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Simply Necessary, Incorporated – A Company Started by a Mom with a Baby for Moms with Babies

Simply Necessary, Incorporated was started because I was a breastfeeding mom that wanted a comfortable way to cradle my baby for an extended period of time. The concept for the GoPillow! began in late 2002 when my daughter was about six months old. That was when the idea for the product was conceived. The original intent of the pillow was for cradling babies for breast or bottle feedings. I started toying around with creating a solution to my problem. Then I was watching a child product segment on a talk show (The View) when they plugged a website and explained that the company bought ideas from parent inventors. I emailed the site and asked for submission requirements and sent in my idea. The owner contacted me that same week. She loved the idea. After finding out that I was a stay-at-home mother trying to replace my previous teaching salary she asked me if I could come up with my own “start up funds”. She then told me how to get the product made and how to market it myself. My mother had some money in savings and she agreed to loan me the money to market the product. She is now co-owner of the company. The Simply Necessary, Incorporated website was officially launched in December of 2005. We are still 100% self-financed.

The idea for adding the privacy blanket to the GoPillow! came at the “most magical place on earth!”. It was added after I was caught in a crowded area during a rainstorm at Disney World in Orlando, FL. My husband had to hide me with his shirt so that I could nurse my daughter. We realized that a privacy blanket or cover would separate our pillow from any other nursing pillow on the market. The built-in blanket turned the pillow into a multi-purpose wonder! The GoPillow! Solved several problems that mothers often run into when away from home with a baby or toddler.

The GoPillow! is a multipurpose baby pillow that can be used for breast or bottle feeding. The pillow can be worn by the user because it is hollow through the middle. It cushions a baby or child’s head while he or she is in the cradled position. There is a built-in blanket that can be used as a cover-up for discreet breastfeeding in public. The same blanket can be used to swaddle a baby while his or her head rests on the pillow. Toddlers can use the GoPillow! as a travel pillow. The blanket is the perfect security blanket for kids. In cases when there is no other alternative, moms can use the GoPillow! and blanket as a changing surface for diaper changes. Adults can even use the GoPillow! for travel.

Currently Simply Necessary, Incorporated has two official employees. Tangela Walker-Craft is the Owner and President. Angela T. Walker is the other owner and Vice President of the company. The company is a mother daughter team. Ernest Craft, III (my husband) is not an official employee but works hard to support the company.

The best advice that I wish I had been given as an entrepreneur is spend advertising dollars wisely. Seek out bloggers and avenues for free advertising before investing in an advertising or PR firm. Use social media as much as possible to spread the word about your company and product. Free samples sent to key people can be just as effective as paying a PR firm to create a buzz about your product and company.

Spending large amounts of money on a PR firm is a big mistake as a start-up. Many PR firms are just vehicles for sending out free product samples. An honestly worded email to a magazine editor or television producer can be just as effective as a PR firm’s pitch. The GoPillow! has been featured on several local television stations. It was included on a segment of the Montel Williams Show and has been featured in Pregnancy Magazine, in Inventor’s Digest, on the About.com website, and numerous other magazines and websites because of the appeal of the product and the story behind it.

I have stayed true to why I started my company in the first place, moms and babies. My focus has been on creating a product that I would love and use with my own child. That has not changed. I have had to learn to pitch my product quickly and precisely. I know how to summarize who I am, what my product is, and what my company is all about in two minutes or less. You have to engage people immediately or you lose their interest.

Simply Necessary, Incorporated and the GoPillow! need a national audience. When the GoPillow! is seen, especially when it can be demonstrated, it does extremely well. I would not mind working with a bigger company. But I always want to own my own patent. I would also like to keep my product and company names alive. My daughter’s image has to be on the packaging somewhere. I want her to be as famous as the Gerber baby.

Before starting a company do your homework. Know your audience. Know your competition. Most of all don’t take rejection personally. There will be plenty of “no thank you” answers. But the right “yes” is all it takes to get you where you want to be.

Owners/President: Tangela Walker-Craft
Phone: 863-859-2650
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2 Responses to “Simply Necessary, Incorporated – A Company Started by a Mom with a Baby for Moms with Babies”

  1. Estell Cowens says:

    Awesome write-up Chrissy! Thanks for sharing your day.

  2. Very good says:

    Incredible article! Simply Necessary, Incorporated – A Company Started by a Mom with a Baby for Moms with Babies | Business Book: Shoestring Venture – How to Start a Business certainly tends to make my afternoon a bit brighter :D Keep on together with the splendid articles! Thanks, Very good

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