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Necessity: The mom of invention.

It all started with a question: Does everybody do this? This, of course, referred to the ridiculous effort it takes to change a regular crib sheet.

Joan and I were both first-time moms, and we were dealing with all of the first-time mom stuff: feeding schedules, teething pain, sleep deprivation and, yes, struggling to change our baby's sheets night after night when the sheets were soiled. Did we really need to add insult to injury by humbling ourselves before a 20-pound mattress we could barely handle? Were we really facing years of tying and untying dozens of bumper ribbons and adjusting sheet corners that always seemed to pop up in the middle of the night?

One day, Elizabeth asked another question: "Why can't you just change the top?" This was our lightning-strike of inspiration.

Joan sewed the first prototype, a local seamstress perfected it and the QuickZip® sheet was born. We had good luck with an early mention in Good Housekeeping, and we took an auspicious trip to the country's biggest baby-and-kid-stuff trade show, where One Step Ahead® catalog saw (and loved) QuickZip®.

We were off and running with Clouds and Stars, Inc. Today, we're still running and still dealing with mom stuff (although our kids have long since outgrown their cribs). But we still get the same sense of overwhelming satisfaction when a first-time mom becomes a first-time QuickZip® user, and we see the relief on her face just knowing that one thing in her life has gotten a little bit easier.