Who says that having children should hold you back from still being innovative and following your business dreams?! Well, being held back was never the case for either Lisa Caruso and Krista Teare, two moms from Canada who started as best friends and then turned into popular “mompreneurs” with the release of their product, DECCO the Toddler Monitor (www.toddlermonitor.com)!
Their product (a first of its kind), that is now on sale here in New York, helps detect & monitor the movements of children within your household by hanging off the door. You can use it as you transition your children from a crib to a bed, while traveling or to monitor your kids who leave their rooms in the night.
The product was highly successful via crowd-funding, with parents worldwide wanting one, and so The Levity Ball just had to sit down with the two moms, business women and best friends to learn more about their journey into becoming “mompreneurs”…
1. To start off: Tell us how is it creating a new product and working alongside your best friend?
We do almost everything together already, from raising our families to vacationing, and now starting a business. In short, it is amazing. We have worked together for a number of years, but never this closely. We have been really lucky that we have very different skill sets and interests which makes it easier to divide and conquer.
2. You each worked for other companies/people before… What about being “mompreneurs” and out on “your own” do you love the most?
Being the ultimate decision maker is a great feeling – you live and die by the decisions you make. The experiences are also so exciting and new for us, from choosing packaging and marketing, traveling overseas to see our production facilities and being interviewed and featured on TV and in articles makes what we are doing real. In May we had a feature on Mashable that was viewed over 3.8 Million times on Facebook with tens of thousands of shares. From an idea that we had at our kitchen counter to reaching that many people before we have even launched is totally amazing!
3. How did the idea to create the Toddler Monitor come to be?
We first talked about it when we were traveling on vacation; we thought it would be great to have something that alerted you if a child left a room. Shortly after we discussed this, Krista’s son Declan went out the dog door in their home into their yard in the night. She found him in bed with the garden sprinkler in the morning and realized what had happened; he was only 2 years old at the time. Krista had been using a top of the line baby video monitor, but it did not sense the motion of him leaving the room. From further market research we found this was a gap in the child safety space and that lots of parents were looking for help in this area beyond door locks and expensive home security systems so we created it ourselves! DECCO the Toddler Monitor is a motion detector that hangs on the door, pairs with your phones and alerts you if the door moves. It’s simple to use, takes less than 5 minutes to set up and can travel with you. You can use it as you transition from a crib to a bed, while traveling or to monitor children who leave their rooms in the night. Just another option for parents!
3. Being full-time moms, which takes up countless hours daily, was it difficult to finally get everything to the point where its now ready to be launched across North America?
Yes totally. We have lots of support, but have been working full-time, raising our families and starting our business. Let’s just say that it takes a village and we didn’t do it alone. So many people in our lives have given us their time and support to help make this happen. Sleep will come later in life…
4. Why do you feel people need your product?
Wandering and night waking can be a challenge for children and there is lots of stories about kids getting out of their rooms and homes at night. We know as parents that your time to rest and relax is limited and worrying about your kids can really make that time less enjoyable. We want parents to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their child is where they expect them to be; Safe and asleep in their bed! Some parents use locks on the door to solve this problem, but we wanted to be able to manage this in another way and give parents another option
5. For those here in New York, they can get your product at Macy’s Herald Square. Being Canadians, how important was it that you also launch in the United States at the same time as your own country?
We are Canadian, but we see the United States has been a major focus for us – and being available at the b8ta in Macy’s Herald Square is a dream come true for us.
6. What has the consumer feedback been so far upon launching the product? We are guessing your kids were the first to test it out?!
We are just wrapping up testing with our supporters from Indiegogo and Kickstarter who helped us make this possible and are now helping us refine the apps so they are as close to perfect as possible. Our official launch is at the beginning of December. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents love the peace of mind and the ease of use and kids love DECCO because he is so cute. We have been using DECCO the Toddler Monitor in our own homes for months, in various stages of prototyping and our kids love him too. Cooper likes to leave his room and knows that DECCO will let Lisa know – they incorporate him as part of his bedtime routine and he names him every night. Krista’s son Declan has developed a fear of dinosaurs at night and DECCO helps him by keeping the Dinos at bay. We never expected that but DECCO hasn’t only alerted us that our kids are leaving their room, but has also helped keep them there and made them feel more safe and comfortable. We also hear a lot from parents of children with special needs such as autism and down syndrome where wandering can be a pervasive issue. Many have been looking for a product like this for years and are excited to finally have something to help their families.
7. What is your advice to other moms out there that are at home right now and thinking up of a product to launch of their own?
-Take the leap and then take it one step at a time.
-Be resourceful and use your network. We met so many people through friends, family and colleagues who have provided little bits of information that have
-Be relentless. There will be times when you want to quit – DON’T! Ideas are a dime a dozen…executing on your idea day in and day out is the real challenge.
-Leverage all of the funding that is out there for women in business.
8. When you do finally get some downtime, what do you both enjoy doing?
Drinking wine and sleeping… in that order!
9. And final question: What would you like the Toddler Monitor to be remembered for in years down the road when people look back at it?
We want Toddler Monitor to be a brand that is associated with the simple application of technology to help give parents peace of mind and keep kids safe. We want to be leaders in this space and believe we are well on our way…