The Incredible & Disturbing Mommy Cult of Tula

Baby-wearing is nothing new. But, what if I told you there exists a sub-culture of baby-wearing that involves baby carriers being purchased, traded, and sold for between $200–1200 above retail price? Would you believe me?

Prepare yourself. You are about to enter the land of Tula, a baby-wearing, money-spending, mind-blowing cultural phenomenon. I’m still picking my jaw up from the floor and it’s been a good two weeks since I stumbled across Tula World where mothers are DISO (Desparately In Search Of) a particular design to add to their ‘stashes’ of Tulas.

Rhymes with Doula

I first heard the name Tula back in October 2014, during the last trimester of pregnancy with my third child. A FB friend shared a link and commented that it was absolutely the best baby carrier she’d used. “Much better than an Ergo! Perfect for petite frames!” She posted. This caught my attention. I’m a petite mom and not the biggest Ergo fan (the reigning baby carrier of choice among the crunchy supermom crowd, or so I thought). Thus, I was intrigued.

Since I am in the market for a new baby carrier for once my sweet baby hits the four-month mark, I did as any mom would do after hearing a glowing endorsement of yet another brand in the baby industrial complex. I googled it to see what other moms thought. I read some blog reviews, watched a video demo, and joined a couple of FB groups with the sole purpose to finding out as much as I could about these colorful baby carriers that rhyme with doula. What I discovered blew me away.

The Cult of Tula

Tula has it’s own language. Do you know what ‘DISO HTF STD Oki Full means?” Tula has gurus. If you’re new to Tula World and are considering purchasing a Tula, at first you’ll be lost and have no idea what people are talking about. So, Tula newbies ask Tula mamas who’ve been around for a while and who have a substantial stash, to show them the ropes and teach them all there is to know about Tula world.  Tula has meetups and playgroups, I now because I’ve been to the local one held here in Hawaii. Tula even has it’s own grey market where baby carriers are bought, purchased and sold. There’s even a FB group dedicated to assessing the market value of a particular style and design of a Tula. Apparently, there is a Tula with a market value of $4,000. And as if that weren’t enough, Tula has a call and response greeting that’s used when you spot another Tula wearer out in public.

Call: “Tula in the wild!”

Response: “Caw! Caw!”

What the Heck is it?

So, exactly what is Tula you ask?  It’s a brand of baby carriers and wraps that come in beautiful designs, often using colorful traditional European textiles. They are sold by high-end baby boutiques and through Tula’s own ecommerce site. Tula offers ergonomic carriers, which come in two sizes, standard and toddler, both of which can be worn to carry babies and toddlers in the front and back, and can hold between 15–45 lbs and 25–50 pounds, respectively. Additional offerings include, accessories, and slings.

It’s what Tula calls a wrap conversion (WC), which is a woven wrap converted into a baby carrier, that has moms saving their pennies, putting them on layaway (I’m not kidding), and collecting them like designer shoes. These wrap conversions retail from $270 but can be sold for much more on the Tula market. What seemingly drives the incredible demand for Tula wrap conversions is, one can only purchase them every other week during a restock, which is announced via Tula’s social media accounts. You have to be quick because wrap conversions sell out within minutes. That’s right, minutes. If you’re among the lucky ones, who were  actually able to ‘score’ during a WC restocking, consider yourself lucky.

Tula Wrap Conversions Sold Out Screenshot

In one popular FB group ‘Tula Love’, there is a document titled, “Tips for Scoring at a Tula Stocking” which states the following as helpful tips: “Make yourself familiar as to where the buttons are to do the purchase.” and “About 5 minutes before the stocking, start refreshing every minute or so. (F5, in case you didn’t know) and a minute before, start refreshing over and over. As soon as the pictures pop up, grab and go!”

Now, you know a company is killin’ it when customers are hitting the refresh button every two seconds and are tripping over themselves for a ‘chance to purchase’ one of your products. In Tula World, winning a drawing may not yield an actual Tula. Instead, you may get the ‘right to purchase’ one. Yes, you read right. In Tula World, you might just win the opportunity to spend $650 on a baby carrier.

A quote from the Tula website reads: A modern twist on a traditional skill — The Tula Baby Carrier is THE must-have item to allow you to keep your little one close to your heart while having your hands free.

Photo Source: (http://www.tulababycarriers.com/products/folk-art-tula-ergonomic-baby-carrier)
Photo Source: (http://www.tulababycarriers.com/products/folk-art-tula-ergonomic-baby-carrier)
Photo Source: (http://www.tulababycarriers.com/products/toddler-size-half-wrap-conversion-tula-toddler-oscha-okinami-kai)
Photo Source: (http://www.tulababycarriers.com/products/toddler-size-half-wrap-conversion-tula-toddler-oscha-okinami-kai)

 

Photo source: (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/296041375481005773/)
Photo source: (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/296041375481005773/

Photo Source (https://www.etsy.com/listing/163327998/design-your-own-reach-straps-for-baby?ref=shop_home_active_2)
Photo Source (https://www.etsy.com/listing/163327998/design-your-own-reach-straps-for-baby?ref=shop_home_active_2

Who Are the Geniuses Behind Tula You Ask?

