About a year ago, I left my comfy corporate job to start my own home safety company called Proofed.
Why did I do this?
It all starts with this little guy. That’s my son, he’s 2 years old (he was 7 months in that picture) and he really, really, REALLY likes garbage trucks. I’m a little biased, but I think he’s awesome and I would do anything to make sure he has an amazing, safe and healthy childhood. When he started scooting at 7 months old, my little bruiser was pretty active and into EVERYTHING – so baby proofing the house was a total necessity for our family. It turns out we’re not alone, 95% of parents baby proof and for good reason, infants don’t have the ability to know “safe” from… “holy, moly that’s not a good idea”!
In our family’s journey of childproofing the house, there were two main influences that led me to the point where I quit my job and put it all on the line to start my own company:
1) I’m a product geek and the baby proofing products available are super disappointing. Most of my career has been in the kid product industry – think Hot Wheels, LeapPads and the like. My LOVE of products covers my professional life as well as my personal life, so having my son was an excellent excuse to go crazy getting all the gear for my little guy. I’m the weirdo that loved putting together my baby registry. I’m the person who gets an adrenaline rush by finding mommy hacks that make my life easier. Baby proofing was no exception. I bought every single baby safety product on the market. No joke, our home looked like some sort of unfortunate event at a bubble wrap factory. But unlike the other baby gear we had for strollers, car seats, feedings, etc., - baby proofing products were seriously sub-par. They looked flimsy, they broke frequently and they had a ‘70’s Hospital Chic aesthetic which simply didn’t work for me.
I embarked on a serious mission searching for better quality items online and at specialty baby stores. I scoped out the homes of my more experienced parent friends, but it was always the same old plastic things. The situation seemed really counter-intuitive to me. If these products were specifically designed to aid in my baby’s safety, then shouldn’t they be durable and high quality (especially if you have to use them every day for YEARS)?
What’s a product-geek parent to do? Using these items seemed like my only option available. So I just sucked it up and tried to not cringe every sleep deprived morning when I fumbled over the door knob protector and the safety gate latch.
But what started to really make my blood boil was that even with all of this gear and all the countless hours spent researching to buy this gear, my son was still able to out-smart, dismantle or generally destroy many of the items. A central reason to childproof a home is to gain parental peace of mind, right? Knowing my child could out-maneuver these safety devices was Just. Not. Cool. It was like walking on egg shells with my child’s safety. So we started to block off whole rooms in our tiny house as the only sure fire way to prevent my son from getting into trouble. Then it happened…
2) The one-way trip… to the floor. Yep. I tripped over the safety gate with my 8-month old son in my arms. We fell to the ground together and thank goodness no one was hurt. It was in that moment, exactly after we fell, that my son looked at me confused and scared that I thought, “There’s got to be a better way – this is totally unacceptable!”
And so the idea for Proofed was born. I gave two weeks notice at work, put my family’s life savings into the company and raised money from family members to make better baby proofing products for parents everywhere. Now my full-time job is to revolutionize the baby safety space. That may seem like a tall task – where do you even start? Well, it’s easy when your guiding principle is solving a safety issue for someone. All I had to do was perk up my ears and listen.
Over the last year, I’ve gotten incredible feedback from hundreds of parents throughout the country, I’ve conducted countless interviews and I’ve poured through thousands on online product reviews. The feedback is clear: Parents want safer, simpler and more stylish baby proofing options. Each Proofed product is created with those three tenets in mind: safe, simple, stylish.
Why create a blog? Because I want to give parents the resources and info I wish I’d had in my own proofing adventure with my family. Throughout this blog series, I will openly share my own mistakes and fails with the hope that you don’t have to experience the same frustrations. I’m also going to share how I’m building the Proofed product line by using input from experts in child ergonomics and child safety, compliance specialists and practicing pediatricians.
My goal is to make the act of baby proofing an exciting event. Chances are you found this site because you are about to start proofing and are thinking: “$#%@!, where do I start?” Baby proofing is most often seen as this dreadful thing: “What if I install it wrong?”, “What if I buy the wrong product?”, “What if, what if, what if?” I hope that after reading these articles, you are empowered to create something awesome: A safe home environment for your child to learn, explore and grow. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the safety of your child.
So let’s take this journey together. If you have a special topic you want covered please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you have any other feedback PLEASE send it my way. Listening to parents like you is how I created this company and it is a commitment I hold to anyone willing to talk! Shoot me an email and I’ll respond as quickly as possible.