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Hi, Been a while, Update from Crystal-Diane

crystaldiane's Avatar

Hi Everyone,

It's been a while!  I have been busy in the trenches. So while my first generation product was not a fit for EN, I went and made it sold it anyway. Its a matter of scale you see. What is tiny to some is big to others right?  For me, a few hundred units sold a year provides A LOT of extra cash for ME and allows me do MORE.  So I have been busy making and Been selling my little premium handmade items own dedicated website and  have grown enough to expand to an Amazon Handmade store (Amazon in any form is serious business and is not for the weak of heart for sure!) I could write an entire section on going it on your own here - warning while Amazon is Wonderful for the customer it is SUPER HARD on the vendor they eat little people like me for lunch. I will be glad to exit the handmade business sooner than later and that is a story of itself.  Anyway, learning, making, doing is a good way to keep working toward your own licensing dreams' we do what we do as we can do it - one step at a time, right?

So even though my product was NOT a fit for EN, lets look at what did happen:

I met some FAB People that are helping me to this very day with my newest dream. The money I earned and the things I learned by making, bootstrapping off my little handmade product have gotten me this far. And now I really do have something to show for it. And I am excited about it. Folks like Sarah Jane, Frank While, Michal H, John Vilardi and lest not forget the incredible Roger Brown to name a few keep me in check, on track and ever so encouraged.  As Roger Brown says - Inventing is a marathon. Boy is it ever - 

I just listened last night to Roger Browns Lastest Podcast, available on  Inventors helping Inventors website by Alan Beckly (sorry I cannot post links as I am not an upgraded member - you can google it worth your time for sure)

You will see it free FREE on Itunes. It is a must listen for anyone serious about inventing. Let me just say it INVENTING IS VERY HARD WORK.  Not for the weak.  For those of you like me without Itunes on your PC or Phone,  downloaded a FREE App FREE App that lets users listen on our Androids. I found one called "Castbox" to be had FREE on "Google playstore" And Don't forget his book "common sense inventing: either. That was the best few bucks I spent - it  has saved me so much money and heartbreak of potential self-sabotage.  Read it.  

I am closer now to seeing a possible deal than ever before and shall keep you all posted.

Keep dreaming all. But do it sensibly.  I am living proof that one can still invent, make progress and not go broke in the process. If I of all people can find a way to keep plodding along with all the same, if not more fears or roadblocks due to my precarious health and limits, then many of you all should be able to run circles around me!  Have fun and best to all. Crystal-Diane. 

David .
williamj
williamj
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kdc's Avatar

Congrats, Crystal!  I know you've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into your invention and I'm so very proud of you!  Keep us posted for sure!

Crystal-Diane Nappi
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kimmyk's Avatargold

Great news!  Sounds like you're progressing nicely.  Can you say what the product is?  (I understand if you prefer not to)  Best wishes for great success!  Btw, I love your new pic.  :)

Crystal-Diane Nappi
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My version one product is my fancy magnetic premium napkin clip. It uses the napkin you already have on the dinner table to intercept spills and stop stains before they set into your clothing and it creates no added laundry.  If you Google "The Napkin Necklace" by Crystal Diane you will find me on Amazon handmade and on my own dedicated website of the same name. Tons of information about it there including my local tv spot...demo videos etc.   But my newest invention is a complete departure. Different genre...different problem solved.. who said inventing was boring not me and of course No peeking. Yet. Thanks for kind words. And mothers day is coming up. Appreciate any support. I ship in the continental USA and we are a proud US VET owned and Handmade in the USA enterprise!!

All my proceeds from this are going back into the new item development. It is quite something. The more I sell of my handmade the faster I can bootstrap. You see where there is a will there is a way.. I hope to show you all a new gadget one day that will be a surprise and wow. 

williamj
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kimmyk's Avatargold

Pretty cool!  Reminds me of a dentist's bib, but pretty - and it does address a real issue.  Perhaps you could approach some Occupational Therapists, nursing homes, or hospitals about them.  The magnets wouldn't work if around certain monitors, but that shouldn't be too much of a barrier. Good luck!

Crystal-Diane Nappi
williamj
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williamj's Avatargold

Good to have you back Crystal, your success inspires us all.

Crystal-Diane Nappi
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Hi Guys, the sales side has not been an issue. Its that I NEED to get out of handmade because the time involved is so intensive. Handmade is a wonderful way to prove the concept for a fairly low cost but really not sustainable. So, I have all my copyrighted patterns. I thought to put them into production and can and have even looked into it I know my cost of goods, gross margins, overhead (we are a real tiny enterprise now, whoo hoo, well that comes with responsibilities too..and those are not so fun right now so the truth is, I want to only be at this long enough to move forward with my bigger dream and get some working cash do so.

Perhaps one day I can turn this little business over to someone else who would like to take my little business I started to the next level (Maybe a jewelry or accessory maker who would buy my patterns and put it into distribution) I have proved concept quite nicely).  Anyway, you right about magnets - but that has not slowed sales for regular people at all. And there are a LOT of regular people who suffer from spillage believe me who just wanted a nice easy way to deal with the problem, fuss-free. I just sold a whole BUNCH to a Fund Raiser - Crab feed here in my home town. I get orders on my web site and Amazon Handmade from all over. Having really done no marketing? It's coming organically telling me they are finding me because they are looking for something to stop stains? It's weird but I will gladly take  Ill take it! YES. When you look at the other options like adult bibs or dental bib chains then you look at mine you will realize why - people prefer something less obvious, and easier ot use. Under $20 bucks? Better. In mass production, of course, my MSRP could come down. Remember I am handmade and paying more for materials and labor. Oh, and everything you see I did - even my packaging (that was done on a photocopier with folded card stock and laid out on my pc!) Anyway....

This test of sorts just proves bootstrapping IS possible and that the lack of MONEY thing does not need to stand in the way. Find a way. Read about the Minimum Viable Product Approach to Testing Market Viability folks - on your next idea. This is what I did here. I do think this napkin clip IS the Premium Version of All the napkin clips on the market. They do sell, and at the higher price, I ask. There is a place for them in the market. But I am stretched so very thin right now any spare time I have I am putting into my new project. THis one is being managed by a family member mostly, but I still peek in as its my name on the package and thus my reputation - so little time so much to do. Best to all 

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dljinnovations's Avatargold

Nice to see you Crystal-Diane.  Good to see all of your hard work paying off.

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sunto's Avatar

Nice of you to share Crystal nothing easy about going it alone . We all put a lot of unpaid hour into making things happen . But that said when you look back we have learned a lot from the school of life. Best wishes with your future plans .    

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crystaldiane's Avatar

Thanks all

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