As important has creating safe products, creating a team of individuals that believe and support thinkbaby's and thinksport's mission is equally important. We have been approached over the years by various individuals and groups that wanted to invest in our company. Many of these groups were overly focused on the "dollar" and not doing the right thing. We have also encountered a number of instances where companies wanted to partner with us. We have chosen to partner with groups or individuals who share our interest in safe guarding the world from toxic chemicals and make the world a better, more enjoyable place for all.
Brodwick - Founder
For over 15 years assisting companies from product development to
sales, Kevin Brodwick created thinksport and thinkbaby to address
the growing concern and need for safer products. After working with
a laboratory funded by the National Institute of Health (specifically
focused on testing products for estrogenic activity - largest type
of endocrine disruptor), Mr. Brodwick became aware of extent to
which harmful chemicals were present in everyday products. After
unsuccessfully convincing several large companies to alter formulation,
Mr. Brodwick took it upon himself to create an alternative line
of consumer products.
Trey Vilcoq - General Manager, thinksport
Given, your ability to work for any company on the planet, what drives you to be part of a company like thinkbaby / thinksport?
After almost three years of contributing to thinkbaby & thinksport, I’ve come to realize that I have an enormous amount of pride in what I do. I’m proud of the important mission that we are on, the high-quality products we produce, and the loyal following of thinkers that continues to grow. These days it’s always fun to answer the inevitable “So, what do you do?” question when meeting new people. And it’s great to watch their eyes light up as I talk about our company. It’s fair to say that not everyone understands the details of material safety or endocrine disruption, but everyone seems to understand what makes our sport bottles so cool! I’m also compelled to mention the people. Whether it’s the fiercely dedicated team here at thinkbaby & thinksport, the friendly buyers at our key retailers, or our health-minded customers, I love interacting with the people who I get to work with day in and day out.
What companies do you feel the strongest allegiance to and why?
On a recent flight from my home in San Diego to our headquarters in Austin, I was enjoying a personal brainstorming session. I often find my time on airplanes to be productive and creative moments (when I can stay awake that is). I was specifically thinking about a handful of companies for which I had developed a strong affinity. This short list of companies included Patagonia, Matuse (wetsuits), and Hippy Tree (surf-inspired apparel). When it came to these companies, I noticed that I purchased their products regularly, did not need a sale or discount to buy them, and happily shared my loyalty with these companies to anyone who would listen. Of all the companies out there vying for my attention, why had I developed an allegiance to these guys? In each instance, the companies produced high-quality, environmentally-minded and unique products. I had also enjoyed positive customer service from them. However, more than anything, I felt connected to these companies because they had effectively communicated to me what they were all about, and I agreed with them. Are we doing the same at thinkbaby & thinksport? While we’re always striving to do better, I feel strongly that we’re off to a good start and hope you agree.
Trey is involved in all aspects of thinksport’s business including the development of new products, execution of the sales and marketing strategy, and management of key accounts. He brings over fifteen years of sales, business development, and product management experience to thinksport. Throughout his career, Trey has played a vital role in the success of several high-growth companies including Dell Computer, pcOrder (a pioneer in e-commerce software acquired by Trilogy), and CipherTrust (a leader in messaging security acquired by Secure Computing). Trey’s passion for a healthy, active lifestyle and enthusiasm for activities such as surfing, yoga, and triathlon are reflected in thinksport’s mission to provide “safer products for healthier athletes”.
Noble- Director of Business Development
Tell us about any research you have completed relating to children’s health.
Prior to joining thinkbaby, I assisted in clinical research and community outreach projects related to environmental exposures. While working at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Environmental Toxicology, I worked on several studies including some with the late Dr. Marvin Legator, a leader in the field of environmental toxicology. One study showed children taking methylphenidate (the generic name for a class of drugs to treat ADHD) had an increase in chromosomal abnormalities. Another study showed the baby teeth of children with autism had higher levels of mercury versus controls. In the private sector, I prepared reports on an extensive number of environmental issues, including the effects of exposure to endocrine disruptors.
What do you find motivating about working with thinkbaby and thinksport?
