Jamie Rayko was visiting Orlando, Fla., in 2007 when her 7-year-old daughter became separated from the group during a trip to a theme park.
Her daughter found a park employee to help her, but in the panic of the moment, she couldn’t remember her mother’s cell phone number. There was no way for the employee to call Rayko to tell her that her daughter was safe.
“It was just an absolute horrifying experience,” says Rayko, a mother of three.
The family was eventually reunited – and that terrible experience spawned a business.
Rayko, who lives with her family in the Disney-built community of Celebration, Fla., has created a line of lanyards, bracelets and temporary tattoos for children to wear when visiting large, busy venues such as theme parks or sporting events.
Priced at about $8, the Spot Me ID comes with a permanent marker, so parents can write a contact phone number on the identification tag in case the child gets separated from the family.
“You really can’t tell a 3-year-old to find a meeting place in Disneyland,” Rayko says.
As for the ID tags, she says, “Everybody has a cell phone. It’s simple. And it works.”
The products are illustrated with a cartoon dog, Spot, drawn in various situations, such as riding a roller coaster, at the beach and playing football.
Rayko says the goal was to create something fun that children would want to wear.
The Spot Me ID recently got a big break when Universal Studios starting stocking it. Rayko says her creations are located right where most parents head first when they arrive at the theme park: guest relations, near the stroller rental.
Since its launch in September at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas, the Spot Me ID has received several accolades, including being chosen best new product in merchandise by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
Rayko says the product is already on sale at several smaller attractions, and she is planning to hire a sales force to promote Spot Me ID across the country.
And she is already getting feedback from satisfied customers who report the product worked as planned.
“There’s nothing more important to a parent than just peace of mind,” Rayko says.
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