RIVER EDGE, N.J. – Before moving to River Edge, Samantha Senack spent over 20 years in the fashion industry.
“I have traveled the world and lived in China babysitting production, India, and all types of fantastic places getting to see how things are made and negotiating and seeing designs come to life,” said Senack, an Oakland native.
So when her baby daughter, Birdie, had trouble sleeping due to colds and ear infections, she put her design background to use.
“Every night being sleepless, I stared at the crib and stared at her and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can make it better. I can help her sleep and I can help myself sleep,’” she recalled.
Senack invented the Birdie Wedge – a product that props up cribs for head elevation to alleviate congestion from colds, mitigate ear infections and aid in digestion from reflux.
“The parents who have tried it have had tremendous success with it,” Senack said.
And Senack didn’t stop her inventing there.
She wanted to help Birdie quit sucking her thumb, but not feel punished or embarrassed. So she created Digit Tape. She describes the product as “like a Band-Aid, a sticker and a finger puppet all in one.”
“It is an interactive tool that creates positive reinforcement and positive reinforcement is the best way to create change in behavior,” she said.
Senack said that besides parents deterring their children from thumb sucking, speech therapists and teachers who work with kids on the autism spectrum also use Digit Tape to help with communications skills.
Senack said she has “a zillion” more ideas for inventions to help kids. But for now, she is focusing on the two she already created.
She said her new role as an inventor and entrepreneur gives her “a sense of purpose.”
“Coming from the fashion industry, while I loved what I did, it was the creative aspects of what I did that I enjoyed the most,” she said. “Now truly doing something that is helping others is the most gratifying.”
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