Memorial Mom and Entrepreneur Lands Patent, Launches Magnetic Babygear Biz

Memorial Mom and Entrepreneur Lands Patent, Launches Magnetic Babygear Biz

Zimmer and Gooch and, at right, their debut product, a super-strong magnetic silicone bib

IT'S A TALE as old as time: A flustered mom tries to put a bib or clothing item on her fussy baby — one-handed, naturally; moms do almost everything one-handed — only to have the kid put up a fight using that disproportionate strength of theirs, and everyone is left more frustrated than they were five minutes ago.

A Memorial-area mom of three had things like this happen one too many times, and set out to do something about it. Two years ago, Ashley Gooch filed a utility patent for a new type of magnetic closure, and now, in 2024, the first Babynetic product is available: a bib that is easy for parents to pop on and off (but hard for babies to do so!), made out of platinum-grade silicone and available in bright and modern colors. Gooch and her business partner, Austin-based Jennifer Jones Zimmer, thought through all the practicalities during the product development stage, which was carried out in conjunction with Samantha Rose's full-stack agency Mvnifest. (Rose founded GIR, specializing in silicone kitchen products.) The Babynetic bib is among the widest and strongest on the market, and it sticks to the fridge or dishwasher for easy storage.

"People are so desperate for things that make parenting easier," explains Gooch, 35, who has a school-age daughter, toddler daughter, and infant son. "We even thought through taking a bib to a restaurant, and it comes with a waterproof storage bag to toss in your purse without worrying about mess."

Gooch and Zimmer gave aesthetics a great deal of consideration, too. "Everything out there is muted and earth-toned, and it's hard to discern who's who," says Gooch, 35, of Babynetic's vibrant brand, which was brought to life with the help of Man the Studio, responsible for Instagram-savvy, eye-catching brands like Stoney Clover. "We wanted to have a playful, energetic, bold approach — we wanted to lean into kids being kids without necessarily using primary or neon colors."

Gooch is no stranger to entrepreneurship: She co-founded RYDE, the high-end spin studios with locations in River Oaks and the Heights, nine years ago. "Coming from the service world, it’s been exciting learning how to navigate the product realm," says Gooch, who in her minimal spare time enjoys working out, serving her community through various Christian ministries, and playing Mahjong with girlfriends. "From product design, patent acquisition, and manufacturing intricacies, to strategically carving out our own lane in a hyper-competitive landscape, I’ve loved challenging myself in a fresh and new way."

The Babynetic founders, who met while attending Texas A&M University, have always dreamt of starting a business together. "I'm not surprised that we did it," says Zimmer, whose background is in social-media and tech startups, "but I'm surprised that it took us this long!" The two would lay around during girls' nights and, instead of throwing back drinks or having a dance party, they'd brainstorm business ideas. Fast forward a few years, and Babynetic is a real-life dream-come-true — and there's more still to come!

Early next year, Babynetic will roll out its first line of magnetic baby apparel; the fully secured magnetic closure makes getting dressed and undressed a literal snap — even in the dark, during middle-of-the-night diaper changes. The clothing will be made from high-quality Peruvian Pima cotton.

"I am so excited about the opportunity to make life easier for parents like us," says Gooch. "As a mom that’s always on the go between work, social outings, and kids' activities, babygear that delivers is a must."

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