This month, NumNum turns 5 years old. 5 YEARS OLD!!! We can’t believe it! As part of our celebration for this huge milestone, we have decided to create a blog series called 5 in 5. Each of these blog posts will share 5 things that tell you a little more about us and our journey so far. Our first post is titled 5 Things You May Not Know About NumNum. So, without further delay, here are 5 things you may not know about us. Enjoy!
Inspired by Shark Tank.
Since season one, Jess and I have been huge Shark Tank fans. On a Friday evening in February 2012, we were watching an episode of our favorite TV show while enjoying a glass of wine. In this episode, Mark Cuban made a deal with a guy who had a company called “I Want to Draw a Cat for You” I spewed my wine, turned the TV off and said something to the effect of If HE can come up with an idea and get a deal, WE can, too! (No offense, cat-drawing guy!) As if it was meant to be, we both immediately thought about how our son had been struggling with the spoon and started making notes and scribbling sketches. We were off! Oh, and we did make it all the way to Shark Tank, but that’s all we can really say about that 😉
Three Products. Six Patents.
People still think of NumNum as a spoon company, but the GOOtensil isn’t our only product. We introduced our Beginner Bowl, which has a cone-shaped interior to funnel food to one easy-to-find spot for little learners, in the fall of 2016. Our third product is launching in a matter of weeks. To date, we have filed six patents on these products and, while most are still pending, our first patent did issue late last year. Wahoo! It was well worth the wait.
Born in Atlanta. Replanted in Florida.
NumNum was born in Atlanta in 2013. In January of 2017, we relocated the company a short five hours away to Pensacola, FL, my hometown. We made the move for a few reasons – white beaches, lower taxes, white beaches – but the biggest reason was we hoped to build our company in Pensacola and create jobs in a city that can use them. I remember growing up in Pensacola and, while beautiful, it is a city with an economy that depends on two industries: tourism and the military. If our plans pan out, Pensacola is going to become the center of the baby world!
NumNums vs NumNum Dips vs NumNum GOOtensils.
Prior to launching our first product, we had developed a list of no fewer than a hundred possible product names. After torturing friends and family for months, we decided on NumNum Dips. Seemed logical. After all, kids who don’t have wrist rotation can’t scoop; they make a dipping motion, instead. But a funny thing happens over time when you invent a product: You start to learn more about your own product, the market and the nuances of things like, well, product names. We discovered that having “Dip” in the name suggested to parents that our product was a nice-to-have utensil for things like pudding. They didn’t see it as integral to a child’s development. So, we went through the naming process all over again and landed on NumNum Pre-Spoon GOOtensils. The “pre-spoon” part of the name clearly identifies that our GOOtensils is more than an alternative to the spoon, it precedes and helps kids prepare for the spoon. No matter what you call them, though, we will always affectionately refer to them as NumNums.
Awards, Awards, Awards.
To be 100% honest with you, we don’t particularly care for awards. We care about what our customers think! Well, shortly after launching our GOOtensils, we won a Family Choice Award. Okay, kinda cool. A PTPA (Parent Tested, Parent Approved) Award followed. We might’ve celebrated. Okay, we did! Then, THEN we were nominated for a Cribsie Award. In our opinion, the Cribsie Awards are the most prestigious in our industry because a product must be nominated by a fan, then chosen as a finalist by a panel of esteemed Cribsie Award judges comprised of industry experts and celebrities and, finally, the public chooses a winner. Unfortunately, after our product was nominated by a wonderful fan out there, we didn’t win. I think it’s fair to say we cared more about awards in that moment than any other time in our lives. But as luck would have it, we were nominated for a Cribsie Award again in 2017. The second time around proved to be a charm as we went on to win not one, but TWO Cribsie Awards! Our GOOtensils won The Perfect First Spoon Award and our just-launched Beginner Bowl snagged a New Arrival Academy Star, for rising new products. Wahoo! Ahem, I guess we can now go back to not caring about awards 😉