Lauren LOMBARDO: Inventor of the Butterfly Hat

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  • Tell us something about yourself, your background

Third generation Italian American from Staten Island New York. Oldest daughter of 5 children. Always had a strong self-awareness that lead me into deep thought and expressing myself through, writing, art, figure skating, theatre and creating ideas into reality. I was entrepreneurial spirited from the time I can first remember wanting to turn my gifts into business. Leading through life creatively, with colourful optimism finding needs and making the world a happier place. I have my degree in Art History and an MBA in Entrepreneurship. Published and Illustrated two children’s books and started a company in 2012, Art with Lauren facilitating painting courses in Italy and Spain. Forbes School of Business award Betty and Bradley as best business idea in 2019 with a $5000 Entrepreneurship scholarship

  • Can you tell us about the product you invented with a brief explanation

Butterfly Hat: A sleek B shaped, zipper pouch that unzips into a luxurious beanie that in sue, transforms into a  mouldable sleeping mask. Compact, comfortable, and luxurious, you can style the Butterfly Hat accessory with your travel wardrobe leaving you fashionable even in your most tired and jet lagged parts of your journey. Protect yourself from the elements on the plane, and keep your hair clean and in shape with the beanie on

  • How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?

I wanted a stylish and comfortable way to protect my hair from getting messy on my journey but also something to keep me comfortable when I woke up so early in the morning to catch my flight; something I can use that would also shut out the light if needed and still not look like a crazy person or someone wearing pyjamas in public. I was waiting in the airport very early in the morning, fighting a very uncomfortable draft with my microfiber towel before an international flight. I noticed others using whatever they had on them to get some kind of comfort at such an early hour of the morning. This is when I started to brainstorm that it wasn’t just me who needed something, cool looking that could get the job done, in an aesthetic way.  Living in Italy for most of my 20s helped me with the design aspect of the Butterfly Hat. Italian luxury was number one on my list while brainstorming. 

  • How did you get from idea to finished product?

I had a huge vision from the time of inception. After a patent search, I started to sketch out ideas uncontrollably, of who my customer was, what the hats would look like and how it would transform the travel industry.  I then went to get material and sewed by hand, a prototype that looked like a diaper, but man, was it comfortable! I was so far from the final product but it felt good just to get started. From there, I started searching for manufacturers in New York, and from there I found someone who helped me make a perfect prototype and the rest has been history. I filed my own patent and then, I decided to start a brand of all travel accessories that will continue to have style and function. I named the brand Betty and Bradley after my grandmother and the street she had her home on for five generations. I was traveling home from Italy  for her 86th birthday in New York, when I came up with the idea. I built the brand in honour of who she was and what she has given me. I want to share that with the world in the form of compact and luxurious hugs for your travel journey where ever you are, you’ll feel at home in style. I recently developed a new line for the music industry, called Backstage made in Italy. They’re couture Butterfly Hats, very exciting!

  • Let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc

I youtubed, how to write patents, I spoke with other inventors and followed others journeys for inspiration. But it always lead back to patience and persistence no matter how much reading I would do, it was in taking action and failing, a lot until you reach your desired outcome.

–End of Interview–

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