Name: Zaida Khaze
Business: Wiggletot, a diaper changing pad
Industry: Children’s Goods & Services
Location: Palisades Park, New Jersey, U.S.
Reason for starting: 7,300 diapers are changed before a baby turns 2 years old. At five months of age my first daughter, Ameera had self-movement and was a wiggly wriggly baby. Her continual attempt to turn over while diaper changing created very stressful messy moments. I needed an easier way to keep a happy still baby while lying pressed against her soiled diaper. I wanted to eliminate the chance of a dirty baby, changing pad, and stained clothing. In the first year a baby grows the most. Who has time to keep replacing stained clothing that still fits? I created a changing pad with a detachable vest to keep my daughter still. The vest provides attachable toys to keep baby entertained. Nothing’s more convenient than changing a happy baby!
How do you define success? Success in business is providing something for someone that makes life more convenient or easier while simultaneously creating a return on investment. I also view success as obtaining a goal without compromising my beliefs. When I was a teenager I was hit by a drunk driver and was in a coma for ten days. I sustained a severe head injury impairing my short-term memory and cognitive skills. After 5 years of rehabilitation, I moved from Canada to New York City for a fresh start; only looking forward. After completing my Bachelors of Science degree, I was sponsored for four years with a company that was downsizing on a quarterly basis. I remained employed by the company until they were acquired because I made myself relevant. I chose a marketing job in an industry that I was passionate about to make up for working long hours. I always embrace new responsibilities because I am acquiring a new skills in the process.
Biggest Success: My business has been running for less than 6 months and progressing nicely with upcoming media opportunities thanks to Tin Shingle. They are an online resource and community for small businesses building buzz for their brand. It is not only affordable but has a big advantage compared to most public relation companies. They teach and give you all of the tools on how to pitch to land press instead of paying for press. Thanks Tin Shingle for teaching me how to fish!
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? WiggleTot is still a new business and my biggest challenge was manufacturing a unique product. Because the product was so unique, many manufacturing companies denied the business opportunity or I was quoted high prices where there wouldn’t be a return on investment. By sheer coincidence, I met someone waiting in line somewhere whose son had a similar health problem/social disorder as my older daughter. I exchanged numbers and gave her advice and tips. I found out later that her family has been in the manufacturing industry for forty years.
Who is your most important role model? My daughter from when she was 2 ½ years old and diagnosed under the spectrum of Autism. Her strengths, desire and determination to thrive so that she could make friends were incredible. She stuck to a strict gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free and sugar-free diet never complaining because it was more exciting to be able to process information and have conversation with people than to eat foods that most kids love. Her diagnosis was removed 2 ½ years later.
Edited by The Story Exchange