Some Things Are Just Simply NecessaryMike Sullivan
Out of her own experience and necessity, Tangela Walker invented a new product for the market. She talks to us about the product, the domain behind it and the pros and cons she has experienced with running a business on-line.
Mike: Tell me where you came up with the company name, Simply Necessary.
Tangela: The name Simply Necessary, Incorporated sums up why our company was founded. I needed a comfortable, portable breastfeeding pillow that didn’t exist. The original intent of the pillow was for cradling babies for breast or bottle feedings. I knew it would be an excellent travel pillow for moms and kids on the go. The idea for adding the patented privacy blanket came later. It was added after I was caught in a crowded area during a rainstorm at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My husband had to hide me with his shirt so that I could nurse my daughter. We realized that a privacy blanket or cover would separate my pillow idea from any other nursing pillow on the market. A privacy blanket that was accessible when needed, but stored away when not in use was not available on existing breastfeeding pillows. The built-in blanket turned my pillow into a multi-purpose wonder! The GoPillow! solved several problems that mothers often run into when away from home with a baby or toddler. I had been brainstorming about a way to earn an income AND stay at home with my new baby. Once I invented the GoPillow! I needed a way to market and sell it. The GoPillow! was simply necessary for moms like me and my company was simply necessary in order for me to promote my patented invention.
Mike: You’re main product is the Go Pilllow. I noticed that the domain GoPillow.com is taken and is parked but not currently in use. Have you considered trying to acquire this name?
Tangela: I think someone knew that the GoPillow! name would be big some day so they acquired that domain name just in case. The reason we didn’t go with that name in the beginning is because we hope to have more than just one product. There is a lot of creativity and good ideas flowing through my company. We want plenty of flexibility in the company and its name so that we can add products and services that we develop in the future.
Mike: Your site ranks in the number one position in Google for the term “go pillow”. Was that an effort to achieve or was that just an outcome of the website? Are you aware of any other keyword ranking results for your site?
Tangela: I work hard to market the GoPillow! and moms and people that shop for baby gifts and gear like the multipurpose nature of the product. My patent is ranked #1 when you search Google for “multipurpose pillow”. People around the world searching for travel solutions type in many of the key words associated with the GoPillow! Those kinds of searches keep the GoPillow! #1 on various Google pages. The GoPillow! comes up whenever someone does a search for: breastfeeding pillow, baby blanket, travel pillow, baby gift, nap pillow, nap blanket, and more. GoPillow! videos are on the first page of Google when people search specifically for “baby travel pillow”. The Simply Necessary, Incorporated “buy page” also ranks high in the search for “pillow and blanket combination”.
Mike: Can you share the amount of traffic your site receives per month?
Tangela: I don’t know the specific numbers on that. Some people keep track of those types of statistics but I never have. I focus more on customer inquiries and product orders. If I’m receiving positive feedback from customers and sales are coming in, I don’t really think about website traffic.
Mike: Tell me about running an online business. What have been some of the challenges you’ve experienced? What have been some of the benefits?
Tangela: One of the things about having a business online that has bothered me is people attaching their products and company to my product and company without permission. There have been times when the GoPillow! name gets inexplicably linked to another product or company that has nothing to do with us. If certain words or phrases are strung together online sites will associate the GoPillow! or Simply Necessary, Incorporated with things completely unrelated to us. Once or twice the words “go” and “pillow” have created some less than positive associations online.
The benefits of an online business are being able to communicate with people in an unlimited way. Simply Necessary, Incorporated and GoPillow! information is accessible to people everywhere in the world. I am able to send and receive communications that would have taken days, weeks, or even months in the past. I can make sales to people that I will never meet face to face. Receiving payment for my product only takes minutes. I can track shipments and verify deliveries with just a few clicks on my keyboard.
Mike: You and your invention have been featured in many media sources from blogs to television shows. Can you suggest to other small business
owners how they might receive the same level of exposure?
Tangela: It’s cliche’ but a good elevator pitch is key. You have to be able to communicate who you are, what your product is, and what your company is all about in a clear and concise manner. Knowing your product inside and out is also a must. Become familiar with questions that tend to be asked about your product and/or company. Have good answers to those questions. Making your company and product relatable to the audience that they’re being pitched to/for is also a good way to get decision makers at media outlets to give you exposure. A relatable story means an audience will want to listen to or read about your company or product.
Mike: Any other information you’d like to share?
Tangela: Anyone, anywhere can see demonstrations of the GoPillow! on www.YouTube.com by typing “GoPillow” in the search box. The GoPillow! is available for both wholesale and retail purchase. We ship our product anywhere in the United States and Canada. We can do custom colors for orders in large enough quantities. Our most recently added distributor, My Precious Kid (Child Safety Products) carries the GoPillow! in their Hillsboro, Oregon store and on their website. My Precious Kids can also ship GoPillow! orders internationally. We are planning several website updates soon. Be sure to visit our website
frequently to see our latest news and updates.
I am also the Lakeland Parenting Examiner for Examiner.com. I draw from my experience as a wife, mother, business owner, and former Language Arts teacher for my articles. I provide tips for helping families enjoy life. There is no cost to subscribe to my articles. Just click the word “subscribe” next to my picture and enter an email address. http://www.examiner.com/parenting-in-tampa-bay/tangela-walker-craft
I wrote a children’s book about hygiene with a strong emphasis on dental health that has been added to the American Dental Association Library Children’s Collection in its unpublished form. The American Dental Association librarian was impressed enough with the book to add it to the ADA library. The ADA librarian was especially impressed with the illustrations for the book, which were done by my husband. I hope to have this and other books published in the future. View the children’s book online here: