Local father-daughter duo to pitch product on Shark Tank

Totes Babies Car Seat Carrier
Totes Babies Car Seat Carrier Photo credit Totes Babies

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Naperville resident and mother Lindsey Fleischhauer quickly learned the stress of shopping with a newborn.

“When you put the car seat in [the shopping cart], there’s not a lot of room to put anything else in there and then you’re covering the baby with all these groceries or whatever you’re buying," she said.

She knew there had to be a better way, so in 2018 she went to her dad with an idea.

“I went to Home Depot and I bought a curtain rod, a drop cloth and a stapler. I made it and it worked great!” said Stan Valiulis, Fleischhauer's father.

With a little more engineering, the two created the Totes Babies Car Seat Carrier: a hammock style carrier to hold a car seat without taking up shopping cart space.

“I’m at Trader Joe’s getting everything in the cart that I need for once. I had a happy baby, I was a happy mom, and I would see other parents with a stroller and two carts or their significant other would have to be with them, so I knew we were onto something,” Fleischhauer said.

Lindsey Fleischhauer and her father, Stan Valiulis
Lindsey Fleischhauer and her father, Stan Valiulis Photo credit Totes Babies

Three years later, the father-daughter duo are pitching the Totes Babies product to Shark Tank, something Fleischhauer only dreamed about.

“My husband, when we first met, we used to watch it every week and we would make up pretend pitches. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for any entrepreneur, so to be able to show our product we’ve worked so hard on, is just incredible," she said.

The Shark Tank episode will air March 12 at 7 p.m. CST.