Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Edison Moment: PaigeyKakes Padded Play Tiles

Last July, I had a great idea. A great idea that grew out of necessity - like all the best inventions. I was pretty much like Edison inventing the lightbulb... Mama Edison : ) Ok - that's an exaggeration. But I still think it's a good idea that mamas will appreciate and see value in. Here's the story...

As I watched Miss Paige - who was 6 months old at the time - trying to sit up, balance herself for a moment, then topple over without the ability to brace herself, I became a hot mess of a mama. Visions of her slamming her head onto the hardwood and tile floors around my home kept me up at night. For the first few weeks of this new phase, I would sit behind her so I could catch her when she started to tip over. But I realized that wasn't a realistic approach, so then I put down those rubber interlocking tiles they have in gyms and garages. Garage-chic wasn't really the look I was going for in my home, but for the sake of Paige's safety, I put them out anyway. Well - I soon realized they were great for absorbing the shock of a fall, but ultimately they were still a hard surface and didn't help with the pain-factor of Paige's falls. She needed a softer landing. So I took the next logical step - I covered the rubber mats with pillows and blankets. Problem solved! Well... not really. Becasue the moment I witnessed Paige fall back and land in between two smushy pillows with no ability to get herself free, my heart skipped a beat. What if I hadn't been right there when that happened to lift her out of the pillows that were smothering her? So obviously, a layer of loose pillows and blankets - while providing a soft surface to fall on - was not going to work.

And that's when I came up with my idea - PaigeyKakes Padded Play Tiles: Padded, interlocking floor tiles that create a safe and soft place for infants to play and explore. Each 2' x 2' tile consists of an interlocking rubber foam base, layered with one-inch thick batting, then covered in waterproof, stain-resistant fabric.

Each PaigeyKakes tile is made by hand (by me) - layering a soft, pillow-like surface to cushion falls over a rubber foam base to absorb high-impact shocks. Designer fabrics complete the PaigeyKakes tile, not only offering a stylish look, but also providing waterproof, stain-resistant protection. Interlocking edges allow for custom shapes and sizes.

Soooooo... what do you all think? I've been working on this project for a year now (in all my spare time : )  ), creating and recreating prototypes, building a website - - and pitching the product to manufacturers. I had a few exciting leads, but nothing really panned out. Until now...

PaigeyKakes Padded Play Tiles is a finalist in a contest for mom inventors!! WOO HOO! I think winning this contest will put me in a position to move forward with my concept, and finally bring it to fruition beyond my famly and close friends that know about it. But I need your help... (Mama now getting on her knees and begging for your support : )  ) I need you to vote for PaigeyKakes Padded Play Tiles to win the contest. Here's how and where:

Mommy MD Guide Online - Mother of All Ideas Contest
  1. Scroll through the Finalist Descriptions (PaigeyKakes is listed third to last)
  2. Then fill out the easy-peezy "Cast Your Vote" form with your name and email address, pasting "PaigeyKakes Padded Play Tiles" in the "vote" section and click SUBMIT
  3. Do it again every day from now until September 1 : )  Ok - that's not realistic... But maybe every time you read a SLM post between now and then you can throw a vote my way.
And beyond voting, I'd love your feedback on my product. I have a ton more info about it (with pictures of a chunky monkey Miss Paige sitting on the tiles last year) on the website -

Thanks for all your support!!!!

Erica (aka Sweet Leigh Mama)