The founders of Tula are a husband and wife team Mike and Ula. Mike is from Vietnam and Ula from Poland. It was their quest to find the perfect baby carrier that led them to having one custom made by Mike’s grandmother in Vietnam. They soon began creating custom carriers for friends and families and the rest, as they say, is history. They’ll actually be here in Hawaii next week and there’s a hiking trip planned for all of the Tula wearers to hike with Ula. Suffice it to say Tula is a modern branding and consumer behavioral phenomenon. What Tula has achieved (a cult following of moms who want to purchase multiple high-priced baby carriers) should be studied by business schools everywhere.

Tula in Hawaii

Last weekend I attended a Tula play group at Nuuanu Valley Park. I couldn’t stay long, but I was looking forward to meeting up with Tula wearers to ask a lot of questions and see these wrap conversions up close and personal. For some reason, I was expecting this meetup to be like no other. I envisioned fashionable Tula mamas and kiddos playing, smiling, laughing, and having a good ole time in their Tula best. But no, that didn’t happen. There was one really fashionable mama who was super friendly and was wearing a $1,150 Tula. Wow!  At the park I also chatted with some other Tula wearing mamas who were happy to answer all of my questions. But there wasn’t much smiling, playing, or laughing going on. In fact, the first Tula mama I made eye contact and gave a smile to didn’t even blink or break a smile. Perhaps she noticed I wasn’t wearing a Tula? But that would be against Tula philosophy though. It says on their website, “We do not support criticism and looking down at parents for the type of a wrap or carrier they chose to use. We believe that every parent tries to make the best decision for his baby.”

Yes, there is a such thing as snobbery in Tula World.

Aloha Tula 2.0 Meetup Name Tag Provided
Aloha Tula 2.0 Meetup Name Tag Provided

I couldn’t stay long unfortunately. My four-year old had to use the bathroom, both my girls had taken off their shoes, the bathroom was double the distance away from my car, and I was wearing my two-month old. And to top it all off, it was lunch time and my girls were hungry! I was having a serious mommy moment. So I just packed us all up and got back in the car.  I might attend another Tula meetup, but my first impression of the group is that it might be more of a ‘lets get together and take photos of our Tula stash’ meetup than anything else.

On another note, Hawaii mamas, doesn’t the Tula promo video give you a serious case of playground envy? I mean, can we get a playground like that on this island please?  They just don’t make playgrounds like this in Hawaii.

Would You Pay $1,200 for a Baby Carrier?

Although Tulas are good baby carriers, it’s pretty hard for me to wrap my head around the prices on the Tula grey market. (Ha! no pun intended!) Would I pay that much for pretty wrap conversion? Ummmmm… No ma’am.  There are too many reasons to count, but here are three that scream out at me:

1. My ancestors won’t allow it. I love baby-wearing, but there’s something about paying that much money to wear my baby that makes the African ancestry blood in me say, “Oh hell no!!!!! Girl you better go get you some fabric and call it a day! For that amount, that Tula better come with a smart phone and teach my child how to use it AND the potty, simultaneously.”

2. There’s simply no amount of baby-wearing or outlandish circumstances that can justify the price in MY head. I keep coming up with random scenarios like, “What if there were a tsunami and I had to grab all of my kids and run out of the house and maybe they could all fit in a Tula?” or “What if I were a millionaire and could buy all of the Tulas I wanted? Would I?” Nope and nope.

3. It’s not a smart purchase. As the money manager of my home, I just don’t think spending that much money on a baby carrier is a good use of the resources we’ve been provided. Plus, on a more hilarious note, I hear the Tula market is very volatile these days. I just read in the FB Group ‘Tula Love’ that some canvases were selling better than wrap conversions (which is apparently unheard of); but the market was expected to pick back up after tax refunds had been issues.

How Did I Conclude My Baby Carrier Search?

After an exhaustive search of trying to find a good carrier for baby girl that both my husband and I could use, we ordered a Standard canvas carrier Tula, “The Star”. The price was $180. I’m actually looking forward to trying it out to see if it really is a good carrier.  I tried to rent one for a week to see if I liked it first, but ALL of the rented options were out too! Once my new Tula arrives, I doubt I’ll still be a part of Tula World, it’s a bit too intense for me. Though, I am surprisingly looking forward to saying “Caw! Caw!”

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Takara Bullock

Takara is a thirty-something wife, mother-of-three sweet girls, web designer, and FIT4MOM Honolulu Owner. Before Hawaii, she resided in Japan for six years where she researched as a Fulbright Fellow and later worked as a headhunter recruiting talent in the tech industry. Fun Little Ohana was created to help families with children have more fun on Oahu. Subscribe to our Oahu with Kids Weekly Email for more family-fun ideas.

