Ever wonder where those amazing "Seen on TV" products come from? Lately, it's an idea thought up by mom.
Tanya Lewis is a "mommy inventor."
"Moms make good inventors because moms are very creative, they're very resourceful. When they have children, especially when they're new moms, they realize there are a lot of products out there that just don't work," she explained.
For Tanya, that product was her mop.
"They didn't get down into the grout of my tile floor, they didn't get up against the edges of the wall, where the floor and the wall meet," she said.
So she invented the "Green Glider" mop pad, which is durable, reusable and saves you from having to buy all those disposable pads.
"Microfiber cleans but it doesn't absorb, shammy is so dense that it absorbs, but it doesn't really clean, it just pushes dirt around. So I thought, why don't I put them together."
A year later, she was selling on QVC.
"We went on air and we sold out in eight minutes."
It's certainly a successful invention, but the key question is, is it making money?
"It's profitable, but most of the money needs to go back into the business right now," she says.
That can create a tough balancing act for moms.
"Being an inventor and being a mom is kinda like swimming with one hand behind your back," Tanya explained.
"It's never-ending, I'm either taking care of Zachary or working on Green Glider."
That's where groups like Mompact come in.
"I wanted to get on Amazon, and there is a lady named Kelly on Mompact who is an Amazon superstar, so she gave me the name of her contact at Amazon. She gave me all kinds of tips what to do, what not to do."
The community of online mom inventors helps mothers make sure they get help from the right people. Shelley Straitiff is the Founder and CEO of Mompact.
"I think the biggest pitfalls for the mom inventors is falling for someone who flatters you. So, someone says you've got a great idea, let me help you and then find out that they want to sell you a bunch of services," she said.
Shelley added that there's enough free help out there for moms.
"So what I suggest is instead to find a natural mentor, which is somebody else that's been in the business who isn't charging you and just wants to guide you, and find someone who has a product that's similar to yours."
She argues that there is a common misconception that creating products is a "get rich quick" scheme.
"Unfortunately right now, most of them aren't very profitable," she said.
So how do you turn patents into profits? By getting moms to sell to fellow moms. After all, mothers represent a $2.4 trillion market, and if something as simple as a mop makes their lives easier, they'll buy it.
"Moms create solutions, not just products, they create solutions," Shelley said.
That means that while mom is staying home, her products are going global.
'It's very rewarding," Tanya said.
Rewarding. Profitable. Most importantly, made by mom.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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