We all know there’s nothing like a mom for getting things done. They do it on a daily basis and often in the face of public meltdowns and wild animal-like antics. We’ve scoured the scene for new or noteworthy mom-invented projects, and we’re totally inspired. These mom bosses have grabbed ideas from daily life to create some awesome products that we can’t live without. Scroll through to see them all.
Oh-So-Soft Sleepwear That's Functional, Too: Little Sleepies
Like many mom business founders, the idea of her business, Little Sleepies, was born after Maradith noticed a lack of quality and functional sleepwear on the market after having her son in 2016. Sleepwear was either mass-produced and low quality or luxe with a hefty price tag. So, she took it upon herself to create accessible, functional and comfortable sleepwear for babies and kids. After tirelessly researching and testing fabric, design and fit, Little Sleepies was created. This line of sleepwear is awesome and different in a few ways: it features foldover hand and foot cuffs, turning any romper into a footie and back again. Parents and babes will also love the soft viscose bamboo fabric that's stretchable but won't stretch out, double zipper for late-night diaper changes, and the lack of snaps, buttons or interior tags. Check out their sweet styles at the link below.
Gourmet Baby Food in an Instant: Bon Petit
Chef Kathy Fang, new mom and two-time CHOPPED champion, just launched, an innovative, freeze-dried, gourmet baby food line designed to provide busy parents a solution to feeding their children healthful, nutritionally rich, balanced meals. If you have ever traveled with a baby, you know what it's like to have to lug around tons of tiny jars of baby food. Bon Petit solves this problem as the baby food comes in freeze-dried packs that are liquid free, shelf stable and TSA compliant. They include whole food-based ingredients with protein, complex carbs, fiber and more. With options like Under the Sardinian Sea which contains Wild Dover Sole, Italian butter bean, oregano, tomato, olive oil and basil, tiny palates will be awakened.
Eat Your Veggies for Dessert: Peekaboo Organic Ice Cream
With flavors like mint chocolate chunk, cotton candy and strawberry, you may think that a scoop of Peekaboo Organic Ice Cream is just another sweet treat. But like most moms, founder Jessica Levison had a few tricks up her sleeve when she developed this line of ice cream that features secret spinach, cauliflower, beets and carrots in every bite. As a mom of picky eaters, Jessica knew first-hand what a struggle it was to get kids to eat enough vegetables. She put her ice cream skills to good use as the owner of Miami's Serendipity Creamery and developed this line of ice cream with hidden veggies. Look for it at a grocery story near you!
Montessori Delivered: Monti Kids
When Zahra Kassam learned that 85% of a child’s brain is formed by age three, before they even go to school, she knew that she had to do something, especially being a new parent herself. So, she created Monti Kids, the only program for children 0-3 that gives parents in-home access to the Montessori curriculum. Via an easy-to-use subscription service, parents receive eight levels of age-appropriate toys, delivered every three months, with free access to online classes, one-on-one support and a private community moderated by child development experts and Montessori.
Life Skills, One Spoon at a Time: Kizingo
Lisa Sutherland and Kiyah Duffy are moms with seven kids between them. Both women have Ph.D.’s in nutrition and a shared passion for food, creativity and an interest in helping little ones learn to feed themselves. They knew what parents could do to help kids succeed at mealtime and learn to love eating healthy foods but didn't see the right tools to help them do that. Kizingo spoons work with the way young children hold and use utensils, making it easier for them to bring the food from their plate to their mouth! Why is this important? Kids who can feed themselves are less likely to overeat and less likely to become picky eaters because they retain control over mealtime.
Necessity Is the Mother of Invention: Real Food Blends
When Julie Bombacino, an Indiana mom of two, found out that her six-month-old baby boy would need a feeding tube, she didn’t just sit idle. She began researching and discovered quickly that nearly half a million people in the U.S. alone rely on feeding tubes. The tube formulas made her son very sick, and Bombacino knew there had to be a better way. She began to experiment with real foods, pureeing things like carrots, chicken and sweet potatoes, to put in his tube. It wasn’t long before AJ stopped vomiting and began to improve. That’s when Bombacino knew she could not only help her son, but thousands of people like him, and Real Food Blends was born. Designed for people with a feeding tube, Real Food Blends comes in six flavors and each one has just five to eight ingredients. There are no preservatives, corn syrup, dairy, soy or nuts. Not only is it made and manufactured in the U.S., but it is also covered by home health companies and insurance companies.
