For generations, in Russia and the entire Soviet Union, millions of mommies would purchase fabric and cut out large squares to swaddle their newborns. For her first two children, Tatyana the inventor of BowBaby, did the same here in the U.S. However, this method wasn’t as successful with her third child, Vera. Tatyana noticed that Vera would wiggle her arms out of the swaddle, subsequently waking herself up and the entire household. Watching Vera closely, she soon realized Vera’s elbows needed to be secured and wrapped tighter to her body. If her elbows were loose, then there was no chance of a good night’s sleep.
To secure Vera’s elbows, Tatyana thought of a blanket with a special shape that would wrap around the back of the baby and secure its elbows and form a bow or knot at the front. This new method slightly improved on the regular square blanket previously used by adding the extra elbow wrap with the bow/knot. After creating the first draft and trying it on Vera, the results were immediate. Vera would sleep through the night and at times would even wake up in the morning in the same position. Mommy, Daddy and Vera were all fully rested and happy.
This amazing blanket used at every feeding and naptime, quickly became a communication tool for little Vera. As soon as she felt being wrapped in BowBaby, she knew she would be picked up, fed or rocked to sleep. Vera enjoyed being swaddled well into her 7th month and wouldn’t sleep without it. Even at one and two years old, she would see her old blanket and would ask to be wrapped in it and rocked.
Without BowBaby, Vera and Tatyana would have never gotten the rest they needed.
Tatyana was born in Russia, all the way in the Far East, in a seaside city, Nakhodka, across the sea from Japan. Her family immigrated to the US in 1988, when Tatyana was ten. This country brought so many opportunities for the whole family. Tatyana was the first in many generations to graduate from college with a degree in Political Science and Spanish. She went on to build her career in politics and worked for many years for three different members of the US Congress.
When her second daughter, Katia was born, Tatyana decided to put her political career on hold and focus on her daughters. At this time she delved into her passion – photography. She quickly grew it into a full scale business and her work was even featured in the local bridal magazine, Carolina Bride.
Tatyana comes from a family of ten children, eight boys and two girls. Since Tatyana was the second oldest, she learned a lot about motherhood from her amazing mother, Valentina. By eleven years of age, she knew how to swaddle her little brother, make him hot cereal, and put him to sleep. By the time she had her three little girls, Nadia, Katia and Vera, Tatyana felt like a pro. However, she still struggled to get the swaddling right. So, with the help of her mother she learned the tricks of a perfect swaddle. When little Vera was born four years ago, Tatyana had an idea of creating a special swaddle that wasn’t just a square piece of fabric, rather an innovative shape that would secure the baby’s arms around the elbows, and form a bow around the front. This revolutionary method helped Vera sleep through the night, which made for a happy mommy.
As Tatyana and her husband, Sergei moved forward to patent and perfect the prototype, tragedy struck. In June of 2016 Tatyana was diagnosed with breast cancer. Six days later, her husband was killed in a car crash. A month later came the double mastectomy and a long road to recovery. Lots could be said and written about these last two years, but the one most important piece that’s important to point out – We all cling to something amidst the storms of tragedy in order to survive. For Tatyana it was her faith, her children and BowBaby. Her love for all three carried her through. She is so happy to finally share BowBaby with other mommies and daddies, together with everything that’s wrapped around it – her love, passion, survival, faith and hope.
Lilia was born in Ternopol, a small town in western Ukraine. When she was just three years old her parents made the decision to relocate to the U.S. and start a new life.
The family quickly embraced their newfound freedom and opportunity. Lilia grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and went to college in Fort Myers, Florida. She worked as a CPA specializing in auditing.
In the late 2000s she moved to Nassau Bahamas where her husband owned a small business. On a trip to visit her family in Charlotte she met Tatyana and Sergei Semyrog, who at the time lived in Boston, and became fast friends. Little did they know that many years later Tatyana and Lilia would find themselves both mommies and living in Charlotte.
As the children played together the parents' favorite pastime was watching Shark Tank together. One day, as they marveled at some of the patented inventions on the show, Tatyana and Sergei, gushing with excitement, said, “We want to show you something.” They both left the room to retrieve something special and when they came back, their excitement was contagious. That night Tatyana and Sergei showed Lilia and Scott their first BowBaby prototype, along with their patent application. Lilia, who too was a mommy, struggled swaddling both her kids. She purchased every swaddle on the market with meager results. When she saw this prototype she knew that it was something very special and innovative. She felt it was intuitive in how it tied and how it solved the problem of the swaddle unraveling and kept a baby’s arms in place. That same night over lattes, salami and Shark Tank, was how BowBaby was born.