DIDYMOS over the Years
Determination, dedication, and perseverance have been key to our development. And the history of DIDYMOS is also a part of the history of babywearing in modern Western society.
Here’s a quick summary of the last few decades from a Didy perspective …
1971 – The Terra Magica book, “Children and their Mothers,” containing photographs of mothers from a whole range of cultures carrying their children, inspires Erika Hoffmann to try it out for herself.
She uses a carrying cloth brought back from Mexico for her by a friend for her first attempts. Her goal is to give her newborn twins Anna and Tina the same affection and attention as their two older siblings.
Our name DIDYMOS, which means “twins” in ancient Greek, is a reference to this.
Summer 1972 – Germany’s Stern magazine features Erika Hoffmann and her use of slings. As a result, parents all over Germany are excited and get in touch to ask if they can have a sling, too. A business, which was never planned, is born round the kitchen table.
The slings are the first step of an idea that sounds unbelievable for other people.
Nonetheless, Erika Hoffmann acquires capital from her local bank and, after exhaustive research, finds a weaving mill able to produce slings to the necessary quality standards without using dangerous additives. However, the quantities are larger than what she needs to meet demand in Germany.
Mid 1970s – Erika Hoffmann is so convinced by the practice of babywearing that she continues to push ahead with promoting the sling in Germany. Thanks to her tenacity, she wins the backing of midwives, paediatricians, sports scientists, behavioural biologists, and many other experts to support carrier use.
At the same time, she develops a range of tying methods and instructions, which are now the established standard, and begins to devise the now widely used sizing system, which she continues to refine in subsequent years.
1978 – The first apprentices begin their retail saleswoman training at DIDYMOS. It’s also at this point that DIDYMOS slings in size 3 and above are given their typical parallelogram shape, a standard that is now used far beyond DIDYMOS.
As a seamstress’s daughter, Erika Hoffmann knows that this makes the ends of the cloth more pleasing to the eye when tied. A tapered end also provides a little more material for tying knots; you can still tie a secure knot with the last corner of DIDYMOS slings.
Early 1980s – DIDYMOS changes from an individual enterprise to a limited liability company. It acquires its first computer, a Compaq with DOS word-processing program, for producing letters and invoices, replacing one of its Olivetti typewriters.
1986 – DIDYMOS moves into its first office premises in the centre of Ludwigsburg. All sales work had previously been carried out from the family’s house.
1995/1996 – DIDYMOS develops the tying methods for the cross carrying position (1995) and wrap cross carrying position (1995), which are now the most popular and widely used tying methods for babywearing.
1996 – DIDYMOS registers the domain www.didymos.de and conquers the internet with its first website. Just a few years later, this new communications medium will pave the way for the international success of our slings.
The first limited-edition DIDYMOS models are produced.
1998 – The company moves to a historic office building in the centre of Ludwigsburg and, in October of that year, Anna Hoffmann opens the DIDYMOS brick and mortar store on the ground floor.
As well as stocking all DIDYMOS slings, the store also sells children’s clothing, selected toys and breastfeeding accessories. Most importantly of all, it offers intensive instruction and a wide range of courses.
DIDYMOS is also recognised as a family-friendly company, winning first prize in the “Success factor family” corporate competition run by the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg.
Erika Hoffmann remains active at the company, designing patterns and advising customers until her death in 2015.
2006 – DIDYMOS now offers on its website the DidySling, a simple version of the wrap sling that doesn’t require tying knots.
2007 – Eva Vogelgesang from Stuttgart’s Olga Hospital and DIDYMOS’s Tina Hoffmann work together to develop slings and tops to facilitate the all important skin-to-skin contact and bonding between premature babies and their parents.
2008 – DIDYMOS expands its online product range to include the Didy Meh Dai (DidyTai). A practical combination of baby carrier and sling, it works without any snaps, velcro fasteners, or buckles.
2016 – Erika Hoffmann is honoured posthumously at the WEAR conference in Chicago, IL, USA for her lifetime achievement and dedication to promoting carrying babies and toddlers and close body contact between parents and their children.
DIDYMOS learns from it’s customers that some design names are offensive and consulting with many experts, changes the offending names.
2017 – The DidyKlick is launched. Its development started in 2012 but was put on hold several times.
With the introduction of the DidyKlick DIDYMOS now also has a Half Buckle in its product portfolio.
An exhibition is taking place in the Humboldt-Forum Berlin on the subject “Vorsicht Kinder” geliebt, geschützt, gefährdet (“Caution children! beloved, protected, endangered”). The beginnings of DIDYMOS are commended in a magazine report.