Austin American-Statesman:

Necessity is the mother of invention, right? For these Austin moms, their own necessities inspired inventions: one a weighted blanket to help people with sensory integration disorders sleep; the other a foldable mat for families on the go.

We talked with them about how they came up with their ideas, who’s buying their inventions and how they plan to grow their companies.

Monkey Mat
For Austinite Christie Barany, the inspiration for Monkey Mat came about a year ago when her family got stuck in an airport for several hours and she was watching her children — now 5 and 3 — playing around on the floor.

When she returned home, she thought, surely there must be a blanket or a mat that can pack in a bag and unfold for such an occasion.

“I went searching for something clean and portable, and it didn’t exist,” she says.

Barany, who worked in advance technology for a medical-device company for almost 15 years, decided after her mother passed away to reprioritize her life and focus on her children. She put her medical device background to work to develop the right water repellent fabric for Monkey Mat, named that because people of all ages like to have something clean to monkey around on…