Eliminate Wardrobe Tantrums: Choulala Box
As a working mom of two, Rola Amer found no time to shop for her kid’s wardrobe needs at traditional retailers and she couldn’t find any one online retailer that could help simplify the process of what her kids needed each season. She also discovered that her children’s sense of independence started as early as two years of age when they exert their will of what they want to wear each morning (aka wardrobe tantrums). That is exactly why she founded Choulala Box and the BLAST™ Method as an easy and fun way for kids to learn all five categories of a wardrobe: (1) B for Bottoms (2) L for Layering Pieces (3) A for Accessories (4) S for Socks and Shoes and (5) T for Tops. When they know these categories and how they work together to create outfits each day, they will literally have a BLAST™ in dressing themselves to express themselves.
Get Stylishly Caught in the Rain: November Rain
A woman entrepreneur and mother to three, Belinda Coker has been active in providing fresh drinking water to developing communities in Africa and Asia for over 10 years. A perpetual philanthropist and entrepreneur, her previous successful brands include Envirosax, the first designer reusable bag with environmental certification to enter the U.S. market back in 2007. November Rain was borne out of a need to fund her freshwater projects in Africa. Producing an item printed with eco-friendly dyes was a no-brainer, but Belinda also took this one step further by creating something that women of all shapes and sizes could wear, whether they are blessed with curves or fabulously tall and willowy. "Unless we are a perfect industry size, there is always the issue of fit. And I wanted to overcome that, for all women," says Belinda. November Rain gives 10% of all revenue to water projects in developing countries, the ponchos are made to last and they are stylish!
Eating the Best at Any Age: Harlow's Harvest and FarmBox Direct
Ashley Tyrner, founder of Farmbox Direct, and her 8-year old daughter Harlow, CEO of Harlow’s Harvest, are bringing families together through food. Farmbox Direct is a door-to-door service that brings the freshest vegetables and fruits directly from organic farms. Harlow, a self-proclaimed vegan since she was two years old, wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and pass on what she has learned to bring the same quality product as FarmBox Direct to other kids in the hopes of them taking better control of their nutrition. She founded Harlow’s Harvest with Ashley so that parents and kids can make cooking together fun, interactive and educational. Harlow’s Harvest is a monthly subscription box that comes with recipe cards, a science project, background on the dish your child would be making and an online game they can play that is connected to that month’s theme.
Mornings Made Easy: The Original Stretchlace
It was during the morning-prep-for-school chaos when Jamie Montz came up with the idea for the Original Stretchlace. She had three boys all in different stages of learning to tie their shoes—the oldest still needed help re-lacing high tops, the middle was mastering tying (at a less-than-ideal pace) and the little one wanted to ditch the velcro for laces like his brothers. Oh boy! Jamie knew there had to be a better way so she scoured the market for elastic laces that looked good enough and instead she found elastic laces with locks, clips, clasps and boring colors. That wasn't going to cut it so the Original Stretchlace was born!
Worry-Free Throat-Soothing Pops: Lolleez
Two years ago, when mom of four and health coach Melissa Evans’ daughter came down with a sore throat, Melissa wished there was something she could provide to soothe her kiddo. That’s when she noticed there were no options that she felt comfortable with. Cough drops and lozenges posed a risk for choking and, for the most part, contained chemicals like artificial colors, flavors and ingredients. She then came up with the idea for a worry-free, healthier, effective and fun alternative for kids. Lolleez are available at Target, CVS, Stop & Shop, Kroger and on Amazon! Lolleez come in packs of 15 pops: Watermelon, Strawberry, Orange Mango and a Variety Pack for a suggested retail price of $6.99.
The Convenient Baby Carrier: Tady
When Natalie Riley's daughter was young and riding in a stroller, inevitably, she would demand to be carried. Natalie always ended up carrying her daughter in one arm and pushing the empty set of wheels with the other. The same goes for hiking—Natalie found herself carrying her daughter in her arms with an empty baby transporter on her back. She needed a tiny baby carrier that she could carry in her pocket or use as a purse while her daughter is walking, and so Tady—a baby carrier that can support up to 60 lbs and easily converts into a diaper bag—was born.
Healing from Within: Bonafide Provisions
Bonafide Provisions was founded in 2011 by Sharon Brown, mom and clinical nutritionist who used bone broth to heal her son’s chronic illness. After her son suffered through years of sinus infections, ear infections and respiratory infections that resulted in numerous rounds of antibiotics, Sharon knew there had to be another way to heal him. That's where Bonafide Provisions was born. Sharon started making bone broth in her home and it is now available to purchase online. Bone broth is rich in minerals, collagen, gelatin, amino acids and other nutrients which detoxifies the body and heals the gut and joints.
Love at First Touch: Saint Haven
Mother of three Jacqueline Sacks watched her kids struggle with the daily routine of getting dressed and never feeling comfortable as most fabrics irritated her children’s eczema and sensory issues. Determined to find a solution, she developed a brand-new, proprietary method for softening fabric with a non-toxic enzyme dip. Using fabric spun from the pulp of beech trees and dyed with non-toxic dyes, Jacqueline created Saint Haven Soft™. The breathable weave supports body temperature regulation and is built without tags, buttons or the sorts of stealthy itchy seams that can drive anyone crazy. The San Francisco-based luxe essentials line launched late last year with styles for babies, toddlers, children and women.
Nail Polish You Can Feel Good About: Piggy Paint
Melanie Hurley's girls were the motivation behind Piggy Paint, and they continue to inspire her daily. She started Piggy Paint when they were two and four as she was always concerned about the chemicals found in traditional nail polish. She started looking for a safer alternative and couldn’t find any. Thus, Piggy Paint was born! Piggy Paint is non-toxic, virtually odorless and free of all harsh, smelly chemicals. This water-based nail polish dries to a hard finish that doesn’t wash or peel off—cruelty-free, vegan and kid-friendly!
Reduce Your Laundry One Towel at a Time: My Buddy Towel
Angelyn Myers, mom of six, turned the idea for My Buddy Towel into a product in less than a year. The Original My “Buddy” Towel® was created out of frustration (as are many good products)! Her daughter would always use three towels after a bath and Angie was tired of the unnecessary towel laundry piling up. She turned to Google to hopefully buy a solution. There were hooded kids towels, or bath robes, but she had already tried those with no luck. Angie needed something with full coverage, high absorbency that covered the whole body. She had frog and pink flamingo prototypes made and her daughter has only used one towel ever since—The Original My “Buddy” Towel®.
Farm Fresh Baby Food: Once Upon a Farm
If you want to feed your baby the best, but time isn't on your side (we hear ya, Mom!), turn to Once Upon a Farm. Their organic, cold-pressed blends are designed to enhance kiddo's nutrition and expand her palate without YOU having to shop, chop, blend and puree. The ingredient list is simple (never anything artificial or processed). In fact, many of the ingredients are sourced from farms the company knows and trusts. If Once Upon a Farm's mission sounds familiar, you might have heard of this beloved brand from Co-Founder and Chief Brand Office, Jennifer Garner. Garner, along with mom Cassandra Curtis, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, are bringing farm fresh baby and kid food to high chairs everywhere. These two moms are making it their mission to become a leader in the organic family food space, fighting for and supporting efforts to drive positive social change and food justice for families.
Bespoke Sleepsacks: Bumbershoots by Nana
Give your babe a leg up in the sleep department with Bumbershoots by Nana. These oh-so-soft sleep sacks are designed and hand sewn by Judy Carr (aka Nana), a grandmother who works out of her Maryland studio using patterns she has made and refined over time. Bumbershoots by Nana was born when her grandson was transitioning out of a swaddle and into a sleep sack. Judy noticed that even more expensive sacks seemed cheaply made and didn't wear well. In part due to her grandmotherly love, and in part due to her entrepreneurial spirit, Judy decided to fix that problem—her high-quality, reverse-lined sleep sacks are functional (they hold up extremely well to machine washes and everyday use) and fun (check out their designs here). Fun fact: Bumbershoots by Nana stocks multiples in each size, but is also able to produce 30 or so a week without assistance.
Sweat-Wicking and UPF 50+ Clothes for Kids: Lark Adventurewear
When new mama Pallavi Golla was out adventuring with her son, she noticed that she remained cool in her activewear, but her baby was hot and sweaty. Unable to find safe and effective activewear for kids, Pallavi took it upon herself to create a line of clothes she'd feel confident would keep her son cool and comfortable. Fast forward a few years and one more kiddo later, and Lark Adventurewear is a favorite of parents everywhere. The collection features a natural, breathable fabric that keeps kids cool (we tested it ourselves!), is free of synthetic chemicals or fabrics, includes 50+ UPF and is made with eco-friendly bamboo. Sizes range from three months to four years old with styles like their popular footies, bodysuits, tees and more.
