• Necessity Is The Mompreneur Of Invention

    How NYC Parents Are Dreaming Up And Making Children’s Products Their Own Way

    By Jessica Kobrin Bernstein

    New Yorkers have high expectations when it comes to what’s best for themselves and their children. But we are also a resourceful and creative bunch of people. When we can’t find what we want or need, we go out and make it ourselves. So, after being inspired by this recent New York Times article on “mom inventors,” we decided to look into all the great local mompreneurs and popreneurs who are making the lives of city parents that much better. Check
    out these offerings from New York City’s latest crop of parent
    entrepreneurs. — 

    Katie Danzinger: Nomie Baby

    After discovering that her formula-splattered
    car seat cover was not machine washable, Danzinger wondered why car seats didn’t
    come with bibs. She worked with a team to
    develop a fabric that would be both comfortable and washable, and designed
    the Nomie Baby—a removable slipcover for car seats. Funnily enough, the moniker Nomie comes
    the funny way that her young daughter pronounced the word “cozy.”

    Mary Ann Schwanewede: MetroTots’ Stroll-Away

    How many New York City families actually have
    the floor space to properly stash their stroller collection? As a new mom in 2004, Schwanewede searched in
    vain to find a wall hook on which to hang her stroller—amazed that she couldn’t
    find one, she invented her own!

    Susanne Budofsky and
    Robyn Spritzer:
    Greater Than One Kids

    Budofsky, a former advertising executive and
    certified post-partum doula, and Spritzer, a product marketing expert, put their
    heads together to create Hold on Handles. Both are moms of multiples (Spritzer also has an older child) who often found
    themselves outnumbered. The solution was
    an adjustable strap with whimsically decorated handles to help parents keep
    their children within arm’s reach.

    Lisa Fielding & Stefanie
    Katz-Rothman:
    Gifthero

    Fielding and Katz-Rothman, both moms of young
    children, were unimpressed with the collection of uninspired birthday gifts
    that they found in their neighborhood toy stores. So they created GIFT HERO for city parents on the gift hunt. Their site has a carefully vetted list (by their
    own children!) of potential gifts by age, gender and price.

    Selma Avdicevic of Woolly Boo

    When Selma Avdicevic and her mother couldn’t find natural, stylish, chemical-free
    baby bedding, they took matters into their own hands. Today, Woolly Boo is a sophisticated line of crib
    mattress pads, bumper pads, toddler pillows, comforters and infant
    sleep sacks–and it remains
    family-owned and operated!

    Alison Qualter Berna
    and Bobby Berna & Allison Leikind Schlanger and Craig Schlanger:
    appleseeds

    A set of twins and a double stroller each,
    combined with a narrow elevator, brought these two Chelsea dwelling couples
    together in search of the perfect play space. With a collective background in
    media, marketing, education and finance the group set forth to create the
    perfect indoor location in which young children could play and hang out.

    Ellen and Michael Diamant: SkipHop

    As new parents, Ellen and Michael Diamant found
    themselves overloaded with choices of parenting products but were unable to
    find a diaper bag that they felt “looked great and worked well.” So they went and made one themselves. They have since expanded their offerings to
    include Nursery, Bathtime, Playtime and Mealtime in an attempt to make “highly
    functional products that make parenting more fun.”

    Carol Cain: NYCityMama Blog

    Cain, a mom of 3 boys, is a freelance travel and
    food writer who catalogues and photographs family-friendly travel adventures.
    Her site NYCityMama has been nominated as Best NYC Blog by Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Picks, she has
    been named by NBC as one of the 20 most influential people to follow on Twitter,
    and she has just started a stint as a Lifetime Mom. Though she currently resides in New Jersey, she describes herself
    as a “girl from Brooklyn, for better or worse.”

    Danielle Novi Heller: Smart Solutions Toolkits

    Overwhelmed by the transition back to work after
    having her first child, Novi Heller created a toolkit for working parents to
    help them be more efficient both at home and at work. Her kit includes a plethora of planners,
    lists and “how-to”s which run the gamut from baby logs and alternative work
    schedule templates to vaccination schedules and CPR instructions.

    Rebecca
    Campora:
    7 A.M. Enfant

    French expatriate Rebecca Campora created the 7 A.M. Enfant line with the
    idea to create products that would make parenting in a fast-paced urban setting
    easier.

    Vannie Teifel: Mikayla’s Creations

    Teifel sought to dress her newborn daughter,
    Mikayla, in bows and headbands, but was unable to find accessories that met her high standards for quality and style at an affordable price. The company has since expanded into a variety
    of accessories for all ages.

    Sarah Kirk: SwoopBags

    A graphic designer and mom of 2 boys, Kirk
    redesigned a Lego storage solution that had originally been designed by her
    grandmother. Made of sturdy cotton
    canvas, the Swoop starts out as a play mat which can then be scooped up and
    drawn shut with all of the Lego pieces inside.

    Dana Rubinstein and Tamar Rosenthal: Dapple Baby

    Rubinstein and Rosenthal, both moms of 3, were
    perplexed that in spite of the plethora of baby-friendly products on the
    market, there were no safe options with which to clean their baby’s bottles and
    toys. Together with a team of
    pediatricians and green chemists, they created a baby-safe and baby-specific
    line of cleaning products which has grown to include dish soap, toy and
    pacifier wipes and laundry detergent.

    Rafi Bernstein: CuddleSocks

    A Graphic Designer and father of 2, Rafi
    Bernstein had a drawer full of dingy old socks that needed to be replaced.
    After purchasing new ones, he refashioned his old socks into critters with
    which his kids immediately bonded…and the Cuddle Sock was born. Rafi makes each unique cuddle Sock by hand
    from all new, hypoallergenic materials. His line also includes a line of
    teething critters with Maplewood rings.

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