Meet Hindi Zeidman, a foster mom and MSW and now founder of The Ollie World. Zeidman, who not only curates an amazing social media platform for expectant and new mothers, created the first “Ollie” when she saw a gap in the market, as her 3-month old foster child Oliver struggled to sleep soundly, eat properly and reach developmental milestones.
Zeidman bought every swaddle on the market, and each came up short, until she developed her own prototype. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Zeidman was a Clinical Social Worker who specialized in working with trauma and drug exposed infants. She first became involved in this specialty in 2007 and has since helped to establish response teams throughout San Bernardino, California.
The Ollie, with its state-of-the-art tech of varying loop sizes and moisture-wicking fabric, allows infants to feel snug on top, and loose on the bottom which enhances neurological development, creates positive sleep cues, decreases irritability while promoting self-soothing, allows for healthy hip development, makes diaper changes easier and so much more. After using The Ollie, Oliver started sleeping through the night, eating and catching up on developmental milestones. And like Oliver, Hindi has helped thousands of other infants and parents all over the world- even donating Ollie swaddles to foster-infants and their families.
Each safety-tested Ollie Swaddle is made from a patented fiber woven through their custom blend material of 85% polyester and 15% spandex. Since the Ollie is one size fits all, it can be used for newborn infants, and infants who can flip from their stomach to their back, as long as you keep both of their arms out.
We were lucky enough to talk to Hindi, who is also a new mom to Olive, about her brand, being a female entrepreneur and more!
What was the need for The Ollie World?
HZ: The true need for The Ollie became apparent when I was a single foster parent for an amazing infant, named Oliver. He was struggling with the basics of eating, sleeping, and being able to bond. I knew the benefits and importance of swaddling, so I purchased every swaddle on the market, but nothing worked for him. The swaddles available didn’t properly contain him, he overheated, and they didn’t provide the right amount of pressure on his torso and limbs. So, I set out to create a swaddle that Oliver needed and that is how I made the first Ollie. Once Oliver started using his Ollie, he started sleeping through the night, gaining weight, and catching up with missed developmental milestones. He even had the capacity for eye contact, bonding, and attachment. I saw the impact The Ollie had on him and that was the moment I knew I wanted to share it with little ones all over the world and that is when my career path changed.
Tell us about your story as a foster mom to being a new mother yourself.
HZ: Being a foster mom was life changing for so many reasons. My foster son not only changed me as a person, but he changed the trajectory of my career. After creating the Ollie for him and seeing the impact it had, I set out to create a way for the product to reach all little ones around the world. During this time, I also made a decision to try to have a baby on my own. After several losses, I was fortunate enough to get pregnant again and have a healthy pregnancy with my daughter.
What makes The Ollie World unique to the marketplace?
HZ: The Ollie is a patented product that has been purposefully designed with science and made with love. Our custom fabric provides moisture wicking technology to assist with temperature regulation, as well as the right amount of stretch, that allows for both proper containment and limb movement and flexibility. It has custom closures that allows for the fit to be individualized to meet the size and need of each little one.
What are some of your favorite reviews from happy customers?
HZ: I would love to share a story about an amazing three month infant, named Ray. He has been consistently irritable. His foster-to-adopt mother was exhausted and attachment was waning. The mother was given an Ollie swaddle, that we donated to a local SART center, and right there in the clinic, Ray calmed. His mother exclaimed with tears in her eyes that she had never seen him stop moving and they had their first eye-to-eye contact. His mother said, “Since using the swaddle and learning what you are teaching me, he has begun to grow and is sleeping and learning new skills. You and The Ollie saved my life, I was so sleep deprived. Thank you.”
