For many years at a chiropractic clinic in Norway, pregnant women came searching for answers and support. Backaches, pelvic pain, and leg cramping were leaving these women feeling sleep-deprived and stressed.
Hilde, Kristin, and Elisabeth, the chiropractors at this clinic, understood their patients’ challenges. They offered pillows designed for geriatric patients to alleviate pregnancy discomfort, but it wasn't an effective solution. One day in the lunchroom, a chance encounter with a group of industrial designers changed everything.
“The three of us were talking at lunch about how nice it would be to have a certain kind of pillow to offer support,” Hilde says. “We were getting frustrated on our patients’ behalf. When the industrial designers overheard us, they said they could help us. Help was the magic word, and we trusted in that.”
Hilde, Ann Kristin, and Elisabeth set out to create a high-quality, versatile pregnancy pillow to sell at their clinic and in other chiropractic offices in Norway.
While creating a prototype pregnancy pillow, the three partners regularly consulted with women visiting their clinic, who sampled the pillow and offered feedback.
“Our prototype came together fairly quickly because we knew exactly what we wanted the pillow to do,” Hilde says. “We could be very specific about the design.”
The name of the product—bbhugme—came about after a brainstorming session in Oslo. Hilde, Ann Kristin, and Elisabeth started talking about words that communicated "belly, bottom, and baby."
“At first, I said, ‘bb hugger’ because what does this product do? It gives you a hug, and everyone needs a hug,” Hilde says, adding that the trio quickly agreed on the name bbhugme. “There is a meaning behind our name. It represents something and resonates.”
The company’s commercial success didn’t happen overnight. At first, the founders were focused on their patients and chiropractic practice and could only devote part-time hours to bbhugme. Over time, they realized their product could also benefit pregnant women outside their clinic.
“There are women all over the world with the same problems as our patients—so why limit it to our clinics?” Hilde says. “That’s how we slowly started to think there was an opportunity here.”