April 9, 2014

We’re launching a new feature at SocialMoms: the Featured Mompreneur! We’ll be talking with innovative mompreneurs about their products and services, how they got started, and any tips they may have for other moms looking to start or grow their business.  This week I spoke to Lizette Veneziano, co-founder of Always in View. When I first heard about this product I immediately wished I’d had it when my kids were younger. It’s tough to drive and have your infant turned away from you because you never know quite what they’re crying about!

I spoke to Lizette about Always in View and her business:

SocialMoms: Can you explain the product and how it helps parents?

As all parents know, Child Safety laws require that babies ride in the backseat and face backwards for at least two years.  While this is safe for baby, it makes it harder for parents because now they can’t see what is going on while they are on the road. The Always in View Baby Monitor for Cars has a camera inside a plush animal.  It wirelessly broadcasts live footage to a screen that attaches to your front windshield.  So our Always in View helps a parent drive with ease of mind because now by making quick glances, they can see that their baby is okay, or if there is anything that alerts them to pull over.  The monitor can be used day or night and is really simple to use.

It also reminds parents that their baby is in the car seat when they are exiting the car, since they will see their baby in the monitor that must be manually turned off.  And one huge plus – we believe it will help parents keep their children rear facing longer (they are five times safer rear facing).  We find that many parents turn car seats to forward facing as early as one year, simply because the parent is frustrated that she couldn’t see what was going on! We solved this issue and made it safer for parents, their babies, and other drivers on the road.

We take pride that our Always in View has passed a crash safety test using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213- meaning that it will not be a projectile in the car in the event of an accident.  The cuddly plush with the embedded camera is easy to use and the children love looking at them!  And because of the long arms with straps on the end, we designed the camera so it can be placed anywhere in the backseat, so after your baby reaches age two and a parent decides to forward face the car seat – the Always in View can still be used.

SocialMoms: What a great idea for parents and child safety. I’m guessing personal experience was the inspiration behind the product?

When I had my first son, I caught myself turning around and reaching over to check on him while I was driving.  I knew it was dangerous, but I wanted to make sure he was okay.  I realized that even when I turned around, I couldn’t see and it became frustrating.  I talked to my husband Giuseppe about it, and we were shocked to see there was nothing in the market that was high tech and with a monitor like a GPS system.  The idea then started to take shape and we came up with the Always in View Baby monitor for Cars.

SocialMoms: Can you share with us some of the process of designing the product and launching it?

Well at first, we realized we had a good idea because we were getting great feedback. Quickly, we thought, “Okay, we have an idea, what do we do now?”  So I reached out to my network, and recalled that my friend Amy Wenslow specifically helps entrepreneurs get their products to market (Products to Profits).  When we met with her and brainstormed, we walked out with a game plan for launching the product.  This game plan has morphed and grown and taken us 2.5 years to get to this point.  I have to admit, the process is like a roller coaster- it comes with its ups and downs, thrills, scary moments, and excitement all rolled into one.

As far as the process for design, an entrepreneur needs to be flexible. There were a lot of adjustments and shifts happening to get to the final product.  Perseverance is key and trusting that it is all a process. I had to trust that I had all the information that I needed at the moment. And that when we stepped to the next level, the next level of information would come up. One step at a time my friends.

SocialMoms: Was there anything specific you learned about the process that might help women looking to launch their own business? 

There will be various aspects of your business that you will be working on all at once.  From design, to finances, to web design, PR,  to logistics, team building, legal issues, etc .  You will need to be prepared to handle the different facets – and if you don’t, start building your team with the right people to fill in the gaps.  I read this in a book – “find the people that will paddle as hard as you do.” (Andy Andrews, The Traveler’s Gift)  Have faith that you will build a good team.

SocialMoms: What has been the most rewarding part of creating Always in View?

That’s a hard one. I feel like I’ve had different moments along the way.  The highlights – 1) when we saw our final product in the package.  It truly was like having another child – everything we worked for and our ideas actually manifest and we could touch it!  I was so giddy with excitement! 2) When I receive comments from other parents and they are excited that they can drive with peace of mind.  I had one mom tell me it completely lowered her anxiety levels and felt secure while she was driving alone with her baby.  When I hear those comments, I feel like we are making a difference in other family’s lives.

Purchase Always in View and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

If you (or someone you know) would like to be a featured mompreneur, please email Nikki Katz for consideration.