My mom always says that, "The best products come from being inspired. When you recognize a need for something and you come up with a simple solution that solves that problem."
This is the story of how my parents had a need for something that led them to create Tiny Bites Food Shears. They were inspired to come up with an easier and better way to cut food up for me and my sister and between us, I think they came up with a pretty perfect solution.
Our story begins when I was 11 months old and my parents were starting to feed me "real" food. Like grapes, chicken, cheese, pasta, cooked carrots. My mom actually admitted to me that she used to be so scared I would choke on food that she would cut Cheerios in half to feed them to me. Cheerios! They are already super tiny and she still wanted to cut them for me! Who does that? I guess that's the love of a mom!
The grossest part of this story is that because she was so nervous about me choking on food, she used to bite into food to rip it up and then feed it to me. If you didn't read that part, I'll repeat it for you. She used to BITE into grapes, tear off tiny pieces and FEED them to me. Now that is SO disgusting. Luckily for me she realized quickly that she didn't like that either. She won't tell me how long that took but let's just say, even once was too much. Thankfully my dad never bit into my food to feed me (or he just won't admit to it).
Because my mom can be a little bit of a klutz (she admits it), she was nervous about cutting my food into tiny bites with a knife because she thought she would cut off her fingertips. And then she would have to go to the hospital with a baby and that would not be fun. Plus, my parents hated using a fork, knife and a cutting board to cut up all my food. They called it a "huge production just to feed one little kid."
After deciding biting was not for her, my mom started using her kitchen scissors to cut up my food. Now I don't know if you know anything about kitchen scissors but they are super big and have huge handles and aren't comfortable. My parents liked them way better than a knife but they were so big and they couldn't take them anywhere with us.
So one day, when my parents were at Ikea (they were there buying rugs and bins for my playroom), they saw cute little scissors so they bought them and started using them to cut my food.
We took them everywhere with us, play groups, parties, grandma's house, and restaurants. They had smaller handles and she would wrap the blades with paper towels and throw it into her diaper bag. Mom said that other moms would come up to us at pizza places and the diner telling her what a smart idea using scissors to cut food was (I think they just wanted an excuse to come over to tell her how cute her baby was!)
So anyway, all was fine for a few weeks until we took a day trip out to Montauk and stopped for lunch. That's when my mom cut up a grilled cheese sandwich for me with her Ikea scissors. She must have been hungry because she grabbed a piece for herself (she always tries to avoid carbs so that's why I know she must have been super hungry!). In her words, my parents "flipped out" after they both tried my sandwich because they realized my food "had a metallic aftertaste." The scissors were office scissors. They weren't intended to come into contact with food. Because let's be real, back then, no one cut food with scissors. She and my dad were horrified and they threw those scissors out right there.
On the ride home, they Googled 'portable kitchen scissors' on her Blackberry (these were the days before iPhones) but they couldn't find anything and that's when Tiny Bites Food Shears was born.
My mom worked in marketing & PR and my dad produces special events so neither of them ever created a product before. But they knew that Tiny Bites Food Shears was something that would not only help our family, but it would also help other families all around the world. Not to mention, it would save millions of kids from having their grapes torn apart by their mom's teeth (you're welcome, kids).
Mom and dad wrote down all the things they wanted Tiny Bites to have:
- Needs to be able to go with you anywhere
- Must have the same type of sharp, food safe blades like a knife
- Must have a child-proof protective blade cover
- Must have an on blade ruler so parents could measure each bite
- Must be lead-free (no metallic aftertaste, EVER!)
- Must be BPA-free
- Must be sold in packages of two (leave one home and take one with you)
Within 8 months of the grilled cheese fiasco in Montauk, my parents welcomed their first shipment of Tiny Bites Food Shears (one month before my little sister Reese was born) and the rest is history.
Since then, my sister and I have grown up with Tiny Bites. Naturally, my parents used it every single day to cut up all our food but as we got older, we realized how much it came in handy when we had loose teeth and couldn't bite into a bagel. Once we turned 7, our parents let us use them to cut our own food into small bites that were easy to pick up and eat. My teenage cousins got braces and they used it to cut their own food. My PopPop admitted he used it on his own food because it was easier than a knife when you have arthritis. Tiny Bites is a huge part of our family and I hope it's a part of yours, too.
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this story and I hope this inspires you to come up with an invention of your own. As the great Wayne Gretzky once said, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take." (I'm a big hockey fan so I had to throw that in).
Have a great day and thank you for reading this!
Griffin (and Reese, but only because she is looking at me right now)