Check out the full collection and learn more about Pallavi at larkadventurewear.com.
Wall of Inspiration: My Heart Wall Custom Photo Wallpaper
After finishing her MBA, Kathy Vegh went back home to Cleveland to work at her father’s business—and she helped it grow it from a small family business to a multi-million dollar company. When her daughter was born with a congenital heart defect and had to undergo open heart surgery shortly after birth, Kathy was inspired to start My Heart Wall. Baby O healed and is doing well, but Kathy wanted to create something that offered commemoration and celebration. My Heart Wall creates and sells photo wallpaper while staying true to its mission to help promote support and advocacy for children born with congenital heart defects.
You can customize your wallpaper at their website and learn more about the company at myheartwall.com.
Bridge the Generation & Language Gap: Jamma Jango
In 2012, Julia Wang left her job as Product Manager at American Express to be a SAHM to her newborn daughter. Both Julia’s and her husband’s parents emigrated from Taiwan in the 1980s and are more comfortable speaking in their native tongue—Mandarin Chinese. Julia wanted her little girl to be able to communicate with her grandparents, but she struggled to find the right resources to teach her daughter Chinese—there was a lack of anything that would hold a kid’s attention for more than five minutes and it was hard to find a program that was educational and fun. And so, Jamma Jango was born. It’s a cartoon-based, foreign language-learning product that provides parents fun and educational language resources—all in one box. Currently, Jamma Jango offers a Spanish language and a Mandarin Chinese version.
Check it out at jammajango.com
A Mom-Invented Registry: Blueprint Registry
Lizzy Ellingson co-founded Blueprint Registry after experiencing her own frustrations with traditional wedding registries. She wanted a more fun, visual process—and it turns out she wasn't the only one. After having her first baby, she discovered that the baby registry world had the same problems and so she expanded Blueprint's platform into a baby registry with the goal of helping to educate new moms along the way. New parents can not only rest easy knowing Blueprint has the lowest credit card processing fee in the industry, but they can also shop from a visual blueprint of their nursery and add gifts from any retailer to their registry to fit their needs.
Check it out at blueprintregistry.com
Luxe Handbags That Last: Coral Chung
As a busy working professional and mom, Coral Chung was tired of non-functioning designer bags that didn’t suit her lifestyle. So she co-founded Senreve, a brand that doesn’t force women to choose between a bag that looks good and one that works well. Within one year of its launch, Senreve’s most popular item—the Maestra bag—has sold out more than six times and has become a staple on the arms of many powerhouse females including Jessica Alba, Sophia Bush, Greta Gurwig and Gabrielle Union.
Shop the lust-worthy collection at senreve.com
The Future of Healthy Food: AccelFoods
Lauren Jupiter and Jordan Gaspar started AccelFoods to help smaller innovative food startups make it to mainstream, with a specific mission—insure a healthier future of food. They raised the $40M venture fund in just four years and have helped over 30 brands like Kidfresh (all-natural kids meals with hidden veggies), Rethink Water (kid-friendly flavored boxed water), and Brami (plant-based protein snacks) grow their businesses. Not only are these moms inventors and entrepreneurs, but they’re also helping other moms find success as well.
Check it out at accelfoods.com
Picky Eater Solution: OmieBox
Nancy Yen has over 15 years of experience bringing game-changing new products to market, with a focus in the kids and baby space. At Gap Inc. Nancy did merchandising and consumer insights, as well as supported the development of new store concepts (BabyGap Home). With an MBA from Stanford Business School, it’s no secret that she’s a savvy businesswoman. But when her own son, was a picky eater and underweight, she came up with possibly her best business idea yet! Searching for a lunchbox that could hold both hot and cold foods, she found there was nothing on the market—and OmieBox was born. It’s an innovative Bento-style food container that features separate temperature zones! You can find OmieBox at Amazon.com and the OmieLife website.
