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About Our Inventions

ABOUT SNOW ANGEL (THE PRODUCT THAT STARTED IT ALL!)
                

Admittedly, my husband and I are pretty lucky: the Little Bee has always loved bath time. Since the day she was born, she was happy as could be lounging in her tub, getting scrubbed, and having her hair washed. But all good things must come to an end, and when it was time to take her out of the bath and dry her off, the shrieking began. She could not stand being dried. And who could really blame her? She was uncomfortable and cold. For the sake of her happiness and our ears, we knew we had to make the process quicker and more comfortable.    

                
In an effort to do this, we stacked a couple of fluffy towels beneath her to provide some cushion against the cold, hard countertop. On top of that little stack, we placed one of her baby towels. That fixed the comfort problem but we still couldn’t get the job done quickly enough for her liking. The issue was that once we put her baby towel beneath her, we didn’t have enough material to wrap around her and dry all her little parts. So I added another towel to the mix. This one was used to dry the parts that the back towel couldn’t easily reach. This method solved the problem reasonably enough but left us with quite a mess on our countertop.
                
                
It occurred to me that all I really needed was a baby towel with some cushioning in the back and a little more available fabric—I just couldn’t find one. So although I couldn’t sew, I set out to create a special towel for my daughter. My initial attempt was pretty rough (Who knew you had to stitch the edges of a towel to keep it from fraying?), but she liked it.
                     
I’m actually very thankful the towel didn’t come out perfectly the first time because it wasn’t until my second attempt that I came up with the idea for the wings. By splitting the fabric strategically, I could more easily reach and dry her arms, legs, and all the bits in between. Truth be told, I didn’t have a snow angel shape in mind when I started drawing the pattern for the second prototype. I was simply playing with different cuts until I settled upon the one that made the most sense. When I stepped back from it, I saw it: a snow angel!
     
ABOUT SCRUBBEE
           

Like many of our little ones, Marlo loves to exercise her independence. Since she turned two it’s been, “Mommy, I want to pick out my outfit! Mommy, I can put on my shoes! Mommy, I want to wash myself!” And while I’m all about fostering independence, I also want to make sure we have acceptable results. Yes, I want her to feel like she can clean herself, but I actually want her to get, well, clean! When she’s in the tub, I want her to scrub all her little parts. When she’s at the sink, I want her to actually work soap into the front of her hands, the backs, and between her fingers. The problem was, we didn’t have an adequate tool to help her do that. I created the ScrubBEE to allow her to take control of these processes and feel confident that she could do a great (and thorough!) job.

When I set out to create a tool to help her, these were my requirements: it needed to be easy for her to grip and manipulate, small and flexible enough to fit all her little parts, and soft enough for her delicate skin. It also couldn’t trap water and develop into a petri dish like so many bath products, because yuck. And perhaps most importantly, it needed to seem fun and inviting. Because if she didn’t want to use it, what good would it be?

Through the magic of 3D printing, I was able to create the first Scrubbee, and it was love at first wash! 

ABOUT BEEKEEPERS

Ever notice how when you put a divided plate in front of your little one, they expect an item in each section? Doesn’t matter if they’re only hungry for a tiny snack, if it’s a plate with three sections, they want three different types of food? Well, this was certainly the Little Bee!

So I set out to create a plate that allows you to choose the number of sections based on the specific meal situation. After school snack? One to two sections will probably do. Dinner? Three to four sections may be better.

I also wanted a way to save the food they didn’t finish because, wow, do kids create a lot of food waste! So I added lids to the mix. Another thing I wanted? To be able to put some leftovers in the cabinet and others in the fridge, depending on the food item. Nobody wants strawberries in the cabinet and goldfish in the fridge, right? Since the sections can be taken apart, this option is possible—and we do it all the time with our BeeKeepers now!

ABOUT BUILD-A-STRAW

I was sitting with my husband and the Little Bee at our favorite BBQ spot. Although we love the place, they have a crazy straw/cup situation. Their disposable cups are small and their disposable straws (eek!) are super long. The Little Bee had such a rough time using them. Either she tilted the cup back to reach the top of the straw and spilled water all over herself, or I went up to the register and used their dirty scissors to cut down the straw. 

Aside from the fact that we try to avoid single-use plastics, there were too many reasons to dislike this set-up. I figured there had to be a better way to go. So what did I want in a straw? I wanted it to be reusable, I wanted it to be flexible, soft, and safe, I wanted it to be travel-friendly, and I wanted it to be easy to clean. A few prototypes later, the Build-A-Straw concept was born. These straws are all these things and more—and they now come with us to our BBQ spot and beyond!