I have been working with thinkbaby and thinksport since 2007 and I don’t view it as a job because it is has been such a great opportunity for me to make a positive contribution to the world. When Kevin told me about his plans to create a solution after the frustrations of trying to get major companies to switch to safer practices, I felt hopeful and inspired. It was tough creating and building the company without the huge budgets of the big guys, but I watched as Kevin stuck with what was important- making sure we were creating safe products that adhered to the strictest guidelines for safety, as well as innovative design elements and pocket-friendly pricing. Then I watched a community grow of people who were concerned about what was in their products and keeping their families safe and they started changing the market by opting to buy products that didn’t contain toxic chemicals. Thinkbaby and thinksport offered a solution and consumers chose us. Then, the big companies began to change to keep up with the new standards that I feel we played a role in establishing. We might not be a huge company, but I think helping evolve the market to offer more safe solutions is the biggest marker of success. We are a small company but our passion and motivation is huge.
How is thinkbaby a family company?
Another important aspect of thinkbaby is that it is a family company. The founder, Kevin, is my brother.
Rebecca joined thinkbaby™ shortly after its inception. It
was an obvious move with her background and personal interests.
Over the past decade, Rebecca has assisted in clinical research
and community outreach projects related to environmental exposures.
While working at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Department
of Preventive Medicine, Division of Environmental Toxicology, she
worked on several studies including some with the late Dr. Marvin
Legator, a leader in the field of environmental toxicology. One
study showed children taking methylphenidate (the generic name for
a class of drugs to treat ADHD) had an increase in chromosomal abnormalities.
Another study showed the baby teeth of children with autism had
higher levels of mercury versus controls. In the private sector,
she prepared reports on an extensive number of environmental issues,
including the effects of exposure to endocrine disruptors. Throughout,
Rebecca has been dedicated to helping others have access to information
on health and environmental issues, especially how to make safer
choices for oneself, family, and the environment. She is excited
to play an important role with thinkbaby™ to offer safe alternatives
that are free of toxic chemicals.
Alicia Voorhies- Corporate Development - Social Media
What makes working with thinkbaby and thinksport special to you?
Kevin was gracious enough to share his in-depth knowledge on plastics when I first began my frantic search for accurate information on the dangers of BPA so many years ago. Kevin has remained my friend and go-to-guy for all those questions about hormone mimicking chemicals that seemed unanswerable. Without fail, he came to the rescue with clear explanations that allowed me to continue my mission of helping parents navigate a sea of unlabeled products. Working behind the scenes with thinkbaby was a natural fit, so I leaped at the opportunity to join the team.
Share some of your experience working as a top online retailer and part of the BPA free movement.
It all started in 2006 when Joanie, my sister, moved to South Carolina with her husband and baby boy for a work assignment. She took her son to the new pediatrician for a checkup and left the appointment thinking she was dealing with someone who had a screw lose. The doctor had advised her to immediately throw out all clear, hard plastic baby bottles to protect her son from being exposed to estrogen-like chemicals. She thought for sure she was dealing with a doctor who was off his rocker and called me for help sorting out the truth. I set out that day to prove him wrong but, hundreds of research studies only proved him right. I was shocked and began to search for a plastic baby bottle made without bisphenol- A to recommend to Joanie. When I came up with only one possibility and saw how hard it was to find, my continued research for safer products lead to the birth of The Soft Landing in 2007.
Fast forward to 2011. Today you'd be hard pressed to find a baby bottle made with BPA on store shelves anywhere in the country. And that’s primarily because moms like me, outraged that there was a dangerous chemical in our babies' bottles, exerted a gale force wind of market, media, and political pressure that led baby bottle manufacturers to abandon BPA within just a few years of Joanie’s phone call. Over the years, I’ve been able to connect on a personal level with thousands of intelligent, concerned parents. Through a grassroots movement, we continue to work together to change the market by insisting on transparency from manufacturers. It’s been a journey like no other – one I wouldn’t trade for anything.
How important is being relationship driven to you.
In this age of information overload and false claims on bright, shiny packaging, consumers are left with a great sense of mistrust. Knowing who’s behind a company – their level of integrity, character, and trustworthiness – is as important the design and function of a product. In fact, a company’s transparency to and willingness to connect is a primary determining factor in buying decisions. That’s what makes it so easy to recommend thinkbaby without reservation.
Laura Land - Business Development
What about working with a company focused on creating safe products do you find motivating?
For years, our work at The Soft Landing has been solely focused on finding safe products, and it’s been a difficult road to travel. Many companies are unwilling or unable to provide the most basic information about their products, which translates into very limited options for people looking for safe choices. That’s why thinkbaby is so exceptional. My hyperawareness of our toxic world is put to rest in light of thinkbaby’s thorough knowledge base and commitment to providing only safe products. It’s such a welcome relief that I don’t have to question thinkbaby’s concern for safety. I’m highly confident in the company, and I find it a great pleasure to be involved in continuing thinkbaby’s mission with them.
