Ray Phillips and Alvin Uy—SoapSox: Turning the anxiety of bath time into calm, fun time
Ray Phillips and Alvin Uy/SoapSox
Phillips and Uy are the co-creators of SoapSox, a line of 2-in-1 plush animals that double as washcloths and bath time toys. Phillips and Uy, both fathers to two young boys, brought together their unique career backgrounds to create this brilliant product that finally lets kids bring their stuffed animals into the tub. Phillips, founder and CEO, worked as a Program Director at a residential treatment facility with children who have experienced trauma. He found that bathing was the most challenging time of the day because the children would argue, cry, and even hide just to avoid taking a bath. After repeated struggles with one particular child who could not part with his favorite stuffed animal to bathe, Phillips came up with the idea of modifying it to hold soap—and when the child was presented with the prototype, he agreed to bathe. Phillips continued to use this strategy over the years with the children, realizing that no product like it existed on the market. Through his network of friends, he reached out to Uy, a former toy designer for Disney, Hasbro, and Mattel, to help him create this innovative product, and SoapSox was born. SoapSox sell for $12.99–$14.99 and have helped numerous kids turn anxiety over bath time into fun.
Greg Durocher—Safe Ride 4 Kids: Making child car passenger products safer
Greg Durocher/Safe Ride 4 Kids
Greg Durocher, a father of three, founded Safe Ride 4 Kids. He was a firefighter for 18 years, a paramedic for 10, and a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) Instructor since 2001. Over the years, he was a first responder to dozens of tragic car crashes while on the job, many involving kids. He started to think, “Kids are the innocent victims of car crashes, and I want to do everything I can to help parents give them the best possible outcome.” Durocher created Safe Ride 4 Kids because of this first responder experience. But then, during the pregnancy with their third child, Durocher and his wife Amie realized that three child restraints would not fit across the back seat of their vehicle and they would need to purchase a new car. That’s when a fellow CPST reminded them of a travel vest that might work and be a less expensive solution than a new car. Durocher decided to bring this concept to the parent market, and now they are the number one distributor of the RideSafer® Travel Vest, which is an alternative to a traditional booster seat and is a more portable version of the forward-facing, 5-point harness seat. (It retails for $145-$159). For more heartwarming reads, check out these 14 stories about the kindest, bravest, wisest dads in the world (and grab the tissues).