reading time : 5m40
This article is rather dense. But we’re talking about a 10th birthday, and if it’s not a bit disorderly then it means it’s not a good party. Let’s go!
Je Porte Mon Bébé is 10 years old!
JPMBB is 10 years old!
The idea was to write an article about the 10th birthday of JPMBB that we are celebrating this year. Organizing the text around the choices that JPMBB has made for the last 10 years, in parallel with the choices that each young parent has to make and how baby-carrying can help with those choices …blah blah blah.
It was a good idea, but the first drafts were not coming along nicely; they were uninspiring and therefore not suitable for summarizing these last 10 years. It was the same for the article about our big move, which took place one year ago, taking us from Montreuil near Paris to the Var in southern France.
The urge to editorialize is crushed by everyday life, even though there are plenty of wonderful things to talk about.
Then in the last few days we also felt the need for an article explaining our choice to work only four days a week during the summer, the system we are setting up this year for the JPMBB teams.
And it just happened naturally that this internal business decision that ultimately concerns only the employees of JPMBB turns out to be ultimately what best symbolizes the past 10 years and this wonderful birthday our label is lucky enough to celebrate.
While custom would have us thank our loyal and faithful clients in the first 10 years, as this text progresses it is proving that in fact we will thank and honor first and foremost all the people who have been part of JPMBB since the beginning, those who are no longer with us, those who are with us now and those who will join us in the future.
Dear clients, JPMBB exists FOR YOU, but it is thanks to our collaborators and their work that we have been able to exist for so long, and that we can continue for a long time to come, transforming your precious payments into precious baby carriers for you and for the next parents, Those who will also need baby-carrying when you have finished this phase to take up new parental challenges. (Play here the music Circle of Life from The Lion King.)
Time, money, sun or all three
The set up the following system this year at JPMBB: from May to the end of August, we change to four days of work weekly, with pay for the same number of hours with fewer hours worked, more personal time, no trouble.
The causes and reasons are very simple: Because it is a good idea, and because we can, and because it is a business decision and a lifestyle choice for the people who are part of the company.
For several years, the idea was floating around. It was an exotic idea more applicable to a California startup – not so evident for this company with a daily flow of physical goods to be transited and commercial activities requiring proactive responses every day of the week.
But then we get the Monday national holidays on May 1st and May 8th, where we do as much work as we normally do in a fortnight, with a little more work on Tuesday, but not as much as seven hours per week. And then there is the reading and rereading of this article
(from Basecamp, real mentors to whom the JPMBB organization plan owes a lot).
Then every employee was asked how this fortnight went, with two 3-day weekends, and EVERYONE said the same thing: “It was great, we worked a bit more on Tuesday, but it was worth it.” And then it clicked, not because “management decides”, but because the JPMBB team had reached such a level of investment, motivation, autonomy, responsibility and involvement that not only was it possible but most of all it would be absurd and dreadful not to make the most of it, to waste it and ignore such an obvious fact.
In practice, we work the 4-day week more intensely, we are more concentrated, more organized, over a shorter period so that the quality of the service we deliver is not diminished. We process important or urgent emails if necessary on the day we are closed. It is not complicated and in any case it is only temporary, for the summer months, when there is more light, we want to be outside, it is more “biodynamic”. In September we will return to normal weeks, more working time, a change.
Buyers are not JPMBB’s only clients
The employees at JPMBB are also clients. They spend their daily lives on the premises and besides giving them a salary, this company’s organization must try to offer the workers the same type of experience that is given to young parents using our baby carriers: more freedom, more confidence, more autonomy, more attention.
These are rarely the choices made in a professional environment, but thanks to all the parents who trust us, to the employees, and to some amazing good luck, JPMBB is doing quite well and can afford to approach employment in a more progressive, inventive and caring way.
One cannot be a label that seems caring from the outside but which does the minimum inside or which crushes those who are part of it. We could be superficially cool, put in a table soccer game or a plastic ball pool at the office, but in the end it would not allow people more freedom in the use of their time (the only real wealth that everyone has an equitable share of every day). They would simply work less and /or get home later.
Working and living where you want
Another choice made in the same spirit already a year ago: we moved JPMBB from Paris to the Var. This was a choice too and also at the same time it was a way to offer another living environment to employees who wanted to go. Those who could not come with us stayed in Paris where there is an office, while we paid for the move for those who could come. This has not changed anything in the JPMBB service, but it has changed the lives of those who moved.
Free hands – free will
We have been trying for 10 years to give – or give back – free will and confidence to every young parent – through baby-carrying, closeness, listening – with our baby carriers and our training sessions.
The “free hands” aspect of baby-carrying is only the tangible and visible part of what a good baby carrier offers, but the true value is invisible and is felt in the longer term. By selling baby carriers to our clients, we hope to offer them the opportunity to have more quality time as young parents and a better family atmosphere, because it is a difficult moment and sometimes (all the time!) stressful to be a young parent, even with X + 1 children.
When parents chooses to give their money to JPMBB for a baby carrier, it is so they can do what they want with their hands, take care of their own needs, take care of Baby’s needs,within a secure and well-organized framework. This also allows JPMBB to ‘do what they want” while respecting the rules and needs of a small company and particularly by questioning them and adapting them to individuals.
It is a source of great pride to be able to extend the values of our products beyond the baby carrier and apply them in the world of work, even if it is only on our small scale of a dozen workers. We also started out selling only a dozen baby carriers 10 years ago.
Je Porte Mon Bébé was born 10 years ago thanks to our children. It is a gift, an opportunity. This is what it must endeavor to give back and provide to each person who interacts with it, client or collaborator. It is this company’s mission.
Our thanks to all of you.
Je Porte Mon Bébé
An inspiring read about company culture: lien