- Tell us something about yourself, your background
I grew up working alongside my parents in a small, family-owned business that helps schools and non-profits run successful fundraising programs to raise money for their collective causes. In doing so, I was involved in nearly every facet of the company, from packing and delivering orders, attending trade shows, making sales presentations, and everything else in between. My parents are some of the hardest working people I know. Now in their 80’s, they still actively maintain a smaller version of their company just because my dad enjoys what he does so much.
Instead of joining the family business after high school, I went to college to study art, which had been a passion of mine since early childhood. I ultimately changed majors, graduated with a BA degree in Sociology, and worked in the collective fields of graphic design, advertising, sales, marketing, and public relations.
- Can you tell us about the product you have invented with a brief explanation
SnozzlePro® is the world’s first universal hair dryer nozzle adapter. SnozzlePro’s patented design gives hair dryer nozzle attachments the fit and grip they need to stay put, while protecting hands from burns on hot attachments.
- How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?
Up until a few years ago, I blow dried my naturally wavy hair straight by using the concentrator nozzle attachment that comes packaged with every hairdryer. One of the biggest problems with concentrator nozzles and hair diffuser attachments is that they frequently pop off in the middle of blow-drying.
One morning, after one too many concentrator nozzle pop offs, I said to my husband, “This is ridiculous. I just need to go on Amazon and buy a concentrator with a silicone nozzle. That way it should fit my hair dryer and not pop off.” Much to my surprise, I couldn’t find a concentrator with a silicone nozzle on Amazon—or anywhere else. Being a problem-solver by nature, that’s when I decided to create the product myself.
- How did you get from idea to finished product?
Before I paid for an independent patent search, I spent a lot of time on Google and the US Patent Office website typing in every keyword combination I could think of to try and locate a product like SnozzlePro. I also researched similar products on online and studied their customer reviews to determine whether there was an actual need for my product. Once I verified the need, I created my first prototype starting with materials used from another product made of silicone. With an Xacto knife in hand, I cut and carved away bits and pieces of the silicone and tested each prototype on my hair dryer until I came away with one that performed perfectly. That was a huge eureka moment for me!
Next, I brought my prototype to a nearby Ulta Beauty store that had over 40 hair dryers on display. I hunkered down in the aisle with a notebook and a pair of callipers and took nozzle diameter measurements of every hair dryer. Over a period of months, I made refinements to my prototype until I was satisfied with its performance. Next was the real test. I asked hairstylists at several beauty salons, including Ulta Beauty, to thoroughly test the finished prototype over a period of weeks. With their approvals, I attended the International Beauty Show (IBS) in New York to talk with more hairdressers and beauty product distributers. There I was strongly encouraged to bring SnozzlePro to market.
- Let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc.
Through LinkedIn, I connected with Brian Fried who has been a tremendous resource. Brian, a “serial inventor” and an inventor coach, helped me locate a silicone manufacturer in China and guided me through the process of bringing SnozzlePro to market. Currently, I am a student of inventRight—a company that teaches people how to license their invention ideas and offers a broad database of information related to licensing. I am also working with a professional inventRight coach with the goal of licensing SnozzlePro to a major hair dryer manufacturer.
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