“Just wanted to thank you!! The Ollie saved us when our baby girl was a newborn, then when she started rolling I tried pretty much every other sleep sack, swaddle transition, etc. nothing worked, nights were terrible. Went back to our Ollie with arms out – 10 hours of sleep. I don’t know why I wasted my time trying anything else!!” @kelseycgard
“As a neonatal nurse, wife of a pediatrician, and mom of 4 who teaches newborn sleep classes, this is the number one product I recommend. I love the moisture-wicking fabric, snug “womb-like” swaddle, and cue for sleep this product provides. The Ollie Swaddle is the only swaddle parents will ever need!” – Cara, Taking Cara Babies
“Seriously best swaddle ever! It’s become such a sleep cue for our daughter and she knows it’s time for a nap or to go to bed as soon as it’s on. Really saved us because she would break free of all the muslin swaddles we have been gifted. I definitely count it as a MUST have for new babies. It’s also so comfortable and she wears it with and without clothes! Thank you Ollie!” – Arielle Grand”
“Took the Ollie swaddle to the hospital with us. I will say it’s the number one baby product that I have bought that has made my time with a newborn so much easier! She loves it, I love it, her dad loves it and I tell all my friends!” Kate Mudd Qualman
“Our little Jack has battled with pretty severe eczema and this swaddle helps him stay comfortable to be able to sleep. He had a lot of restless nights of itching and discomfort before the swaddle arrived. We’re very thankful and we are absolutely loving our Ollies. I wish I would have ordered them right when he was first born. Now I know for next time ?. Thank YOU❤️” @haleighenserink
“We have truly loved your product. We loved it when our little guy was a newborn and we still love it now almost 4 months later. I love how it grows with Elliot as well. I just wish I had it for my first! The Ollie has been such a wonderful addition to our nighttime and naptime routine and makes diapers changes a breeze! Thank you!!” @randilundgren
“I just have to pass along a huge thank you for creating an amazing product. This last week my son has been in the hospital with RSV and this hooked up to so many monitors to keep track of his breathing, heart rate, oxygen, etc. The Ollie is the only swaddle that worked with all those cords and it was the only thing that helped calm George down to nap when he was in pain. So thank you thank you for creating a versatile product that can be used at home and the hospital. Thankfully we were able to be released home for his first Christmas ♥️” @itsbridgetdean
What are 3 tips you have to share with other foster mothers?
1. It takes a village. This is a true statement for all moms, but it rings a little different for foster moms. We step into a role as a caregiver, but it’s important to not make it a battle against the biological mom. If you can approach everything with the mindset of how we can all best surround this amazing child with the most love and support, that helps get through so many hard situations.
2. It is ok to ask for help. It is not always easy to be a parent and the same thing goes for being a foster parent. It is ok to ask for help always, as a mom and as a foster parent. Asking for help is not only taking care of you, but it is taking care of that amazing little one too.
3. Find resources. There are some great resources out there for foster children and their caregivers, but they are not always easily accessible or easily offered. Fight for those resources. I was aware of what programs to fight and advocate for with my foster-son, but that was only because I was immersed in actually creating those programs with the county. It can be a fight, but please keep fighting for the much needed resources and support.
How did your background as a Social Worker help to create your business?
HZ: The same passion that kept me going on most days as a social worker, is the same passion that keeps me going as a business owner. As a social worker, I felt like I spent a lot of days fighting the system to advocate for children. I was driven to be their voice, to protect them, and to make sure they were seen. Although as a business owner it is in a different capacity, I am still driven by the passion to have a positive impact on the lives of little ones. I still want to help provide support and a positive foundation for each little one.
What are your 3 tips to other women who are starting their own business?
1. Let go. I read that one of the ways entrepreneurs can fail is by having a lack of ability to let go and delegate responsibilities. That has always resonated so strongly with me. There was a time that I was running the entire business on my own. I did every single job because that was what needed to be done. As we grow, I have to be cognizant of my time and honoring the incredible capable people I worked with to be able to do their work. And now, as a mom, it is even more important to let go, so I can be there for my daughter.
2. Pick your team. I work with great people. They are great and they inspire me to be better. They believe in what we do, they believe in our products, and they believe in my vision. I am committed to them, as they are committed to me. We not only walk through the hard times together, but we celebrate the wins too. Pick the people who are going to walk beside you through it all.
3. Believe in what you do. When I first started no one would give me a chance or the time of day. People dismissed me and my product and said I would never make it or compete against larger brands. What kept me going was the belief in my product and my drive to make a difference in this world. There are still hard days, but I always come back to my “why”, which will always keep me going.
How do you juggle being a new mom and founder of The Ollie World?
HZ: I am still trying to figure this out. I am a single mom running a business and there are days when I feel like I am being pulled in multiple directions and not giving enough to anyone. Just like the stages and needs of my daughter change, so does the business. So, it is a constant adjustment and balance of doing the best I can to be there for my daughter and the business. The one special thing I do for myself every day is read before bed. It is my moment of letting go and escape all rolled in one.
What are some future plans for The Ollie World?
HZ: We have some really exciting things coming both from our new product side, as well as the philanthropy side. I have been working for the past couple of years on developing the next product that comes after the swaddle and that should be coming out 2021. We also do a lot of giving back to our community. In addition to donating Ollies to foster infants, we were approached by a hospital to donate Ollies to their NICU. We are hoping to not only create an Ollie specifically designed for the NICU, but to also expand our donations to more foster infants and hospitals.