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How One Infant's Obsession Led His Parents to a Booming Business

This story appears in the April 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Lisa Greenwald has spent 12 years in J. Crew’s merchandising department, and has amassed quite a collection of costume jewelry. When her son was a baby, he always wanted to put one particular brightly colored necklace in his mouth. “He -- and every single baby I ever picked up -- was entranced by it,” she says. “People thought I was some kind of baby whisperer, but I would tell them, ‘I swear it’s just the necklace.’” First Lisa wondered what made the item so special. Then she thought someone should make a version for babies to chew on.

Jonathon Kambouris

That was her aha moment. In 2009 Greenwald and her husband, Eric, developed and launched Chewbeads. They’ve since sold 140,000 chewable necklaces, and expanded into dozens of styles and colors that sell for $14.50 to $38 in more than 2,000 stores nationwide. 

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