Meet Chris Lumley, Founder of Clek

by in Featured, Parenting

When it was first introduced in 2007, the Clek Olli took the industry by storm with it’s parent-friendly design that featured a metal substructure, an EPP energy-absorbing foam core, a thick urethane foam pad for comfort during long rides and an integrated rigid LATCH system. Now, 4 years later Clek has 3 booster options and fourth seat on the way!

We recently had the chance to speak with Chris Lumley, the Founder of Clek about his family, his company and where he see’s the car seat industry going.

Hi Chris! Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am 33 years old, happily married for seven years to my , the most amazing woman in the world, and the proud father of 2 kids – Cooper, 5, and Paige, 2. They are my life.

Professionally, I am an entrepreneur who, through a ton of sweat and luck and with the help of a lot of great people along the way, founded the Clek brand. Being an owner-operator, I get to be a salesperson, a customer service rep, an accountant, a designer and a user (Cooper sits in a Clek Oobr and Paige will sit in Clek Foonf). Through each of these roles, I get to build an environment where people want to work; a brand that people are proud to associate with; and products that kids want to ride in.

Or more simply put (as my son says), I’m a seat-maker.

How did you get into the safety seat industry?

After having spent my entire career in the automotive sector, working for one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, Executive Management approached me with an opportunity to diversify the company and start a consumer products business. About to be a new father (Jenny was pregnant with Cooper) and having spent a few years in Magna’s Seating group, I became interested in an early-stage Research and Development child booster seat project.

Magna was working with a safety organization in Canada on the development of an innovative booster seat that would help address the low usage rates in Canada. Contrary to child restraints, booster seat-aged kids were part of the purchase decision (and unfortunately also the influence of actual use) and had some serious reservations about the options available to them, specifically in the areas of comfort and style (“baby-seat” stigma). We also quickly learned that parents had some concerns of their own – perceived safety, difficulty of installation and styling.

Therein lied an opportunity to create a line of child seats designed for both parents and kids. 4 years and 3.5 products later, here we are (we will soon be launching a convertible child seat, Foonf… hence the 0.5).

In what ways does being a father influence your product and it’s design?

The day you become a parent your life is changed forever – the way you think, feel and behave. It is hands down the most rewarding experience in the world, but it’s also a role filled with a whole new set of challenges, each of which typically involves “compromise”. Having to deal with car seats is a perfect example of this:

  • Trading your stylish coupe in for a minivan with big plastic eye-sores in the back seat;
  • Flying through an airport with a carry-on to the struggle of 1 bag for you, your spouse, your kids, your kids toys and necessities and 1 car seat for every kid under the age of 8;
  • Getting your car seat installed properly without requiring weeks of physiotherapy or first aid on your knuckles as your hand gets caught in the back of the seat trying to thread the seat belt through.

Any parent knows these issues all to well. I struggled with them as well, which in turn affected how we design our products. Car seats don’t have to be about compromise. Car seats can be safe, easy to use, comfortable and stylish all at the same time. This spirit of “no compromise” drives the designs we make. At the end of the day, I need to secure my own children in these seats and use them every day. So, Clek seats are very much a reflection of my own personal style and user experience.

What does Clek do to help our communities and the environment?

Throughout the year, we donate both seats to low-income families throughout the US and Canada in addition to a portion of our profits to local charities.

We are always on the lookout for environmentally friendly materials and processes to employ in our business. To date, we have moved our urethane foam to a soy-based foam; transferred all printed materials and packaging to SFI-certified materials; and have partnered with fabric supplier, Crypton, who uses C6 chemistry, meaning it contains no formaldehyde, PFOA’s or PFOS. Furthermore, we are planning to launch a recycling program later this year.

Where do you see the future heading as far as child travel safety?

As a result of the efforts of a lot of dedicated safety advocates, we as a society have made great strides in educating parents on the merits of child travel safety. Legislation obviously is a key enabler. Accordingly, we need more stringent car seat laws (if you can believe it, a booster seat law still doesn’t exist in a handful of states in the US and provinces in Canada, which is absolutely ludicrous).

