Babies MATter

May 08, 2011 No Comments

It all started when Jeanette Beraha had her first son and decided to attend her first baby class. Like all classrooms, the floor was covered with rough, coarse carpet, which was extremely uncomfortable. When asked to go barefoot when the class commenced, the first thing that came to Jeanette’s mind was the bacteria and germs that have been accumulating over the years on the very same floor that she and her son were sitting on. This sparked an interest in Beraha’s mind, leading her to create the Oshi Mat- a portable, green, lightweight baby mat that would soon revolutionize the way we look at the products we buy for our children. InterviewHer.com got a chance to chat with the inventor herself and find out how exactly she put her baby thoughts into action.

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Lightbulb!

“I remember watching Shark Tank and coming up with this idea,” Beraha tells us, “I talked about it with my husband and he said if I could get the first prototype, he’d back me up. So, I got to work.” First, Jeanette began to research material that was cozy on a baby’s skin, had the least allergies, and didn’t damage the environment. Once she discovered the perfect material, Jeanette made her first prototype in her backyard. After sending it overseas to be made countless times, they finally got it right. The name “Oshi” came to Jeanette through her son- who is named “Ozzy.” “It was a nickname we gave him when he was first born because he didn’t know how to pronounce his name. He was the true inspiration for this, so it was only right to name it after him,” Jeanette explains.

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The Necessary MATerials

The most important aspect of making the Oshi Mat was the material it would be made out of. The 100% Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE) is a non-toxic, foam cushion. Most toys for babies are made out of PVC. Not only does this material bring a lot of health concerns, but also when it is burned, it sends out harsh toxins to the environment, which is the complete opposite of Jeanette’s philosophy. Thermal Plastic Elastomer is entirely biodegradable, it also provides the support and comfort every baby needs. “Its specific design allows for mothers to sit comfortably during the time they are with their babies,” Jeanette explains, “Also, it’s innovative shape and easy portability makes it very convenient.”

Baby Steps

“The hardest part in creating a product is getting the person who’s making it to see your vision,” Beraha dishes, “this whole process requires A LOT of patience and time in finding the people who you can trust to make since there are so many steps that you have to go through. You have to implant your idea in someone else’s mind and hope that they see where you’re coming from.” Jeanette also shares, “One of the main difficulties that I experienced was a language barrier since everything was done overseas. You have to make sure you are both on the same page.”

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Baby Boom!

In this day and age, it’s impossible to get someone to know who you are in this country without the help of a PR company and the Internet; both have helped the Oshi Mat become the sensation it is. Jeanette tells us the best feedback she ever got wasn’t from a person – but from a blog! Looking at blog posts by customers is a main component in what aided her to perfect her product as best she could. Her PR company also helped her launch her company at a trade show in Las Vegas. “A trade show is where you purchase a booth and have your prices and items on display,” Beraha tells us, “All of the boutiques then come to find things they can buy for their company. So many people loved it, I turned around and 700 mats were gone!” With the help of Facebook, search engine updates, and word of mouth, the Oshi Mat and matching bag can now be bought at BabysRUs.com and Amazon for $49.99.

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Persistence Pays

“The story of instant success doesn’t just happen,” Jeanette clarifies, “you can’t go into something thinking that you’re going to get what you want right when you start. It’s really hard, but the best thing you can do it stick with your idea and never give up.” In addition, Beraha advises you should have a back up plan to hold you through due to expensive costs of creating a product. “Patience is key,” she explains, “you can’t expect to make money right away. This all requires an immense amount of dedication and persistence.” Most importantly, Jeanette enforces the importance of never sacrificing anything for your family or children during this whole process. “Family comes first, and you have to remember that.”
OSHI MAT

Written by: Blair Cassuto

Edited by: Bridgette Larcada

Baby, Cities, Ft. Lauderdale, Inventions, Miami, She Walks The Talk
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