A mother took the saying, 'Necessity is the mother of invention' to heart when she invented a product to make grocery shopping with children a less frazzling experience.
Grocery shopping with little ones is a balancing act -- look away and you risk a checkout surprise as small hands do a little shopping of their own, 10TV's Andrea Cambern reported.
Laura Hamrick said she reached her limit a few years ago while shopping with her three sons.
"I'm feeding him one Cheerio at a time, carrying my grocery list, my coupons, trying to contain the other two little guys that are running amuck in the store and I thought there has to be an easier way," Hamrick said.
She did a search online, but didn't find a solution, so she decided to invent one. With the help of a sketch and a patent attorney, Hamrick came up with the OnTray, a plastic container that snaps on the handle of the shopping cart.
"It creates a little independence for them and frees our hands up to shop," Hamrick said.
She used her savings and credit card to fund the $75,000 start-up cost.
Cena Pedro is one of 40,000 parents in two years who have purchased one.
"I love it," Pedro said. "Every time I bring my kids to the store it makes it so much easier to shop because it keeps them entertained while I'm shopping."
Hamrick's invention is breaking even, but as more retailers take an interest her OnTray is on track to double sales this year. It is a far cry from her first business of making teddy bear ornaments.
"When I was a little kid I ran a business out of my parents' house, and I just always knew that maybe there was something more that I was going to do," Hamrick said.
The OnTray is sold online, in stores and in three other countries.
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