- Tell us something about yourself, your background
My name is Tanya Vanden Bosch, inventor of the Bath Bean and CEO of Ergo Designs, Inc. I have a degree in Advertising and Graphic Design, specializing in branding design for over two decades. I live with my two awesome teenagers and two dogs in Grand Rapids, MI.
I’ve always been creative and had the desire to start my own business, along with inventing something useful for the world. I had an idea for a bath product in my mind for years. I wanted to solve the problem of slipping and sliding while trying to take a relaxing bath – something I struggled with since I was a kid. My goal was to create a low maintenance product with functionality and visual appeal, allowing a user to keep the Bath Bean@ in their bath- tub even when not in use.
I wear all the hats in my new-found venture – you name it, I do it – including website, marketing and packaging de- sign, as well as master shipment fulfiller, instagrammer and bathing blogger.
- Can you tell us about the product you invented with a brief explanation
The Bath Bean® is a revolutionary body stopper designed to keep the body from sliding while reclining in the bath, eliminating body tension and allowing the hands and feet to be free.
- How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?
Here’s why I created it. I love warming up in baths, especially during long Michigan winters, soothing sore muscles or just taking a moment to relax….But I would only end up lasting a few minutes before becoming uncomfortable.
I’d try to recline, but instead start sliding down further into the water. I’d use my hands and feet on the sides of the tub to hold myself in place, creating more tension in my body while pushing my tailbone onto the tub surface. I also wanted to stay propped up to keep my hair dry, avoiding the long blow drying process.
My daughter had the same problem when her legs couldn’t reach the end of the tub. We both wanted to free up our hands to use our phones, read a book, or have a drink and a snack for the ultimate relaxation experience.
Enter the Bath Bean®.
It’s a body stopper that simply suctions to the bottom of the tub to support your desired position. No more sliding! The best part is it’s dishwasher safe and the modern design makes it a welcomed addition to your bathroom. So get in! Stop sliding, free up those hands, so you can do you.
- How did you get from idea to finished product?
Getting the idea of the Bath Bean® from my head to a prototype was a long process – years in fact. The idea was in my head for about a decade, then I began to play with different materials and experiment with potential shapes and sizes. I ultimately used a giant bucket of playdough to form a model. I took the form to a prototyping engineering firm to help me turn my dough into workable 3D renderings which were then printed using a 3D printer for a replica. After months of tweaking, the final size and shape were determined. We then tested different rubbers, gels and silicones to see which functioned best over many months. Once the final product was ready, the manufacturer hunt began to obtain pricing quotes. During this time I also began the long process of patent submission, copywrite protection and setting up the business side of the company, all while designing the Bath Bean branding, website, and marketing plans. Once the first product shipment arrived, the launch began on February 10, 2020.
- Please let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc
There are so many tools available to help begin launching a product into market, but I would say Google is my go-to tool. I googled everything from “how long does it take to get a patent”, to general costs, calculators and personal inventor’s stories for tips and ideas. We are so fortunate to live in a time where almost every answer and resource is just a click away.
I personally use squarespace for my website platform and it’s marketing and commerce tools . I advertise via social media: Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I use several apps to help create great visual content such as Pixaloop and Videoshop, and I use Tailwind to help schedule posts in advance to free up time for other areas of the business.
I follow other inventors via social media and LinkedIn to help motivate and inspire me along the way.
I have also recently been using the GS1 website to help navigate the world of retail, barcodes and logistics.
- Website: Click HERE
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