'Mompreneur' rewarded for her ingenuity

With a working prototype in hand, Las Vegas resident Lisa Cash Hanson took one of the top prizes in a recent national competition.

Hanson was named one of the newest Huggies MomInspired grant recipients for her product, the SnuggWugg, a plush fabric-covered pillow that holds a baby in place using a soft elasticized fit for a clean and safe barrier between dirty diapers and the baby's hands. As part of her win, Hanson received a $15,000 grant.

"The Huggies Mom inspired grant is huge, for any entrepreneur," Hanson noted. "This is a product Huggies has decided is worthy of seed money."

After having her first baby, Matilda, Hanson realized how difficult it can be changing a squirmy baby's diaper. She created the SnuggWugg, a soft pillow that would allow Matilda to play without being restrained, but that would also allow Hanson to do the dirty work.

"I knew this product could be great, but I knew I needed the seed money to get started," Hanson said.

Now that she has some of that seed money, Hanson's encouraged to keep pursuing her dream of seeing her product on store shelves.

"The newest Huggies MomInspired grant recipients have developed products that truly promote the joy of parenting, and it's an honor to add them to our Huggies MomInspired family," said Kelly Stephenson, Huggies senior brand manager. "The innovation, creativity, and passion behind Lisa's SnuggWugg is a great example of how this group of 'mompreneurs' is meeting important unmet needs and creating ways to make parents' lives easier every day."

Since winning the grant, Hanson said activity on her website, snuggwugg.com, has increased. She's still looking for potential investors, and hopes to secure more funding soon, somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000.

"I know already from doing market research that parents are excited about this product," said Hanson, who is also an active blogger. "Obviously, I created it so I'm already pumped about it. But I also know it works."

Hanson also wants to create smartphone applications that can pair with the SnuggWugg, which babies can play with while being changed. Hooks on the product also allow parents to connect toys or stuffed animals. The product's retail price is still undetermined, but Hanson is estimating it will land somewhere between $25 and $50.

"My goal is to make the SnuggWugg as reasonable and practical for parents as possible," she said.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4588.