Laurie became an inventor by accident, or, more accurately, by being in an accident. One day Laurie and her two sons were going to a family reunion, but someone stole their car and camping supplies, leaving them stranded with no transportation. The insurance company covered the cost of the car but not the stolen items, which included the children’s car seats.
Laurie decided that the stolen car seats didn’t quite fit her children properly anyway, so she started to think about how to improve car seats for all children who might not fit in a regular seat. For her three-month-old son’s comfort and safety, Tandrup devised a system that would gently reposition him so that he would fit more securely in a larger car seat.
Laurie designed and built her own seat (named the Travelbud) and took it on her next camping trip. It worked so well that she applied for the patent and went into business, founding Snuglbuds Inc. in 1996.
Because Laurie worked in the health care industry for 15 years, she was able to identify that the people who needed her product the most were premature and small infants who did not fit properly into regular sized car seats and other equipment. While Laurie was traveling around to hospitals demonstrating her new and improved child car seat, she saw a need for another new product. She noticed that infants in intensive or special care needed better positioning. Laurie worked with nurses and therapists to design and patent her second invention, the Butterfly Support, in 1998.
Laurie Tandrup lives with her husband, two boys, two dogs and a budgie on a farm near Onoway. She is a full-time student, working towards a degree in education at Grant MacEwan College, and a full-time mom, volunteering regularly at her children’s school. She enjoys pottery, leatherwork, reading and crochet and is working towards her black belt in Kung Fu.
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