Meet Clare, the mother of invention.
A young entrepreneur fed up with pushing a buggy in the rain has developed an innovative new product to keep both mums and children dry.
Now, 27-year-old mother-of-two Clare Kipping hopes her Multibrella - a full-size 'hands-free' umbrella that can attach to prams and push-chairs - will impress judges in the Best Business Innovation Awards 2006.
The awards, run by Coventry commecialisation special-ists Rowan and The Birmingham Post, are looking for new products that celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of the West Midlands.
Mrs Kipping, who lives in Bedworth, developed Multi-brella after a disastrous trip home from the hairdressers.
"My youngest daughter Helena was in the pushchair and her sister, Kerrigan, was walking beside me," said Mrs Kipping, who lives in Bedworth.
"We were on our way home when we were caught in a downpour.
"It was easy enough to sort out the children - the push-chair had covers and Kerrigan had her mac.
"I had an umbrella with me, but the combination of buggy, toddler and umbrella was impossible and my expensive new hairdo was ruined!"
With support and enthusiasm from friends and family
Mrs Kipping took out a bank loan to register her design, trademark the Multibrella name and launch her company Kerlen.
"I sourced all the materials myself and found a really good manufacturer in Redditch who helped to produce prototypes of the Multibrella," she said.
"It has taken several design attempts and modifications before a good quality, workable prototype was made."
Mrs Kipping now hopes to launch Multibrella in two markets - mother and baby and disability aids.
"We've designed it so that the Multibrella will fit on to pushchairs, prams, wheelchairs, shopping trolleys and children's disability push-chairs. It is also UV protected, so can be used as a parasol - it's very flexible," she said.
Mrs Kipping said she hopes the first Multibrellas will be in available in the next four months.
"The aim is to produce just black umbrellas to start with as it will be an Autumn launch," she said.
"By Spring 2007 we will launch the new collection which will see Multibrella in 15 colours."
Mrs Kipping said she entered the Best Business Innovation awards to get help with marketing and sales of Multibrella "To win the award would mean such a lot to me on both a personal and business level," she said
"I could expand my customer base, and get more coverage for the product and help make my product a commercial success."
"Winning would also mean that I could work with a very good company who takes pride in what they do."
The awards are open to all innovators and inventors in industry, academia and professional institutions.
There are two categories - for individuals and businesses trading less than 18 months and for businesses over 18 months old.
Winners who demonstrate their invention has the most commercial potential will receive up to £7,000-worth of help from Rowan to get their their idea to market.
Full details can be found at www.birminghampost.net/bbi ..SUPL: