In its simplest form, AYU began as a purveyor of unique beautiful, safe and comfortable hands free baby carriers, some of them decorated with Wayuu adornments, capable of maintaining a close bond to the child. Today, AYU has developed into a sustainable business concept with baby carriers at its core and far reaching social and cultural implications.
AYU is not just about selling baby products; it is an idea conceived by a mother for other new mothers that has developed a unique network of women working together on post-natal and child rearing initiatives. The program "AYU loves kids" enables single and stay at home mothers to produce and sell baby carriers, promotes sales through foundations that benefit from the sale of products, works with entities that offer protection to underprivileged children via educational activities and takes raw material excess from the production process to make dolls, covers and pillows and to give as gifts to clients or sell individually. AYU’s website provides breastfeeding support information given by professionals.
Valeria Calderon, founder of AYU, began this business by designing slings to carry her baby and complement her clothing. Some of AYU’s baby carriers are uniquely differentiated because of the original adornments made by indigenous Wayuu women of Colombia. The Wayuu women have been caught in the crossfire of Colombia’s war between guerrilla groups, paramilitaries, drug traffickers and the government. Weaving is part of their lives and a means to express their creativity and wisdom and by working with them, AYU has learned about this sacred and ancestral art. Their pieces are characterized by shapes that symbolize elements of nature, animals, plants or abstract shapes. Working with AYU has given this community an unprecedented opportunity to show their heritage and magic to the world. In forging this entrepreneurial alliance, AYU has been able to harmoniously bridge modern business with important indigenous cultural values and create a unique community of women challenged by a common goal.
Paramount to AYU’s core values is its focus beyond product sales: family, mothers and foundations. The AYU Loves Kids program is a cross-functional platform intended to support and encourage single and new mothers to become active in a stay at home business model while providing outreach to children nationwide. Single, stay at home, and working mothers have made invaluable contributions to the overall AYU product both in design and in our workshops.
As a result of this non-traditional social emphasis, AYU has attracted significant media attention in Colombia and we encourage you to read and watch at:
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