Being innovative and determined to think outside the box is the reason why one local mom is on the verge of changing the look of the medical field by creating a fun new trend.
Jessica Muraco, of Brighton Township, and creator of Steth-O-Charms, decorative beads that slide onto any type of stethoscope, is currently in partnership with the Baudville company in Grand Rapids. With her concept and design gracing the cover of this month's Baudville catalogue, the stay-at-home mom is excited about her new business venture.
“I’m a creative-minded person,” said Muraco, explaining how she came up with her initial idea three years ago while thinking about the path her life had taken. “I just started throwing these ideas around and it came to me and I jotted it down.”
Muraco, who originally went to school for dentistry, says her life took her down a different path of marriage and children, but she still wanted to be involved in the field she is passionate about.
“I feel like I’m missing out on medicine and somehow I want to be a part of it,” Muraco said. “And somehow I want to help awareness groups and I want to do it differently. I want to do something that someone has never done before and this is going to allow me to do that.”
With help from her family and the support of her husband, Muraco had a prototype within the first year of coming up with her idea and after showing her design to local pediatrician offices, she soon realized she was on to something big.
“They love it,” she said. “It’s just something silly, but its important to people. They want to express themselves, express the cause that they support or they want to carry their grandchildren around all day so they can talk about them.”
Researching different ideas and ways to make her Steth-O-Charms led Muraco to contact Baudville, the number one company for medical lapel pins. She had been interested in buying their product in bulk and using their designs on her charms. Her first phone call, however, had her transfered to the vice president of the company who immediately set up a meeting.
“I didn’t know anything about them (Baudville), I just thought, wow these are great pins and I just wanted to call them and tell them what I’m doing with them,” she said.
Baudville recognized the potential of Muraco's idea-- a conversation piece, a symbol of something important or something fun for their young patients to focus on-- and the two parties went into business together.
Baudville currently has twelve designs to choose from, selling for $8.95 on their site. Several of them are ideas that Muraco came up with, including a small photo frame charm and others that are “sparkly” and “fun.”
Muraco says that the nurses and doctors who already wear her Steth-O-Charms love the simple idea and the possibility it gives.
“People could call me up and ask for a horse because their daughter just graduated from veterinary school,” Muraco said.
Steth-O-Charms are available for purchase locally at the Casa De Amici gift store which is located in the Colasanti's Market in Highland. In the past, Muraco also sold her Steth-O-Charms as a vendor at various locations, but since becoming exclusive with Baudville, the mother of two young boys--an 18-month-old and her older son is a junior kindergarder at -- is just excited to see how her new product does in Baudville’s product line over the next six months. She also encourages everyone who has an idea to pursue it.
“I really feel that this is the time, with the economy being post-recession, I think a lot of us have gone back to the drawing board and we had to get creative to figure out how we’re going to support our family,” she said. “I would love to encourage people to go with it, think outside the box. It doesn’t happen immediately but if it’s pulling at you, there’s something there.”