Giving away your luxury product in the hope of luring celebrities to use it – and be photographed using it by the paparazzi – is a risky bet.
Yet such a wager paid off big-time for Bob and Lauren Monahan when they showcased their high-end baby stroller at a private showing in Beverly Hills in 2006. A-list actresses, Hollywood directors, and even a Super Bowl-winning NFL quarterback took the bait.
The Monahan’s Hingham, MA-based UPPAbaby, now marking its 10th milestone anniversary year, has captured a healthy share of the U.S. luxury baby stroller, car seat, and gear market. And it’s aggressively expanding overseas. UPPAbaby relies on advanced engineering and creative design to appeal to new parents who covet convenience and style, as well as comfort and safety for their infants and toddlers. Retail prices for the company’s line of strollers and carriages range from about $160 to almost $900 for the fully decked-out VISTA carriage. Buy Buy Baby and Amazon.com are leading UPPAbaby retailers.
The couple self-funded UPPAbaby’s launch. He previously invented and developed products for Ford, The First Year, and Safety First. She worked in corporate event marketing. The two met while both were employed at Reebok.
While UPPAbaby products are manufactured in China, the Monahan’s pride themselves on superior all-American customer service to keep their mommies and daddies happy and to help generate those crucial word-of-mouth referrals. “We truly believe we have the most responsive customer service in the industry,” the company boasts.
UPPAbaby’s growth has not been a pure stroll in the park.
The good news: between December 2014 and July 2015, UPPAbaby sold about 71,000 of its CRUZ and VISTA strollers, and RumbleSeat, in the U.S. alone.
The bad news: UPPAbaby announced a recall of those units in July 2015, after receiving 22 reports of children biting off a piece of the bumper bar foam. No injuries had been reported at the time of the recall.
Profile Last Updated: March 2016