You’ve heard of ‘mompreneurs’—stay-at-home moms who invent a new product or service because they figure out a better way of doing something? Moms like Julie Aigner Clark, the former teacher who founded Baby Einstein when she realized there were no good videos at the time for educating her toddler.
As a father of four, Jon Sumroy found it difficult to travel with his kids while lugging their bulky and heavy booster seats. Sumroy’s frustration led to the creation of mifold, a compact and portable child car safety device that is ten times smaller than a regular booster seat. Mifold brings the seat belt down to the child, instead of boosting them up and is so small it can even fit into a back pocket. Yet Sumroy says it is just as safe as the standard booster seat.
The solution perfectly addressed a need in the parenting community and, after putting mifold on Indiegogo to raise funds, the company reached their goal in just 2 hours and have now raised $1.5 million, with mifold being sold to over 100 countries on their website, www.mifold.com
Edward McCloskey identified another kind of parenting dilemma that resulted in a successful business venture. While struggling to find a way to cure his daughter’s bad diaper rash, McCloskey was shocked by the chemicals inside traditional baby wipes. He wanted something simpler and healthier for his daughter, so he created WaterWipes, the first chemical-free baby wipe. He says that WaterWipes—made with 99.9% water, and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract, a natural skin conditioner—don’t irritate the skin, and instead help avoid diaper rash and other conditions. A huge hit in the UK, WaterWipes are now available in the U.S.
Marc Toland was looking for a faster and more reliable way to alert his family to a home fire. Concerned over the delay and the often unreliable nature of traditional smoke detectors, Toland searched for another option, and when he found it didn’t exist, set out to create one. He founded Sooner Alarms and invented the PlugSafe, a device that has a heat sensor as an added layer of security. Able to detect problems at the most frequent source, the electrical outlet, the PlugSafe uses wireless communication to set off the alarm and notify homeowners at the start of a fire. His TreeSafe system detects whenever a Christmas tree catches fire from its lights.
Bryan Nooner was similarly concerned about his family’s outlets and plugs. Apprehensive about outdoor light cords getting wet, Nooner tried to create a makeshift cover. From that idea came the Twist and Seal. Made in the USA and available in a variety of sizes, Twist and Seal’s durable and patented design provides protection from rain and snow.
Troubled by the number of child drownings and lack of pool fences, Robert Lupton designed the Life Saver Pool Fence in 1987. Now run by his son Eric, Life Saver Pool Fence is the number one pool fence company in the world. Plus, with each purchase of a fence, the company donates another pool fence for free to the family of a drowning or near-drowning victim.
Avi Lele (below) had another kind of security in mind for his family: Financial security. Wanting to give his kids, nieces and nephews stock in their favorite brands, Lele found it was an expensive and difficult hassle. His frustration turned into inspiration, and he recently launched Stockpile, the first-ever gift card for stock. As simple as traditional gift cards, consumers can find Stockpile cards for sale at local grocery and retail stores. The gift cards are available in a variety of denominations that make it easy and affordable to buy stock for anyone–and maybe get kids interested in learning about the stock market.
All six dads wanted something better for their children and families, and came up with brilliant ideas. Each father turned an idea into reality, and their reality into booming businesses. Equally important, these fathers are finding a better way to juggle work and personal life. Owning their own business is helping them to be more present in family time and experience kids’ important milestones. Not only have their ideas changed their own family’s lives, they have impacted thousands of other lives, as well… a stellar feat worth recognizing this Father’s Day.
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