‘Shark Tank’ is a multi-Emmy Award-winning reality television series that gives a platform to aspiring business people and entrepreneurs to expand their small-scale business into something world-famous. The entrepreneurs present their idea or product to industry leaders, fondly called Sharks. The Sharks then decide which business would be feasible and profitable for them to invest in.
The show has been known to elevate and launch many innovative products into the public eye. One such product that featured in season 12 is the Busy Baby Mats, which offers an interesting solution to hold kids’ toys in place. The innovative idea sure made us curious to know more about the company’s growth, and here is what we found out!
Busy Baby Mats: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
Busy Baby Mats are a genius solution to stop babies from dropping their toys on the floor. Conceived by Beth and Eric Fynbo, the mat offers an all-in-one solution for a mother to keep her baby busy as she goes about her everyday routine. Beth Fynbo and her brother Eric grew up together and were deployed to the Middle-East after joining the army. Beth holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Minnesota State University and a master’s degree in Project Management from Colorado Technical University.
Eric, who joined his sister as the VP of operations, holds a degree in secondary education from Minnesota State University and has skills in business management, strategic planning, and inventory control. The idea for Busy Baby Mats came to Beth right after she met her friends for lunch and saw them dealing with the inconveniences of tending to a child. She scoured the internet for a solution but was unable to find one. Therefore, Beth decided to come up with her own, and thus, the Busy Baby Mat was born.
Made out of high-quality, FDA-approved food-grade silicone, the mat suctions securely to clean, smooth surfaces at each corner. It also holds a patented tether system that keeps toys, Sippy cups, etc., germ-free and within the baby’s reach. The mat encourages the baby to feed on its own as the silicon surface makes it easy for the child to pick up food. It also promotes motor skills in babies as they enjoy threading the tether through the hole in the mat.
The mats can be used on any flat surface or wrapped around a shopping cart and infant carrier handles. Costing $24.99, the mat is dishwasher safe and can also be stuck to vertical surfaces or neatly rolled up to store in bags or purses. Targeted towards mothers with an infant, it was originally developed as a product for use in restaurants, but the popularity of the mat shows them being used everywhere as of the present.
Busy Baby Mats: Where Are They Now?
The Busy Baby Mat was first created in 2017 using household products. Before selling her product, Beth went through a 12-week Bunker Labs entrepreneurship course for veterans. She also attended toy fairs and got advice from other entrepreneurs. The mat started selling through her own website in 2019, and by 2020 Beth saw a 200% growth in her company.
The Busy Baby Mat has won numerous prizes, including the top veteran-led company from the Carlson Family Foundation at the MN Cup in 2019, the top general division company, and another prize from the Carlson Family Foundation for the best women-led company. She also won $5000 from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation for being the best startup from southern Minnesota. The mat was recognized in the Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence and was featured on ABC 6 News. Forbes Magazine included Busy Baby Mat in their “Best Gifts for Babies and Toddlers.”
They can be purchased online through their own website and on Amazon. Wholesale buyers can find them on Faire. As of now, the mats come in white, Busy Baby branded, poly mailing envelopes, but according to the website, retail packaged mats will be available from April 2021. Riding on the success of the Busy Baby Mats, Beth and Eric launched more products like the Busy Baby Teething spoon, Brilli Baby Cup Catcher, Infant toothbrush, and an assortment of toys. These can also be bought through the Busy Baby website. Going by the reviews, the Busy Baby line of products has been a godsend for new mothers globally.
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