It all began with my 3yr old daughter, Hailee . . . My wife and I were at a friend's house enjoying some time in the pool with our 3yr old daughter named Hailee. She was wearing a pair of good old fashioned water wings and decided to run and jump off the side of the pool. As soon as she hit the water, one of her wings shot right off. Fortunately, we were keeping a good eye on her and got there before anything bad could happen. She was pretty much unfazed and wanted to get back to swimming with her friends but we, on the other hand, were completely freaked out!
That's it! Life jackets only from now on! That was my first thought. I wanted to make sure this never happened again and life jackets were the way to do it. The only problem . . . . she hated wearing them. After fighting (and losing) that battle a few times, I figured I would look for something else. There had to be a product out there that offered the security of a life jacket that parents want but the freedom of movement kids require. I looked around and couldn't find anything. Figuring that I couldn't possibly be the only parent in search of such a product, I decided to create it myself.
Let the prototyping begin! Using products I already had around the house, I threw together prototype v1.0. Yes, that is duct tape. It's pretty sketchy, I know . . . but it allowed me to test it and see how it worked. The results? FAIL! Within seconds my daughter had the strap up and over her head and around her throat. From there, the product evolved quickly until I eventually decided to use a swim shirt for sun protection and produced version 5.0. WINNER!
Now what? This is where the work really began. Finding a qualified manufacturer who could meet pricing, safety and quality of workmanship requirements is not an easy thing. I was fortunate though and found one that has gone above and beyond my expectations. With the product finished and ready for retail, now it's about spreading the word and getting them in the hands of parents that need them!