Can I Hug My Pillow to Sleep?

Here’s how it proves the old adage that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. Ever faced the situation where you hear your child asking for a toy to hold to sleep and you were scared of handing over the teddy bear on the shelf for fear of dust mites?

Well, here’s how Elizabeth Gradie-Chinn and Deborah Rivera-Wienhold turned sleep into an opportunity never to be missed. They invented the curved juvenile body pillow with a decorative cover whose combination transforms the pillow into a huggable two or three-dimensional animal as you can read from

Now here are inventors who have chosen the method of licensing their product since they were sure that they couldn’t market it themselves.
But the decision didn’t come suddenly, it was after two years of testing and research that the duo decided that the market was ready for their product.

The steps that Elizabeth and Deborah followed that contributed to their success including being awarded a patent, introducing their product, and licensing their patent were:

1. Seeking and using professional expertise, such as industry/business, legal, accounting, financial, and promotion.

2. Taking advantage of counseling services provided by their local county and state government’s small business resource center. Elizabeth and Deborah were matched with a counselor considered an expert in the Invention Process including Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization.

3. Connecting with business/industry mentors. Elizabeth and Deborah met regularly with two highly experienced retail store executives.

4. Undertaking extensive market research to assess demand and obtain prototype feedback to make improvements before finalizing product specifications.

5. Gaining industry knowledge. Elizabeth and Deborah joined an appropriate industry association: The Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s association. While in the prototype phase, they attended a show as visitors to meet successful manufactures and ask questions such as how they got started, and who their suppliers were, etc.

6. Developing networking relationships with other inventors/manufacturers to share ideas and exchange information.

Notwithstanding, belief in their product, hard work and determination to make it a success! Read more stories like this from

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