A round seven years ago, four men, all of whom worked together for a big international conglomerate, started dreaming about starting their own business. For a while, these friends and colleagues couldn’t determine what they wanted to produce, until Mother Nature intervened. One by one, each of them became fathers, and that’s when they realised their future lay in creating stylish baby furniture.
Thus Bloom blossomed into existence in 2005, with Simon May, Jason Lewis, Francisco Balderrama and Jon Lake at the helm. Now, with seven children between them, their company has flourished, along with their families, becoming a global success, selling to more than 60 countries, with offices around the world. It’s also the firm favourite of fashion-conscious parents who refuse to compromise on style, but for whom safety and sustainability are also paramount.
“Style, safety and sustainability are the three core elements to our design philosophy – the Bloom design DNA, if you like,” says Simon May, who’s in charge of global sales and marketing. “Our style is modern with clean lines, while safety-wise all our products meet, and often exceed, applicable safety standards. As far as sustainability is concerned, we use material from responsible sources, that are free from harmful chemicals and adhesives. We also design our products to last.” May cites the Alma Papa Crib – the winner of the Best Cot award at our Junior Design Awards – as the product that perfectly embodies the Bloom design DNA. “The Alma Papa melds modern design with meaningful innovation that helps parents,” he says. “Our patented mechanism allows very easy assembly and storage, and importantly the sizing makes movement around the nursery much easier. The crib also converts from a newborn bassinet to cot bed to daybed for children up to four years old. I think we have created a beautiful crib that reflects – and has become – a seamless part of modern, urban living.”
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, where he still lives with his wife and two young children, Vesuvia, five, and Frank, three, May travelled extensively as a child. “As a result, I was exposed to different styles and periods of design from around the world – it’s always been something that has fascinated me.”
Indeed, what makes Bloom unusual is that its four founders all come from, and continue to live, in different countries, with May in Australia, Lewis a New Zealander, Balderrama from Mexico and Lake a native of the US. Perhaps this is what gives Bloom its cutting-edge style and functionality, as each founder brings a different cultural perspective and style.
As for May’s own children, he concedes that their design aesthetics are still at the fledgling stage. “My daughter’s design consciousness only really extends to what she wears, which is definitely a dangerous sign for the future,” he says. “And as for my little guy, as long as it resembles either a truck or transformer, he’s happy!”
The Alma Papa Crib by Bloom, £490.
See the shortlisted for the Best Cot Design