Gene BENFATTI: Creator of lilBagie

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  • Tell us something about yourself, your background:

For the past 30+ years I have found myself in positions of sales and marketing, ranging throughout the trade show and promotional products industries. I had always thought that I would grow into some form of Advertising as a profession. Starting in Highschool where I was a co-designer of the Yearbook, and into college where I created advertisements and posters for school events. Creativity was Always a Passion of mine.

  • Tell us about the products you invented with a brief explanation:

I was fortunate enough to be granted 5 Patents (so far). Three Design and Two Utility Patents, with a few patent pending products currently in development. My products range in the categories of Baby/Pet Plush, Automobile Accessories, Kitchen Utensils, and an Actual self-cooling shoe insert to relieve pain and inflammation instantly without the use of prior refrigeration. As you can see, I don’t focus on just one type of product. My mind is constantly seeing solutions to everyday problems.

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

As a young boy I can remember sitting at my desk in my bedroom and drawing a kitchen knife that would push out soft butter so that people who had a hard time with hand dexterity could butter their own toast. I could hear my Dad telling me to always remember P.O.P. (Perseverance, Optimism, Persistence) Even though at that time I didn’t have the knowledge I have today, my mind began to open to the possibilities.

  • How did you get from idea to finished product?

One day while I was changing my Son’s Ohh So Stinky diaper and using a supermarket plastic bag to toss it into the trash an idea popped into my head. I went to a dollar store and bought a stuffed teddy bear and cut its head off…lol. I sewed up the bottom and left a small opening. With a razor blade I cut a flap in the back of the head and bought a roll of pet waste bags and put it inside, pulling a portion out from the hole I left. Next, I got some hook and loop tape and made a fastener…And thus a Prototype was made, and a Patent soon after.

Being in the Promotional Products Industry I had friends who manufactured plush animals. They provided me with free finished samples, and my journey began.  

While I stumbled along the way, I finally found a company who wanted to license my bag dispenser. They just didn’t get the direction where I saw my product going. I broke ties and my idea sat for a few years while I designed other consumer products.

One night while I was holding an Inventors Club meeting where I’m the VP of, I met a man who was there to listen to the speaker I had brought in. His name is Mark Nathan, the CEO of Dynamic Play Network, LLC. I spoke to Mark about my products, and the Dispenser with Biodegradable bags caught his interest.

Truly, it’s not what you know, but who you know will make all the difference. Connections are Key.

Through Mark’s guidance and connections my Bag Dispenser “lilBagie” found manufacturing and was getting the Traction I was looking for. Even, having an Incredible opportunity to showcase my product in a Private Room sponsored by Bill Southard of Southard Communications, a PR Firm in Manhattan at the NY NOW Gift Show 2020. 

  • Where are you with your product? 

With long hours and hard work, I was Accepted as a Vendor for Bed Bath and Beyond, and “lilBagie” is currently in 145 Bed Bath and Beyond / buy buy Baby Stores Nationwide.  Practically selling out my 1st container and getting re-orders within eight days of landing in their stores. “lilBagie” has been sold in Pharmacies, Baby Specialty Stores, Hospital Gift Shops and gaining Worldwide respect from other Major Retailers.  

Having an idea and seeing it in a retail store(s) has Always been my Dream, and the Dream of every inventor. I once read this quote “Your Mind is like a Parachute…It Works BEST when Opened.”   

–End of Interview–

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