Joy Chopak was a divorced empty-nester when an idea from a friend inspired her to start a new business for babies. We asked why this Boston-based mom initiated a career change after her son’s high school graduation to launch Gunamuna, which makes unique baby blankets called Gunapods.
What inspired your career change that led to you starting a baby business?
A friend came to me with the idea. She was a mom with three small children, including 1-year-old twins, and couldn’t find any wearable blanket in the marketplace that she or her babies liked. Apparently all of her friends had the same complaint. After she showed me what moms wanted in a wearable blanket, we did some focus groups and confirmed the need for a new product. We started Gunamuna, and we are focused on offering the best, most functional and most comfortable wearable baby blanket. Moms want easy. Babies want comfort. We are created out of a very specific grassroots need and not a broader desire to be in the baby business.
But why baby blankets? How are your blankets helping parents?
It’s recommended that babies do not use blankets in the crib to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act recommend wearable blankets instead. Unlike most other products in the baby market, the wearable baby blanket hasn’t been updated in 15 years. While the current wearable blankets might be safe, our blankets also provide functionality and comfort. We saw a need to provide caregivers and babies with a wearable blanket that speaks to exactly how they want to use it. We invented a patent-pending all-around zipper to make caregivers’ and babies’ lives easier, with a larger fit that’s more comfortable for babies in the softest plush fabric. We are the only wearable blanket that allows for easy changing of diapers, and more!
Where did the name “Gunapod” come from?
It’s an homage to my friend who gave me the idea. Her twins’ nicknames are Guna and Muna. When I Googled the name “gunamuna,” I discovered a Sanskrit word that means “the innocent one.” It seemed very fitting and meant to be. So that’s the company name. The wearable blanket, a pod for babies, is an extension of that.
For more information about Gunamuna, please visit gunamuna.com.