Doug Hartwell has always been a tinkerer. When he was a kid, he sewed his own backpacks for hiking. Now that he has a kid — 5-year-old daughter Bella — he's gone into the child-carrier business. In April, the Vergennes resident quit his 15-year career in the defense industry to launch Bitybean, a sleek fabric carrier that rolls up small enough to fit in your pocket. Created with the help of Huntington resident and technical soft-goods design expert Jim Sadler, the highly portable carrier is built for infants and children weighing 8 to 40 pounds, which corresponds to ages 6 months to 3 years old. At half the size of its closest competitor, Bitybean is handy in airports, farmers markets and in-a-pinch, on-the-go situations in which lugging around a hefty stroller isn't a practical option, says Hartwell. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association agrees: In October, the internationally recognized organization honored Bitybean with a 2012 Innovation Award. Look for the carriers in stores in late January or early February.
Since 1990, Camp Invention has taken summer fun and transformed it from ordinary to extraordinary! Local educators lead the week of hands-on activities created especially for elementary school children entering grades 1-6. Boys and girls will spend their time constructing and personalizing a DIY solar-powered cricket with a unique habitat,…(more)