By Martelle Esposito
This week, we talk with Sarah Amritt, mom of 2 and inventor of the Omie View Bassinet Mirror. Inspired by her own worries while recovering from a C-section and not being able to see her daughter in the bassinet—asking herself, was she okay? was she breathing? —her invention helps give parents peace of mind by allowing them to see their baby from many angles. Sarah talks about her experience making an idea a reality as a mom.
Can you tell us a little about the Omie View Bassinet Mirror?
The Omie View Bassinet Mirror is our patented motorized mirror that clamps to the side of a bassinet, allowing parents and caregivers to keep an eye on their baby in a bassinet (or playpen) without needing to get up or sit up from their bed or sofa. It is remote controlled so you can move the angle of the mirror as needed to get the perfect view of your baby. The remote control also allows you to turn on/off a soft LED light for ultimate viewing and reassurance at night.
What inspired you to create the Omie View Bassinet Mirror?
The Omie View Bassinet Mirror was inspired by our younger daughter, Alana. She was a very quiet sleeper and had the tendency to shift to the sides of the bassinet while sleeping, so I was constantly worrying if she was okay in the bassinet—I found myself sitting up or getting up constantly to check up on her to make sure she was still breathing. No product at the moment allowed me to effectively see my little one in the bassinet while I was in bed, and after a c-section, sitting up or getting up to check on her was very painful. We wanted to make our idea into reality to offer parents that much needed peace of mind to be able to see their baby whenever they felt the need to—day or night—and hope that our product can help reduce the number of sleep-related deaths in infants.
Can you describe an experience you have had in your entrepreneurial journey so far that has been particularly meaningful?
The most meaningful experience we have had so far was obtaining our patent. It was a very lengthy process, but it was worth the wait—over 2 years! We are extremely proud of this accomplishment.
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
My husband, Omar, and I just celebrated our 6-year wedding anniversary and we have two beautiful daughters, Suri (5) and Alana (3). They are our everything.
Can you describe a favorite or memorable family memory?
Our most memorable family moments are when we go on weekend vacations and stay at the beach. We usually stay only about an hour north from where we live, but the beach tends to be more family friendly and relaxing. We love being able to wake up early and go straight to the beach and enjoy nearby restaurants in the evening. Our girls love it, too! Its an easy way to get away from daily life, without having to plan extensively. We usually plan our stay the night before or the morning of…adding to the excitement.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting your motherhood journey?
I wish I would have known more about the potential challenges with breastfeeding and how it does not always come about as natural as we would like. Yes, I read my “What to Expect” book religiously and went to several baby care/new parent/breastfeeding 101 classes. But, I did not realize how difficult it would be. I thought it would be so natural… but no, she refused to latch and my frustration would just increase by the second as I saw my baby crying hysterically, and I couldn’t feed her. After the lactation consultant visited our room the next day, she explained a few tricks, and finally I was able to have her latch. My excitement quickly turned into excruciating pain. I did not realize that breastfeeding would be soooooo painful at first. I pushed through it. I happily breastfed her until she was 8 months.
What’s it like to be a mother and entrepreneur?
It’s definitely a challenge, especially since I’m not only a mother and entrepreneur, but I also have a full-time job as a civil engineer / project manager. Finding a good work-life balance is difficult, and most of my duties as an entrepreneur are done after my girls’ bedtime or while they nap on weekends. So being a mother and entrepreneur means a lot of late nights for mommy. Having a strong support group is crucial to make sure I meet the demands of my profession and personal business while my girls are being well-taken care of. My parents play a key-role in this—something we are very thankful for.
Can you describe an experience when you really felt your mompower?
Those few days when I manage to get out of work early, pick up the girls, make a home-cooked healthy meal that is kid-approved AND get the girls in bed by 8:30 p.m. Those days are far in between, but I just feel like such a super mom when I manage to get it all done. Props to working mommies and daddies that manage to do this everyday!
What has been most challenging about being a mother and entrepreneur?
Lack of sleep. Children don’t have “snooze” buttons. Regardless of how late you stay up for your business, you will still need to wake up early to care for the kids, get them ready for school, etc.
What in your life has prepared you the best for these two journeys?
I really think that my career choice really helped me with both journeys, of motherhood and entrepreneurship. Engineers are trained as problem solvers. We are “wired” to think this way. It helps as a mother when trying to figure out what to do in different situations. And, problem-solving got me to where I am today in my business. It all started as a problem of not being able to see my baby when she rested in the bassinet.
What keeps you motivated through the ups and downs of both motherhood and entrepreneurship?
I just think back at my daily inspiration, my daughters, and I tell myself that everything I do is for them—to be a role model for them and to provide them with a better future. Being a mother is not easy, but its is truly a blessing. My daughters are a blessing.
Do you have any words of inspiration that you live by to share?
Whatever you do, make sure you do it with love, passion and pride.
What advice do you have for other parents beginning their parenting or entrepreneurial journeys?
The first year is rough as a parent or as an entrepreneur. Be aware of that and know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Remember: If parenthood were so difficult, no one would have more than one child, right?! The blessings and happiness that our children bring us far outweigh the challenges of parenthood. And, large businesses were once small too. You have to start somewhere.