Emily Jade looks at the pare-ventors who are filling niches with great ideas.
High heels and high chairs
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My friend Flan boasted one day that he had invented the coolest egg holder ever. Flan is one of a growing trend of what I like to call pare-ventors
Normally I reserve the word ‘inventor’ for the prolific and historymaking humans like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, but I was willing to hear him out.Deciding to cook a quintessential ‘Dad’ meal, he boiled eggs for dinner but realised he didn’t actually have any egg holders. Being the creative type, and too lazy to cook anything else, he grabbed a couple of bread rolls, pushed his thumb into the middle and rested the egg in the thumb-print hole. Once the top of the egg was cracked the kids had a ball ripping bits off the bread roll and dipping it into the gooey goodness.
Although this type of invention wouldn’t have won him a spot on the ABC’s New Inventors, it reminded me of how having kids unlocks the ‘inventor’ side of us. I’m not just talking about mum’s fifty different ways to make mince interesting at dinner time, but actual real inventions that change the way we parent. Take me for example with my children’s swimwear line ‘Little Valentine’. All I wanted was something that covered my baby’s peachy new skin, head to toe. None existed and so I designed some, which turned out to be completely unique. Before having kids I’d never bothered inventing anything in my life, unless you consider a new cocktail recipe an invention.
What about Brisbane dad Darren Walsh who couldn’t get his kids to eat veggiesand set about creating a sausage (which they would eat) that was full of veggie goodness. Since launching the squishy fingers of goodness at www.meatcart.com.au his nutrient rich sausages are saving meal time meltdowns. Then there is the invention that just changed my two-year-old’s life and saved my sanity – a springfree trampoline. It’s been 10 years since the world of trampolining was revolutionised by a father of three from the Sunshine Coast who wanted to make sure his children were safe while they enjoyed a backyard bounce. That dad, Dr Keith Alexander, created the first trampoline in the world to be literally spring free.“When my kids were young I wanted to get them a safe trampoline,but there wasn’t such a thing,” Keith says.
“The springfree design has kept thousands of kids out of hospital around the world. As an engineer,that’s deeply satisfying. As a father, it’s even better.”
The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Head to any mummy market in the suburbs and at every second stall you will find a pare-ventor. Who would have thought sleep deprivation and the loss of a social life could be so, well…creative.