Arttachment didn’t start as an app. It actually started as informal sessions for parents and children run by Kitty Howarth, in the city of Exeter, UK. At the time, Kitty welcomed a second child into her family. Aware of the need to support her first child through this transition, she designed a series of creative attachment-based activities to do together with her children, drawing on her experience as an educational psychologist. She was joined by other friends with children at her house, where they would do these activities together.
Kitty talks about the beginnings of Arttachment
One of the friends who came to these sessions with his son was Dan Marshall. Dan and his partner Diana were both working in psychological research at the time. Following a passion for science communication, they had also started a business developing mobile apps based on psychological research. About a year after Kitty ran the Arttachment sessions in her living room, Kitty, Dan and Diana were chatting about how these activities would make an excellent app for parents. This is how the idea of Arttachment app was born in 2018.
Diana & Dan talk about why they became involved in Arttachment
Diana & Dan, two of the team members, relocate from the UK to the city of Cluj, a tech-hub in Transylvania, Romania. This opens up new international opportunities and perspectives, and we are looking at how we can reach parents in multiple countries.
Time to test out our concept! We published our website and social media pages, and made some videos that would be featured in the app, to test out parents’ reaction. The response was overwhelmingly positive!
In early 2019, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the app. While we didn’t manage to raise our goal, we did raise many contributions, gained lots of positive feedback and we are incredibly grateful for all those who supported us then.
In April, we were also finalists in a tech-for-good competition Changeneers, organised by ImpactHub Bucharest.
In spring 2019, we were selected to become part of the Innovators for Children programme, aiming to support social entrepreneurs working towards the health and wellbeing of children. We were part of an intenstive programme over the summer and were very excited to be among the four winners. Arttachment won 15.000 Euro towards funding the app development and release. The programme was organised by ImpactHub Bucharest & ImpactHub Basel with the support of the Botnar Foundation.
We started the app design process by doing in-depth sessions with parents of young children. We are very grateful to all those who have allowed us into their homes and families to watch them do some of our proposed activities with their little ones. This process taught us so much! We also showed parents our proposals for the app layout and design, and following this testing, we started shaping up the app.
Throught the year, we did several rounds of coding and testing the app with parents. At the same time, we spent time coming up with many more parent-child activities to add to the app – and this took lots of testing too! Did you know that all the activities in the app are tested in our own families?
The app launches in July 2022 for Android users and, later in the year, for iOS users.