By Tayler Ladman
In recent years, moms have been in the spotlight for tackling problems facing parents and finding solutions to turn into thriving businesses – they’re otherwise known as “mompreneurs.” But they aren’t alone. Many dads are also going above and beyond turning their bright ideas to improve family life into successful business ventures. With Father’s Day upon us, it’s time to show appreciation and gratitude for all the things dads do. From teaching us lessons, to giving advice, to always being there, dads do a lot for their families, both in life and in business.
Jon Sumroy is one such dad. As a father of four, Sumroy found it difficult to travel with his kids and their booster seats. The seats were bulky and heavy, and multiple seats didn’t fit in many transportation vehicles. Often his children were forced to sit without booster seats, risking their safety. Sumroy’s frustration led to the creation of mifold, the most advanced, compact, and portable child car safety seat in the world. Ten times smaller than a regular booster seat, mifold brings the seat belt down to the child, instead of boosting them up, like traditional booster seats. mifold is so small it can even fit into a back pocket! Multiple seats can fit easily in a vehicle, and the ease of use makes it a simple alternative to booster seats. mifold is just as safe as the standard booster seat. Sumroy’s solution defined a need in the parenting community: after putting mifold on Indiegogo to raise funds, the company reached their funding goal in just 2 hours! They have now raised over $1.5 million, and mifold has sold to over 100 countries. www.mifold.com
Edward McCloskey found a whole different kind of parenting dilemma to conquer that resulted in a successful business venture of his own. After struggling to find a way to cure his daughter’s bad diaper rash, McCloskey was shocked by the chemicals traditional baby wipes contained. He wanted something simpler and healthier for his daughter, so he created WaterWipes, the first chemical-free baby wipe. Made with 99.9% water, and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract, a natural skin conditioner, WaterWipes doesn’t irritate the skin, and instead helps avoid diaper rash and other skin conditions. A huge hit in the UK, WaterWipes is now available in major U.S. stores such as Babies “R” Us and Target. www.waterwipes.com
Marc Toland was looking for a faster and more reliable way to alert his family of a home fire. Concerned over the delay and the often unreliable nature of traditional smoke detectors, Toland searched for another option, and when he found it didn’t exist, set out to create one. He founded Sooner Alarms, a company dedicated to making homes safer for families everywhere. His revolutionary invention, the PlugSafe, is a unique device that has a heat sensor as an added layer of security. Able to detect problems at the most frequent source, the electrical outlet, the PlugSafe uses wireless communication to set off the alarm and notify homeowners of the fire before it spreads further. Toland also created a system specifically for detecting fires on Christmas trees, called TreeSafe, which quickly detects when an overly dry tree catches fire from lights. www.sooneralarms.com
Bryan Nooner was similarly concerned about his family’s outlets and plugs. Apprehensive about outdoor light cords and their plugs getting wet, Nooner tried to create a makeshift cover. From this idea the Twist and Seal was born. Made in the USA and available in a variety of sizes, the Twist and Seal durable and patented design provides protection from rain and snow. The unique design has taken the U.S. by storm and is available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and other hardware stores nationwide. twistandseal.com
Robert Lupton founded Life Saver Pool Fence in 1987. Troubled by the number of child drownings and the lack of pool fences, Lupton set out to make pools safer. Now run by his son Eric, Life Saver Pool Fence is the number one pool fence company in the world. The company is dedicated to keeping families safe and uses only the strongest and most durable materials. Plus, every time a fence is bought, another pool fence is provided for free to the family of a drowning or near-drowning victim. www.poolfence.com
Avi Lele had another kind of security in mind for his family: Financial security. Wanting to give his kids, nieces and nephews stock in their favorite brands, Lele found it was an expensive and difficult hassle. His frustration turned into inspiration and he recently launched Stockpile, the first-ever gift card for stock. As simple as traditional gift cards, consumers can easily pick up Stockpile cards at local grocery and retail stores. The gift cards are available in a variety of denominations that make it easy and affordable to buy stock for anyone. Stockpile has made a long-lasting financial solution more easily accessible, and Lele has created a unique way to get kids interested in and learning about the stock market. www.stockpile.com
All six dads wanted something better for their children and families, and came up with brilliant ideas. Each father turned an idea into reality, and their reality into booming businesses. Equally important, these fathers are finding a better way to juggle work and personal life. Owning their own business is helping them to be more present in family time and experience kids’ important milestones. Not only have their ideas changed their own family’s lives, they have impacted thousands of other lives for the better as well… a major feat worth recognizing this Father’s Day.