After recovering from the painful experience with my first invention, the Speedy Bump (see blog post https://bizbuilderbabe.com/2017/06/12/heres-a-funny-story/) I could not stay away from the invention biz. I actually DID come up with more ideas! Lots were either already invented, or way too difficult for me to build, or just plain silly. But, I had an idea to fulfill a need I desperately needed, I knew there wasn’t anything like it on the market, and also knew that I could totally make it on my own.
I had been struggling with the issue of figuring out a convenient way to have my cell phone on me all day long. I hate carrying purses, and phones get lost in the bottom anyway. Often I don’t have pockets… I spend a lot of my life sporting yoga or fitness pants. I need to have my phone with me and easily accessible in stores, in meetings, in the doctors office, etc. I just wanted something super simple, discreet and hands-free. Also, I thought it would be super great if I could use the phone while it was still in the carrier.
I went to work with lots of fabric ideas, several patterns, many closure options and my beloved sewing machine. I created several prototypes and asked close friends to give them a try, and provide honest feedback. It took many variations and a whole bunch of trips to fabric stores, but I eventually came up with a terrific solution that met all of my needs! I named it the Eye-Pocket. It had one solid material side, and one sheer side. The sheer side allowed for total operation of the phone while still in the carrier. Inside was a small pocket for which to carry credit cards, ID, cash, a car key, the essentials. The long, adjustable strap allowed for over-the-shoulder, cross-body, or wristlet carrying.
Next was the task of securing a contract sewing factory to make a bunch and start selling. I decided to look locally first, so I could be nearby to supervise the operation, support local business, and have the option of contracting a small initial order.
I was very fortunate to find a great company near me in Philadelphia, PA. The owner was very willing to work with me and accept a small order of only 300 pieces to begin. The agreement was that I would supply all materials and have them delivered to the factory, they would create the pattern, cut all pieces and do the sewing. I chose several different fabric materials in a variety of colors, in order test the market & see what would sell well, and what would not be very popular.
I also created my logo and had small metal charms engraved with the logo to be sewn onto the Eye-Pockets for cute branding. I handled all branding and marketing; creating my website, filming videos to post on YouTube, promotional print materials, etc. I was a one-woman-operation.
One of my amateur YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/zAmZ7pkqC-Q
I pounded the pavement knocking on doors of local boutiques and shops presenting my product and hoping for some sales. I did find several store owners in the area willing to buy my merchandise and sell in their stores. I also set up my own online store to sell directly, in addition to offering my product on sites such as Amazon & Open Sky.
This is a loooong story short, and there is way more to my Eye-Pocket journey. Stay tuned to hear more about where Eye-Pocket has been, where it is today, and how anyone can see their idea come to life.