A Start-Up Story: Inventing the CozyWoggle

* Sponsored post and giveaway.

Have you ever seen a problem and wished there was a product invented to help? Perhaps you even thought of the invention, but never took the time to pursue turning your idea into reality. Well, former teacher and mother to two Cherlyn Jenkins has done exactly that. She has turned her vision into an amazing product that could save lives.

Cheryln, of Alexandria, Va., invented the CozyWoggle, which is an innovative new coat that is significantly safer in car seats. The coat is made from heavy-duty wind/water-resistant polyester and is lined with fleece. The difference between the CozyWoggle and other coats is that it has zippers along both sides, which allows a parent to strap the car seat seatbelts underneath the coat. It is a simple, but amazing idea that is keeping children safe.

Crash tests have demonstrated that wearing the CozyWoggle while riding in a car seat is safer than wearing a traditional coat. In fact, the CozyWoggle was proven to be as safe as riding in a car seat without any coat at all.

Here is a video that shows how to use the CozyWoggle:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children between ages 2-14. Part of the problem is that young children are often strapped into their car seats while wearing a heavy coat, with the straps loosened for comfort. In the event of an accident, the coat compresses, leaving the harness loose and increasing the child’s risk for ejection from the car seat and/or the possibility of injuries from the loose belts.

“When I learned that young children shouldn’t be placed in car seats while wearing their coats, I had a newborn and a toddler. I needed to find a way to keep my children warm, while also keeping them safe,” said Cheryln. “I couldn’t find any coats or jackets that were proven to be safe in car seats, so I created one myself. The Cozywoggle is a regular coat that keeps kids warm, is easy to use and has been proven, through crash-testing in a lab, to be safer in an accident.”

If you are an aspiring inventor and/or entrepreneur, check out what Cheryln has to say about her venture into this start-up business.

Question: How long did you have this idea before actually taking the leap? How long did it take from just an idea to an actual prototype? I had the idea in Dec 2011/January 2012, I had a prototype made for me to try by the first part of February 2012. That part moved really quickly.

Question: What was your biggest hurdle/struggle to overcome when first starting? Finding manufacturing was my biggest hurdle. It took me about 6 months to figure out how I was going to be able to mass produce them.

Question: What is your best advice to someone thinking of starting a business? Listen to your gut, it tells you a lot. Surround yourself with people who know more than you do. Choose people you get along with and trust to be a part of helping you build your business. Join an entrepreneur group. Be generous with people. What you put out come back a million fold. 🙂

Question: What does the future for your business look like? How do you measure success? My biggest goal is to educate parents about winter coats and car seats. I think car seat safety is so important, but I see so many parents who don’t give it the attention that it needs. I hope to help parents increase their awareness. I hope to see the CozyWoggle in stores and available for all families who have children in car seats. We will also be implementing a coat donation program for children in foster care. I am really looking forward to seeing that happen.

Enter the giveaway below to win one free CozyWoggle coat in any color and size from 12 months to 6 (valued at $64.99). The winner will be announced on the Cozywoggle Facebook page on August 7, 2013.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I received compensation for running this giveaway. The thoughts and words are as always my own.

 

About 

Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.

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Comments

  1. Looks great!

  2. What a great idea!

  3. Looks great!