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OPERATIONS

Rockabye Baby

Sweet Dreems Inc., manufactures a sound machine device that lulls crying babies to sleep.
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If you've ever spent time around an infant with colic, you'll understand how some people feel about Sweet Dreems Inc., in Worthington, Ohio. "One parent wanted to nominate us for the Nobel Peace Prize," says founder and president Armando Cuervo. What elicits this response is the company's product, SleepTight, a gizmo designed to quiet crying babies. Combining a "white noise" sound machine with a vibrator, it has FDA designation as a medical device for treating colic.

Cuervo can sympathize with the desperate parents who order his product. He was one of them back in 1983. By day, he traded oil on the international market; by night, he tried to calm his colicky son. During one of the baby's screaming episodes, Cuervo called his pediatrician, who agreed to meet them at his office. But a funny thing happened on the way: little Andrew fell asleep in the car. Before long, Cuervo began working on a device that would simulate the movement and sound of a car traveling at 55 MPH. He eventually came up with the SleepTight, which he introduced last year.

And just how eager is the market? Well, Sweet Dreems has already sold tens of thousands Sleeptights, at $69.95 each. More to the point, a third of the orders have been sent out by Federal Express -- by customers' requests.

-- Leslie Brokaw




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