69 Comments
  1. Hi Takara!
    I’ve never heard of Tula; looks interesting but wow, what a price tag! When my son outgrew the Infantino we had, I sewed my own which worked pretty well.
    I’d like to interview you for an article I’m working on for Hawaii Parent. Would you please email me at CharlotteEdwardsZhang at gmail dot com.
    Thanks and have a great weekend!
    Charlotte

    1. Wow! You sewed your own! Yet another reason why I must get over my sewing machine intimidation. Sure, I’ll send you email!

  2. I’ve never heard of these either. They look like the mai Tai carriers, which I’ve heard great things about. So Glad YOU Found One That worked. I went through several styles with my first child tryi bf to find one that he liked. We went with the Moby. With the second I had the same two Mobys, a second in case of vomit or diaper blowout which did happen. I got an Eugene with my second only because I found one a TJMAXX for $20!!! What I don’t understand is why any mom needs a “stash” of baby carriers, especially ones that are that expensive.

    1. I’ll have to check out the Mai Tais! Yeah, the stashing is quite interesting, but I guess it’s like a pair of shoes in some women’s eyes. Popular Mom Culture these days is pretty amazing. Ever heard of ‘Pinterest Stress’?

  3. I’d like to clarify a few things. Caw Caw is actually not for Tula moms, it is the call of Southern California babywearers, many of whom have Tulas.

    Second, it seems that you have developed a bias again the brand because there are high end price options and a loyal following. A canvas Tula can be purchased for $159. The higher priced options are exclusive patterns in limited quantity runs or wrap conversions which take highly sought after wraps puts them on Tulas creating high secondary market prices as a result of supply and demand.

    The pricing phenomenon you are talking about is not because of Tulas, it is a result of the high end babywearing culture. There have been Uppymama wraps sold for $13k. This is not a fad or a cult (and honestly referring to a group of moms as a cult is offensive since we are not mindless nor brainwashed) it is a community of women who opt to collect baby carriers. The same way others might collect art or Hermes Berkin bags.

    I understand you are running a budget friendly family blog but please don’t put down other moms, their choices, or discourage people from trying a brand that might help them find a perfect fitting baby carrier and inspire a love of babywearing.

    Lastly, if you would like to try a Tula and can’t find one for rent, Abby’s Lane (www.abbyslane.com) does a 30 day trial on their Tulas.

    1. I appreciate your joining the conversation. I don’t think you read the entire article. I did actually purchase a Tula and I’m very much looking forward to trying it out for myself. Also, I applauded Tula for it’s genius marketing, this type of following for your company or product is awesome. Further, I explained why particular Tulas are more expensive than others.

      It is very much my personal opinion, that spending my own money in the amount of $1200 for a baby carrier is pretty crazy. I think the same about expensive handbags and shoes. If that’s what you like then more power to you! Have fun with all of your Tulas!

  4. This was interesting and a different point of view from my own. Tulas for me are such a comfortable carrier which is why I love them. There are other groups I have been a part of such as customized Tulas! Plenty of DIY options to personalize your carrier for less cost. There is a part of this culture that I don’t think is being recognized in your article. There are also groups for Tulas for sale at retail on the grey market ( tula retail to retail bst). I hope you can find the tula love as we did because we do find them so comphy.

    1. Thanks Meghan, I am looking forward to finally getting my Tula in the mail to try it out!! I do hope it is as comfy as many say it is!

  5. I discovered Tulas less than a year ago. In that time, I have made some incredible friends online and in real life. I have seen more PIFs (“pay it forwards” of free carriers) from “Tula mamas” than I have in any other group. I have seen women band together to raise money for babywearing moms in the hospital, widows of fallen soldiers, and children in need. In my own experience, I have had women who barely know me reach out and extend lovely gestures of kindness, such as spending their time to sew me accessories.

    By way of background, I was quite like you when I had my first dose of Tula sticker shock. When I first discovered Tulas, I decided I liked one with anchors on it (Kokadi Ahoi). I had no idea that it was being resold on buy/sell/trade sites for over $1,000 at the time. Like you, I was baffled at first. (“Wait. It’s used. Shouldn’t it cost less?”) I didn’t buy it, and instead, chose a less sought after wrap conversion. It works just as well. I love it and wear it daily. Like any other collectible, Tulas on the secondary markets can range in price. Do you want to buy a basic, new 2015 Ford Mustang for $24,000 or do you want the classic 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra for $8.3 million? Both are Mustangs, and both will get you where you want to go (except, in the aforementioned example, one just might get you there a heck of a lot faster). I won’t spend $2,000 for a baby carrier, but I won’t begrudge someone that does.

    I urge you to reconsider the broad brush of judgment with which you have seemingly painted the entire Tula community. This is the type of commentary that fuels the Mommy Wars. We are all in this together. We are parenting the best way that we can. I don’t care if someone wears their baby in a Tula, a table cloth, or pushes him in a stroller. We are all moms. Let’s support one another.

