Nina's story

Let’s face it: having a new baby means a lot of anxious, tired nights. I myself have worried through my fair share of those sleepless nights during cold and flu seasons with my three children. Their discomfort was always disheartening, and especially difficult when they were babies. I tried everything I could to ease them, but the real challenge came when I had to tackle those dry, crusty, stubborn (I’ll just say it) boogers. I knew there had to be a better way and I was determined to find it.

As a Doctor of Pharmacy, I didn’t set out to start my own business. It was my experiences as a mom and medical professional that set me down the oogiebear path and to create inventions for babies healthcare. I wanted to create something that combined expertise and care into an effective and safe booger picker — one that wasn’t like anything on the market! I laugh that I’m now the “queen of boogers”, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Why did I invent oogiebear® and other convenient inventions for babies healthcare? 

I invented the oogiebear® to help babies (and their parents) breathe easier. It’s effective; it’s safe; it’s cute; it’s everything I needed as an anxious young mom with new babies. When I first began in 2015, I never imagined my ideas and baby product inventions would turn into something that would help thousands of children and parents worldwide. I learned that many parents were just like me and wanted better baby inventions and solutions for caring for their babies. I also never imagined inventing a category for a booger and ear wax removal tool that is unlike the 40+ year-old aspirators on the market. oogiebear revolutionizes the baby nasal aspirator category. No one has questioned this outdated suction aspirator method before. oogiebear provides a modern solution for cleaning little noses and little ears, too!

I firmly stand behind what we do here at oogiebear and I’ve made it my mission to provide safer and more effective products for parents. oogiebear is what happens when care teams up with expertise and makes a promise to new moms and dads…a simple promise that becomes enormously important when it’s just you and your baby at 3 AM.

oogiebear founder

Nina's bio

Nina Farzin was born brilliant. An Iranian-American, she was born in Tehran and came to the United States in 1977. The daughter of Iran’s chief import-export minister, she and her family overcame devastating loss in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. While her father was living in Iran and then ultimately forced to choose between living there or living with his family, Nina was in the US, and watched her mother, a non- English speaker, struggle to find jobs in a foreign country to support her children, all the while knowing that her husband was in danger. Happily, Nina’s mother had nursing experience and was able to secure work, in a capacity that allowed her to put food on the table until her husband was able to rejoin the family.

“This great country gave so much to my mother,” Nina says. “She inspired me with her bravery and unwavering commitment to her family.” Nina herself is a mother of three who has worked full-time and excelled since college with no breaks, leading up to her decision to found oogiebear. Her work ethic, both as a professional and a parent, is astonishing. After high school, where she pursued artistic ambitions, she attended pharmacy school at prestigious Howard University, earning her R.Ph., Pharm.D., winning scholarships and honors. After falling in love with and marrying husband Sina, a periodontist, she took a job in New York City at the pharmaceutical company American Regent.

While at the company, Nina was responsible for skyrocketing revenues thanks to her work in healthcare financing, liaisons and sales. Her performance in these areas won her accolades and awards, boosted her confidence and gave her skills that greatly influenced who she is today. Who is Nina today? She is a self-starter, a detail-oriented savvy communicator, a successful salesperson, innovative thinker, expert negotiator and imaginative, thoughtful inventor and designer. Nina was so indispensable to the company that when she announced her intent to have children and move back to Maryland, they offered her what turned out to be  15 years of working from home, around her new family’s schedule.

Nina describes herself as “unbelievably blessed” to have had her mother’s support while juggling a career with children. When her first daughter was having trouble breathing at night and constantly waking up, she sought advice on how to deal with it from the older generation. “In Iran they used to just use a bobby pin to clean out baby’s noses” Nina explains. “But the thought of that just scared me – God forbid I would hurt my child!” Her concern grew as she saw that her sister-in-law was having similar problems with her nephew. At this moment, realizing that millions of moms must be dealing with this issue, she resolved to invent and bring to market a more baby friendly way to keep little noses and ears clean.

