3 Mompreneurs Who Stumbled on Innovative Success
Mothers are often the chief purchasing officers for their household, but today’s moms are increasingly likely to be the CEO as well. Through the trials and errors of running their homes and caring for their children, there are a host of women who have taken those domestic needs and transformed them into mega-successful companies.
Here are three mompreneurs who found success by filling a missing niche:
Karen Barski, of Woombie, is an RN, clinical infant care specialist and mother of five who found herself with a serious problem one day. While her other children had slept through the night in the standard swaddle of a blanket, her daughter Bella would not.
In desperation after months of late nights with Bella startling herself awake and out of her swaddle, Barski sewed together an impromptu solution that would end up becoming the prototype for Woombie, a zip-up swaddle with super-stretchy material that allows babies to be safely, but securely, swaddled to stay asleep through the night. With over half a million Woombie’s sold and 14 design awards for innovation, Barski is sleeping through the night as well as CEO of a successful baby product that’s helping tired parents around the world.
Sandy Clark, Double Blessings. Being a mom of a newborn can be challenging, but couple that with newborn twins and just getting out of the house can be a monumental task. As a mother of twins, Clark was struggling to nurse two babies while maintaining privacy. The lack of options on the market led Sally to innovate her own solution with her company, Double Blessings.
Related: Juggling a Startup and a Baby
Clark's product is a nursing pillow with a built-in privacy panel that moms can utilize in public to make feeding their babies comfortable and private. With options for both singles and twins, in a variety of colors and patterns, Double Blessings has certainly been an innovative win for Clark.
Stephanie Parker, Zipadee-Zip. There is plenty of research and emerging product options to support swaddling to help calm babies into sleep. However, Parker found that when it was time for the swaddling to come off, her little girl was not transitioning into pajamas well. Tired of sleepless nights and not finding any solutions, Parker sewed up her own sleeping garment for her daughter that resembled the comfort of swaddling, but allowed the freedom of pajamas.
Out of that simple home solution came the idea for a product that could help other parents with a transition garment to get their kids from swaddling to pajamas gradually. The Zipadee-Zip was born and Parker and her husband Brett have turned this idea into a successful business, which best of all for the Parkers, means the flexibility and income to have more time with their daughter.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.