It is no secret that Joolz is one of our favourite brands of pushchairs. We love everything from their planet friendly initiatives, lifetime warranty, use of sustainable materials and of course their clever well thought out pushchair designs.
We wanted to learn more about the design process of the brilliant Joolz pushchairs, so we caught up with founder Emile Keunen.
Meet Emile, the founder of Joolz. He spent years developing and designing pushchairs and made choices about must-have pushchair features, all without having children. In April 2019, twelve years after the foundation of Joolz, Emile and his girlfriend Eva welcomed lovely baby boy ‘Roef’ into the world. Now suddenly he is in the user’s shoes: which pushchair is right for me? How does one ultimately choose the best pushchair in a world full of choices and options?
"After being in the baby industry for more than twelve years, I suddenly find myself in the user’s shoes."
Joolz came alive in 2004 after Emile saw parents struggling with their pushchair through the paved streets of Amsterdam. Emile wanted to create a pushchair that he would be able to use himself one day. "I am quite tall, so our Joolz pushchairs had to suit all heights". Three years later and with the help of industrial designer Stan Spangenberg, the first Joolz pushchair with adjustable handle bar was brought to the market, which was the start of many happy years to come. On top of the general ergonomic benefits of Joolz, which will save Emile from having a stooped posture, how does Emile select a pushchair that ticks all the right boxes when he’s been designing them for more than a decade?
"The carry strap is a great feature too, as we can easily sling it over our shoulders. This is quite convenient in Amsterdam because of the steep stairs but also a lifesaver when you travel often.”
“Well, this was quite a challenge,” he said. “For me, it had to fit my vibrant lifestyle. I’m an adventurer and explorer, always have been. I love a relaxing island vibe, the bustling atmosphere in big cities, the peace and quiet in remote natural areas and constantly seek for new places and destinations. Travelling captured my heart. That’s why I wanted a stroller that is both city and rough outdoor living proof. Eva and I decided to go for the Joolz Hub as it is the most convenient fit for us. The rear wheels are resistant: from the dirt tracks abroad to the loose chippings of the paved streets of Amsterdam.
Back in the day, Emile wanted to develop a company that takes responsibility for quality and sustainability in its products. Initiatives aimed at improving the life expectancy of products were embraced, and ‘Positive design’ therefore became a shared value amongst the entire Joolz company. It also resulted in having re-usable packaging for Joolz’ pushchairs as well as the Joolz Birth forest. To Emile, positive design is not only about Joolz’ products but it’s also a lifestyle – it’s setting a standard. Now, more than 12 years later, Emile and his partner Eva try to pass on these values to their son Roef. ‘’We try to live a healthy but balanced life by eating organic, recycling waste and being aware of the environment. We love to go to organic food markets, as the food there is so pure and tasty’’. From Emile’s point of view, living a more sustainable life is about doing good – not about being perfect: making conscious and long-term choices, doing what you can and what suits you.