Jim Holley is a man on a mission. A mission to combine advanced car safety with a huge dose of fun. And judging by the reaction to his ‘Guardimals’ booster car seats today, it’s already mission-complete!
A former aerospace structural engineer – not to mention a proud dad of two – Jim made his first foray into baby goods in 1995, with the launch of an innovative two-chamber baby bottle, which proved to be an instant success story spanning the entire United States. Head-hunted by car seat company ‘KidsEmbrace’ in 2011, Jim was ultimately inspired to set up his own company – Sentry Baby Products – and unleash a creative line of car seats on America.
“I decided to Start Sentry in 2016 to sell non-licensed – plush animal character car seats (“Guardimals”) that appeal to all children 2 or 3 years old worldwide. I Completed the development process and optimized the character design so it can evolve in 3 stages (last stage is a non-character backless booster for use when the child outgrows the character),” he explained.
“Feedback form real customers has been phenomenal – their kids love to ride in the seats and are pleasantly surprised by the high quality thick and soft plush material in the $99 retail booster.”
Advanced Safety Seats
When asked what it was that inspired him to focus on this specific area of kids’ hardware, Jim explained how Sentry Baby Products represent so much more than a business venture.
“With my engineering background, I really enjoyed participating in the extensive crash testing in certified labs. Evaluating the chest G’s or head excursion of a child represented by a dummy and refining the seats to maximize the results is a very rewarding process,” Jim told us.
“As a dad, it is not just about passing to me, it’s about reducing risk in the crash environment to the child as much as possible. The higher the margin of safety – the better. It is not an easy business but very rewarding and I like offering a safety product that is required by law to save lives in every developed country.”
Sentry has only been selling their products for about 6 months and they are already on Walmart, Amazon, and Babies ‘R’ Us online. Sales are growing and consumers love it! They are testing markets internationally in Thailand, China, and Russia. Additionally, the company is also working on a new line of products with further-enhanced safety.
“We are working on expanding distribution in the US and internationally and hope to gain store placement,” he said.
“In addition, we will expand the Guardimals gear line and we are currently developing a non-character, completely new and innovative car seat line we hope to launch in 2019. We will grow the Sentry brand and awareness and focus on bringing innovation every year going forward.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
With the success of future entrepreneurs in-mind, we probed Jim for his thoughts on how the next-generation of creative thinkers could emulate the success story of Sentry Baby Products.
“Make sure you have the passion and tenacity to go this direction, so you will make it through the stressful journey which will take far more time and money than you ever imagined,” Jim advised.
“If you don’t want it bad, it is likely you won’t weather these storms,”
“If you do decide to jump in, it will be the hardest thing you have ever done but by far the most rewarding.”
Find out more about Jim’s story and check out the full line of Guardimals from Sentry Baby Product at the following address: