GRAND RAPIDS (WJRT) (12/4/2018) - Being a parent is certainly no walk in the park -- especially parents of newborns.
But for one bound-and-determined Grand Rapids mother and business owner, the product she makes is helping her and her son. She hopes other parents will also reap the same benefits.
Liz Hilton's Knitit is based on an elaborate machine and a wall full of yarn at her studio in downtown Grand Rapids.
"Knitit started three and a half years ago as a product development company using 3D knitting," she said. "Our flatbed weave technology to solve problems in industries from office furniture to aerospace."
Not long after, Hilton's life changed with the birth of her son. As he grew up, he got mischievous and learned to escape his swaddle.
That's when a light bulb went off in Hilton's mind.
"I thought, you know I could use this to solve my swaddling problem at home and I made the first hoodini," she said.
A hoodini is a 3D knitted escape-proof baby swaddle. It's been beta tested on dozens of moms, has gone through rigorous third-party testing and has passed a number of suffocation and health and safety tests.
"It's a product I'm really proud to start sharing with other moms," Hilton said.
Each Hoodini is trademarked with compression technology that gives the sensation of a hug to a baby.
"My product is 3D knit, so there are no seams, no closure systems," Hilton said. "It has that stretch, so it's easy on and easy off."
The Hoodini's yarn is sourced from North Carolina. It's moisture wicking, antimicrobial and still soft, she said.
"I say it's like a cloud, like if a cloud were something you could touch," Hilton said.
The Hoodini comes in two sizes and is digitally designed and then 3D print knitted in Michigan.
"I love being here and I don't believe I could have started this business anywhere else in the world," Hilton said.
See Related Links on the right side of this story for more information on the hoodini.