Master BB models for Pipsy Koala and the ‘Lose the Label’ Campaign
3 year old Master BB, Toby, was diagnosed at birth with Down’s Syndrome. Our much wanted son, was warmly welcomed into our family. However, it took a long time for us to adjust, and to comprehend what having a child with Down’s Syndrome would be like. Toby was very sick as a baby, and during the long hours spent feeding him, I built a pushchair review website called Best Buggy www.bestbuggy.co.uk . Thus, since birth, Toby has been photographed for Best Buggy. Last year on World Down’s Syndrome day, I decided to tell our story. The support from the nursery companies and distributors was overwhelming.
Last year, I bought a special non spill training cup for Toby, from a wholesale company called Babyprice, who also have their own brand of Baby & Toddler essentials called Pipsy Koala. The company expressed a keen attitude to help Best Buggy to promote World Down’s Syndrome Day; and if I would allow Toby to model for them. It is extremely difficult to take a good photo of Toby, he could barely stand. I had concerns.
Despite this, the lovely people at Pipsy Koala insisted that they wanted Toby to model their Kenny the Kangaroo Backpack Safety Harness & walking reins for them. So I said that we would do our best.
At the same time, I started to gather up a resource of information on Best Buggy, ready for World Down’s Syndrome Day.
Michelle, founder of the fabulous ‘Lose the Label’ campaign on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Losethelabel?fref=ts kindly allowed me to use some of her stunning photos emphasising the use of the ‘person first’ language i.e. ‘Toby has Down’s Syndrome’, rather than him being ‘a Down’s Syndrome child’. During a conversation with her, I voiced how I wished that Toby was as photogenic as the children in her pictures. We have lots of beautiful photos of our daughter on our walls, but it made me sad that I had no smiling photo of Toby on my wall.
I was worried about the modelling photoshoot. Toby has only just learnt to walk and stand; his squint seemed worse than ever; and it was blowing a gale! At the very last minute we realised that we had forgotten one detail – Toby has a hatred of stuffed toys!! However, with the photographer at the door, it was time to go.
Amazingly, Toby loved the Kenny the Kangaroo backpack and he toddled off happily down the road wearing it. The sun then came out from the clouds, and the camera captured the moment where Toby turned, and gave a perfect smile.
I was overwhelmed. After 3 years, I FINALLY had a beautiful photo of my son. I cried most of the weekend with happiness. I messaged Pipsy Koala to say thank you for the opportunity to have the amazing photos taken of Toby. I excitedly messaged Michelle and told her that unbelievably, I finally had some stunning pictures of Toby, and could she use one for her campaign? Michelle worked her wonders, and Toby’s photo will be going live on ‘Lose the Label’ on World Down’s Syndrome Day. I now have a perfect, smiley photo of Toby for my wall which we would never have had without the encouragement and inclusive attitude from Pipsy Koala.
Pipsy Koala Managing Director, Jane Wilkinson said “Toby is the perfect model for us, and embodies everything Pipsy Koala stands for, we make top quality, practical products for babies and toddlers that allow families to get on with having their own adventures. Toby is a very handsome young man, with a face that’s full of fun and mischief, we are delighted to have him as part of our campaign and hope that he will be kind enough to model for us again soon.”
Best Buggy will be celebrating World Down’s Syndrome Day on Friday; along with the ‘Lose the Label’ campaign; the nursery industry companies we work with; and with Pipsy Koala who has donned his stripey socks for the day!
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