At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!
We also believe in debunking myths. So lets wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.
This week, we are sharing a company called Zipadee-Zip created by a Mom, Stephanie Parker….
Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?
It all started with no sleep! Our daughter Charlotte had slept wonderfully while swaddled until she started rolling and we had to ditch the swaddle for safety reasons. I would have swaddled her until I had to teach her future husband how to swaddle her if I could have because of how well she slept! No such luck though because not only did she start rolling, but she stopped sleeping well in her swaddle. I had to find a solution to save the sanity of our home!
Right around the time when we all stopped sleeping, I was faced with the reality of going back to work for financial reasons. Like many moms out there, I searched for any possible way to afford to stay at home with our little girl. It was the greatest prayer of my heart! My sweet husband even offered to get a second job to be able to keep me at home with her.
It was then that my prayer was answered in the form of a star shaped blanket that I sewed on my rickety old sewing machine from high school! In the research I did to determine why my daughter refused to sleep swaddle free, I discovered that her startle reflex was still coming into play and jolting her little arms, keeping her awake and preventing her ability to self-soothe. I created the Zipadee-Zip to give Charlotte the feeling of being enclosed (like she was in the swaddle) and a slight bit of resistance in the arms to help settle her startle reflex while still allowing for enough freedom to roll freely. My husband and I were floored when our daughter slept 12 hours the first night we tried our little Zipadee-Zip creation on her!
In a leap of faith, we gathered up the last $700 that we had in savings and put together a website. When we first started www.sleepingbaby.com, we would pay for the fabric and I would sew them as I got orders to pay for them. Sleepingbaby.com was grown literally one Zipadee-Zip at a time with not a dime spent on advertising. In less than two years, by the grace of God, our little business has become a million dollar business. We are just so grateful to be able to provide other tired moms and dads and little ones out there with the gift of sleep!
How do you feel you are helping moms (and Dads!) most?
At Sleepingbaby.com, we say that “Happy Sleep Makes a Happy Baby!” When our little ones are sleeping, so are their moms and dads! I have found that I’m a much happier momma when I’ve gotten some rest and based on the feedback I get from our customers, so are they!
What I didn’t realize when I invented the Zipadee-Zip was that it helps moms and dads with more than just the swaddle transition.
The Zipadee-Zip Helps:
- Prevent babies with eczema from scratching
- Keeps those little hands warm at night
- Keeps hands away from germs on planes, in grocery stores and in doctor’s offices
- Teach a baby who hasn’t been swaddle to self-soothe more effectively= MORE SLEEP!
- Prevent blankets from falling off during car, stroller and baby carrier rides as a baby can be buckled in while wearing it
- Transition a baby from a Rock n’ Play sleeper to a crib
What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?
I’m daily inspired by the moms who face adversity and are able to overcome through faith, ingenuity, and sheer determination. It is so empowering. Last year we lost a baby to a pretty traumatic miscarriage and I was so blown away by the women who reached out to me with their stories and encouraging words via our Zipadee-Zip facebook page. Those are the women I work so hard day in and day out for.
What are some exciting new developments for your business?
SleepingBaby.com is so excited to be coming out with a new product: The Flying Squirrel Zippy PJ! When our customer’s little ones outgrow the Zipadee-Zip, they often ask if there is a Zipadee-Zip PJ so that they can continue using the Zipadee-Zip on their little ones. We are now in the process of creating a Zipadee-Zip inspired Pajama called the Flying Squirrel!
The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?
First – Never loose sight of where and why you started. Our love for God and family was the true beginning to Zipadee-Zip and when a business gets rolling, it’s easy to get caught up in the frustrations, challenges and struggles that a new business can bring but keeping focus on the important things truly helps put everything into perspective and makes those challenges much easier to tackle.
Always put the customer first. When you start a business, the most important key to your success comes from the customer: if they are happy they will tell others about their experience… especially when it comes to moms and their little ones!
I have a special place in my heart for moms who struggle with sleep issues with their little ones so it’s always been important to me to answer any emails and messages as thoroughly and promptly as I can.
Some more information about Stephanie:
My favorite part about Zipadee-Zip is… getting to know the sweet moms and dads that are my customers and seeing pictures of their little ones in our little Zipadee-Zip creations. It makes me one proud Zippy momma!
When parents find out what I do, they often say: “Do you make adult versions!?”
In my free time, I love to… sing and act and paint. Very little of my left brain functions! I’m a big fan of anything creative! 😉
The last book I read was… ‘Stuck’ by Jennie Allen
I’m dreaming of… when I can finally sleep on my stomach and back again! I’m due to have baby #2 in February… maybe I need to make myself a Zipadee-Zip! 😉
Check back here tomorrow to enter a Zipadee-zip GIVEAWAY!
More Help Mama Posts:
L’il Tights by Skights – fun and warm knee high socks for little ones
Simply Fun Families – a website filled with great ideas and products for families to do together
LPH Illustrations – Susy the Soother Fairy (a book about giving away a soother)
Naked Nursing Tank – one of the best nursing tanks out there coldfront – a personal cooling pack that stays cold for up to 12 hours