Made in Seattle

Swoop It Up

Locally designed toy bags make playtime clean up a cinch.

July 17, 2012

Parents of toy-loving tikes, listen up: If you’ve stepped on one too many stray Legos in the middle of the night, or just have a hard time getting your kiddos to pick up their play things, Swoop may be your savior. Designed by Seattleite Sarah Kirk, Swoop bags are one-part toy storage, one-part play mat. Kirk, a Spokane native, graphic designer, and mom to two sons—Kabe, eight, and Ian, six—launched the line of colorful canvas bags in May, and parents tired of toy-pricked feet and fed up with messy playrooms have been swooping them up ever since. The bags are ideal for storing small toys like trains, cars, blocks, dolls, and stuffed animals. We sat down with Kirk to get the scoop on her handy creation.

WWW: What inspired you to design Swoop?
Kirk: My mom made a toy bag for my son to store his Lego collection, and I realized how incredibly simple and easy it was to have the Legos contained in one bag/area instead of dumped out on the floor. I wasn’t stepping on random pieces anymore, and my kids and I could clean up in seconds—no nagging, no hassle.

Swoop serves a dual function as a play mat—what inspired the hybrid design?
The play mat is great because it anchors the area where kids play. The bag can be moved from room to room, outside, taken on a trip—it can be spread out wherever kids want to play.

You have a graphic design background—how did your design skills influence the look of Swoop?
My graphic design aesthetic has always been very clean, modern, and simple. The bags are a result of how I imagined them to be. I design all of my own marketing materials and the Swoop website.

How would you describe your personal style? The design style of your home?
Well, very similar in fact. Lots of neutral colors—browns, blacks, grays, and whites with minimal punches of color. Simple lines and shapes—a mix of modern and Asian styles. Solids over patterns, and quality over quantity.

You’ve received a lot of great press, including the Today show and People magazine—do you think the positive feedback is a testament to parents’ desire for items that are simple, functional, and cool?
The children’s market has really changed over the years—parents are seeking well designed products that have a sense of style to them.

Swoop bags are available locally at Wee-Tots in Bellevue and the SAM Shop, and will soon be available at Clover in Ballard.

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