Tina ORR: Inventor of the Advent Reusable Perpetual Customizable Storage Calendar

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  • Tell us something about yourself, your background

I am a creative, technical oriented person who also has a love for Jesus Christ.  I enjoy inventing novel, unique gadgets and am always learning.  I implement my idea from concept, design, prototype development, testing, mass production, marketing (I built my website), negotiating, and patenting invention(s) pro se.  I hope to be releasing my next invention (patent pending) which is a consumer gadget in 2021.  I have several other inventions in the queue that I plan on launching as well.  Background: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Electrical Engineering / Computer Science.  I also manage our rental properties.

My experience in engineering has helped immensely as I have not had to outsource work except for manufacturing.  I create my own prototypes, website, patent drawings and specification, manufacturing drawings, datasheets, interview companies to manufacture invention, and manage the business aspect of launching a venture.  I have 3 other inventions that are in the queue that I hope to launch. These other 3 inventions are in a completely different market than the home goods market.  I love learning about patents and the patent process, as obtaining 3 patents pro se has provided valuable experience.     

My Dad could troubleshoot, fix, and install anything.  He taught himself many skills and trades from electrical, mechanical, plumbing, automotive, appliance repair, flooring, HVAC, aircraft, bullet making, photography, hunting, and even built himself a computer when that field was launched .  From cars, appliances, washer, dryer, icemaker, etc.  The list of things he could fix is endless.  Everyone called on his expertise.  He even wired up his own workshop to have lights, tv, refrigerator and installed our heat/ac system in our house growing up.  When in engineering school, we had to buy an advanced scientific calculator that could do graphs, statistics, calculus, and formulas.  Mine was the HP28S.  Back then, finding a case for a calculator like this was nowhere to be found.  My Dad took a plastic VCR case, cut some foam to size, and fitted it into the case to hold my scientific calculator.  I will cherish this HP28S case forever!  Little did I know then, my Dad taught me my first lesson on creating something that solved a problem with what we had around the house.  My Dad had the calm, spirit of Jesus in him.  My Dad shared his skills with others and would help anyone in their time of need, even if no repayment of services would ever be possible.  My Mom taught her children, God’s children which we all are, about the love of Jesus and set the example for us to follow by always being giving to others in your words, deeds, and actions.  None of us here on earth are meant to go the road alone.  Knowledge is meant to be learned, as well as shared with others.  We were never created to live in isolation.  We were never created to celebrate our successes alone.           

  • List the products you have invented with a brief explanation of each

Advent Reusable Perpetual Customizable Storage Calendar, an heirloom that can be passed down in a family for generations.

Advent Perpetual Wood C3 Calendar (Customizable Cognitive Creative Calendar)

Advent Perpetual Wood D3 Calendar ™ (Daily Devotional Dessert Calendar)

Small version of the Customizable Storage Calendar

Daily Devotional Dessert Calendar

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

My entrepreneurial inventor spirit was sparked when we were spending $20-$60 a year on paperboard advent calendars that were thrown away every year after Christmas.  Typical advent calendars only contain 1 piece of chocolate for that day.  My son, joy of my life, of course got the 1 piece of chocolate for the day.  Typical advent calendars do not usually teach a meaningful Bible verse/lesson for the day.  Many versions have the day number with only 1 piece of chocolate. 

The first product, the D3 Calendar  (Daily Devotional Dessert Calendar – patented) was conceived, designed, developed, prototyped, and tested in-house.  It is a reusable devotional calendar which also functions as a portion-controlled dessert.

The Story – Every night at dinner time, the question arose “What is for dessert?”  Usually that meant a quick trip to the store for chocolates to be split between us all. 

The Concept – Traditional rituals include people giving thanks and blessing prayers prior to a main meal.  This invention, the D3 Calendar, allows for creation of a post dinner ritual (like blessings before dinner) for a daily spiritual, religious devotional to be read prior to dessert, thus establishing a new family tradition. 

The Development – Formulas, calculations, market research, materials testing, paint, tools, saw, and many hours of dedication. 