    1. Thanks for sharing Tanya. After watching the Tula community for the past three weeks, I think it is a mommy cultural phenomenon. I don’t begrudge those who spend their money on Tulas at all, if you want to buy up all of the Tulas and do your thing! I personally have a great interest in collecting washi tape :).

      But regarding Mommy Wars, who cares? These days it seems as if sharing your opinion and having a strong one is disdainful and fuel to the Mommy wars. Moms are different, people are different. It’s okay.

      1. This!!! People are different. Not quite sure why people are taking offense. Your opinion is just that, yours. Agree, or not, and move on.

        I recently joined the ranks of the Tula army and I find it more comfortable than my previous wraps and carriers. How about you? How are you liking yours?

      2. I don’t know why people are getting so defensive. You didn’t say anything negative. The comments from others do make me think i would not want to hang out in one if those groups, though.

        I love their prints, but i think they’d be too hot for where i live.

  6. Lol. I purchased mine for $125.

    Your article came across as very judgy. You met up with a small group of Tula owners and because they react to you hoped, you are saying the group is cult -like? Did you introduce yourself? Did you walk up to any of them and say hi? I’m sorry you had a bad experience but please labeling a babywearing group as “cult-like” really only hurts the entire babywearing community as a whole.

    I guess I don’t understand why you purchased one if you have such negative feelings towards it.

    1. Hi Deb, thanks for comment. Why yes I did 🙂 introduce myself to several mommies hanging out at the playgroup. I am very friendly and chatty and as I recall, I think I introduced myself to each person I had a conversation with. Truth is, it simply wasnt that welcoming of a group. Too bad.

      But that’s not why I think Tula is cult-like. I listed the reasons (it has it’s own language, gurus, grey market, etc. ) It’s called having an opinion. Not sure how you got labeling the entire baby-wearing community from focusing on Tula, but you are entitled to you opinion as well and I respect that.

      Also, I purchased one in the end because it has such a cult-like following, I wanted to check it out for myself. It was written in a cheeky tone I admit 🙂

  7. I did read your blog post. I added the information so that your readers would have a more clear understanding of the community and how they personally could try a Tula if they were unable to find one for rent. I found that you focused on much of the high end aspects of the brand in a way that would be discouraging to new babywearers when there are in stock and relatively inexpensive Tula options out there. And quite honestly, referring to other mom’s choices or community as crazy, disturbing and cult like is highly offensive.

    I actually think this attitude towards another group of moms is more distasteful than how the moms at the Tula meetup treated you. Perhaps they sensed your clearly negative judgement of their parenting choices.

    1. Oh Leah, I really appreciate your passion for Tula and baby-wearing, I really do. The truth is, I have painted the community as I have experienced and perceived it. Perhaps your perception and experience are different from mine? That is very possible and that’s okay. I don’t expect two people to have the same experience about anything.

      There really is a culture of Tula that seems VERY cult-like though. Clearly that upsets you. Sometimes the truth hurts.

      I think you are confusing my attitude towards the idea of spending my OWN money on an expensive baby carrier with the idea that I am saying others shouldn’t. How others spend their money is fine with me, buy up all of the Tulas if you wish, have a ball.

      Also, this has nothing to do with me judging other moms parenting choices. HA! That is laughable! We are talking about baby carriers and how I choose to spend MY money.

      As far as the moms at the meetup picking up on my attitude, that would be true if I actually went their judging but I didn’t. I went there to physically see and touch an actual Tula and hang out with some other baby-wearing moms. Some were cool, others were not so cool. This happens.

      I do really appreciate your counter arguments and comments though, very interesting.

  8. I’ve been around Tulas for the last year and a half and I will say as they have gained popularity the “Tula World” has changed so much. I am beyond thrilled for the owner of Tula and how her business has exploded. But I am ashamed of the behavior of some Tula mamas. It is sad what greed and materialism can do to people, and over a baby carrier no less. It is cult-like and yes, a lot of Tula moms are crazy. Not all, but some. So please don’t judge all Tula moms based on the crazy ones. There are some of us that are normal in there too. 😉

    1. Yes indeed, the success of Tula is to be applauded! I admit the article is cheeky in tone (heheheh) but I certainly am not judging all Tula moms as crazy, none really. I just think the hype and culture of it all is pretty incredible and might I say, a bit on the crazy side.

      I mean, it is just a baby carrier right?

  9. I actually hate tula culture, and I was very wary about purchasing that brand of carrier because of the hype. I bought one used from a mom in my local Babywearing group, and I stay far away from the Facebook pages. If someone yells at me in public, I won’t be caw cawing back. $4000 for a carrier is ridiculous. Having 5 canvas $160 carriers is also unnecessary. Call it whatever you want.. A cult, a group, a gaggle, or a swarm… It’s not something I want to be a part of.

    1. 🙂 Thanks for your comment Lucy. You sound like my husband when he read my article. He calls high-priced Wrap Conversions ‘foolas’. HA!

