Nancy Vardalos Ginakes
If necessity is the mother of invention, then it’s easy to understand the genesis of the Safe-2-Go Child safety harness and backpack created by entrepreneur Nancy Vardalos Ginakes.
With three active toddlers at home, Nancy was looking for a product that would help keep her children safe and close by when the family ventured out to busy places. Says Nancy, “I had a vision of the kind of product I needed, but couldn’t find one.”
With a degree in Textile Science, Nancy designed and made her first prototype. It was a unique design and others quickly took notice. Nancy recalls, “Friends would ask me to sew one for them and when I was out at the zoo with the kids, we couldn’t believe how many people stopped to ask about it.”
After conducting market research and refining the product, Nancy approached the Women’s Enterprise Centre for information on trademarks and patents. She secured a manufacturer in China to produce the harness in the shape of a stuffed animal. The animal’s tongue or the monkey’s banana is a retractable tether that connects the child and parent.
In 2008, Nancy teamed up with Heather Campbell-Dewar, designer of the Baby Sherpa backpack, to attempt global marketing of their products. As often happens, one thing lead to another and in late 2012, NASCAR officially licensed Safe2Go to produce backpacks of Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car and Jeff Gordon’s No 24. In addition, Safe2Go backpacks are available at several U.S. zoos, in 200 retailers across North America and online at amazon.uk and target.com.
Nancy attributes her success to perseverance and confidence. “If I really didn’t believe in the product I would have stopped a long time ago. Something tells me that there’s nothing like this that is as dignified for children and it’s going to really appeal to buyers.”Visit Website