New bib wins coveted seal of approval
O’Nion found there were some full coverage bibs available, but they lacked some of the features she was looking for as a new stay-at-home mom. So she set out to create her own.
Flash forward four years. O’Nion has developed a startup company named Kiddologic, with the tagline “Simply Brilliant.” Through it, she is manufacturing a product under the trademarked name “bibit-all” that has just been awarded the coveted Parent Tested Parent Approved Winner’s Seal of Approval.
O’Nion and her husband, Brent, now have two sons. Nathan is 4 and Sam is 2. Both have been raised with the bibit-all.
O’Nion started her journey toward becoming the new company’s CEO by reading everything she could get her hands on, including books about legal and business issues and for what she terms “mompreneurs.”
After absorbing details for six months, she concluded, “I can do this.” And she said her background of 20 years as a wildlife biologist, pursuing projects that required coordination and teambuilding, dovetailed neatly with the new venture.
The company name was developed one day when she and her husband, Brent, were driving home.
He told her that she used to be a biologist and now was a kidologist. From that, Kiddologic was born.
She officially started the company in 2010 by securing the rights to the intellectual property, developing the trademarks and drawing up a business plan. Using a local contract seamstress, she spent more than a year working up prototypes and testing them for weight, texture, absorption and repellent qualities.
Initially, she hoped to have her product manufactured domestically. But that would have dictated a $48 price point, which she considered too high. Contracting with a company to produce the product overseas allowed her to set her price at $19.99.
She originally did her own packaging, but soon realized she needed help.
She was watching some items being unpacked at Fred Meyer when she spotted a packaging style she really liked. A Google search showed the design work had been done by Euro Style Advertising, based in San Diego.
At 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, O’Nion called and spoke with the owner. They quickly reached an agreement on development of logos and packaging for her new product.
In 2012, she signed a manufacturing contract, then secured warehouse space and arranged freight. She is leasing office space at the former Chemeketa Community College location on Hill Road, but her main office remains her kitchen table at the family home in Carlton.
The bibit-all is made of stretchy terry cloth with a unique waterproof stretch knit liner, ribbed lycra cuffs and a high, ribbed collar to help prevent drips.
It is one piece with an open back. It slips on and off easily and is machine washable.
“It’s the first of its kind in the bib world,” she said.
O’Nion took her product to the ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, Ky., in October.
“We had a really exciting response,” she said. Independent retailers and some of the larger chain outfits both showed interest.
O’Nion’s goal now is to get the word out and begin establishing a wider distribution network.
In McMinnville, the bib is available at Hopscotch and That Something Special. She has bibs in three other retail outlets in Oregon, in addition to selling it through Amazon and her own website.
“We just started filling orders in January,” she said. “It’s in the building phase.”
O’Nion remains a stay-at-home mom, but is juggling her time with her new corporate demands. Sometimes that means she’s still awake in the middle of the night, toiling away.
Getting the product launched has taken more time and money than O’Nion anticipated. But she said, “It was worth taking so much time to do it right.”
She loves to give a demonstration of how well the product works by pouring a half-bottle of water on the bibit-all with a paper towel below the liner. The water, she said, soaks up in the bib and she pulls out a dry paper towel — proof it really works.
O’Nion was thrilled to win the PTPA seal, which is something she looks for when she buys for her own children.
She mailed five samples with her application, so the product could be thoroughly tested.
“What’s really neat about that award is that real families test it on their kids,” she said. “Only products that get very high scores get awards. It means a lot to me.”
PTPA is North America’s largest volunteer testing community. There are over 60,000 parents in the testing cadre and the seal has been rated as the most trusted seal by 22,000 parents.
Right now, O’Nion is focused on getting distribution expanded for the bibit-all. Once that is under way, she hopes to extend her product line.
“I have 10 products in the pike that I’m pursuing a patent on,” she said. “Our mission is to provide the best of basics — products families use every day.”