Necessity Is The Mompreneur Of Invention

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

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:

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.

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

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.