Interview with SleepingBaby Co-Founder Stephanie Parker

Updated: Jul 17, 2018

(Indie's cozy wearing SleepingBaby's Zipadee-Zip in "We All Scream for Ice Cream"and "Flying Unicorn", cuddling in the super soft "Parker the Princess Snooziemat Sleeping Bag". The children are enjoying reading the book "The Sheperd's Treasure" from The Sheperd's Treasure Book/Doll set.)

Interview with SleepingBaby Co-Founder Stephanie Parker

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how SleepingBaby came about?  “Sleeping Baby all started with no sleep! Our daughter, Charlotte, had slept wonderfully while swaddled until she started rolling and we had to ditch the swaddle for safety reasons. I would have swaddled her until I had to teach her future husband how to swaddle her if I could have because of how well she slept! No such luck though because not only did she start rolling, but she stopped sleeping well in her swaddle. I had to find a solution to save the sanity of our home!  Right around the time when we all stopped sleeping, I was faced with the reality of going back to work for financial reasons. Like many moms out there, I searched for any possible way to afford to stay at home with our little girl. My sweet husband even offered to get a second job to be able to keep me at home with her, but the actual solution came in the form of a star-shaped blanket that I sewed on my rickety old sewing machine from high school! In the research I did to determine why my daughter refused to sleep swaddle free, I discovered that her startle reflex was still coming into play and jolting her little arms, keeping her awake and preventing her ability to self-soothe. I created the Zipadee-Zip to give Charlotte the feeling of being enclosed (like she was in the swaddle) and a slight bit of resistance in the arms to help settle her startle reflex while still allowing for enough freedom to roll freely. My husband and I were floored when our daughter slept 12 hours the first night we tried our little star-shaped Zipadee-Zip creation on her!" What was your experience like being on Shark Tank? “The whole Shark Tank experience was really a whirlwind of excitement and we are truly grateful for the neat opportunity!  It was very different than I imagined it would be.  We were in the Tank for over an hour but it was edited down to about 10 minutes.  It was intense!  Probably the most awkward part was walking down the hallway to the Sharks, and then standing there staring at them while the sound and lighting crew got everything sorted out.  The walk down the Shark Tank hallway also didn't have the "Shark Tank" music as it's edited in during post production!  Another thing that surprised me was "Mr. Wonderful,” they do a good job of portraying him as the villain of the show but, in reality, he's a really nice guy and even got teary eyed during the airing of our episode!” How do you balance Parenting and running SleepingBaby?  “It was a lot harder when we first started out and I was doing everything by myself.  I would package, ship, sew Zipadee-Zips, write hand written thank-you notes to each customer, answer customer service emails, etc. all by myself.  There were nights I was up at 2 or 3 in the morning.  We soon realized that this wasn't sustainable as it defeated the purpose of me wanting to spend time with my babies…I barely had time to sleep!  It became too much to handle and my husband eventually quit his job and became the acting CEO of Sleeping Baby so I could focus on the creative side of the business such as product development and print design.  We also have an AMAZING team working for us who really love and take care of our customers and our business.  This has allowed me to continue to stay at home with our kids...something I'm incredibly grateful for.”  Can you share one piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs? "Never loose sight of where and why you started. Our love of family was the true beginning to Zipadee-Zip.  When a business gets rolling, it’s easy to get caught up in the frustrations, challenges and struggles that a new business can bring, but keeping focus on the important things truly helps put everything into perspective and makes those obstacles much easier to tackle. And one extra token of advice – always put the customer first! When you start a business, the most important key to your success comes from the customer: if they are happy they will tell others about their experience… especially when it comes to moms and their little ones!" What should we be on the lookout next from SleepingBaby?  “We are working on a *new* swaddle that will be released on in the next year. Stay tuned for more!”