  10. Goodness, I’m not sure these Tula fans are helping their “We’re not crazy- REALLY!” case with some of these comments. I tried a Tula and really didn’t see what all the hoopla was about. And with all the drama surrounding these carriers (there’s literally a Tula Drama group on Facebook and it’s VERY active and chock-full-o-crazy), I’m pretty glad it wasn’t insta-love. I’ll stick with my Kinderpack, thank you very much.

    1. Ha Jane! I was thinking the same thing. The Tula actually arrived in the mail today and my husband doesn’t like it 🙁 Thanks for sharing what you have, we’ll give it a try.

  11. someone posted your blog post in tula love. I’m glad I read it. I agree with you. I personally wouldn’t spend that much on babywearing gear. But then again some people wouldn’t spend $160+ on a ring sling and I have a few of them. I love my tula and I’ve had a standard and now have a toddler(both only canvas) and that is all I need. The carrier is very comfortable. I have yet to receive or do a tula in the wild call and I’ve had my tula for over a year(I’ve seen many out and about) I just smile big at any babywearing mom or dad I see 🙂

    1. 🙂 I’m sure Tula Love and it’s participants hate me now, but that’s okay! I actually shared this in their group the day I published it, but it was deleted… I am not surprised! Thanks for reading and stopping by!

  12. Ah, the Tula. Yeah, it’s a crazy world for sure. I did what you did–looked on line, joined a few Facebook groups to learn a little more. I also had a friend who was a Tula fan so she helped me learn more too. I had a boba and a ring sling and didn’t understand the hype. But with four kids under three, which means sometimes I end up wearing two at a time, I wanted one more way to carry them. So, with a whole lot of help (someone did my shopping for me) I got a toddler Tula.

    Not sure what you tried, but the Toddler Tula is incredible. I put my 35 lbs toddler on my bag and felt no pain/pull in my shoulders or anywhere for that matter. Now, my legs were in pain for all that walking with all that extra weight, but that’s the same with anyway you strap on extra weight.

    I also have a standard Tula which I like because of the cute patter (Tulsa are pretty, for sure). But the Toddler–really worth every penny. And with this many kids, I am pinching all of them.

    1. Soooo, the Tula arrived finally and my husband has worn it more than me! My two-year old loves it!!! my 3 month old is still too small for it. And I feel you on being frugal with four! I am too with three! Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

  13. The Tula world is truly something else in my opinion. I have been baby wearing for a couple of years and never thought that I would join in all the hype. Over the last few months I finally decided to check it al outl. I have come to find that the most important thing wearing your baby is lost. It is all about exclusives, stocking pages, perfect placement, resale value, market value, highly sought after, hard to find, and please do not mention flippers. People will actually buy a carrier that they do not want. As soon as it arrives in the mail, the carrier is put up on the BST pages. The excuse is always the same,” it’s not love”or “my diso is up”. A carrier that originally cost 149 is now going for 300. The wrap conversion may have started at retail 270, is now 1000. I can do without the greed, hoarding, and materialism that I see on a daily basis in these groups. There is much cattiness. I have witnessed many times others being judged for not having a Tula. In my local babywearing group alone, an ergo mom will be up the creek lol! She would get ignored. It is sad, but true with this subculture. All Tula folks may not be this way, but many are. I do have one Tula. It is a canvas ad gets the job done. If I ever get a WC it will be at retail, but I know my chances are slim. I may have the means to get a used one that cost 1000. If I wanted to, I could get a Tula for every day of the week. I choose not to though because it is silly to me. To each their own! 🙂

    1. 🙂 Natalie that is hilarious!!! Not the “ergo-wearing mama”! Ha!! Seriously she would get ignored? Sooooo funny! I agree to each their own! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  14. very tongue in cheek.. ok I’m one of those “crazy moms” who has fallen deep into the Tula rabbit hole. 3 WC already and I’m still eyeing for at least 3 more. if I can score that is

    1. 🙂 Yes yes, tongue-in-cheek, I couldn’t help myself! But you know, I don’t think you are crazy. I think Tula world is mind-blowing and crazy, it really is. However, how others choose to spend their money is their business. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  15. I absolutely loved this post! I am a Tula devotee — started with an Ergo a few years ago, learned about Tulas, found them way more comfortable, and now I have one for each baby! Both are canvas…also can’t quite justify the WC prices! I think you are right on with everything you wrote. It’s an amazing business model, a crazy (in a mostly fun way) community of devoted fans, and so interesting to observe the energy surrounding the special stockings and new releases. I hope you love your Tula! My husband also wears mine a lot and they are both very girly prints 🙂

    1. Hey Tiffany, thanks for your comment! Yep, thought I won’t be purchasing another Tula (one is good) the business model is pretty interesting. They seem to drive demand by limiting releasing.

