It took a few years of brainstorming and tinkering but when Gina Lipstein's invention finally moved from her parent's house to a real manufacturing facility, she knew her hard work had paid off.
“It's really nice to not see boxes in the living room and here filling the warehouse,” said Lipstein as she walked the warehouse floor pointing at boxes filled with her invention called Refresh-A-Baby. Refresh-A-Baby is also the name of her company that started in Tampa, Florida.
Refresh-A-Baby is a standard nipple that instantly converts water bottles and formula bottles into baby bottles. The former elementary school teacher's invention has become a lifesaver for parents on the go.
If necessity was the mother of invention then Lipstein’s necessity started over a decade ago on a day when she forgot her son's juice bottle. She then turned her idea into a product found in stores coast-to-coast.
Walmart, Babies-R-Us, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Busch Gardens and 1,000 groceries stores nationwide carry Refresh-A-Baby since Lipstein went all in around 2012.
It’s popularity soon turned into a second product, a sippy cup adapter, just unveiled this year, called Refresh-A-Kid.
All the parts are manufactured in the Tampa Bay area. She showed us the adapter and cap, “these are made in Zephryhills.” She then showed us the plastic nipple, “these are made in Largo.”
The assembly and packaging is local too. After a bad experience with the parts being made overseas, Lipstein turned to the MacDonald Training Center in Tampa to package and box her concept. All the work at MacDonald is done by young adults with autism and other disabilities. The on-the-job training allows MacDonald’s young men and women to prepare for similar jobs out in the community.
“Just for her to think we could help her and to partner with a local organization and give those opportunities is just phenomenal,” said Karenne Levy, the President of MTC.
For more information on the product “Made in the Bay” that is now going global, click here.