Next in our series of interviews with the contestants in Walmart’s Get on the Shelf contest we have Tangela Walker-Craft, the inventor of the GoPillow.

What product did you submit to Walmart’s Get on the Shelf contest?

The GoPillow!- Uses include, but are not limited to:

  • Breast feeding pillow with built-in privacy cover-up
  • Pillow and body wrap for babies
  • Portable toddler pillow and blanket
  • Portable diaper changing surface
  • Sun and wind shield for babies and toddlers
  • Arm cushion for carrying babies and toddlers
  • Arm warmer during cold weather (especially during outdoor activities)
  • Travel Pillow for all ages

Where’d the idea come from?

Abbreviated Story of the Invention of the GoPillow!:

My daughter was born in the summer with a head full of hair. Each time I would breastfeed her, the back of her neck along the hairline would perspire and my arm would be damp. I decided that I needed an arm cover – not just for breastfeeding, but for cradling my baby. I told my husband about an idea that I had. He and I began playing around with various versions of an arm pillow.

I was watching a child product segment on a talk show when they plugged a website and explained that the company bought ideas from parent inventors. I emailed the site and asked for submission requirements and sent in my idea. The owner contacted me; she loved the idea. After finding out that I was a stay-at-home mother trying to replace my previous teaching salary she asked me if I could come up with my own “start up funds”. She told me how to get the product made and how to market it myself.

The original intent of the pillow was for cradling babies for feedings. I knew it would also be an excellent travel pillow for moms and kids. The idea for adding the privacy blanket came later. It was added after I was caught in a crowded area during a rainstorm at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My husband hid me with his shirt so that I could nurse my daughter discreetly. We realized then that a privacy blanket would separate my pillow from other nursing pillows. A privacy blanket that was accessible when needed, but stored away when not in use was not available on existing breastfeeding pillows. The GoPillow! solved several problems for mothers when away from home with a baby or toddler. They are professionally manufactured and packaged.

What’s your background (and or day job)?

I acquired a Bachelors Degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of South Florida.

I write the Tampa Bay Parenting Examiner page. My previous employment history includes working as a multi-grade level Language Arts Instructor. I taught in the public school system for seven years after leaving private industry as a sales representative. I still have a professional teaching certificate for Language Arts [6th – 12th grade]. I also have employment experience as a Telemarketing Sales Representative, an Accounts Receivable Collector, and as a Technical Writer.

What difficulties did you have creating the product?

Creating the product was pretty easy. Gaining product recognition with no advertising budget has been the most difficult task.

Have you sold any? (or is the product currently for sale somewhere already?)

Several hundred GoPillows have been sold. They are currently available for purchase in the United States on our website( They are also available for purchase in the Philippines via the Babies to Toddlers website.

Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Build a mutually beneficial network of business associates. Learn from others that are already doing well. Be willing to help others that have not made as much progress as you.

The link to their Get on the Shelf page is:

Their video: