EZ Heating Pads and Hotpak Huggies are all owned by Belinda Aquino Enterprises, LLC. We are based in Pittsburgh, Pa.
All the HotPak Huggies are created and manufactured by Belinda Aquino, the owner of Belinda Aquino Entp. She has been making EZ Heating Pads for over 12 years and decided to expand her business with these cute, cuddly, huggable and FUNCTIONAL heating pads in the shapes of dogs, cats, bears, ladybugs, frogs, turtles, etc. about 10 years ago.
Many times I get asked how I started and created HotPak Huggies. Well, I have to say that God played a big part of it. Situations came up in my life that brought my creations to life. I met a friend about 10 years ago. I travelled with him and did trade shows with his product, Shrinkwrap systems. At the second trade show I went to, a manufacturer of stuffed animals was right next to us, it was in New York. That is where I found my first hotpak huggy, it was a sea turtle. As soon as I saw it I thought, "that's a heating pad!," and I talked to them about it. The animals were not microwave safe, but the owner liked me enough to suggest modifying the animals to make them microwave safe.
I did it and I got my first HotPak which I called "Hug a Turtles". I first filled them with a hard kernel corn. I even named each one and made up the tags on my computer. They started selling so quick and I got such great feedback from my customers that I knew I had something good.
I didn't like using the corn anymore because it smelled and sometimes bugs, I call them corn bugs, came from the corn. So I started looking for something else. I tried every heat enabled thing out there except for gel packs. A friend worked at a close-out place in the strip district in Pittsburgh and he said they had about a thousand gel packs for real cheap. I didn't think gel packs would work right so I always said no. After months of him getting on me about using the gel packs, I finally tried it and it worked great and was just the perfect heating element. This was a time when I think the Man above helped out.
I started using the gel packs and when they were gone I tried every gel pack manufacturer in the U.S. to replace them and no other gel pack worked. I finally had to go with the original company, even though they were so far away, the ones that had been in close out. What are the odds that the only one that worked were the ones that happened to be at close out in Pittsburgh, PA. At the same time I was working full time with AFLAC, yes the duck, insurance company. I was splitting my time in two. About 7 years ago I knew I had to choose. I couldn't do both any more. With alot of thought, I chose AFLAC. The next week my website for HotPak Huggies went crazy. God was telling me that I had chosen the wrong thing, so I quit AFLAC the next day and started doing this full time. I still passionately love what I'm doing and it has grown steadily ever since.
A funny thought entered my mind soon after and shows how things come full circle. When I was in High School, everyone used to say just dial 1-800-hugs for Belinda because I was always a very huggy person. And now, 30 years later, my whole business is hugs.
Now I bring hugs and comfort to thousands of people, from newborns to the elderly. Lots of people with medical conditions find comfort with my HotPaks, parents and therapists use them for Autistic Children, Activity directors at nursing homes use them for Alzheimer patients for therapy, people with aches and pains use them to bring relief. Parents with children who can't regulate their body temperature use them cold because they stay cold for so long. It also helps with sensory issues.And the list goes on and on.
I use them all the time and can't believe I have created such a warm, cuddly, functional product that actually works. I can't take full credit though, I truly believe God has chosen me to bring hugs to the world and He is guiding me every step of the way.
My kids and my grandchildren use them. I have a 7 year old grandson, two 4 year old grandsons and a 3 year old granddaughter. We've been using them since birth because my customers have always told me that they use them and it really helps with babies for warmth and colic. My 4 year old grandson and 3 year old granddaughter live with me and they love to cuddle with them at night (it helps them get to sleep) and first thing in the morning.
So I consider myself very lucky and honored to be the one to bring this wonderful product to the world. And I really thank God to have chosen me to do this.
I also want to thank my customers, without you all "spreading the word" my business wouldn't be so successful and fulfilling. In the ten years I have been making these I have never had to advertise because of you.
Through our commitment to you, our customer, we want to build a relationship that will last a lifetime! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!