What Makes Us NEAT
It started with a road trip. Our parents who grew up in New York and now resided in the mountains of Idaho wanted to experience the land that lay between. Visiting Niagara Falls, Cooperstown and Badlands as well as playing a few golf courses along the way, they happily, but anxiously arrived ten days later. With barely one foot out of the car door, my father, a perennial businessman exclaimed. “We have an idea.” And thus, NEATsheets (at that moment called the Drippy Dickie) was born.
Being a mother of three, the concept of a car napkin/bib/clothing protector… immediately resonated. How many times had my kids spilled on themselves or my car? How many times had I spilled on myself and arrived at a school or work meeting sporting a coffee or yogurt stain. Too many.
But the true significance of NEATsheets was realized when my elegant, 97 year-old grandmother who always dressed in cashmere, silk, and high healed shoes started to loose some of her functions. Seeing her with a stain on her sweater was heartbreaking, but the idea of a bib was worse.
My masters degree in design was going to be put to use in a way I never imagined. My goal, create a product that was easy-to-use, attractive and dignified so that everyone from my kids to my grandmother would view it as simply, a better napkin.
With the help of my brother Greg, NEATsheets is becoming a viable business. Our audience has grown beyond our family and friends to thousands of users. NEATsheets is a family business in the best sense. We are all working hard, having fun and involved in every step of the process. Sure there are those rough days when that rare naysayer who will wear a stain without feeling embarrassed will voice their opinion. As for the rest of us, those of us who don’t like wearing our food/those that respect ourselves/those that like to keep it NEAT, there are NEATsheets.
Who Makes Us NEAT
Educated in architecture and design and driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Heidi is inspired to develop exceptionally well designed solutions for everyday needs. So when her parents brought up the idea for NEATsheets, she immediately got it. Within hours she was making prototypes and trying them on herself and her kids. Living in the country where every destination can be a road trip, countless family meals have been consumed on the go racing between activities. “It’s amazing the artwork that can be created from hummus and a carrot stick. Life’s too busy for extra laundry.” What motivated Heidi to further develop NEATsheets were the other uses that kept arising — summer barbecues, team picnics, an outdoor wedding, graduation parties, Friday night pizza on the couch, dining out with her grandmother, kids’ art projects, and eating in front of her computer at work…and that’s just to name a few. Always motivated by a creative challenge, Heidi now looks forward to creating products that enable people to embrace life’s messy moments. And when Heidi is not obsessing about design, her attention is focused on her family.
Greg has so much to thank his parents for, but the seedling of the idea to create NEATsheets with Heidi is near the top of the list. No longer does Greg have to avoid the inevitable stain as he wolfs down breakfast in the car on the way to a meeting or battle the errant sauce-laden noodle at dinner. And probably most excited is his family who on several occasions have had to do the embarrassing “um, dad, you have a big stain on your shirt” aside at a restaurant, picnic, or soccer sideline. Greg has a background in marketing, product management and strategy for large, national companies but is completely energized by this amazing entrepreneurial opportunity to offer a product that can keep us all neat. When he is not adjusting the company’s business plan, unloading boxes, fielding midnight calls from overseas, or stuffing samples, Greg finds the ultimate pleasure in coaching his kids’ soccer and hockey teams or enjoying a movie with his wife, not to mention eating ribs stain free!