About Our Inventions
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.
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!
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!
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!