It's the kind of success story many dream about, having a simple idea and turning it into a successful venture. Grace Welch, local inventor, businesswoman, and first and foremost, mom, did just that. Her patented, award-winning invention is called the Patemm pad--a mobile diaper-changing pad that is notable, among other things, for being round (pic above). It's sold (along with other baby-related products) on her Web site, patemm.com.
Grace was kind enough to send us a Patemm pad for review purposes; in the two weeks we've been taking it for a spin, we've found it to be a simple-yet-clever idea. It's one of those products that we didn't know we wanted until we had it--now we don't travel without it when we're bringing the baby anywhere. It folds up to be small, rectangular, and easily portable (it could fairly easily fit into a mid-sized diaper bag). The pad has internal pockets in which to fit your diaper-changing accessories (diapers, wipes, etc.). The round shape is advantageous, as babies tend to be squirmy. Believe us--a few days ago, we were forced to change our Judah on the less-than-sanitary floor of a restaurant bathroom; the round shape helped keep the little guy on the pad.
The Patemm pads have garnered a good amount of national attention and many celebrities are noted to use it. However, in our opinion, the Patemm isn't just a fashion accessory of some kind -- it really suits our lifestyle. For a couple like us -- urban, with no vehicle (thus at the mercy of public transportation), and a tendency to end up far away from baby-friendly establishments -- the Patemm pad has proven thus far to be a huge help.
How did Grace Welch come up with this idea? And where is her company going from here? We had a chance to ask this local entrepreneur a few questions.