Necessity is the mother of invention, or so the saying goes, and when former Buckley resident Kasandra Gillis became a mother in 2014, she certainly had a need.
After her son was born, Gillis was faced with a choice many parents come against when bringing their newborn into the world: do you wake them up by moving them from their car seat to their stroller? Or just carry the car seat to avoid waking your kid?
“I would nine times out of 10 choose to grab the entire car seat,” she said, mentioning that she often neglected a multi-hundred dollar stroller because it was too cumbersome to use in the places she visited.
Gillis quickly discovered this problem wasn’t unique to her.
“When I searched the terms online ‘car seat carrying pain’ and ‘hard to carry car seat,’ I was absolutely blown away by what I found,” she said. “That is when I saw an opportunity to help create a real solution.”
For two years, Gillis played around with several designs for how to make a car seat stroller affordable and compact.
“The idea came to me after watching parents use those upside-down high chairs at restaurants,” she said.
Her work is about to pay off, as her invention, the Strolyy, is slotted to go public on Kickstarter Oct. 10.
The Strolly looks similar to a collapsible umbrella stroller that allows any size car seat to be cradled at the top.
For storage, the Strolyy collapses like a camping chair and takes up less storage than many other strollers.
Gillis is asking for $65,000 to fund the Strolyy through before the final product is ready to ship in spring 2018.
“The final prototype just needs the custom part that mates the wheels to the device which will allow us to explore different size options for the wheels,” she said. “I have a manufacturer lined up and ready to go… every dollar pledges will go toward manufacturing, quality assurance, packaging and shipping.”
Backers can pledge $29 or more to receive a Strolyy when the product is complete.
“I decided to stray away from little gimmicks like T-shirts and what not due to the added costs and extra work involved,” Gillis said. “I need my main focus to be on this device and getting it into new parents hands.
Gillis graduated White River High School in 2000, and moved to Ellenburg in 2010.
Story update: In the original article, printed Sept. 27, it was reported the Kickstarter would go live Oct. 15. After deadline, it was announced the Kickstarter will go live Oct. 10.