Tiffany Krumins, Inventor
AVA the Elephant Brand, Includes AVA the Elephant Talking Children’s Medicine Dispenser and Thermometer Stickers.
How long have you been a nanny, or how long were you a nanny? I worked as a nanny for 7 years.
What is a highlight of your nanny career? The highlight of my nanny career was seeing the hard work pay off with Gibby, who has Down syndrome. After a lot of work and patience Gibby was able to do things like have his hair cut and take medication, which he could not do when I first started working with him.
How did you come up with the idea for your product/ service? After weeks of working with Gibby to persuade him to let me cut his hair I had a huge breakthrough! He allowed me, with loving techniques, to cut his hair, something he hadn’t ever done for anyone, even his family. It was that breakthrough that made me realize he could also take medication without tears, if I created a different device that was comforting to him. I went home that evening and created the first AVA from sponges, fabric and the insides of a recordable greeting card. The next day I put it to the test and it worked like a charm! I knew I had something special on my hands!
How did you receive your investment? A few months after inventing my product and paying for an extensive patent search I saw a casting that read: “Do you have the next million dollar idea, but don’t have the funding to make it a reality?” I thought, yes, I think I do! I auditioned for ABC’s Shark Tank and was given the opportunity to pitch my idea to 5 investors. I received the initial $50,000 investment needed to launch my product. I have taken profit from that product and put it towards development for my new Thermometer Stickers. I decided to use crowd-funding to obtain the remaining funding needed to launch my stickers: www.indiegogo.com/avatheelephant.com
What is the purpose of your product/service? The purpose of my product is to take the fear and anxiety out of medicine time. I launched my product in order to put a smile on the faces of sick children.
How has the nanny industry received your product/service – i.e. what has been the feedback you’ve received? Nannies, moms and children LOVE my product! I often hear, “Why didn’t I think of that? So simple, yet genius!” Here is a review from one of our customers: “When Braison was diagnosed with a brain tumor our world came crashing down. And to add to the stress of it all he had to take multiple medications every day. It always resulted in pulling a screaming child from under a dining room table. Then we received Ava. Now not only does he beg me for his medicine, but so does his younger brother who doesn’t even need it! Begging for medicine? Who would have thought? Ava, you take the anxiety out of medicine time which makes the whole family happy! THANK YOU for making Braison’s world a happier place!”
What words of wisdom do you have for others, who may have a product/service and wish to expand its market? I suggest you only pursue inventing a product you are extremely passionate about! Shortly after launching my product I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to face the reality of walking away from my business in order to focus on surviving. I knew I could do this when I stuck it out because of my undying passion for helping children. You never know what types of challenges you might face, be prepared to face them if you are going to start this journey.
What do you wish you had known early on, that you’ve learned going through this process? I wish I had known that I would have to toughen up. The world of business is not an easy one and you will often have to cut ties. I had to learn when to move on and not worry about doing so.
Any other information you would like to share with us? Please share my Indiegogo campaign; I am giving 10% to my favorite charity, Camp Dream Street! I spent time at Dream Street last year giving out AVAs to the young children at camp. It was life-changing and I want to help them as much as possible! www.indiegogo.com/avatheelephant
Elephant Lady, LLC