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Many of the greatest parenting products are born from parent entrepreneurs…..hello, Bump Club & Beyond! Lindsay Pinchuk, the founder of BCB, recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with fellow Dad Entrepreneur, Jay Smith, on how he created WelComb, and what advice he has for fellow parents who are looking to launch their own company.
Q&A WITH JAY SMITH – WelComb
Q: We are both parent entrepreneurs who are running successful companies that stemmed from firsthand experience as a parent. How did you develop the idea for your company & how do you think being a parent played into this?
A: I decided to create the WelComb based off an experience I had as a kid. When I was 10 years old my mom used a metal comb to get lice off my head. For a long time, metal combs were the best to remove lice because of how tight the teeth of the comb were able to be made in metal. Even with that advantage, the manufacturer of the comb my mom used on me went out of business many years ago. Fast forward and my dad finds that old comb in the basement. We knew how well it worked and wondered if we could bring it back but as a plastic comb. For years, we’d been hearing from our school nurse customers how much that comb worked better than what was currently available. Luckily, plastic manufacturing has improved greatly. I was able to work with my manufacturer, Maynard, to create a plastic comb with small, rigid, evenly spaced teeth that could capture lice and nits (lice eggs) of any size.
As a parent, I’ve witnessed firsthand the chaos that a lice infestation can cause. I’m able to speak to other parents and help them see that it doesn’t have to be a dramatic, traumatic experience. With a little patience and the right tool, you’ll get through it!
Q: How do you juggle it all – running a company + being a parent? What have been some top tips that you have found to help you with this balance?
A: Luckily for me, spending time with my family is what recharges and energizes me. So I always put family time first, and then I’m ready for whatever business responsibilities come my way.
Q: How has being a parent influenced the way you run your company & your philosophy on work-life balance for your employees?
A: Our business focuses a lot on making sure that every employee has a good work-life balance. We really don’t do any “extracurricular” work activities. We feel that a job should be that – a job. Our office is full of people who work 40 hours per week, but no more. If we find that somebody is overworked, we hire another person. Life is too short to spend it all at the office.
Q: Many of the parents in our Bump Club Community are entrepreneurs or aspiring to be. What tips would you share to parents who have an idea for a company they are thinking about launching?
A: Find places that you can bring innovation. Look at what is missing in the market and figure out how you can add something people need in their lives, whether they know it or not. And don’t feel like that has to be a radical departure. We are having great success with the WelComb because it is based on a product from my childhood that was actually better than what was currently available.
Also, look for audiences and partnerships that help spread your message. When we launched WelComb we worked with school nurses, who are often the ones finding lice on children’s heads, to educate them on our product and the wet combing method for removing lice. Knowing that nurses are out there telling parents to use our product because they truly believe it is better has been a huge advantage and has allowed us to continue to grow.
Q: We learned a lot in your earlier blog post about treating lice. Are there any misconceptions about treating lice that you think parents should know?
A: There are MANY misperceptions about lice, so many in fact that we dedicated a page of our website to “debugging” lice myths. One of the biggest misunderstandings about lice is the best way to remove them. Lots of parents will run to the store and buy the first product they see that says it kills lice. While the product does in fact kill lice, it doesn’t kill the nits. The nits are the lice eggs and if they are still on the head, they’ll reproduce and continue the lifecycle and infestation.
There’s no chemical, pesticide, or oil that can kill nits. The only way to do that is to remove them from the head – which is why we advocate for the wet combing method. The wet combing method is all natural, simple and effective. All you need is water, conditioner and the WelComb. No harmful chemicals or expensive treatments required!
Q: What’s new with WelComb?
A: We’re excited to have the WelComb on store shelves this year. You can find the WelComb in Dollar General’s Lice and Nit Removal Kit. In addition to the WelComb, the kit includes a conditioner (used for lubricating the hair) and a detangler comb. It’s amazing to know that parents will be able to purchase a product that is safe for their children and truly effective in ending a lice infestation. We look forward to getting the WelComb on even more store shelves in the future – stay tuned!
Keep your eyes peeled to our site for more founder to founder interviews + more! If you’re an expectant or new parent, click here to see all of our BCB events in your area! We’re bringing you the BEST baby gear, products, services, networking + safety information across ALL of our local and nationwide events – Gearapalooza, webinars, playdates + more! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for our email list to make sure you’re first to know about our latest content, giveaways, events + more!