Barbara is a Licensed Occupational Therapist, who spent her career adapting equipment for patients with disabilities of the hand.
After becoming a new grandmother in 2015, she began to help her daughter, Becca, with childcare when Becca returned to work. But she quickly realized that because of arthritis in her thumb, she was unable to push the button of the car seat. As a result, she avoided taking her granddaughter out of the house. Barbara and Becca shopped for alternate car seats, but soon learned that car seat buckles are federally regulated to require 9 lbs of pressure to release (so kids can’t unbuckle themselves!)
Barbara knew there had to be a way to feel more confident and comfortable taking her granddaughter out in the car. Relying on her background as a therapist, she used thermoplastic, splint-making material to create a tool to solve her own problem. Her tool worked great, and she happily began using it with her granddaughter.
Becca is a working mom in the corporate world, and was impressed by her mom’s invention! She knew her mom could not be the only one who struggled with car seat buckles, especially when arthritis is so common among grandparents. After extensive market research, Becca and Barbara launched their business, and the rest is history.
UnbuckleMe is fully patented and manufactured responsibly in the USA. In 2018, Becca became certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) and is passionate about educating and promoting child passenger safety. On May 6, 2020, Becca and Barbara pitched UnbuckleMe on ABC’s Shark Tank and received offers from all 5 sharks!
Barbara and Becca are incredibly grateful for all of the encouragement and support they received while working to bring their product to market. UnbuckleMe was successfully funded through Kickstarter in early 2017, and is currently sold in hundreds of retail stores across the US, Canada and a growing number of international locations. It is also available at buybuyBABY, Nordstrom and Amazon. Follow UnbuckleMe on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more exciting updates, and read more about their journey on the blog.