Three years ago Laine Caspi and her husband were visiting Israel with their baby, when they came across a unique item: a front facing baby carrier. Instead of tugging painfully on Laine Caspi's back and shoulders like previous versions, this style was painless. Upon returning home, Caspi discovered that other mothers were equally intrigued, continually asking where to find this new carrier. There was nothing comparable on the U.S. market.
After some research, Caspi found The Ultimate Baby Wrap, a company that sold similar carriers. She bought ten and sold them all in one day out of the back of her car. Right Start, a former arm of the FAO Scwartz retail corporation, was immediately impressed with the carrier, as well. Laine Caspi's mission was clear: to market and manufacture items that make parents' lives easier. Parents of Invention was born.
"Bringing Brilliant Ideas of Parents to the Marketplace"
So, what's all the hype? Parents of Invention offers licensing deals to parents who have ideas or prototypes, but are not interested in manufacturing their own products. The company then sells these parenting aids, which have generally been missing from the market.
From the toilet handle that congratulates kids when they flush to the band-aid that comes with its own lollipop, Caspi's brain child promotes family friendly products. The high demand for these inventive items has catapulted Parents of Invention into the multi-million dollar world of product marketing.
In fact, the Ultimate Baby Wrap is now sold in about 60 specialty stores and a number of big retailers, including Babies 'R Us.com. While it still remains the signature product, Parents of Invention has expanded to selling 11 other products, including a vibrating nursing pillow and a key chain that dispenses anti-bacterial wipes. The company has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal, and television talk shows across the country.
The New "Stay-at-Home Mom"
Studies have shown that a growing number of professional women are leaving the work world to become stay-at-home moms. Many of these women have joined the new wave of "momtrepeneurs," finding a balance between caring for children and making a profit. They're doing everything from writing parenting books to designing mommy-friendly Web sites!
Caspi is a "momtrepeneur" success story. Not only has Parents of Invention grown to become a $1.5 million business, but her clients include the national chains Babies 'R' Us, Bye Bye Baby, K's Merchandise and the Right Start. The company works with three different factories in China, as well as textile companies in the United States. Since she out-sources most of the work, Caspi is the sole employee on payroll.
Do You Have an Idea?
Do you think you may have a unique idea that would make the lives of moms everywhere easier? The first step in pitching your idea to Parents of Invention is visiting the Web site at www.parentsofinvention.com and filling out a non-disclosure agreement. Then you and Caspi can discuss your idea. If you already have a prototype of your invention, Caspi will show it to both her major buyers and mom-and-pop store contacts. If they think your idea is viable, the next step is having a test market done.
It is always smart to do some research before deciding to promote your invention. Web sites such as the Federal Trade Commission's (www.ftc.gov) will provide information on promotion companies such as Parents of Invention. For information on patents, visit the U.S. Patent Office Web site at www.uspto.gov