N E W Y O R K, Nov. 10, 2003 -- Four inventive mothers found solutions for their own needs, instead of waiting for someone else to come along with an idea. Now they're profiting off their original designs and making other parents happy along the way.
The moms showed off their successful inventions on Good Morning America today.
Details on all of the products are included in the list below.
Julie Kentera developed a product she named (www.dreampearls.com) because she didn't want to honor the loss of her child's baby teeth with cash.
Kentera, a former first grade teacher and now a stay-home mother of two daughters, says her 8-year-old, Aja, was her original inspiration.
The gift, which is supposedly given by the tooth fairy, transforms baby teeth into beautiful pearls.
It includes a handcrafted charm bracelet, made of sterling silver and Swarovski crystals, that holds 12 tiny pearl charms, The tooth fairy leaves one charm in exchange for each lost tooth.
It also comes with an illustrated tooth fairy book, complete with a tooth journal for recording the memories of each tooth loss.
Kentera, of Phoenix, Ariz., said she believes the DreamPearls gift is a more sentimental way of celebrating a child's transformation.
Based on her company's success, she's not the only parent who feels that way.
Dreampearls tooth fairy gift sets were included in the exclusive "goodie bags" given to celebrities at major entertainment events this year, such as the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. Kentera's DreamPearls gift sets cost $50.
Kentra is currently working on a tooth fairy gift made just for little boys.
The Clean Shopper and The Clean Diner
Missy Cohen-Fyffe was concerned about all of the germs her baby was picking up every time she put her in a shopping cart while at the supermarket. She came up with The Clean Shopper (www.cleanshopper.com) as a way to easily avoid the problem altogether.
Cohen-Fyffe, of Pelham, N.H., designed the shopping-cart liner of 100 percent cotton-quilted fabric, so that it would be safe and comfortable for babies. The one-piece liner can be installed using one hand in about 10 seconds. Its Velcro strips keep the liner around the cart's handlebars until the parent is ready to remove the liner. The liner, which sells for $30, is easy to pack and washable.
Cohen-Fyffe's second invention, The Clean Diner, is similar to the cart-liner. But instead of protecting babies from grime on shopping carts, it protects babies from the grime on wooden restaurant high chairs.
The Clean Diner completely covers the entire seating area of the high chair so babies and toddlers are not exposed to germs left behind by previous users
The 100 percent cotton liner folds to compact size and comes with a travel tote. The liner also includes a safety strap to help babies and toddlers sit more securely in their borrowed high chairs. The product retails for $23.
Just Too Cute
Teresa Thompson, of Farmers Branch, Texas, began making designer lamps for children out of her own garage. Now her designer lamps, and other original pieces, are in children's stores around the country. Thompson's unique designs range from an Aladdin lamp, a frog lamp, chandeliers, candlestick lamps and more.
Thompson,who raised two boys, says she has always really loved "girlie things." Products from her line, Just Too Cute (www.justtoocute.com), can be purchased at high-end children's boutiques and furniture stores and online at www.justtoocute.com and www.PoshTots.com.
Ride On Carry On
As a flight attendant of 19 years, Darryl Lenz said she was always watching travelers struggle with their luggage and strollers in the airport. The mother from Deerfield Beach, Fla., said she realized that if she could combine a chair with a piece of luggage parents could ditch their strollers while traveling.
After working with the initial idea for some time, Lenz finished her Ride On Carry On in 1999. The Ride On Carry On chair, which does not include luggage, has straps that secure the children and it flips up so that your luggage can be easily stored under the seat or in the overhead once you're on the plane.
The chair sells for about $45. It can be purchased in various retail stores around the country and on www.rideoncarryon.com.