Product of the North Diaper Bag Founders Interview
What Happens If You Can’t Find a Diaper Bag You Love? You Design Your Own.
March 25, 2021

What Happens If You Can’t Find a Diaper Bag You Love? You Design Your Own.

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What Happens If You Can’t Find a Diaper Bag You Love? You Design Your Own.
What Happens If You Can’t Find a Diaper Bag You Love? You Design Your Own.

When husband and wife Adam and Dawn Rode had their first baby, they realized pretty quickly that they needed a diaper bag. But what they found once they started shopping left them pretty disappointed.

“I remember Dawn looking online and showing me diaper bags and asking me, ‘Okay so what kind of bag do you want?’ ” said Adam.

“And I turned to her and said, ‘Um, I don’t want any of these.’ ”

All of the diaper bags they found seemed to be designed with just women in mind. And none of the options could go the distance, either; they wanted a sustainable bag that would last well through the baby years, not just something that was suited for toting around diapers and bottles.

“I didn’t like that some of these bags would be built for one purpose and then would be thrown away,” said Adam. “We wanted something that we could both wear but was also tasteful enough that we could actually use afterwards and not feel like we had to switch out once our baby was older,” they explained.

And so, Product of the North was born.

Adam and Dawn had always dreamed of starting their own business. They’d been working several different jobs and saving for years to make it happen, so once the diaper bag idea was in place, they were ready to take a leap of faith.

Adam, who had a background in product design with both Nike and Nixon, went to work. He immediately started designing a gender neutral bag that could work for whoever was carrying it that day. The couple also wanted sustainability to play a big part in whatever bag they ended up designing.

“Making things that are better for the planet was always something I cared about as a designer,” said Adam.

What the couple ultimately came up with checked both boxes. Product of the North’s diaper bag is unlike anything else in the space. The bag has a modern, gender neutral sensibility that packs in all the functionality of a diaper bag with the style of an everyday backpack. And thanks to the growing support for the brand over the past few years, the Rodes have been able to focus on making sustainability a key priority.

“We wanted to be the Patagonia of the baby world,” they said.

Product of the North works with eco-friendly manufacturers, recycled materials (water bottles, to be exact!) and bluesign ® certified fabrics made with no hazardous chemicals and in a production process that supports cleaner air settings and reduced energy use.

“Our products are safe for baby, better for mom and dad and better for the environment,” Adam said.

The Rodes’ sustainably-focused, modern sensibility extends beyond their own diaper bags. The couple parents their now family of four with an eye on smartly designed products that are also earth-friendly. These are a few of their favorites.

Favorite Baby Gear to Give

“I really couldn’t have lived without this. You can’t get anything out of little nostrils without it! This is still one of our go-to gifts. It’s something new parents don’t realize they need.”

Favorite Baby Gear to Receive

“We used these with our own kids and we also love to give them as gifts. When we lived in California, it was so hot, and you didn’t want something too warm. These are so soft. I loved them.”

“This was so great. We were in a 1,200 square foot apartment in California and we didn’t have a lot of room for a high chair. This strapped right onto our counter and we used it three, four, five times a day for both of our kids.”

Gear They Wish They’d Had

“These are awesome. This would have been the stroller brand we would have bought if we had known about them.”

Sustainable Brands They Love

“I love Honest Company. I think they’re really trying to make a difference and do things right. We still use their products even though our kids are out of the baby phase. We love their body wash.”

“These are our people. It’s a similar feel of our brand, very outdoors and family adventure-oriented.”

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