The Prototypes – Many prototypes were built to include paper, foam, and many types of board (wood, cardboard, etc..)  Handmade in-house prototypes are shown on website.

The Ritual – At the beginning of the month, the calendar boxes are loaded with individual wrapped bite size chocolates such as mini Reese cups, snickers, kisses, etc..  or whatever you desire to load up the boxes with (it is highly recommended to used wrapped items).  After dinner, the current day is selected and removed from the D3 Calendar.  The Bible verse is read, then the dessert chocolates are divided equally for dessert.  This allows for dessert to be portion controlled.  Most importantly, it will help bring the word of God back into the lives of people.

The wood D3 Calendar and the C3 Calendar can be configured for tabletop/countertop or wall mount.  Included are optional support poles and mounting hardware.   

The D3 Calendar ™ (Daily Devotional Dessert)

 – contains 31 month boxes.  Each month box has a unique Bible verse associated with the day.

  – verses are refillable

  – has a Month Box allows for previous months to be swapped out to display the current month.  The Month Box also serves as storage for the 11 non-current months.

– includes the following holiday months :  New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Happy Birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

The C3 Calendar (Customizable Cognitive Creative Calendar)

– is available also.  You can customize the C3 calendar to any positive subject area.

  • How did you get from idea to finished product? 

Once the idea was conceived, I made many handmade prototypes from hand.  I performed market research to see what was currently available.  The gallery of prototypes is quite interesting and can be seen at https://www.avidd3.com/prototypes After making several handmade prototypes, adjusting horizontal support members and vertical partitions, and day box sizes, I had the calculations down on paper.  I recalculated all the numbers on paper many times from version to version to come up with overall size and length.  To make life easier, I came up with formulas which will allow you to change the calendar variables to determine the overall calendar length and width.  Wood thickness is also a variable as the thickness of the wood affects the overall size of the calendar.  Once I verified that the prototype design was “golden”, I finalized drawings.

I interviewed more than 100 companies to manufacture my invention.  While my invention was being manufactured, I created a website for my company, Avid Faith Designs.  I managed the manufacturing process remotely by requesting periodic updates with pictures to make sure it was correct before proceeding to the next step.  There were many things that I learned while making my own handmade prototypes.  Never underestimate the power of LEARNING BY DOING, once you have obtained knowledge by reading and asking those skilled in the art for their expert advice.  Once receiving the manufactured product, I inspected the calendars and then launched my product on my website.

This was my first invention.  I plan on launching another website within the next few years to display gallery of inventions, as the avidd3 website is specifically for the reusable perpetual customizable wood advent calendar venture. 

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

If you want to attempt to write your own (pro se) provisional patent application or utility/design patent application, I recommend these books.  I read many patents with patent prosecutions (responding to office actions to present your arguments to resolve issues with application) to learn patent rejections/objections and how to overcome prior art in preparation to obtain a patent pro se.  However, Patent Attorneys are very skilled in this area and can write your claims so that they encompass the scope of your invention to obtain adequate patent protection.  The patent rights that are granted with the issuance of a patent are defined by the patent claims.

Books – Patent It Yourself Book, How Design Patent Drawings Book, Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). 

Software – Word to create Sell Sheets/Datasheets and drawings, Paint/Paint Shop Pro imaging software to create drawings.  Excel to create formulas, manage finances and inventory.

If you think you have come up with an invention, be sure to at least do a google search to see what’s out there.  You can search for patents on google as well as the USPTO website.  There’s several YouTube Channels that have videos on inventing, licensing (exclusive vs nonexclusive vs co-exclusive), venture vs licensing your invention, etc.  

Websites – Google, USPTO, Inventor websites, YouTube, United Inventors Association https://uiausa.org/

Taking an idea and turning it into a profitable invention can become expensive, depending on choices you make.  My Dad once told me “If you can learn how to do something yourself, you don’t have to pay someone to do it for you.”  You also acquire skills by learning how to do something.  However, it may make financial sense to outsource some of the tasks.  Use your money wisely and be smart in the tasks that you choose to outsource.

— End of Interview —

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