Chicago inventors show off their creations

May 19, 2009 7:48:27 AM PDT
Have you ever seen a simple gadget (that works!) and said, "I should have thought of that!" Have you tried to do a task and said, "There must be a better way to do this."

Or have you looked all over for a particular garment or product and couldn't find exactly what you wanted?

Well, several Chicago area women and their husbands have been in those situations and have actually done something about it. They have invented products to solve some of life's little problems.

LITTLE KEEPER SLEEPER littlekeepersleeper.com

Mike and Kris Steinberg of Crystal Lake had their hands full with four young children--three of whom were triplets. They noticed that while sleeping, the children were removing their sleeper and their diapers--creating a mess in their cribs. When Mike and Kris heard their friends were having similar problems with their children, they set out to create a product to prevent this from happening. The Little Keeper Sleeper is designed for children 18 months to 36 months. They have recently developed a line for children with special needs that comes in up to size 4T.

PRICE: $19.99

AVAILABLE AT: littlekeepersleeper.com or by calling 877-557-0507

STICK-E SOCKS yogastickysocks.com

Anyone who has done Yoga knows that it's either done in socks, which can be slippery, or barefoot, which is not-so-sanitary. Libby Andrews of Flossmoor created a product to fix that problem: Stick-E Socks has a sole that prevents slipping but covers the foot so that Yoga-goers do not need to go barefoot any longer. Along with absorbing sweat, the socks leave toes exposed to allow for extra gripping.

PRICE: $19:95

AVAILABLE AT:yogastickysocks.com

HEELSHIELDS theheelshield.com

Krystal McAllister of Chicago was sick and tired of scuffing up her shoes while driving to and from work. Whether it was a mark from the dirty floor of the car or salt-stains from bad weather, her shoes were getting damaged and she wanted to do something about it. She invented the HeelShield to go over the back of a shoe and prevent scuffs and stains.

PRICE: $9.99

AVAILABLE AT: theheelshield.com or by calling 888-594-9092

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT; A GAME OF FIRST LINES goodreadgames.com

Catherine and Addison Braendel of Chicago came across a book in a used book store that contained opening lines of novels from all genres. They purchased the book and would quiz their friends when they came over. They found people having so much fun with it that they turned it into a board game where players identify the author or the title of a book with only the book's first line given as a clue. The game contains opening lines from all different types of books including poetry, children's books, non-fiction and sci-fi books. While it is a game for adults who enjoy to read, the game is fun to for children to jump in and assist with questions from the 'children's book category." PRICE: $39.95 WHERE SOLD: goodreadgames.com

CAMEO INVITATIONS AND MEMORY BOOK geocities.com

N'Dana Carter of Chicago wanted to use her artistic skills to create something unique and memorable for a luncheon with friends. When she could not think of anything special to make, she decided to turn the invitations she was sending out into hand-crafted keepsakes for her friends. Now, Cameo Invitations offers handmade invitations and announcements for all types of events--parties, baby showers, and birth announcements. Invitations are individually made and a personal keepsake of a special event. The invitations come with a "Mommie and Me" book which shares the story of the mother's pregnancy. PRICE: $20 per invitation. Minimum order of 25 or $250. AVAILABLE AT: geocities.com

THE COMFORT COMPANY thecomfortcompany.net

Renee Wood of Geneva found could not find an appropriate gift to send to a grieving family member who had lost her father. She drew a tear-dropped pendant with a "forget-me-not" flower to send to the family member and the idea stuck with her. From that drawing, she began to design jewelry, cards and many other personalized gifts. She now operates a web-based store, "The Comfort Company" which offers over three hundred gifts designed to help those who are grieving. Through her sentimental gifts, she encourages acknowledging the loss of a loved one, rather than minimizing it. Renee sells sympathy cards, "loss of pet" gifts, garden memorial stones, pendants, remembrance ornaments and other memorials.

PRICE: $7.95 to $349.95

AVAILABLE AT:thecomfortcompany.net or by calling 630-845-1624

CakeAndAPrayer.com is an online bakery that sells delicious (almost sinfully good) lemon bundt cakes with beautifully framed, soul-nourishing prayers.

The products range in price from $5 for a small cake and a prayer to $99 for a deluxe package.

Cake Gift Packages

Cake and a Prayer Elite ($99)

Cake and a Prayer ($59-$69)

Cake Only ($29-$39)

Cake and a Prayer Petite ($5-$7)


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