Some have no idea how I became an inventor...so gather around kiddos, it's story time.
Once upon not long ago...well, it was a while ago, on one beautiful Saturday morning in July 2013, I was running across THIS bridge...
Yes I know...why was I running across THAT bridge in the first place? Well, it always seemed like a great idea until I'm at the bottom staring up.
So I'm midway across that bridge when my phone rings, and being a mother it is only right that I am always accessible when away from my daughter right? Right. The only problem is I was wearing one of these things at the time.
In an attempt to answer my phone while running I nearly slung it in the river.
Thank goodness for quick reflexes because I reached over just in time to catch it. Need I say more. #deathtothearmband
My brief encounter with the sudden death of my phone, lit something inside of me and an idea was born. Mobility in the palm of our hands.
I searched the interwebs and the United States Patent Office for something, ANYTHING similar to the product I so longed for, but came up with nothing. I then did the next best thing. I went to happy hour with a friend of mine and put the concept on paper, we left with this.
Beautiful Right! Yeah, well...it got the point across. I then immediately filed a provisional patent!
Finally after another 2 months of searching I found the right designer to make a design for a manufacturer, and this was born.
Houston we have a product design!
After another month of searching the world wide web, 78 emails, 26 phone conversations and 2 site visits later, we found a manufacturer. Hello Benson!! They took our designs and rendered the first conceptual prototype.
Once we got the "how to" down, it was time to make a workable prototype. So this happened...
I bet you can imagine my excitement when this baby arrived to try it out. I got together a few of my friends and we put it to the test.
From there on out I was ready to introduce it to the world, but we needed money for a full manufacturer's run, so I chose to go this route, KICKSTARTER anyone?
After successfully funding our $14k campaign and securing an additional $25k in private funds, we were off to the races...but the race was not swift. In fact, this is where I learned a LOT of hard lessons and would do quite a few things differently:
*Like spend the $500 on the final design concept pre-campaign, that process alone took 4 months of back and forth with our overseas manufacturer.
*I would have learned more about textile weights and which one was right for my
product. The end result while beautiful, was not sturdy enough to withstand strenuous use for longer than 6 months w/o ripping. The original prototype was a heavier weight and is still in one piece today.
*I would have had several samples done by multiple manufacturers until I was at least 95% happy with the quality. My happy level was at a strong 80% back then.
* I would have prototyped domestically. I know a TON more about local cut and sew manufacturers that I just didn't know about then..nor did I inquire. I was moving fast speed ahead with no guidance and no clue wtf I was doing.
*I WOULD HAVE HIRED SOMEONE TO HELP ME WITH THE ENTIRE DAMN THING AND SAVED MYSELF AND OUR INVESTORS THE $15K WE MADE IN MISTAKES.
..but alas, we survived it. And this was the end result
Yes, we came a mighty long way. And thankfully people loved the convenience of their new gloves.
So much so, we shipped out 1,000 direct to consumers and landed a subscription box deal for 60,000 units, which caught the eye of an international cycling company.
We were valued at $2.1M at the time.
I didn’t set out to run a specialty glove company; and I’ve always been a teacher of things. So I licensed the patent to a cycling company and set off on a world tour of learning, and serving others.
...and here we are.
I did. I learned. Now I share. So you can do it too.