Today we want to give recognition to some of the originals out there.  Baby brand originals we mean. Like any other major industry, the baby industry has its fair share of knock-offs. Knock-offs can come from all different sources – sometimes they come from overseas, sometimes they come from industry giants who swipe and tweak a concept from a smaller brand or shop, and many times – believe it or not – small brands steal ideas from other small brands. While it seems almost impossible to squash this kind of idea theft in most instances, Gugu Guru did want to do our part to give a shout-out to some of our favorite innovators and originals today with the hopes that maybe you’ll consider supporting some of these brands when you shop in the future.

Ezpz is the the original all-in-one placemat + plate founded by Lindsey Laurain, a mom to three “wild and wonderful” boys who served as her inspiration. Lindsey created the ezpz Happy Mat because she was fed up with the messiness and clean-up time dedicated to each meal and needed a solution to make mealtime easier and less messy.

Founder Jamie Yetter breastfed all of her children and spent years searching for the perfect nursing cover-up. In 2012 (after the birth of her third daughter), she set out to come up with a solution. Covered Goods is the industry’s first four-in-one nursing cover—it can also be used as a car seat cover, shopping cart cover, or scarf.

The idea for Chewbeads began in 2009 shortly after the birth of founder Lisa Greenwald’s son. Like most babies, he loved to put everything in his mouth and necklaces were a favorite. Like most moms, Lisa didn’t feel comfortable letting him chew on them, with concern that they might break or have unwanted chemicals. As a veteran of the fashion industry, Lisa set out to create soft, non-toxic baby teether jewelry, which was colorful, chic and, above all else safe. Hence, Chewbeads!

Founder Jessica Rakos came up with the design of Bellifly during her pregnancy with her middle baby. Like so many moms-to-be, she found sleeping on her side to be uncomfortable once her belly started getting big enough to pull on her spine. Belly wedges just weren’t cutting it and traditional maternity pillows didn’t give her the belly support she was looking for… plus, she didn’t want to spend a fortune! Using her limited sewing skills, she constructed a version of a “perfect” pillow and Bellifly was born.

Amy Maurer Creel founded Smart Mom after her sister-in-law died suddenly of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. Smart Mom LLC is a truly unique company staffed entirely by Moms. A safe alternative for fashion-loving moms available exclusively at buybuy BABY, Teething Bling by Smart Mom combines the functionality of a superior teether with accessory-fun style. The chic, 2″ x 2″ doughnut-shaped pendant is made of food-safe silicone.

Anyone who knows Gugu Guru, knows that we just LOVE the Fridababy Snot Snucker. Fridababy was founded by mompreneur extraordinaire, Chelsea Hirschhorn. When it comes to the innovation, design and development behind the brand’s line, Chelsea says she can tie each of Fridababy’s products to a very specific pain point that she has personally experienced navigating parenthood over the past years.

On a family vacation, founder Carla Schneider was desperate to soothe her newborn son, who would fuss whenever his pacifier went missing. In an aha moment, she took a hotel sewing kit and a plush toy and created what is now, 18 years later, an extremely successful invention called The WubbaNub.

Amy and Julie are the two ‘mumtrepreneurs’ who started Cheeky Chompers while on maternity leave with their first children. The Neckerchew was born after countless dropped, dirty and lost teethers. Not to mention a gaggle of dribbling babies! Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best: if the teether won’t stay put, why not attach it to the baby?

Why do we encourage you to consider supporting the originals when possible?
Well, for one, in our industry many of the innovators are moms – a group that we generally like to support and lift up, seeing that Gugu Guru is also mom-founded.

Another big and arguably more important reason is safety – especially when it comes to poorly manufactured knock-offs. Our resident safety expert, Alison Jacobson AKA Safety Mom strongly suggests you don’t opt for a knock off just because of the price. “We all know how expensive it can be “gearing up” for a baby and, while it’s not necessary to purchase high-end items, it’s critical that you purchase items that meet the safety standards developed by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Now more than ever moms are shopping online and it’s tempting to shop the deals – but make sure you’re buying from a company that adheres to all U.S. testing requirements. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association is a great site to determine if a company is meeting all safety standards. Saving a few dollars is not worth the risk of your baby’s safety.”

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