Bookworm Baby was founded by Ashley Wong, a first-time mom and brand marketing vet who has big names like L’Oréal, NARS and Butter London on her resume. After becoming a mother and noticing how often her little one chewed on the corners of board books to soothe his achy gums, she saw an opportunity to innovate the teether category of children’s books.
She dreamed up the Basil the Bookworm Teether, a first-of-its-kind, patent pending design in the shape of baby’s favorite books and featuring an adorable little bookworm as the star.
With her extensive experience in marketing and newfound passion for little ones, Ashley set forth to bring safe, effective and best-in-class relief to all the little teethers out there.
How has becoming a parent in 2021 changed your outlook on life?
I’ve learned to embrace and cherish the simplicities of life.
What are three must-have products you’ve discovered since becoming a parent?
There are so many… but if I had to narrow it down to three, I would say a sound machine, BEABA Babycook and plenty of teethers of course!
Where did the idea for the adorable character of Basil the Bookworm come from?
It all started with the creation of the teether. It was inspired by my little guy who just turned two when he began teething. He loved exploring everything with his mouth, especially chewing on board books to help soothe his achy gums. The corners were completely gnawed away, and I was constantly taking paper bits out of his mouth — something I (or baby) didn’t enjoy.
At the time, I couldn’t find a teether that was shaped like his favorite books. So, I thought, let’s create the first ever book-shaped teether that’s totally safe to chomp on! I needed a unique and adorable character to feature… not the usual giraffe or llama. I landed on a bookworm and got busy sketching away. I searched for someone to help bring the bookworm to life and found the most amazing UK-based illustrator, and that’s how Basil the bookworm became our star!
What are some tips you’ve picked up since launching a business and becoming a parent within the same year?
Launching a business and being a parent to a toddler are similar in many ways. Each day comes with a new set of unexpected circumstances, and I try to find balance, be efficient, remain patient and have flexibility. It’s obviously easier said than done!
What do you wish you knew before becoming a parent that no one told you?
Definitely the physical and emotional change during the 4th trimester. Postpartum never came up in conversation because the focus was always on the pregnancy and preparing for the baby. There’s been a lot more transparency around this incredibly important adjustment period and I am happy to see more resources dedicated to supporting all the new mamas out there!