Naperville resident Lindsey Fleischhauer and her father Stanley Valiulis have teamed up to create a baby product and will be presenting it on ABC’s Shark Tank.
“For any entrepreneur to be even able to get this close to being on Shark Tank is a huge opportunity so the fact that we actually got on, I’m still kind of pinching myself,” said Fleischhauer.
Totes Babies Car Seat Carrier
The father-daughter duo created the Totes Babies Car Seat Carrier, which gives parents the shopping cart space they need.
“Instead of putting the car seat into the shopping cart like most people do and you’re covering the baby with products and groceries, you get to actually have the full cart because the car seat goes into the Totes Babies Car Seat Carrier,” said Fleischhauer.
The idea came to the mother of two when she was having a difficult time shopping with her newborn.
While Fleischhauer was the brains behind it, her father thought up a design thanks to his manufacturing background and knack for inventing products.
“Lindsey explained the problem to me and I was at home drawing some stuff up and sent it to her. And she goes ‘oh that might work,’” said Valiulis. “And then the story is I went to Home Depot and bought an expandable curtain rod and some drop cloth and I stapled one together and it worked fantastic.”
Their idea and design grew into the Totes Carrier, which they launched in 2018.
Appearing on Shark Tank
The two have enjoyed this journey together, especially appearing on the show.
“I would have had a hard time doing it myself. I’m a quiet person,” said Valiulis. “I agree,” added Fleischhauer. “Lindsey’s got a degree in theatre so she’s a little more outgoing than I am,” said Valiulis.
They flew out to Las Vegas and filmed the episode in the summer.
And in just a few days, everyone will be able to tune in.
“I’m very excited for my kids, even though they’re little, to see it and to have this for them to watch when they get older because I did this for them and my family and for us to grow our business,” said Fleischhauer.
You can watch the father-daughter duo pitch their product to the sharks on March 12 at 7 p.m.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.