In this inventor interview Jack Dell’Accio talks about how he developed his Essentia mattresses after discovering that the chemicals in foam usually used in matresses could be slowly making people sick.
Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL?
Jack: Jack Dell’Accio, Natural Memory Foam (like Tempur-Pedic but natural), www.myessentia.com. Here’s an interview I did on the subject which answers many of your questions.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
Jack: My family was importing latex foam, foam made from rubber tree sap, in Montreal Quebec and supplying the industry. I had little interest in the family business as I was importing and distributing furniture and cabinetry from Europe.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
Jack: My interest in foam began when a family member was diagnosed with cancer. I became aware of that basically most items around us that were slowly making us sick and decided to get involved. I recognized that memory foam needed cleaning up so i set out to make a natural version from rubber tree sap instead of petroleum based chemicals.
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
Jack: I travelled to Europe, to the factories that were making natural latex foam which supplied my family business. Because of our connections i had the opportunity to speak with the chemists directly. I then hired local chemists to work on the project. Over 2 year of R&D went into developing our natural memory foam.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
Jack: I work with patent lawyers and successfully patent the foam.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
Jack: At first i offered this natural memory foam to the industry. Some of the largest mattress makers were using it at a time but they would only include .5 or 1 inch of the product over their existing mattresses. They were selling the features and benefits of my foam but the majority of their mattress was still unhealthy, filled with synthetics foams and glues.
Tara: In What ways are you promoting your invention?
Jack: After 1 year of wholesaling the foam i decided to develop the a brand. We’re fully vertical. We make the product ourselves and sell directly to the end consumer.
1 year later i was selling Essentia mattresses online, started a company blog, Facebook & Twitter accounts. The web was a phenomenal platform to tell our story, build awareness and get the traction we needed to fund our goal which was to open Essentia retail stores. 1 year later we opened our first Essentia store. Today we have a total of 8 Essentia stores across the U.S. and Canada with 5 more planned for opening in the U.S. 2012.
Tara: What have been the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market so far?
Jack: The most difficult elements were development were distribution. The mattress industry is controlled by 5 major brands and my product didn’t fit their model. I had to do it all on my own.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to where you are now?
Jack: I would say it took roughly 5 years from initial idea to truly taking it to market.
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
Jack: No. I would have not done anything differently. Every step, and step is part of the journey.
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Jack: It’s a marathon. Don’t give up. Surround yourself with the right people and never stop moving forward.
Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?
Jack: You can find more about Essentia on www.myessentia.com
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