Nina soon set to work modeling her invention, drawing on her background and passion for art. After finally finding a company to manufacture it in 2004, she began to talk to nurses in hospitals to get feedback. She was reminded of the frequency of babies becoming congested, not being able to breathe with their mouths and of the SIDS epidemic. “I originally wanted my product to go to every patient who had a baby” Nina states. “I realized I had to make it dummy proof so that it wouldn’t hurt the baby –I wanted to create something for the mom from the baby’s point of view.” Being a pharmacist, Nina was ahead of the curve when it came to issues of safety and purity, designing her prototype to be durable, with premium materials, no latex and PABA free.

After having an initial order of 5000 units produced, Nina headed to a trade show, where the product was an instant hit. After officially forming her company, oogiebear, in 2014, she secured a design patent and then a utility patent - no easy feat. Realizing that there was a larger market for her “booger picker” that now famously everyone calls the oogie boogie tool, she began to sell on Amazon, garnering thousands of rave reviews. This came in handy when she called on retailers, especially the 100-store chain Buy Buy Baby, who picked up her first product and watched it fly off the shelves. Along the way, Nina implemented her own safety testing on the product in the factory and was boots on the ground every step of the way, vetting every situation and partner, ensuring that her invention was completely foolproof and that her factory provided fair living wage and healthy working conditions.

As demands on her time from oogiebear grew, although Nina was still employed by American Regent in a stable and lucrative position, she considered the wonderful feedback she was getting from buyers. “One mom had a baby with a cleft lip and this product literally saved his life” Nina recalls. “I realized I was truly making a difference.” In 2015, she gave her official notice to AR and started building her new oogiebear team, including moms who needed income but could only work part time. At that time, although her family was supportive, there were certainly people who found it odd or comical that Farzin was leaving her “real job” for a booger picker tool. Her supportive, loving husband Sina’s experience working with Nina made him, however, a natural fit to help lead the team.  

After being contacted in 2022 by a producer from Shark Tank, who had used her products (with six then on the market) with great success, Nina soon found herself – and her whole family – on the set of the first ever live “Shark Tank” episode. Coining herself an “accidental entrepreneur”, Nina realized that what she had done – built a company from nothing to millions. Investors kept poring over her numbers, finding it unbelievable. “We had done a lot in a short period with no help financially” Nina explains. “I just had an idea and it took off – meeting other entrepreneurs, I realized they had done the opposite. They raised money and then figured out what to make and how. I thought every company looked like ours. I was that innocent.”

Shark Tank proved to be a huge success for Nina, who secured a deal with shark Barbara Corcoran. Sales took a dramatic uptick after it aired at the end of 2022, with another spurt in growth after Shark Tank arranged for an update on the company’s progress in April 2023. “I transformed during that whole process and became very determined,” Nina asserts.” I felt as if I were in my full power and I realized I did not intend to leave there without a deal.” Nina has always been guided by her principles, one of them being her commitment to nutrition and healthy living. She deeply believes health and healthy goods should be available to the masses. She refuses to compromise on quality and is proud of the durability and provenance of all oogiebear’s products.

Prior to Shark Tank, 76% of oogiebear’s revenue came from Amazon, for a total of $3M per year. Today, just a year after her episode aired, the company’s revenue streams include $500k per month on Amazon, for a total of $5M per year. Nina is not content to rest on her laurels however: she is constantly involved with the design and formulation of a host of new products in research and development, also focusing on education on the designs of each one and how it works. “I sometimes ask myself - who would have thought a little girl from Tehran, Iran could do all of this?” Nina jokes. With a goal of seeing oogiebear become the number one baby products company, competing with the biggest names in the industry, Nina has the education, hard-won, self-taught knowledge and experience – and guts – to pull it off.  

Aside from working on new creative solutions for oogiebear, Nina enjoys the outdoors, sports, nature, skiing, cooking and has a longstanding passion for health, wellness, longevity and physiology. She cherishes her three children and husband Sina, and resides in Potomac, MD. When asked if she has any advice to young female entrepreneurs, Farzin is direct and emphatic. She encourages taking the first leap and then taking it one step at a time, staying patient, humble and self disciplined. “Most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail!” she says. “If you don’t learn how to fail you won’t succeed. Know that you can always retool and reinvent. Be resilient.”