Nine years ago, our first child was born. On that day we experienced overwhelming joy, but that emotion was flipped on its head only a few moments later when my son was rushed to the ICU with respiratory complications. Fortunately, everything was fine and we were able to take him home.
Two years later my wife, Mollie, gave birth to our twin girls. We again felt vulnerable as our girls developed respiratory issues at 4 months old. To ensure they were OK, doctors told us to monitor them every 45 minutes. We thought, “Well what happens between minutes 1 and 44?” This was both baffling and frustrating.
After many restless nights, my wife began searching everywhere for an affordable home oxygen monitor but couldn’t find one. From that point forward, Mollie was determined that we could come up with a solution ourselves.
Because I had a career background in developing sports products, I had some entrepreneurial experience, but Mollie was definitely the fire behind our subsequent invention, the Baby Vida Smart Monitor. She found engineers who could develop what she wanted – a wireless, portable yet affordable monitor that fits on a baby’s foot to measure oxygen levels and heart rate in real time. Also important to us was that the product could be made in the United States. Eventually we landed with S and Y Industries, a woman-owned manufacturer out of Kansas. Overall, it took about 5 years to make our idea a reality.
Our next challenge was putting the product out for sale. We immediately knew one place we wanted to go: Walmart. They are in every nook and cranny in the country and we knew that they would keep the price accessible. After some searching, I decided to contact Walmart’s buyer for baby products directly. Once she agreed on a meeting, we piled our four kids and a babysitter into our minivan and headed to Bentonville, Arkansas, with our fingers crossed.
The scene that we walked into in the corporate office was a flurry of people. Our nerves were soon calmed when we met with our buyer, a mom herself. She understood exactly where we were coming from and the need for this product. After some discussion, we were able to strike a deal.
Walmart taking a chance on our product has opened up a world of opportunity not just for us, but also for S and Y Industries who is now supplying the demand. We’re now working on our mission to develop an entire smart nursery under the Baby Vida brand.
Every parent deserves to know that their child is safe, and we’re proud to have offered a way to make that possible.