Mother Invents Device for Car Seats

At times, Kelley L. Daron got so discouraged about her invention that she put its components away in a box in the basement.

The mother of three was working on a device to hold the straps of a car seat out of the way so that a sleeping infant or squirming toddler could be easily situated and then buckled in.Ms. Daron realized that car-seat straps were a problem soon after her first child, Madison, was born in 1997. She found it difficult to maneuver her infant while holding back the straps.

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Eight years later, the Darons were the parents of two more children and were still struggling with car seats. Ms. Daron decided to find an answer and thus embarked on an entrepreneurial odyssey that has proved both taxing and rewarding. She has invented a device called Buckle-Pals, which is now available in two variations. She designs the packaging, markets her products and sells them to baby gear outlets from her home office in Milford.

She started selling her products last April, and her business, Little Bumble Baby LLC, is already making money.

In April of last year, Ms. Daron went to market with her product. She designed her packaging and then attended the Juvenile Products Manufacturers’ trade show in Orlando, Fla., bringing five dozen Buckle-Pals with her. She networked, she said, and found a manufacturer in Hong Kong. It helped when she was a finalist for an Innovation Award.

Then came the next big hurdle: selling her product to retailers. She got so discouraged at one point that she was about to deposit everything in that box in the basement when she got a call from One Step Ahead, a popular specialty catalog and Web site for baby gear. The outlet wanted to sell her product. One Step Ahead is now one of Ms. Daron’s best accounts.

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