At a Disney Social Media Moms conference in Berkeley, I got to hear the stories of three female inventors, all of whom were inspired by their early motherhood experience. They sat on a panel together, as all had received some funding from a Huggies grant. (If you’ve got a mom-inspired business that needs a grant from Huggies, check out the opportunity to apply here >)
What wowed me was the women’s confidence that what they had discovered as a problem-solving device was so compelling that they needed to invest all of their time and energy into producing and marketing their product. I related to it, on one hand, because that’s how I felt when Heather and I began writing down ideas to inspire outings for new moms. “Everyone must read about our experiences! It should be a blog! A book!” On the other hand, I thought, I want to roll around in the chutzpah of these women, because they have a lot of it. A lot of follow through. A lot of energy.
Without further ado, here are the three mom-o-vations by which I was impressed.
PsiBands by Romy Taormina
Adjustable plastic wristbands that place pressure on the acupressure point that alleviates nausea, Psi Bands were inspired by Romy’s own experience with severe morning sickness. Backed by numerous double blind studies across different sources of nausea — morning sickness, chemotherapy, motion sickness, post-operative nausea — I’m a believer. I gave the set she offered me at the event to my mom, who undergoes chemotherapy on a regular basis, and I bought a second set at my local pharmacy, and had my 8-year old use them on a road trip during which he normally complains of car sickness. No complaints! Find them at Toys R Us, Whole Foods, and at numerous other retailers. Here’s a link to the product on Amazon.
Romy says, “I always knew I wanted to run my own business, but had no idea that months of debilitating nausea would lead me there! I discovered the positive effects of using acupressure wrist bands to alleviate my nausea after experiencing numerous months of terrible morning sickness during my two pregnancies. Dissatisfied with existing products on the market that I felt were drab and uncomfortable, I hatched the idea for Psi Bands, an FDA-cleared product that is both fashionable and functional for others who suffer from nausea.”
Happy Changer by Erin Kelly
A one-size-fits-all-squirmy-babies product that is attached to the changing pad, Happy Changer is a washable vest of sorts that is designed to hold babies in place during diaper changes. Happy Changers come in flannel or minky. Inventor mom Erin was frustrated with her baby rolling over as she changed her diaper and created a prototype of this vest on her own sewing machine. When her second child entered preschool, she decided to buckle down and bring her product to the public.
Happy Changers are sold only on Erin’s website, Hulabye.com.
Babee Covee by Alma Moussa
You know how when you throw a blanket over the infant car seat, it keeps sliding off? Alma Moussa solved this problem by designing a blanket with a strategically placed hole so that you can grab the carseat handle and the blanket will stay on. Even better, throw it over your head and it’s a nursing cover! At the panel discussion, this inventor mom told us that the first time she left the house with her self-designed blanket contraption, every single mom she encountered between her car and the pediatrician appointment to which she was headed asked her where to buy the product. That’s how she knew it was a business waiting to happen.
In fact, her blanket has six unique purposes.
“Growing up I never dreamed of having my own business,” says Alma. “Now though, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve got the best of both worlds – being a full time SAHM (stay at home mom) and being a business owner. I work my own hours albeit nearly 24×7 and everyday I learn something new while making some mistakes along the way…10 years in the management consulting software business abruptly cut short by a layoff gave me the inspiration for Babee Covee once I became a Mom myself.”
Do you have any parenting-inspired inventions swimming around in your head?
Disclosure: No one asked me to cover this, but Disney did provide my lunch during the panel, and this post includes affiliate links.