The moment occurs in the world of Mom-dom over and over. You may be in your kitchen, the backyard or in the car, supermarket or local toy store, and, most likely, you feel frustrated. “Why hasn’t anyone invented this (fill in the blank with your perfect solution) before?” If only you had the time, money, patience and tools to turn your brilliant idea into a reality. Thankfully, one Mom’s book coaches other quick-thinking moms how to do something about their ideas. Simply titled The Mom Inventors Handbook, this new how-to guide by Tamara Monosoff provides step-by-step advice for moms who want to turn their great idea into the next big invention in the childcare industry. As a veteran Mom inventor, Monosoff has experienced the many ups and downs of creating a product and placing it in the marketplace. The Handbook is a glorified journal that gives detailed advice on a process that can be exhausting but eventually extremely rewarding.
“This was a book I wanted for myself,” Monosoff admits. “I searched and searched, and nothing was out there that broke down the process and told me exactly what to do. I share my mistakes and ‘A ha!’ moments so that other mothers can really do this successfully.”
The Handbook hit store shelves last September, and e-mails from grateful moms have been flooding Monosoff’s inbox ever since. Stay-at-home moms, corporate moms, new moms, veteran moms and former professionals who now spend their days at home are gushing about the detailed and honest process laid out in the book’s ten chapters.
“I learned more in one evening with Ms. Monosoff’s book than I had in a whole year of researching on my own,” Jodi Blondon writes on the Mom Inventors Web site. “I think you actually wrote this book FOR ME!” exclaims another Mom, Ginger Hoffman, in an e-mail to Monosoff.
Soledad O’Brien, anchor of CNN’s American Morning, provides encouraging words to Mom inventor-hopefuls in the Forward, and Julie Aigner-Clark, founder of the enormously successful Baby Einstein Company, admits in the Prologue that she would have devoured the Handbook had it been published when she was beginning her entrepreneurial work.
Monosoff creates a casual environment with her readers within the first pages of her introduction as she tells the story of designing and marketing her first product, the TP Saver, and she provides insight into creating this roadmap for other moms. Adopting the right mindset is among her first pieces of advice, and she encourages women to think positively, have confidence in their abilities and prepare to take risks. The next steps include committing the idea to paper, creating an evolving business plan (that can be simple and brief!) and research, research and more research. With technology at their fingertips in the home, moms now have access to the same information as any executive. Monosoff provides tips for avoiding scam artists and preparing for future financial burdens.
In addition to the top-selling Handbook, Monosoff and her company develop ideas, manufacture and distribute Mom-invented products through her company’s Web site. A self-proclaimed entrepreneur since her childhood, Monosoff has always been a dreamer and creative thinker. She came up with her first product, the TP Saver, to keep her toddler from clogging the toilet with unused paper. Eleven months later, the product was launched, and Monosoff has since created and marketed countless other products. Her company also offers conference call seminars that teach moms important information over the phone. Lindy Bartell of Tacoma, WA, took three over-the-phone, Saturday morning seminars on licensing, selling, retailers and prototyping.
“I used to be in marketing, so while I love staying at home with the kids I needed something for my mind to work on and an outlet for creativity,” she says. “I thought of my idea, the Piggy Platter Placemat, because my son was making such a mess eating his oatmeal on my wood table. My husband and I thought that it was the perfect idea to market. The Mom Inventor’s phone seminars helped me get practical knowledge or know-how to began working on a business plan.”
Bartell and her husband have faith in their products and newly founded company, Smarty Parents, and they look forward to a time when they will be financially rewarded by their business. Monosoff encourages women to look at their invention as not only a way to help other moms, but also as an opportunity to earn profit for their families.
“I don’t want women to be ashamed of wanting to have more life choices with the help of money,” Monosoff says. “Money allows you to restructure your life, so women should say ‘Yes, (my invention) is helpful, but I also want it to make money!’”
Fellow Mom inventor and former PR consultant Missy Cohen-Fyffe met Monosoff at a trade show and was later featured with her product, The Clean Shopper, in the Handbook. Cohen-Fyffe wanted to keep her young son from chewing on the metal shopping carts while she was grocery shopping, so she had a friend make her a cloth covering. Requests by other moms made her realize that she could just make and sell them herself. Six years later, she put a plan into action and now she owns a successful line of products with her company, Baby Ease, LLC.
“Tamara offers so many different ways to go about the process in her book, and I wish I could have had it as a resource when I started this,” she says. This sentiment is shared by many Mom inventors who had to scour their local libraries and bookstores for useful information. Now moms can thank Monosoff for doing the hard work for them, and the Mom Inventor guru feels honored to influence a future generation of Mom inventors.
As she writes in the Handbook and on her Web site, “Take the chances necessary to achieve your dreams. My mother always told me: ‘Leap and the net will appear.’ I invite you to take that leap.”