Ever since we were children we were told to color inside the lines and to follow the rules. However, if we always thought like that then we wouldn’t have nearly as many great inventors and innovators in the world today.
Grace Welch is one of those great innovators. She not only thought outside the box but she went outside the traditional rectangle. Called the patemm pad, her changing pads use a unique fold and carry design that is in the shape of a large circle when open. The materials used are not only colorful and stylish but her pads are also made here in the USA.
Tell us a little about patemm.
patemm inc is a dedicated, family-friendly, hard-working, and thriving company based in Providence, Rhode Island. Our goal is to produce award-winning, beautiful, stylish, eco-friendly and safe products without compromising quality, and we believe in keeping manufacturing here in America. After 6 years in business, we are proud to say that our award-winning patemm® pads are still made in the USA!
What does your name mean?
The name patemm is a combination of my 2 eldest children’s names: patrick and emma.
What inspired you to create these unique changing pad/carriers?
My idea for a ROUND diaper pad came to me when I was struggling to change my daughter Emma on one of those standard rectangular pads.
How long did it take for you to go from idea to finished product?
The idea for the ROUND diaper changing pad came to me back in April 2004. I launched my business and website in July 2004! I was able to launch in just a few short but crazy months.
What was that process like for you?
The process was an interesting yet very educating one. [I] learned a lot in the few months before our launch. I am still learning today!
What separates you from the competition?
Our patemm pads are unique. We are the only patented, award-winning ROUND diaper changing systems that are PVC, lead, phthalate, latex, and formaldehyde-FREE and PROUDLY made in the USA!!
Do you have any goals you hope to accomplish over the next year or so?
We are always looking to sustain and grow our business. We hope to expand our product line.
What do you enjoy the most about running your own business?
Flexibility. Having a family business allows me to spend more time with my husband and 4 amazing children.
I am constantly thinking about the business. It is difficult at times to simply “shut down” and not think or do anything business related.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
- I have learned to be a better negotiator.
- Customer service is key in growing and sustaining your business.
- One learns by trial and error.
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs?
- Believe in what you are doing.
- Work hard.
- Never give up.
- Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Network and always follow-up.