How do you see your efforts continuing thinkbaby’s mission?
In the last six years I’ve had the advantage of experiencing thinkbaby through The Soft Landing, and early on I was able to witness thinkbaby’s true motivation: to create ONLY safe products. That knowledge allows me to be passionate about seeing thinkbaby’s mission thrive. I see my efforts being focused on the diligent work of product promotion, exposing as many people as possible to the exceptional company I know and trust, and working to expand thinkbaby’s horizons by jumping behind new ideas and projects, making the most of my social media skills, and both personal and professional contacts.
What would you give as your best advice for a new parent?
Research, research, research. And then make the changes you realistically can with the knowledge that your world will never be perfectly non-toxic, but that every positive step you take is one toward better health and well-being. There are many easy steps to a less-toxic life. Once you find them, stick with them. The small benefits you get from each one really add up, so do what you can whenever you can. Keep your eyes open, refresh your information periodically, and look for new insights. Find people and information outlets you can trust, and companies that thrive on transparency. Don’t believe everything you read, use your sensibilities, trust your instincts, and take the path you believe is best.
Towne Redington Williams - Director of Relations
Towne graduated from the School of Journalism at the University
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1999. She worked for national
advertising agency, GSD&M, in Austin, TX for six years where
she handled both internal (agency) and external communication. As
Communications Manager she developed media contacts for the agency
and garnered media attention for GSD&M’s work, its people,
and, indirectly, its clients, in publications such as AdWeek and
Ad Age, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Austin American-
Statesman and the Business Journal, among others.
Towne simultaneously devoted time to one
of GSD&M’s largest community projects, the Austin Race
for the Cure. As Public Relations Chair, she was responsible for
arranging press conferences, writing releases and speeches, securing
media sponsorship (print and broadcast), cultivating press relationships
and pitching story ideas.
In 2005, she and her husband moved to Cambridge,
MA, where she assumed the role of general manager for the Harbus
New Corporation, Harvard Business School’s independent newspaper.
In this capacity, she oversaw both the business and editorial aspects
of the organization while unifying the full-time, paid staff and
student volunteers. Towne is also now the proud mom of Miss Carter
- Market Affairs
Prior to joining thinkbaby, Kari was a Business Banker with Compass
Bank responsible for cultivating and maintaining small business
relationships in the Austin Area. For several years, Kari has been
committed to increasing sales and marketing for financial institutions;
meanwhile, promoting healthy choices for children and adults through
Communities in Schools' mentorships and various volunteer programs.
She received her BA in International Business from The University
of North Texas and is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance.
She enjoys living a healthy lifestyle in Austin, TX while working
with the thinkbaby and thinksport team to promote health, environmental
responsibility, and safe alternatives to the global community.
Dr. Moore graduated with honors from the University of Texas at
Austin and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School as
a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He also received
the Stembridge Award as the outstanding pathology student. Dr. Moore
completed his anatomic and clinical pathology residency at Parkland
Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and served as chief resident during
his fourth year. Following his residency he completed a hematopathology
fellowship at Parkland. Dr. Moore practiced pathology in Austin,
Texas, with Clinical Pathology Associates for more than 20 years.
He has served as president of Clinical Pathology Associates, a member
of the Board of Directors of Clinical Pathology Laboratories, medical
director of the Seton Medical Center Laboratory, chief of staff
of Seton Medical Center, and president of the Texas Society of Pathologists.
Dr. Moore has also served as the transplant pathologist for the
Seton Medical Center Cardiac Transplant Program. He is certified
by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology, clinical
pathology, and hematopathology.
Dr. Peterson also finished his residency at the UT Health Science
Center at San Antonio in 1994. He has been in private practice in
Austin since that time, and is Board Certified, American Board of
Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Peterson is the Chief of Staff at Brackenridge
Hospital and is deeply involved in the quality improvement process.
He has broad interests in neurosurgery including brain tumors, aneurysms,
pituitary surgery, and degenerative disorders of the spine. He is
one of few regional surgeons trained in placement of the recently
released Lumbar Artificial Disc, and is preparing to undertake an
IDE Study with an Artificial Cervical Disc.