Shop for one here: omielife.com
Sweet Success: Vermont Nut Free Chocolates
In 1998, Gail Elvidge co-founded Vermont Nut Free Chocolates after her son was diagnosed with a life-threatening nut allergy. It was difficult for her to find nut-free baking products, chocolates, sweets, and products, so she and her husband Mark started the company to help families like theirs! What started as a small chocolate company in Vermont, has grown to nearly 40 employees, offering products like trail mix, gift baskets, fudge, truffles, baking essentials, hot cocoa, and much more. The company is proud to offer 100% peanut and tree nut free gourmet chocolates and products for those with or without allergies to enjoy.
Check out their yummy selection at vermontnutfree.com
Love Conquers All: Love Powered Littles
Toronto moms Anna Lozano and Lindy Sood started Love Powered Co. in 2017 with the goal of improving the lives of families. After successful business careers, both moms wanted to achieve a better work-life balance, and also create positive change in the world using tools for mindfulness and compassion. They just debuted the Love Powered Littles Box Set, a set of 22 affirmation cards to help children affirm their own greatness—I am loved, I am compassionate, I am kind—and six bonus cards to help parents in this positive journey. These cards reaffirm children’s natural brilliance, power, compassion and strength. And we are betting they are going to be healing for parents too.
Blood, Sweat & Tears: AWE
When you are a three-time cancer survivor and working mother, the word strong doesn’t even begin to describe you. Jill Johnson is all of those things, and she’s also an entrepreneur whose successful jewelry business, Jilco, has been donating to organizations like Children’s Cancer Research Fund since 1989. But true to her tireless spirit, Jill wanted to create something more, and AWE was born. AWE is a jewelry company that honors and celebrates an individual’s triumphs, and the AWE Medallion has become a universal symbol of strength, hope and resilience. The design, which is the anchor of all the items, is four teardrops that represent blood, sweat and tears (of sorrow and joy) of every survivor’s journey. 20% of every sale goes to one of four national charities.
Keep It Chic AND Cozy: Birdies
What if you could go full-on leisure but still look stylish (and we’re not talking about pajama jeans)? Two moms, Bianca Gates (CEO & Co-Founder) and Marisa Sharkey (President and Co-Founder), figured out how! Together they founded Birdies, luxe, cozy slippers that are big on style. When they couldn’t find slippers that merged comfort and fashion, they decided to create their own. Not only do they come in beautiful designs with on-trend colors and features like tassels and leopard print, they’ve also got cushioned, latex insoles; are lined with satin or faux shearling; and rubber soles for indoor/outdoor wear. Uh, pretty much perfect!
The Aha Moment: Throat Scope
Jennifer Holland had her “aha!” moment at the doctor’s office with her young son. It led her to create Throat Scope—the world's first illuminated tongue depressor that lights up the entire throat and mouth. Her invention is not only popular, in 2017 it won silver at the Edison Awards in New York for her innovation. This mama always dreamed of inventing something that would make the world a better place and she’s achieved that goal: she’s on a mission to educate families on how to recognize the signs of oral cancer or detect a sore throat, strep throat, thrush, inflamed gums and tooth pain. The stay-at-home mom’s innovative product is now available in 140 countries.
Turning Chaos into Beauty: GoodHangups
Leslie Pierson created something every mom has dreamed of: a product that brings order to the chaos. Her inspiration? The prolific creativity of her artistic 6-year-old son. Like so many moms, she hated the idea of throwing away her son’s masterpieces but was tired of the mess they made on the fridge. So she invented GoodHangups. GoodHangups MagnaStickers can be used on almost any wall surface to hang up unframed items: without a hammer, a nail or a frame! If this product seems familiar, you may have caught Leslie on Shark Tank (where she scored a deal with Lori Greiner).
Read On: Literati Book Club
Problem: Parents want their kids to have exposure to new and engaging books, but with so many new releases and busy, busy lives, they don’t always know what to choose (or have time to choose them). Solution: Literati Book Club, a subscription book service founded by two busy moms who wanted to make sure kids could get vetted, awesome new books delivered right to their door. Kelly Carroll teamed up with Jessica Ewing and started Literati Book Club. They work with top-educators and librarians to hand-pick five beautiful new books every month with a fun theme (science, friendship, adventure, history, etc.). You select the book club based on your kids' age and development (up to nine years old) and the books come each month. You have a week to read them, decide what you want to keep, and send the rest back. You are only charged for the ones you keep. We love Literati so much we recommended it in our gift guide this year.
