Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
As part of our ongoing interview series, we spoke with two moms who came up with an absolutely life-changing product for parents of little ones. Mahnaz and Brenda of Baby Change-N-Go created a portable changing station that gives parents and caretakers a safe, clean space to change their little ones. Brenda and Mahnaz are moms two four-year-old twin boys, going from careers as a VP Controller at a large financial institution and a therapist respectively, to self-proclaimed Momprenuers at a start up company. We are thrilled to have the chance to talk with them!
MCA: We absolutely love the term Momprenuer! So tell us, what led you and Mahnaz to create Baby Change-N-Go?
Brenda and Mahnaz: As moms, we ran in to too many situations were there either weren’t changing stations available or there were some but they were either filthy or in disrepair. The diaper pad that came in our diaper bag required that it had to be laid somewhere, then rolled up and put back in our diaperbag/backpack/stroller. We found that disgusting. We tried to find something via the internet that fit our needs and couldn’t, so we ended making a product that did.
MCA: We know the struggle, too. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with public changing areas?
Brenda and Mahnaz: They do exist, mostly in women’s restrooms. Men’s restrooms, more often than not, don’t have a changing station. There has been testing done on public changing stations to find out how clean they are. A study in 2011 tested 100 changing stations and 92 out of 100 tested positive for cocaine residue in addition to feces, rotavirus, norovirus and other bacteria and viruses. The program called The Doctors also tested some in the LA area and found them to have feces and Staphylococcus (staph) on them.
MCA: We are completely shocked and grossed out, as I imagine you were to discover these studies. In the past few years, this issue has gained popularity, with celebrity Ashton Kutcher calling on companies to change their policies. Talk to us a little more about this.
Brenda and Mahnaz: In March 2015 Ashton Kutcher posted on social media that he was tired of men’s rooms not having changing stations. He even called on Costco and Target to be the leaders in making the change that needed to be made. We saw his call to action and that is what prompted us to get busy with the idea of a changing station we had drawn on the back of an envelope 6 months earlier.
MCA: In a lot of ways, this is a groundbreaking product for Dads. What kind of feedback have you received from Fathers?
Brenda and Mahnaz: Dads have gone without changing stations for many years. They’ve always had to find an alternative solution if they were out and about on their own with their child or they’ve had to hand the baby over to Mom to go change them. Baby Change-N-Go gives Dads the opportunity to continue to be mobile and have a sanitary place to change their child’s diaper. We have had MANY dads tell us how grateful they are that we created this product. We’ve had Dads with older children say, “Where were you 10 years ago? 20 years ago? We’ve also had MANY moms tell us that very thing as well. It’s really helped out both parents with such a basic parenting role.
MCA: We are thrilled to have had the chance to work with your company. What are some other accomplishments Baby Change-N-Go has had?
Brenda and Mahnaz: Well, the first one is that we made it to market! Two moms who knew nothing about creating a start up, creating a product and taking it to market have done it! We did it! It’s such a good feeling. Secondly, we have won six awards for Baby Change-N-Go which we are very proud about. The awards validate us. That we have done something right and that Baby Change-N-Go is accomplishing what we wanted it to. Thirdly, we won a pitch competition focused on exporting our product. That was fun and a challenge! We were one of 5 winners and received a $5,000 grant for it! Fourth, we are negotiating several distribution contracts that will allow us to have our product in other countries such as Mexico, Canada, the UK, Singapore, Australia and many others! Lastly we are getting our product on the market in more mainstream areas! We are on Amazon.com and are working on agreements with at least two big box stores.
MCA: You have certainly been busy! What’s next for Baby Change-N-Go?
Brenda and Mahnaz: We are working with our engineers to make Baby Change-N-Go an even more compact product. We are working with our manufacturer to make a diaper bag backpack that will have a designated outside pocket for our product. Also, we are adding a Heather Gray fabric to our collection and will be discontinuing our blue and pink fabric. Finally, distribution agreements for multiple countries are being finalized and we will be in more big box stores. We might even have another idea or two on the way. Stay tuned!
Thanks to Brenda and Mahnaz for taking the time to chat with us! You can visit the Baby Change-N-Go website here.