Mom Interviews

Member Close-Up: PartyOf5

Co-Founder of My Plate-Mate Products

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Each week we introduce you to another working mother here at Work It, Mom! This week, we chat with PartyOf5, a mother of three who lives in California. She left the corporate world six years ago, she says, and was inspired to launch her own company aimed at making life easier for moms.

1.) What do you do?

I am the Co-Founder of HATCH and My Plate-Mate products.

2.) How did you end up in your current career?

I left the corporate world in 2002 to be a SAH mom. During the time home with my children, I always thought about products that would be great to have for my family. Some ideas were functional and practical; others were just zany and fun. In spring of 2007, I followed my heart and co-founded HATCH, a company that could take these ideas from conception to market place. My first product, My Plate-Mate, is a spill guard that attaches to any dinner plate to prevent messy spills at meal time. In addition, it serves as a learning tool for self-feeding. We developed one product line for kids and the other is for seniors and people with special needs. I had to learn the ropes from the ground up -- design engineering, patenting, materials, manufacturing, packaging, marketing and sales. All this took place in between naps, carpools, and school activities for my three young children. I would always have at least one child with me at my meetings. I’d show up five minutes early so I could set them up in a corner with the DVD player and snacks and then say a silent prayer that no one would have a melt down that day. It was stressful then but now, looking back, it is sort of comical.

3.) What is your dream job?

The one thing that makes this a dream job is seeing how My Plate-Mate has made a positive difference in people’s lives. Parents write all the time saying they love that it makes for a stress-free meal time because their kids are able to eat independently and they no longer have a mess on the table and floor to clean afterwards. One blind elderly client used to take an hour to eat meals and had to use her hands because she couldn’t see what she was scooping. Her daughter called to tell me that with My Plate-Mate her mom can now use a utensil and finish her entire meal in 20 minutes. Plus now they can take her out to restaurants to eat without embarrassment. This in itself is so gratifying.

I’d also love to be in a position to just perform community volunteer work full time. I delivered Meals on Wheels and worked in nursing homes in the past. When you give a little of yourself you truly get back tenfold.

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