Multi Use Baby Gear: Cheeky Chompers
Julie Wilson and Amy Livingston founded Cheeky Chompers while on maternity leave after their first babies were born. They noticed a gap in the market for a teether that attached to a baby and that’s when the innovative Neckerchew was born! What’s a Neckerchew? It’s a highly absorbent, reversible cotton dribble bib with a silicone teether integrated right into the design. After the success of the Neckerchew, they went on to invent the Comfortchew, Chewy the attachable sensory hippo teether, the Cheeky Blanket, the organic MultiMuslin (it’s a nursing cover, stroller cover, teether, burp cloth, swaddle and blanket all in one) and the Muslin Comforter. These two mamas and their innovative thinking are streamlining the world of baby gear.
In Health We Trust: Ritual Supplements
Kat Schneider wanted to do the right thing for her health and her baby, so when she found out she was pregnant she started taking prenatal vitamins. That’s when she noticed that many supplements had questionable ingredients, and worse, the ones she was taking didn’t even list the ingredients. So she decided to found Ritual: subscription-based supplements delivered directly to your door, each month. They are all non-GMO, vegan, gluten and soy free and all are designed exclusively for women, with clear ingredients lists so you always know what you are putting in your body.
Not Your Mother’s Diaper Bag: TWELVElittle
When TWELVElittle baby bags came on the scene, new moms everywhere sighed with relief. Stylish, practical (read: wipeable) diaper bags and accessories that feel designer-worthy without the outrageous price tag. Mom and designer Julia Min founded TWELVElittle to simplify and elevate new mom style. And she's succeeded! In addition to diaper bags and backpacks that you'll be toting around long after they are potty-trained, they also make backpacks for kids, smaller bags for storage (we love this striped bag trio) and the popular 12 LITTLE WONDERS dangles, inspired by the Chinese zodiac and made to customize any bag.
Waste Not, Want Not: Milkies
For any mom who has ever pumped for their nursing babes, you know how precious every drop can be. When her son Henry was born in 2008, Helen Anderson was working as an ER nurse and still breastfeeding. So she came up with a business, Milkies, and a product to help save time and make sure not a drop of the liquid gold was lost: Milk-Saver. The Milk-Saver collects the milk that leaks in between nursing or pumping (you know what we mean).
Bottoms Up: Olen Cosmetics
Baby Butz diaper cream creator Majda Ficko’s son Demitri was born 15 years ago with a rare condition called Cornelia de Lange syndrome, leaving him severely disabled and has been in diapers 24-hours a day. “Demitri spent the first three years of his life in and out of the hospital and a pharmacist there had formulated a skin cream for him,” says Ficko, a mother of three. “But when the pharmacy closed, the cream was no longer available, and I was at the mercy of whatever diaper creams were on the market, none of which worked and are packed with harsh chemicals.” So she decided to create it herself. Flicko is now the owner of Olen Cosmetics and the manufacturer and distributor of Baby Butz and other natural hair and body care products. It’s a certified all-natural product, is gluten and paraben-free and is never tested on animals!
Superfoods for Everyday Babes: Raised Real
When Dietician Dr. Michelle Davenport became a first-time mom she wanted to find (and make) easy, simple meals for her new eater that were big on nutrition and hadn’t sat on a shelf for months (or years). So, she co-founded Raised Real, a subscription-based meal service designed specifically for growing babes. The company uses superfoods and nutritional expertise to create each recipe—each one integrates fruits, veggies and micronutrients that are crucial for a child’s early development. They are delivered in pre-portioned, ready-to-steam packages that cost less than $5 per meal. You can opt to have meals delivered every two or four weeks, and you can skip or cancel at anytime.
For Moms on the Go: Kaleido Concepts
“As people who love to travel and are always on-the-go with our kids in tow, we became frustrated with the dull, inflexible carrying options available to us,” said Lisa Hom, co-founder of Kaleido Concepts. So she and Anita Yuen invented something new: an origami-inspired line of transportable products—backpacks and totes—that are as attractive as they are efficient. Hom, previously the CEO of Parasol Co. and the VP of Product Design at Kiwi Co. and Yuen, Product Director at Google, make an impressive team. But more impressive are the little extras: the products are lightweight (most only way a few ounces), durable, can be folded into a pouch and tucked away, have ripstop fabric and YKK Zippers. Plus they work with artists: Ashley Goldberg, Kelly Ventura and Carolyn Suzuki have all come up with unique designs (Pink Breeze, Black Swan and Naval Tidal).
The Working Parent's Bestie: XDesk
Just months after co-founder of XDesk, Jamie Fertsch, left her stable job in wealth management to launch her company, she discovered she was pregnant, with twins. So Jamie called on her support system of family and friends to help her keep her company growing while juggling motherhood. It’s worked! In its second year, XDesk (then NextDesk) experienced an incredible 600% growth in demand for its motorized standing desks! These standing and flexible desks are the perfect fit for work-from-home and communal office spaces. XDesk products are all handcrafted in Austin, Texas by dedicated artisans, too, so you get quality with all that flexibility.
Kitchen Concept: Cheeky Baby
We’re pretty sure that Ayesha Curry doesn’t sleep. Not only is she a mother of two beautiful kiddos and wife of Golden State all-star Stephen Curry, but she also’s a cookbook author, hosts her own show on the Food Network, Ayesha’s Homemade, and is the co-founder of the recently launched Cheeky Baby. Partnered with Cheeky Kids, this line of reusable, high-quality plastic and silicone dinnerware products are designed just with little ones in mind. They help foster independence at meal-time with trainer and sippy cups, feeding spoons, traditional baby cutlery, and even a line of self-feeding cutlery; non-slip bowls and more, all with whimsical-but-chic patterns and animal characters. And if you need one more reason to love this woman, for every Cheeky Baby item purchased, a meal will be donated to a child in need through No Kid Hungry.
Keeping It Cute: Ice Cream Castles
Founded by two women—Veronique Vicari Barnes and Wells Nathan—who have years of friendship and creative collaboration between them, once they both had children they started thinking about what was lacking in the marketplace. They decided to design a line of clothing that they would want their own children to wear and Ice Cream Castles was born. Wells, with a FIDM and RISD fashion design background, had previously launched a women’s clothing line, and Veronique is the founder of her own line of jewelry. Together, they capture vintage designs, magical elements and plenty of whimsy in their clothing line for kids. The Fall 2017 collection includes retro ski style mixed with sweet graphics, all in comfy styles and designs. Our only question: when will they come in grown-up sizes?
A New Tradition: The Finnbin
Catherine Merritt has been a long-time supporter of moms: she’s the genius behind MUMZY, the first and only crowdfunding platform for moms. Catherine sold MUMZY last year and is on to her newest venture, Finnbin. Co-founded with Shawn Bercuson (entrepreneur and superdad), Finnbin brings the Finnish tradition to the U.S. for the first time ever. What is a Finnbin? It’s a cardboard box full of newborn items, including bibs, bedding, clothing, a swaddle, bath essentials and more. The best part? The box can actually be used as baby’s first bed. Don’t believe us? The Finns have been doing this for more than 80 years! We love these self-contained boxes that pair down the clutter and focus on what you need for your new arrival, so you can focus on baby! “To play a role in providing the peace of mind to new parents is such an incredible feeling as an entrepreneur and a fellow mom,” says Catherine.
Lighting It Up: RunLites
Invented by an avid runner and working mother of three, Mary Tiffin created RunLites gloves and mittens because (like so many moms) she did most of her running and exercising at night and was frustrated by inefficient flashlights and headlamps. These gloves with built-in, rechargeable LED lights are comfortable, easy-to-wear and perfect for illuminating your path as you need it (and are also killer for helping you find stuff in the bottom of your giant purse). They are easy to spot and increase visibility dramatically. Tiffin also discovered that a glove with a built-in light added to her children’s visibility when walking at night or when waiting for the bus stop on winter mornings when it was still dark. They come in fingerless and full-gloved styles as well as mitten (and even a sling model for hotter months) and run from XS to larger sizes for adults and they even have a little pocket for you slide in cash and keys (We found the XS was a good fit for a child around 5 or 6, but it does depend on the size of your kiddo.). Prices range from $24.95 and up.
Empowering Kids: Mighty + Bright
When Northern California mom Sara Olsher went through a divorce, she felt like she was grasping at straws to help her daughter understand her new life and routine. With her background in psychology and illustration, Sara was set out to create a visual tool to help her kiddo adjust to the new home and new schedule. Her first product was an interactive magnetic calendar with custom magnets for the whole family and their activities, including the custody schedule, which allows families to easily explain their complicated schedules to little ones and helps reduce children’s anxiety. Once Sara realized how many other families could benefit from what she'd created, she launched Mighty + Bright, a company that seeks to empower families as they cope with divorce. There are now three versions of The Co-Parenting Calendar (daily, weekly and monthly) as well as a Routine Chart. Magnet and Chart sets start at $27.
