In this inventor interview Kathleen Parisi www.lockabye.com talks about how she and her sisters took a problem they experienced on holiday ie. not wanting to leave their bags unattended on the beach, and developed their Lock-a-Bye bags to overcome the problem.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background and how you first started inventing?
Kathleen: We are based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Lock-A-Bye is our first invention. My sisters and I vacation together yearly, and enjoy swimming, snorkeling and other beach activities but found ourselves always facing the same dilemma: Somebody always had to stay behind and watch “the bags”! We noticed that everyone from honeymooners to families shared the same problem. So like most inventions, our idea was conceived by necessity. We created the Lock-A-Bye, a fashionable Tote Bag that we could secure and lock to our beach chairs, allowing us to enjoy activities together. We are finally able to lock and leave our personal belongings behind, not our loved ones! The Lock-A-Bye has proven to be invaluable in our daily lives, too. Whether we’re working out, grocery shopping or coaching a local sports teams, we can just lock it, and say “good-bye”!
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea? Did you create a prototype or produce drawings?
Kathleen: We spent many months on drawing and brainstorming how the dual locking mechanism would work with a bag then concentrated on features to include in the bag. Once that process was completed we then sewed a prototype of the Tote Bag and used some plastic, metal cable and other raw material to mimic how the dual locking mechanism would work.
Tara: Did you seek legal advice regarding protecting your idea?
Kathleen: We were lucky, our brother William Thomson is an attorney so we took the drawings and prototype to him for advice and counsel. He then found a patent attorney for us that would fit our needs.
Tara: Did you ever consider trying to license you idea rather than manufacture it yourself?
Kathleen: We have considered licensing our product to private labels and it is still a consideration moving forward.
Tara: How did you find a suitable manufacturer to make your Lock-a-bye and did you fund it yourself?
Kathleen: We did fund our development and manufacturing ourselves and also reached out to some close family and friends. We found a design company in our area to prototype our locking mechanism and give us a proof of concept. This design company also had connections for overseas manufacturing.
Tara: How did you initially go about promoting and selling the Lock-a-bye and has this changed to how you do it now?
Kathleen: Since we are a startup company and do not have much money allocated for advertising and marketing, we have concentrated on social media, word of mouth and also have a commission based sales staff across the United States helping to spread the word!
Tara: How long did it take from your initial idea to when you brought it to Market?
Kathleen: 4 years
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing the Lock-a-bye that you would do differently if you had to do it all over again?
Kathleen: I think one of things we learned would have been being too aggressive with our Business Plan and thinking we could launch new lines quickly. We have about 14 lines of bags that we are planning on using the patented dual locking mechanism technology and we thought that we could produce a line every 3-5 months. After going through the development, design and manufacturing process on our Tote Bag line, we found that it would take at least 9-12 months to produce. We have learned what it takes to develop a new product and have made adjustments in our projections
Tara: Are there any inventors or entrepreneurs that have inspired you on your inventors journey?
Kathleen: I think there has been many. My sisters and I subscribe to the Inventor’s Digest and have for about 5 years and find some of the information on inventors very inspiring. Also, there are so many TV shows out these days that feature inventors and we love the drive and determination and the willingness to push forward!
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Kathleen: Don’t give up! No matter how many road blocks are thrown your way, stay positive and determined and believe in yourself and your product!
Tara: Where can people find out more about you and the Lock-a-bye?
Visit our website at www.lockabye.com. Click on the our products page to see more images of our current Tote Bag line. Also, on the home page of our website is a Demo Video that will give you a quick demonstration and feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on our new lines!
“The Lock-A-Bye is a slash resistant Tote Bag that has a key operated, patented dual locking mechanism that allows you to lock the zipper. For added security, the Lock-A-Bye also has a cable sewn throughout the bag and within the shoulder strap. The handle is designed to release from the locking mechanism allowing the bag to be secured to any stationary object. It effectively makes both the contents of the bag and the bag itself, theft resistant! In addition to all its security features, the Lock-A-Bye is also water and stain resistant.”
Kathleen is offering a $25 gift card to Ideas Uploaded readers. To redeem the gift card call 877.LOCKBAG and mention that you read about them on Ideas Uploaded to receive either a $25 credit or if they place an order on the phone or can request a gift card be sent to their address.
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