Bittylab , LLC, headquartered in New York City, was founded in June of 2010 by Priska Diaz, wife and mother of two children. Bittylab is focused on offering innovative new products that raise the bar with quantifiable benefits and ultimately translate to better performing products for mom and baby. BARE air-free baby bottle is Bittylab's first in a complete line of baby products under development. BARE air-free baby bottle mimics mechanics of breastfeeding and mother's breast entirely -not just the nipple- from shapes & texture to movement, storage and delivery of milk. BARE air-free baby bottle uses a patented fluid dispensing technology with moving parts (similar to a syringe) to maintain an air-free environment inside the bottle without air vents to help minimize gas/colic in babies due to air ingestion. BARE also features an expandable nipple to resemble mother's nipple action while breastfeeding and allows baby to control the flow of milk with sucking strength, to help prevent nipple confusion. BARE grows with your baby: The synergistic effect of combining these innovations in one bottle allows toddler to feed at any angle to promote development of early self-feeding and faster/easier weaning. The same feature minimizes backwash & spit into the bottle to reduce bacteria-growth, keeping milk fresh longer and healthier.
As a new mother and big proponent of breastfeeding, I was committed to exclusively breastfeed our first son, however a low milk supply condition caused my baby to become undernourished. My pediatrician recommended supplemental feeding with a bottle until my milk supply improved. Bottle feeding immediately turned my baby into a bag of gas resulting in discomfort for him and many sleepless nights for us. Effortless feeding from a bottle naturally leads to nipple confusion and soon my baby began to reject my breast. I realized that baby bottles weren't working for my baby or myself. After some time reflecting on the problem, I realized; my breasts don't have air-vents, why should baby bottles? That was the question that gave birth to Bittylab, LLC in June of 2010.
The biggest unexpected challenge was finding the right team of highly qualified individuals who could provide the engineering expertise, materials science and manufacturing capabilities I need to make my bottle a reality. BARE works very differently than conventional bottles with air vents by requiring parts to stretch, slide and seal. This ground breaking design required a collaborative effort between our design engineers and plastic material engineers. The best analogy we can offer to illustrate the technology behind BARE is a syringe in reverse. Finding our team of experts required numerous conversations with engineers and manufacturers with a background in medical devices. The unique challenges of mass producing our product to sell at a commercially acceptable price point narrowed our options to a handful of highly qualified manufacturers around the world. Once the parts were designed and prototype molds created, an international team of production engineers conducted R&D testing to fine tune the function and material composition of every part. We are very fortunate to have found such a dedicated and talented group of professionals to help us translate the BARE baby bottle concept into a commercially viable product.
Splitting mommy is very hard for everybody. I have 2 pre-schoolers that need my full attention, I feel like the only thing I'm not doing is changing diapers, not much has changed since they were born, except now they are 30lbs heavier, lol. While they attend preschool and summer camp, I am dedicated to Bittylab most of the day. After school, I put on my mommy hat and we go to the park or do something fun. Mommy also cooks dinner everyday. In the evening, daddy takes charged while I do some more work. The weekends are hard too! We try to go places together as much as we can, but sometimes daddy is the lucky one who takes the kids out for long trips while I do chores around the house, rest, maybe even catch up on my favorite TV shows, lol.
Stress happens very often. I'm the kind of person that cannot move on to the next step without finishing the first. Usually stress translates into pain on my shoulders, neck and head. What I do is deal with what's causing the stress, then rest, a lot! I'm thankful that my husband can handle the kids without a problem and understands that I need to work on BARE six, sometimes seven days a week. I remember when my first baby was about 6 months and daddy wanted to take him for a long trip... Although I let him, I cried for hours. I thought what if the baby cries and he's driving, he's not going to stop, he's not going to feed him until he ends the trip, what's going to happen if the baby poops as soon as he leaves the house, etc. It sounds kind of funny now, but I was very, very worried and stressed while they went away.
Opening a business takes passion and dedication to justify countless hours of work and tremendous sacrifice. My advice for anyone is to follow their passion. Passion is the only thing that will give you strength to overcome all barriers and challenges. If you have an idea, visualize what the finish line will look like, sort of like putting a pin on a map, then you figure out how to get there. The journey can take a long time or not, but you can be sure there won't be any shortcuts. There will be many ways to get there, so you must first identify what your choices are. Always have a back up plan and enough supply to hold you up for the trip. Talk to as many people as possible, like asking for directions. You never know if your neighbor's nanny has a father who can help you out with his connections. Get social, use social networks and reconnect, maybe that kid you went to high school with opened up a business like yours 5 years ago and can tell you his experiences. Ask lots of questions and don't be afraid to admit your ignorance. Show you're passionate and putting everything you've got into your project and you'll find that most people will try to help you succeed. Go ahead, don't be afraid to give it a try and remember that nothing worth accomplishing in life is ever easy!
I try not to take everything too seriously, I like jokes, I joke a lot. I love to make my children laugh, works better than frowning anyway! It's amazing how tears easily turn into big laugh in children. They are now almost 4 and almost 5 and begin to understand a lot of my jokes. I love when Carlton (the oldest) thinks about what I say, then he laughs, it makes me laugh too. In business, a good laugh in the middle of a meeting breaks the inevitable awkward or quiet moments. Being a woman in a man-society, one has to figure out how to motivate everyone to move at your pace. You can imagine me, in front of a room full of male engineers, discussing my concept and explaining why it needs to work the way I designed it, how it compares to a lactating breast, and presenting diagrams on a big screen to show how babies latch, nipples stretch, and demonstrating my prototypes using a breast pump. I had to joke a lot (before they did), of course some laugh a little harder than others but overall getting the message across was the point of the meeting. What was going in my head was: "do these men realize that most of these pictures are of me?"
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