Spotlight: Busy Baby is a Veteran-Owned, Shark Tank-Approved Startup

busy baby

Babies love to play. But it can be challenging to keep their toys in one spot. To enhance playtime and make life easier for parents, Beth Fynbo launched Busy Baby. Thanks to lots of hard work and a Shark Tank appearance, the company now helps tons of families. Learn how in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers a unique playmat for babies.

Founder Beth Fynbo describes the product as, “The first-ever placemat to stop babies from dropping and throwing their toys and other products that make life a little easier with a Busy Baby!”

Business Niche

Being a family focused company.

Fynbo says, “We are a veteran-owned, family-owned small business with patented, mom-invented products that keep babies busy and safer from germs.”

How the Business Got Started

To solve a specific problem that all moms face.

Fynbo explains, “In 2017, shortly after having my first son, I was at lunch with a couple of girlfriends and their one year old daughters. I noticed how overwhelming it was for my friends to try to manage conversation while also keeping the salt and pepper out of the babys’ reach. They’d give the girls toys to play with, which would just end up on the ground. One mom was a germaphobe so the toys had to be wiped down every time. This distracting cycle never ended. I immediately went online to find something to buy that would keep my baby busy when we went out to eat and prevent him from being such a massive interruption. Long story, short – it didn’t exist, so I invented it.”

Biggest Win

Being featured on national television, and finding other growth opportunities.

Fynbo says, “Being featured on Shark Tank was a big win. But even bigger was finding the right people to help me with marketing and experiencing 800% growth during a pandemic!”

Biggest Risk

Investing in a brand new idea.

Fynbo adds, “I think the biggest risk was investing $60,000 into a product that I didn’t know for sure would even work or if people would even buy it.”

Lesson Learned

Get help.

Fynbo says, “[If I could do it over again,] I would have invested in professional help earlier in my business. I tried to ‘do-it-all’ myself for a really long time.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000


Fynbo adds, “The biggest challenge we face is letting people know our products exist!”

Team Tradition

Meetings over beers.

Fynbo explains, “My brother and I run Busy Baby together. Every six weeks, we go to a location somewhere outside our normal work environment, usually a small town, hole-in-the-wall bar, and hold a 4-hour retreat. We have the same agenda each time. First we celebrate the wins from the past 6 weeks. We take time to think of every possible thing that went right no matter how big or small.

“When you get into that day-to-day grind, putting out fires that come up, etc, it’s easy to lose sight of all the great things that are being accomplished. Then, we talk about what lessons we learned in the past 6 weeks. Since working with family is much different than working with other people, we usually hold space for harder conversations about how we feel about working together and how we can learn and grow together. Finally, review the goals we’ve set at previous retreats and set new goals for upcoming periods. It’s nice to be able to work in a fun environment where we can take a break for a beer and a game of darts!”

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Image: Busy Baby, Beth and Eric Fynbo

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.