Rebecca Finell had an idea that would make her life as a mom easier, but she had no idea it would pave the way to the creation of a thriving child product company.
But that is exactly what the Frog Pod did for the Ahwatukee Foothills mother of three.
In 2003, Finell was in the midst of her final year at Arizona State University, about to graduate with a degree in industrial design. She entered her Frog Pod idea, which collects, drains and stores bath tub toys, into the Student Design Competition for the Juvenile Product Manufacturing Association, and won.
"I came up with idea for the product at school, which eliminated one of the problems I had at home," she said. "After that, it's been a whirlwind."
On the heels of winning the competition, Finell co-founded Chandler-based Boon, Inc. with Ryan Fernandez.
"Our mantra was innovation for modern parents," Finell said. "I wanted all my products to be innovations to make parents' lives easier."
Finell, who is a Phoenix native and has lived in Ahwatukee Foothills with her family since 1995, said the ideas for innovative new products can strike her in a variety of ways. Boon, Inc. has churned out up to 20 new products every year since its inception in 2004.
"Sometimes I'll be annoyed with a product that exists and sit down and brainstorm ways to make it better," she said. "But I've also had several of the ‘ah-ha' moments, where I get an idea for a product to help a problem that I come across with my kids."
One of those ideas was for Squirt, a device that dispenses baby food without the mess of using a spoon.
"For years parents have been dipping a spoon in jar and getting it into the baby's mouth can take a long time and can be very messy," she said. "When I tried it on my son, he just slurped it so fast. Parents did it, and they love it. It's one of our best-selling products."
Boon, Inc.'s line of products is sold in more than 60 countries, and the company has experienced double-digit growth in revenue every year, Finell said.
"When I started I was just a student with an idea," she said. "I wanted it to be here, but I just didn't expect it to blow up the way it has."
Boon, Inc. products can be found locally at Brilliant Sky Toy and Kid-to-Kid in Ahwatukee Foothills, or online at www.BoonInc.com.