  16. This is awesome! I’m a fan of tula, but like you, could never justify spending that much or even any above retail on a carrier. I have a Boba 3g which I bought 3 years ago. Back then I did my research and this one seemed to be one of the top dogs. I didn’t even know about tula then. Of course, deep into the babywearing community I’m very familiar now. I plan to buy one soon, it’s a lot More comfortable than the boba, but will not be going crazy trying to get it. Thanks for the laugh, caw caw!

    1. Ha ha!!!! Cher Caw Caw!!! I haven’t worn my yet as my baby is still much too tiny for it 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  17. I think parenting nowadays has become some sort of competition just to see who can do it better. I have a 6 mo. baby girl (first time mommy) and we are from Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) and it amazes me all the groups that exist and how some of the members can be so passionate about it. In example: ergo / tula / blw / hmm and there’s even a group for the chikdren’s car seat. I joined the Ergo Love group on fb because I thought it would be fun and also because the ergo (a gift from my cousin who lives in the U.S) for me It has been a life saver (I don’t have a car so we ride the bus every day to take my daughter to her daycare).
    Here in Mexico you can also find all these “trends” moms sometimes get extremely obsessed and at the end they end up forgetting what matters the most, be happy with your decisions it’s about you and your family, you don’t need the community approval.
    I enjoyed reading your article! 🙂

    1. Hi Claudia! Thanks for commenting and sharing about the mommy culture in Mexico! You make a good point, the communities surrounding products in the US is pretty interesting. I hope the article made you laugh :)!

  18. Thank you for being so transparent about what you experienced! I am fairly new to babywearing and when I heard about Tula carriers I loved the idea of a bright colorful carrier and saw many I few in love with quickly. I truly didn’t know retail was under $200 for basic Tulas until a mom in my local babywearing group told me they were. My issue with the less than kind responses to your article is this, as a newbie I’m frustrated that a strong, reliable, pretty, carrier is being hunted like a designer purse. Flipping a Tula should be reason to be banned from babywearing social pages but you can’t see someone’s motive. I am lucky enough to be part of a local babywearing group that looks out for each other and their needs both for Tulas and not planning meet ups for nap time 🙂 I’ve met Tula moms that wouldn’t speak to me and now that tax refunds are in I watched a Tula auction for $4k. It isn’t every Tula mom in your article but some doth protest too much :p

    1. Thanks for your comment Jacksmom! I agree 100%. You’re right, the flipping culture is pretty unbelievable, but I can understand why from a business standpoint, especially if the market value is like triple what your initially paid for it. My brain keeps saying to me though, “but it’s a baby carrier!” I guess that’s why I’m not a millionaire, but I doubt anyone has gotten wealthy from flipping Tulas. Now THAT would be a story!

  19. This article is interesting and it’s your rite as it is your opinion, to say what you think. I am in the Tula groups, I’ve spent 300 dollars ..160 for my Tula and almost as much to accessorize. Is a love or and a passion. And I would describe Tula people as people from all walks of life. You have some people who are kind some who are snobby and some who are mean just to be mean.But that’s all people.I truly enjoy finding the right Tula for my son and I.To each is own.I had good and bad experiences so far 1 they are nutso strict you can’t ask a question on a bst page and you can’t sell on a chatter page who knew yikes but there was alot of helpful people and only a couple not so nice ones like don’t ask why Tulas are so expensive. .I got my head bit off apparently that’s offensive to some people lol.Heres a thought let’s everyone be supportive of one another and if you can’t take a hike ! Everyone has the rite to their own dang opinion freedom of speech people !!

  20. Your post made me giggle! I first tried on a Tula at a local babywearing meetup. After wearing my now toddler in slings and less ergonomic carriers, it was heaven! It was definitely a good fit for me personally and eliminated the back, neck, and shoulder pain I had been experiencing with the other carriers. I can see how there’s a love for it, but I too don’t understand the collecting of carriers or cloth diapers for that matter, when babies will eventually outgrow them. I get maybe having a couple, but some of the collections people have are incredible and vast!
    After trying one for the first time, I dove right in! I bought a standard and a toddler carrier, so I could be that crazy lady tandem wearing her children. Haha! I felt a little awkward not knowing the proper response to “Tula in the wild”, but I’m pretty excited to “caw-caw” back at someone now that I know.
    I am glad to hear your husband came around. Mine was a little apprehensive at first, but once the straps broke in a little better and we figured how to fine tune the adjustments, he fell in love too! I know not everyone is built the same, therefore, there will never be one carrier for every parent/baby, but I sure hope your Tula is as good to you as mine are to me! 😀

  21. There seems to be alot of butt hurt tula mom’s here. I love my plain ol canvas tula. But I agree with the author here, I’ve been in TL for two years and it is an awfully huge group of snobby, sanctimommy, holier-than-thou, bored mom’s with nothing better to do than brag about their thousand dollar finds and bitch about MV and who did what on ther bst. There are so many branch off tula groups one of which is called Tula Drama where mom’s get together and talk trash about the moms on TL just for Shits and giggles. It’s truly disgusting and completely opposite of the loving, caring, attached parents they claim to be. I love my carrier but the parents that participate in that type of behavior is so unappealing. The author of this post is on point and I think many of you are just butt hurt bc she hit a nerve, and judging by your responses, you prove her point even further.

