employees moves to Hamburg (another german city, about 170 km from Hannover), which is a chance to open another local store :) . Mamamotion Hamburg opens on April, 1st, 2017. After a year of development work, the MaMo carrier is launched. THT in Vietnam has to grow to keep up with the MaMo demand. The TiMo project is started to build a bridge between production in south east asia and mums and dads in Germany and Europe.
- 2018 Local stores are pretty appeciated. The first hand experience of feeling how a baby carrier is used is what parents need. On 26th of may 2018, Mamamotion Berlin opens.
- 2019 Mamamotion has about 50 employees in 4 locations in Germany and 50 employees in Vietnam (as for 2020). Kumja grew from 200 to 25000 per year. With the MaMo carrier and other products, MamaMotion sales sum up to about 2 Mio. Euro per year. Fun still is one of the main reasons... But the bigger the company grows, the bigger the responsibilities and requirements get...
- 2020 corona crisis is hard for us too. Local stores are closed, then open with appointments, which is not economic at all
- 2023 sales are still lowered. We seize the chance to rent a storehouse very close to our headquater in Hannover / Linden Nord. Container arrive there directly and logistics get much easier