But, education is the catalyst for change. Parents generally try and do the right thing given the proper information. Automotive accidents are the leading cause of death in this country. So, the most dangerous thing we do every day is strap are kids in a car. Any parent who understands that is going to do whatever it takes to keep their precious cargo safe. I see the increased use of social media helping accelerate this education process.

Furthermore, as an industry (child seat manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers), we need to make it easier for parents to properly install their child seats and design products accordingly. That way parents who are trying to do the right thing, can do the right thing.

A world where over 99% of kids are properly restrained in car seats until they can safely be restrained by a vehicle seat belt is not too far away.

Giveaway – Clek is offering one Growing Your Baby reader the opportunity to win one of their Olli booster seats!

Congratulations to our winner: Autumn B


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About the Author

SAHM of 2 boys and founder of, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

Comments (78)

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  1. Liz says:

    I love how the booster seat locks into place to provide additional stability in a collision situation.

  2. Katie K says:

    I like how it clicks into place with the latch system and that it works up to 120 lbs.

  3. Katie K says:

    i like you on Faceboook

  4. Jennifer says:

    I love the ridgid latch. I also like the alloy frame of the oobr.

  5. Julia F says:

    My favorite feature, hands down, is the rigid LATCH.
    I like you and Clek on Facebook and shared the giveaway on Facebook as well.

  6. Jill L. says:

    I like that it has the latch system and won’t be a flying object in a wreck if it’s unoccupied.
    I liked Clek on FB and like you on FB.

  7. Jen R says:

    I love the styling of the Clek for older booster riders! I liked Clerk, Growing Your Baby, and shared on FB!

  8. Jen R says:

    Opps I meant Clek, not Clerk lol!

  9. lace says:

    My favorite feature is the LATCH system. It’s great to know that the booster won’t slide out from under their bums.

  10. Ben says:

    I too love the rigid LATCH connection keeping the seat solidly in place. I also like the quality workmanship Clek has put into theirproduct.

  11. Elizabeth P. says:

    Rigid Latch System is fantastic!

  12. Elizabeth P. says:

    I follow on twitter and retweeted (@babypyo)

  13. Elizabeth P. says:

    I’ve liked Clek on FB

  14. Elizabeth P. says:

    I like you on fb!

  15. Aura says:

    I love that they latch into the car. If my son isn’t in the booster I don’t have to worry about the booster flying when I make a short stop.

  16. Aura says:

    growing your baby facebook fan

  17. Aura says:

    clek facebook fan

  18. Sujin Kim says:

    Love the latch! Liked clek on facebook.

  19. Benjamin Marson says:

    I am now following you on twitter and tweeted about the contest (@nwben)

  20. Benjamin Marson says:

    I now ‘like’ you and Clek on facebook.

  21. Liz says:

    I like you on FB!!!

  22. Liz says:

    Love the fact that you can use the same seat until your child is ready to not use a seat any longer. (Up to 120 lbs)

  23. Shannon Baas says:

    I like how it locks into place.

  24. Rebecca Graham says:

    The integrated rigid LATCH system is a good safety feature.

  25. Rebecca Graham says:

    Follow growingyourbaby on Twitter: rhoneygee

  26. McKim says:

    I like that it raises your child 4 in./10 cm. to improve in-vehicle shoulder belt fit.
    kimkmc at

  27. McKim says:

    I ‘like’ Clek on Facebook.
    kimkmc at

  28. McKim says:

    I ‘like’ Growing Your Baby on Facebook.
    kimkmc at

  29. Heather McDonough says:

    I like that it uses the LATCH system.

  30. Joy F says:

    I like the the rigid LATCH.

