Katie Bell and Lauren Bryson have solved one problem that affects parents of young children: messes.
The two women are on a mission to save kids' sleeves one meal or project at a time with a new product they developed called Sleevie Savers.
Sleevie Savers are adjustable, lightweight sleeve covers that protect young children's sleeves from foods, stains, liquids, stretched sleeves and more by slipping over the child's arm and then attaching at the top with Velcro.
Katie Bell, one of the creators of Sleevie Savers, poses with the products.
This photo provided by Katie Bell shows the inspiration for Sleevie Savers — her daughter’s shirt sleeve that is covered in food and will need to be washed after mealtime.
The women say the product also saves mothers and caregivers from the frustrations of extra clean-up, laundry and the dreaded "second outfit" of the day.
Bell, of Pennsdale, is the mother of 2-year-old Annie, and Bryson, of Elimsport, is the mother of Jonathan, 3, and Elizabeth, 6.
The moms were tired of rolling up their children's sleeves for meal time and art projects, only to have the sleeves get stretched and ruined.
Earlier in the year, Bell came up with the idea and partnered with Bryson to research it and make the first prototype with fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft.
"I was looking for something that would work and be lightweight, water-resistant and stain-resistant," Bell said.
Using their business, research and product development backgrounds, Bell and Bryson did comprehensive searches to make sure nothing else like Sleevie Savers was on the market. They also conducted primary market research with other moms.
"We didn't just ask them pointed questions about how much they like the idea; we also asked them what they didn't like about it, which was valuable feedback for how we should or shouldn't approach the product," Bryson said.
Then, the duo moved forward, working with a product developer to find the right materials.
"That took a while," Bell said, adding that the women were adamant that they wanted Sleevie Savers to be made in the USA with products from the USA.
"We wanted to support manufacturing in the U.S.," Bell said.
They also determined that the target age group was self-feeding toddlers to elementary-aged children, which helped them create a size for the product that could fit most children within those age ranges.
Bryson used Sleevie Savers with her children for art projects and to create a gingerbread house.
The product comes in several colors - Fire Engine Red, Grass Green, Purple Orchid, Royal Blue and Pink Raspberry.
The sleeves are intended to complement existing bibs. They repel water, are sink washable, quick drying, flexible and breathable. The sleeves also are BPA free and free of lead, phthalates and polyvinyl chloride.
"The material research took the longest," Bell said, adding that she came up with the idea in March, and had product samples available at the end of November.
For now, the women are handling marketing themselves, along with updating the website and Facebook pages with links and photos.
Bell said her experience consulting other product developers and inventors through the IMC at Pennsylvania College of Technology gave her the encouragement to move forward.
"We did a lot of research up front, we wanted to know," Bell said. She added that several future products are in the works, with her overall goal to make Sleevie Savers such a success that she and Bryson can invest in future development.
"I would love to sell one million," she said. "I wanted something other mothers couldn't live without."
Sleevie Savers are available at Gustonian Gifts and GG2 in downtown Williamsport and online at www.sleeviesavers.com. Locally they are $10.99 a pair and online they are $9.99 a pair, which does not include shipping.