Running errands are not usually a fun time for children. They can get bored easily and that can lead to less than desirable behavior to include tantrums. Moms certainly don’t like to have to deal with tantrums, especially in public when they are trying to get their errands accomplished.
When children are audibly, visually and mentally stimulated, they focus on what is stimulating them. If moms can keep their children occupied in this manner, running errands will tend to go much smoother for all involved. How is a mom to keep her child(ren) happy while running errands? The answer is My Ami developed be Bea.
Bea, tell us about yourself.
I am a 40 year old mom of three boys, a wife to a wonderful husband and a sibling to 3 brothers and a sister. I was born to Mexican immigrant parents in East Los Angeles, with very humble beginnings and I am proud to be first generation American. I currently dedicate my life to raising my three boys. A responsibility that I don’t take lightly, is determining what needs to be accomplished and the lessons that our children need to learn on a daily basis, in order to make them positive contributors to society, who are also responsible citizens, and loving members of our family. Now on a much lighter side, I have tried not to lose myself while parenting. I enjoy movie watching, reading, crafting, creating, volunteering, eating (that’s my favorite hobby), skating and laughing. I believe that laughter, love and prayer can get you through everything. All of which I do with my family. I ask myself a question every night, “Is this world or anyone in it better because I was here today?”. If the answer Yes, then I had a great day.
Tell us about your business.
My Ami is a property of Ami Entertainment Solutions LLC. It is currently a one (wo)man operation with the help and support of my husband. We officially launched the My Ami at ToyFair 2010 last February in New York City and are successfully selling through our website, and word of mouth. In addition, we have an opinionated family to bounce thoughts and ideas off of and much appreciated support from a technically savvy friend and his wife, a mommy who runs her business from home too. We also have a great graphics guy who is there whenever we call upon him.
My Ami, was conceived a couple years back while in the grocery store with my three boys. Because I am a stay at home mom, the children are often with me while running errands. I provided my children with my iPod Touch because I understand that children need to be mentally, visually and audibly stimulated, particularly when in an environment that is not geared towards children. The iPod Touch works great in these situations but I found myself worried when I gave it to the boys to watch knowing that my $300.00 iPod Touch could end up broken on the floor. As you can imagine this was quite stressful. One day I came home determined on figuring out a way to keep my children entertained while running errands and at the same time protect my iPod Touch. I took apart a couple of matching teddy bears and took a sewing needle to them. A short while later, I was in my husband’s office showing off what was unknowingly, at the time, the initial prototype for the My Ami available today. I originally created this for my children to use and for my own peace of mind. The boys loved it! They wanted to take it everywhere. We took it shopping, out to dinner, to sports events, to our eldest son’s baseball and swimming practices and for rides in the car. It went everywhere. An amazing thing occurred, the time spent out with the boys increased tremendously. When the boys showed signs of getting bored and fussy we simply gave them the bear holding the iPod Touch to keep them occupied and entertained, all while the bear provided a secure place for the iPod Touch. The boys were able to watch shows or use the apps that we had downloaded for them for a longer period of time because now there wasn’t a need to hold the device.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge has been the lack of domestic manufacturing resources that are able to provide a product at a price that is reasonable for a small company trying to get off their feet. Our plastics are manufactured and assembled in the U.S. The box was also designed and manufactured in the U.S. Fulfillment takes place in the U.S. but what we could not get was a plush teddy bear. Being that there are only a few plush manufacturers in the U.S., our resources were limited and without an extraordinarily large order (I mean huge!) they wouldn’t even take my calls. I did find one manufacturer that was willing to listen and make a prototype but when it came down to negotiating a price there were no signs of flexibility. Unfortunately, we could not afford a bear made in the U.S. This was a great disappointment for us. We were left no other option but to go abroad. This came with a set of challenges all of their own. Communicating with a language barrier is really difficult. The time difference made for some sleepless nights. Have you ever thought about how many shades of brown are available in plush? Pictures, through e-mail, do not show you the actual color and the texture of the textile. Because of international shipping there are additional taxes, custom fees, etc. Shipping did provide two options though, via air freight which is expensive and by sea which is incredibly slow. And we experienced that a few times over until we received what we ordered. That has been and still is our biggest challenge.
What has come the easiest for you?
The solution to the problem was the easiest part. Everyday moms come across a problem, situation or inconvenience and say to themselves ” If someone would come up with something to ________, it would make my life so much easier.” This happens all the time. In my opinion, I think that along with our maternal instinct, common sense is heightened and problem solving skills are strengthened, when we become moms. Thus, allowing us to come up with creative solutions to our inconveniences. Many mommy ideas and products out there are channeled through common sense but are rooted in problem solving.