  31. Christine says:

    the latch system

  32. Autumn B. says:

    I like the looks of it – my 5 year old is starting to hate his “baby” seat as well and with the new guidelines, he’ll be in a booster for a couple more years!

    autumn398 @

  33. Sarah Matos says:

    My favorite safety feature is the rigid latch

  34. Sarah Matos says:

    Like Growing Your Baby on FB
    Sarah Matos

  35. Sarah Matos says:

    Like Clek on FB
    Sarah Matos

  36. Stephanie V. says:

    •Locks into place to provide additional booster seat stability in a collision
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  37. Adrienne Bireley says:

    First it looks cool. Also I like how the booster seat locks into place to provide additional stability in case of a crash.

  38. Adrienne Bireley says:

    I LIKE Growing you Baby on Facebook. Adrienne Crook Bireley

  39. Adrienne Bireley says:

    I follow Growing you baby on twitter @acrook1

  40. Adrienne Bireley says:

    I LIKE Clek on Facebook. Adrienne Crook Bireley

  41. Kristi C says:

    My favorite is the Latch system.

  42. Ellie W says:

    I like how the it locks into place to provide additional stability in a collision.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  43. Ellie W says:

    I follow you on Twitter @eswright18
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  44. Ellie W says:

    I follow you on FB (Ellie W)
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  45. Ellie W says:

    I follow clek on FB (Ellie W)
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  46. Monique Rizzo says:

    I like the latch.
    Thanks for the chance.

  47. Jill L says:

    What a hard choice. I love that it is comfy but really love that “the Clek LATCH system locks the booster seat into place quickly and easily using your vehicle’s LATCH anchorage system” This would be big for me.

  48. Jill L says:

    Follow you on Twitter @chipdip2010
    And this comment and the one above is different than the other “Jill L” that I see is listed here. Guess I need to come up with a more original name.

  49. Jill L says:

    ‘like’ Growing Your Baby on Facebook – Jill Lear

  50. Jill L says:

    ‘like’ CLEK on Facebook – Jill Lear

  51. Debbie Kennedy says:

    I love that the seat is secured! Extra safety in the event of a collision!

  52. Tracy says:

    I like this alot: •Locks into place to provide additional booster seat stability in a collision we were in a accident last year and were so thankfull for the good seats our girls were in – as were the insurance people!

  53. Tracy says:

    I follow you on Twitter as mom2girls1974

  54. Tracy says:

    I like you on FB as Tracy Taylor

  55. Tracy says:

    I like Clerk on FB as Tracy Taylor

  56. Tracy P says:

    I love that it Locks into place to provide additional booster seat stability in a collision.

  57. Tracy P says:

    I ‘like’ Growing Your Baby on Facebook
    Tracy P

  58. Steph A says:

    My favorite safety feature is that it raises your child up and improves the fit and safety of the seat belt on your child!

  59. Steph A says:

    I follow you on twitter! gnwg

  60. Steph A says:

    I like you on fb! stephanie a….

  61. Steph A says:

    I like Clek on fb! stephanie a….

  62. Carrie says:

    I love that it locks into place to provide additional booster seat stability in a collision

  63. Carrie says:

    I follow you on twitter as CarrieAn13

  64. Carrie says:

    i like you on fb

  65. Carrie says:

    I like Clek on fb

  66. susan smoaks says:

    my favorite safety feature is the LATCH (Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children) refers
    to the pair of fixed lower anchors built into the crease
    between the seat back and seat cushion. LATCH comes
    standard in some vehicles manufactured in 2001 and
    2002 and all vehicles in 2003 and newer.

  67. kellye says:

    my fav is the safety latch.

  68. R Hicks says:

    my fav feature is its EPP energy-absorbing foam core
    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  69. R Hicks says:

    follow you twitter
    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  70. R Hicks says:

    liked you fb
    rich hicks
    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  71. R Hicks says:

    liked them fb
    rich hicks
    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  72. Chris N says:

    Two really key safety features are that it raises the child 4 inches to improve in-vehicle shoulder belt fit and it better positions the seat belt on the child’s hips.

    ezmerelda at mail dot com

  73. Gianna says:

    It locks into place.

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