Wayland native Josh Wiesman got his start developing child products early - he patented a pacifier during his sophomore year at Tulane University.
"I was originally using the project to improve my medical school or dental school application," he said. "I quickly found out I was more useful to mankind as an engineer."
Wiesman, who now lives in Weston, is using his experience in a new Wayland-based venture he co-founded, Smilo. The company, which designs and sells products for babies and children through its website, launched in August.
Smilo, said Wiesman, is focused on providing the most innovative and safe products for newborn children. Its current line, he said, is based around infant feeding and soothing, and its designs are rooted in science - pacifiers designed to avoid dental issues and bottles that help fend off colic, for example.
"We were previously designing and licensing products for medical and consumer companies, and we noticed our products tended to be leaders in the industry," he said. "We wondered what would happen if we were to design our own products."
Avoiding big-box retailers, Wiesman said, allowed the company to offer its wares online in a comfortable environment.
"The website is always open, and easy to go on," he said. "People can learn about the science behind the products, and easily check out - within a matter of days, the product is delivered to their door."
Wiesman said he grew up in Wayland but went to New Orleans for college and grad school. He said he met his wife down there, but they were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and returned to MetroWest.
"It's really nice - there are a ton of families nearby," he said of MetroWest. "It's something of a big-city area without being too big, and we've been able to spread the word locally about our company."
Smilo's first month, said Wiesman, had gone extremely well.
"It's been fantastic - we've been getting great reviews from customers," he said. "The best part is seeing someone post on Facebook about how a bottle had changed their lives - how their child may have had feeding issues, and this was the first bottle they were able to use."
Wiesman said hearing such stories had been the most empowering part about starting the company.
Facts about Smilo:
Started: August 2017
Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-634-7546 or email@example.com. For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter @MGleason_MDN.