Busy Baby Mat
How a Mom Launched a $15M Baby Brand in Under a Year
"If you are further along in the journey, figure out the next best step from where you are, and JUST KEEP GOING!"
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Beth Fynbo, the inventor of the Busy Baby Mat, Founder, CEO, and President of Busy Baby LLC.
What is Busy Baby Mat?
Busy Baby is a line of silicone baby products designed to make life a little easier with a Busy Baby.
Our hero product is the Busy Baby Mat, a patented suction placemat with a tether system that allows you to attach baby’s favorite toys so they don’t constantly drop or throw them on the ground. It’s great for high chairs, restaurant tables and so much more.
We also created a 2-in-1 Teether and Training Spoon. It’s the perfect teether for babies and can be used in combination with the Busy Baby mats to help babies develop self-feeding skills, without all the mess of the constantly dropped spoon. We also have Bungee products designed to keep toys and bottles or sippy cups off the ground wherever you go! They can be looped around car seat or stroller handles or attached to the mats.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
As the daughter of an entrepreneur, I always knew I wanted to have my own business someday. I didn’t know what that business would be right away, so after high school I joined the US Army. I spent 10 years traveling the country and the world. I spent the next ten years going to school and working in a corporate job. Finally at the age of 40, I met my perfect match, and we started a family.
A couple of girlfriends took me out to lunch shortly after my first son was born. They brought their 1-year-old daughters who were adorable, but a complete distraction. They were reaching for everything on the table or taking the toys their moms had brought for them and throwing them on the ground.
I immediately went online to find something to buy for my son so he wouldn’t be that distraction when he was old enough to join us at the table. I couldn’t find anything that would provide a clean surface for his food AND keep his toys off the ground. The next day an idea came to my head!
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
I started by buying different things and cutting and gluing them together to make my first prototypes. I don’t have any experience in designing or prototyping, so I hit a wall quickly when it came to development. I decided to go to an industry event to see what I could learn. Through that event, I was connected to professional product developers.
Fortunately for me, they also had a sister company that helped with sourcing and manufacturing. It took just under a year to get my idea into the hands of paying customers!
Describe the process of launching the business.
I took some entrepreneurship courses through Bunker Labs, an organization that helps veterans and their families start businesses. I found local resources that could help with funding and education as well. I started by creating a website where I could sell my products directly to consumers. I also set up a booth at every customer-facing event or expo that I could. I would demonstrate the product over and over again and sell them right on the spot!
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Consistency in marketing and social posting. Even though I was featured on Shark Tank, a national television show, most people have never heard of Busy Baby. When we post content consistently, send out emails to our customers, and run ads directed to people with babies, we keep our brand in front of the people who are interested in it.
What's the reason customers pick Busy Baby Mat over your competitors?
No other products are as versatile as ours. There are products that hold toys or pacifiers and there are a ton of placemats, but nothing that does both jobs at once! We are also a family-run business with mom-invented products. We focus on functionality and safety, not the bottom line!
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Our business is getting more complex and continuing to grow. We are launching a whole new line of products for toddlers later this year, growing into our own facility (instead of working off of my property like we have for the past 4 years), and getting into retail stores!
Since starting the business, what's the number 1 thing you have learned?
It never gets any easier! I always think that once I learn or master a new challenge in front of me, another bigger one pops up. As we continue to grow, we must continue to learn. We also know that we have to hire professionals to do the important work that we either don’t like or don’t have the skillsets to perform. You can’t learn everything.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use Shopify for our website, Klaviyo for email marketing, Triple Whale for marketing analytics, Faire.com and Shopify Handshake for B2C business, and multiple agencies who manage our advertising and Amazon platforms.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
A fantastic book for a new entrepreneur is Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet. It is a step-by-step roadmap for starting a business.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Just take the next best step. If you only have an idea, run that idea by a few strangers who might be potential customers and see if they would pay for that product or service. Is there a market fit for what you are doing? If so, take the next best step and try to make a homemade prototype.
If you are further along in the journey, figure out the next best step from where you are, and JUST KEEP GOING! You can drive all the way from New York to California in the dark without seeing the entire path ahead of you and not knowing the exact route. You will eventually get there if you keep going.
You can get your idea to market in the same way. But, if you don’t take the next best step, you probably won’t get anywhere.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Busy Baby Mat
How Much Is a Busy Baby Mat Worth?
How Do You Use Busy Baby Mat?
Suction the mat to any smooth, clean surface and use the tethers to attach the baby's favorite toys so they don't fall to the ground.
How Do You Clean a Busy Baby Mat?
The Busy Baby Mats are dishwasher safe or can be washed in the sink with soap and water. We recommend boiling the mats in water with white vinegar once a month to remove any soap buildup.
How Long Does Busy Baby Mat Take to Ship and Deliver?
Busy Baby ships all orders within 24 hours from their warehouse in Minnesota! Since Minnesota is a pretty central location in the United States, most orders are received in 2-3 days.
Where Is Busy Baby Mat Store Located?
Busy Baby is located in Oronoco, Minnesota. Our products can also be found in small, independent retail stores around the US.
Busy Baby Mat - Customer Reviews
Busy Baby Mat has a rating of 4.9 out of 5.0 based on 2534 customer reviews.
We LOVE our busy baby mat! It saves us from picking up and cleaning 10,987 toys every meal! It is a game changer. We loved it so much we’ve bought multiple as gifts for other people. High recommend this to anyone! It has so many uses as well- out to eat, at home, on shopping carts- it’s amazing!
We absolutely love our Busy Baby Mat.
I love that he is unable to throw everything onto the floor! I wish that this would have been around with our other 4 kiddos!
We (and our almost 1 year old) LOVE the Busy Baby Mat! I We attach sippy cups, toys, & utensils and don't have to worry about picking them up off the floor. Our daughter also likes to just chew on the tethers so they are like a toy in themselves! She can't pick it up and throw it on the floor and she often eats her meals right off the mat. Easy to travel with, fits nicely in the diaper bag, and easy to clean - LOVE IT!
What a great idea!! I feel like I've leveled up as a parent! Baby can no longer throw items off the high chair, since we started using the Busy Baby Mat, which is a huge improvement for us. Definitely recommend for all parents.
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