A Mismatch Made in Heaven: Chooze Shoes
Sharon Blumberg, the mommy brain behind Chooze, always loved and embraced her young daughter’s creativity, especially when it came to fashion. And her kiddos signature look? Mismatched shoes. But the wearing of two different shoes can create balance issues and discomfort, which is why Sharon, along with her husband Marc, launched Chooze—a company that sells perfectly mismatched shoes! Since their launch in 2011, they have expanded to include clothing and accessories for kids, too, but their genius shoes are still the signature look. Sandals, sneakers, boots and more in a huge variety of colorful and whimsical patterns will delight your kiddos. You can also “chooze” your cause when shopping: they’ll donate a portion of all profits to one of five charities you can select from on the site.
Step to Success: easyGokids
Inventor and mom Wendi Cooper will be the first to tell you: kids with dangling feet while going to the bathroom face a host of issues including pain and discomfort. Not to mention that many children experience constipation and without proper toilet posture, this can go from bad to worse. From numbness to difficulty pushing and strain, Wendi knew there was a better way and she knew she wanted to help. While there are plenty of bathroom footstools out there, this is the first of its kind to fit right up against any toilet and easily tucks away when not in use so it never gets in the way. It comes in four different colors and takes up barely any room compared to other clunky stools. It is “compact, cool and discreet.” Your kiddos can sit with proper toilet posture and relax, every time, just like nature intended. Retail price start at $26.99.
Taking a Bite: Elli & Nooli
Maya Shalev, founder of Elli & Nooli is a problem solver. As a busy lawyer, mediator and mother of three, she experienced all of the typical frustrations of parenting, including watching her little one repeatedly not be able to hold on to the spoon when trying to self-feed. And so, she invented a better product: Grabease ($9.99-$14.99), available on Amazon. These adorable fork and spoon sets are squat enough that tiny hands can grasp and control with ease, plus they are safer than regular "toddler" flatware: the handle is ergonomically designed and there's a choke barrier. It comes in four colors (dark gray, teal, orange and white) and you can even grab a handy carrying pouch that tucks into your diaper bag or purse. The best part? It helps them develop motor skills right before your eyes. BPA free. Elli & Nooli also sell the PadiBlanket, a swaddle-like blanket that fits into a car seat (with holes for the straps) and the RecordablePal, an adorable plush owl you can record into which plays for up to 30 minutes and helps sooth littles back to sleep.
Library Lifestyle: Savor Keepsake Box
You love all the notes and stick-figure drawings, but it doesn’t take long for paper to take over your house. That’s why moms Karla “neatnick” the Losen and Jennifer organization queen” McAllister-Nevins got together and invented The Keepsake Box by Savor, designed to help you keep treasures and cull the chaos. There are two versions: The Library: Baby Keepsake Box and The Library: School Years Keepsake Box. Each box includes a handcrafted, book cloth case; pre-categorized labels; 9 drawers for tiny things and 8 vertical files (baby version) or 16 vertical files (school years); a birthday survey for yearly highlights and more. It’s like scrapbooking without the scrapbooking. Everything is contained, sleek and easy to browse through so you can walk down memory lane anytime. As an added bonus, they look cute on the shelf. Stop shoving those things in a bin and start organizing your treasures! Prices start at $69.95.
Back to the Basics: Primary Clothing
Founded by two moms—Galyn Bernard and Christina Carbonell—who braved kids clothing shopping for more than 12 years and had grown beyond frustrated by the poor quality, slogan- and sequin-heavy options out there. They wanted the basics in bright colors at affordable prices and they knew other parents did too. Both veterans employees of Diapers.com, the two have created a brand that is both recognizable and classic, bright basics that have been rated highly by moms around the world. Primary is an excellent clothing line for kids on the autism-spectrum or kids with sensory sensitivities: you will not get a box full of itchy, ill-fitting items that your kid won’t wear. Most recently, they've launched a line of cozy PJs that are comfy for sleep and so soft, you'll wish they came in your size!
—Kate Loweth, Amber Guetebier and Erin Lem
All photos provided by companies