Happy Mother’s Day, Colorado! Well, happy pre-Mother’s Day anyway (yes, you still have time to snag those last minute cards and gifts for dear old mom). This is your opportunity to celebrate all that your mother has done for you in your life by showing her how much you love and appreciate her.
Here at Innovator’s Peak we love to celebrate innovators and entrepreneurs who fearlessly push the limits of what we think we can achieve. This Mother’s Day we have a unique opportunity to celebrate not just our mothers, but our Mothers of Invention.
Dr. Temple Grandin
Widely celebrated as one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share her personal experience with autism, Dr. Temple Grandin is truly an American hero. A professor of animal science at Colorado State University, Grandin invented the modern animal harness as well as the “hug box,” a device to calm those on the autism spectrum. In 2010, she was listed in Time 100 in the “Heroes” category, and is also the subject of the award-winning, semi-autobiographical film “Temple Grandin.” In a 2010 TED talk given, she stated, “The world needs all types of minds.” The world is honored to be graced with a mind like Grandin’s.
Born in Denver, 1916, Ruth Handler is proof that Colorado has been a haven for innovation since the very beginning. In her early adult life, she witnessed her daughter, Barbara, playing with a paper doll and noticed that the clothes weren’t sticking. She wanted to produce a three-dimensional plastic doll that would be able to change into an entire wardrobe. She did just that and named the doll, Barbie, after her daughter.
If you think Handler’s innovations stopped there, you’re mistaken. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970, Handler had a modified radical mastectomy, which was the standard method of combating the disease. This would involve finding a breast prosthesis to replace the removed breast. However, because of the difficulty finding even a decent prosthesis, Handler decided to make her own. She founded the Ruthton Corp. which manufactured a more realistic version of a woman’s breast called “Nearly Me.”
These are just two of Colorado’s many women entrepreneurs. In recent years Colorado has boomed in terms of becoming one of the next great American hub of innovation. If all continues to rise in this great state, we’ll be seeing many more Mothers of Invention to come. You can bet on it.
Can’t get enough of these Mothers Of Invention? Take a look at some of the world’s most innovative women – from Chicago, to Nashville, to New Haven – and how they launched our country even further into the future. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.