  22. You forgot to mention that it was raining and cold too. I don’t know about you but being rained on isn’t that much fun! Plus I was having a fight with the hubby so I prob wasn’t as welcoming as I usally am . I hope you come to another play date to see that we are really nice and welcoming.

  23. Oh mamas, no need to be offended by this article. Babywearing is kind of a cult (one that I certainly identify with). It’s all in good fun. From the outside looking in, you have to admit high end Babywearing is a pretty crazy concept. Lets have a good laugh at ourselves and move on.

  24. Sounds kind of similar to bumgenius! I belong to a bst group, a flash mob group and a market value group. for me it’s mostly about getting I put from other cloth diapering mamas, but there are drama wars over market value, the placement of designs on the bums, etc. personally I don’t get it? But I suppose it’s a hobby!

  25. Takara I hoping you enjoyed your Tula. My first was a Hot Air Balloon & I have loved it dearly. I don’t understand why so many seemed to take your article as personal offense. I found it pretty funny & true. Tula mamas are indeed passionate about Tula & some of the prices ARE outrageous. I hope you have also since experience the cool, laid back, awesome Tula mamas because we are a plenty. I personally am from the school or wear all the babies & try all the wraps/SSC! Thank goodness for lending libraries!

  26. Thanks for writing this! The only honest blog post I can find about Tulas.
    Two weeks ago I started researching carriers for my 16 mth old. Not knowing brand names, I noticed “Tula’s” were highly reviewed so naturally I wanted one of their carriers or slings, whichever was in stock. I ‘Liked’ the company on FB and joined 2 groups (b/c that’s what a Tula rep suggested, which made me wonder what I might be getting into, but whatever). It only took 48 hrs. for my newsfeed to become an endless string of “cries of baby carrier desperation” and for me to jump off that crazy train.
    I ended up going with a much cooler and more stylish looking $89 ring sling, that my child and I love! And get this, the small boutique company even made enough of them to actually be in stock & shipped to my home, for free, in 2 days!
    As for the Tulas, there seems to be something besides baby-wearing motivating this hysteria. What’s with the hoarding, which in effect is preventing other children from the benefits from being carried in one, because YOU need 15 for your “stash?”
    I have my ideas for why they’re popular but I’ll keep them to myself.
    All I know for sure is, fads come and go. Exchange “Tula” w/ “Beanie Baby,” and you’ll have my lonely 60 year old MIL obsessively driving 100 miles on a tip she got on an “exclusive” stuffed penguin hitting the shelves at 9am. Yeah, because that made sense too.

  27. Oh no, why did I have to come across your post? I’m expecting my third in July (the first one to be born in Hawaii). Was totally dependent on the Ergo and Maya Wrap with the first two, but worry that the Ergo will be too hot here in Hawaii. Now I want a “bottom of the barrel” Tula! Love your frankness, sense of practicality, and humor!

  28. Hello! I was wondering if you could update us on your tula experience?! I am a tula mama myself and I’ve found wonderful friends through babywearing. There is a local tula group that meets regularly and they’ve grown and changed quite a bit since this article. They’re tula aloha 2.0 and the admins and people are very welcoming. They meet weekly and I’m sure they’d love to meet you and let you try on any carrier you’d like. Even the keeks drop in from time to time (Kp owners).

    P.S. Ergos are awesome. They are a lot of mamas first carriers and they work beautifully. If any mamas need help with an SSC or other baby wearing device, I’m sure any tula mama at those meetings would be happy to help

  29. This made me laugh. Have you heard of Kinderpacks??! Similar cult following, FB groups, etc, but even less availability, no mass production (only 150-200 stocked per week). Amazing carrier though, so I bought into the hype -luckily at retail. No wrap conversions for these, just a basic (amazingly comfortable) SSC (some with a mesh panel to keep baby cool). My Tula is now collecting dust in the off chance that my LO takes a kindercrap and it needs a wash…

  30. I just came across this posting and it’s so funny because I JUST explained the same thing about the cult following of the Tula this morning to a coworker. I’m waiting for the release of one that I like for my son coming in November. But this blog is my thoughts EXACTLY. You are right on! It is a crazy world and I won’t be going THAT deep into it either. Looking forward to trying one, though!

  31. I enjoyed reading this! I currently own a woven wrap and am waiting for Heavenly Hold to stock the Tula I want so I can put it on layaway! Definitely not in my budget to spend more than 150, but I’ve gotta admit, I’ve become quite obsessed with the tula world! Btw… I’m not due for another 3 weeks so this kid better like being worn!!

    Right after reading this I read another mommy’s blog that went to a babywearing meet in hopes to learn how to use her wrap as a back carry but she only had her tula with her. She was the only one with a tula and it sounds like she was shut out for it. I am really looking forward to the babywearing world and hope I have a better experience than that.

  32. Seems like i’m a little late to this article..but just wanted to agree with you regarding this “Tula Cult”. Not only was I horrified at the prices being resold on avenues other than on Tula website itself, i was also quite put off by how some “seasoned Tula mommas” are quick in jumping in to bash newbies like me back then whenever we raise sincere questions about the illogical and insane amount of resale value, even if our intention was never to be rude. I understand not all Tula mommas act that way, but clearly the number is enough to turn me away from babywearing for a while (glad it didnt last long!). If it was truly a babywearing supportive environment, I dont see how selling a used baby item at many times more its retail price can be considered normal or acceptable; nor do i see how being catty/snarky especially on newbies is spreading the babywearing love. Yes, it’s a free market out there. Yes, there are willing buyers. Yes, you have the right to price your property however much you want. But no, i do not think it is a nice thing to do.

    Aside, the flood of emotions following a “score” or “fail” during stockings is also evident of this phenomenon being a cult. Tula mommas often say things like “would you take my kidney?”, “i need this print in my life!”, “please oh please, Tula, please remake this print for my _______ kid!”. I know some of them are said in jest and good humor; but when it becomes a lingo, you know how serious the addiction/obsession has become. And as we all know, addiction/obsession are irrational. Last I check, any Tula-related B/S/T, or chatters facebook pages easily run in the tens of thousands. To call this cult is perfectly appropriate, for me.

    That said, there are occasional glimpses of hope in this crazy world of women insanely profitting off other women, women bashing other women up (and all the other high school crap). I’ve seen genuinely kind mommas willing to part with their treasured Tula carriers for less than retail for other Tula-less mommas, rallying support/donations for a good cause, etc. It warms my heart and restores my faith in humanity whenever I have the privilege to chance upon things like that.

  33. Great article. I am a frugal mama, but am willing to spend a bit more for a some things occasionally.

    I looked into these carriers and loved the prints, BUT I can’t see myself ever buying one now because I don’t want to be a “Tula wearer”. I just want to wear my baby. It’s all too weird.

  34. This is so spot on, it’s crazy, haha!! I just had to look through the comments because I knew that there would be people calling you “judgy,” but I just call you truthful! I first started looking at Tulas because I love to wear my little girl but have a terrible back. SO many mommas recommended the Tula and so I started doing some research. I was so shocked when I joined that FB group, just like you. I had to do a lot of searching to understand why something that someone paid $160 for would sell for thousands of dollars!

    In the end, I plan to purchase a Tula and give it a try (I mean, if so many people love it, it has to be great, right?) with my back. However, I can’t justify spending above retail when a standard canvas that’s in stock on the site will get the job done just as well as a WC! For those ladies that enjoy it, that’s awesome, but while wearing a Tula might be right for us, the high-end HSO’s are not haha.

    I’ll also note that I have also seen a lot of these women band together to help each other find the ones they want or to even enter giveaways for a certain print for a large family, military family, etc., and that’s pretty neat!

  35. This article is great! So spot on. I especially love the way you bought into the hype long enough to get your Tula and be amazed with this world that no one but baby wearing moms seem to know about. I was amazed myself when I first decided to get Tula and then realized that getting a print in my preference was near impossible. I refused to pay the bloated prices and just figured I would have to get along with out my ‘DISO’ lol. Then it hit me to beat the system through the BSTs. I started out with one nice woven wrap which I had the fortune of paying $60 for, and 3 strategic trades and one stroke of luck later, I have a Tula WC! All in all including shipping fees, I have spent a total of $115. I am satisfied and have stopped playing the Tula game. *side note, I was sad to discover though that for all its wonder and exclusivity, my Tula is not as comfy as my Lillebaby. : ( It is fancy though! Caw Caw indeed.

  36. Hi Takana! Can I ask the font of the title of this post….it’s so beautiful 🙂 Also, what an awesome article!

  37. Now my baby is here, I wish I would have saved the money I spent on a Petunia Pickle bottom diaper bag for a new ergonomic baby carrier… I want a Tula!
    After reading your blog, my genius idea of getting a $40 Infantino carrier seems…well, genius!

    Thanks for the read,
    Brande

  38. Thank you for this article. I have an 11mo (4th child – 2 in college, 2 in diapers lol) and he decided I need to be a baby wearer. It’s easier on both of us that way so I looked into carriers and found what you did. I’m w/Brande above – got my Infantino Mai Tai for $35 and found out (after being approached by a bazillion moms) that Mai Tai carriers are a thing. So my youngest is HUGE and my 3yo now wants to be worn because her brother is, so I was looking up infant vs. toddler Tula’s and found your article. TY – I had NO clue what I’d just stepped into. Still think I’ll get a Tula Coast (it’s made for hotter weather climates) but it’ll hurt to spend that much & I surely won’t be collecting them! Thanks for the info and the laughs!

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