Wall Sockets Loose???
By Jessica Haynes and Barry Connelly
Sometimes you wake up with a good idea. My husband, Barry Connelly had this experience. We had the annoying household problem of loose wall sockets and appliance plugs falling out while vacuuming, drying our hair, blending foods or turning on reading lamps. Not to mention Barry’s electric garage tools stopped working while in use when the plug fell out of the wall. I said to my husband, “I’m tired of holding my hand next to the plugs to keep them from falling out. “
He was a former service station owner and auto mechanic and knew a lot about how to replace the worn out wall sockets. The process involved buying new wall sockets, turning off the electricity to each circuit with a bad plug and re-wiring each new receptacle before turning the power back on. With so many loose wall sockets, he kept putting it off.
Our invention journey began when Barry came up with a smart and effective solution for the loose wall sockets. He woke up one morning and said, “I have an idea.” In the garage he created a crude prototype out of a small plastic child safety device used to prevent children from shocks from electrical outlets, and it worked perfectly. The lose wall sockets were like new again in seconds. I was happy that this problem was solved. It was safe and easy to use.
The first step was learning about getting a patent.
Barry researched getting a patent. It became clear that we needed a good patent attorney. I had a client in Ohio who was considered one of the best in the field. I called him about our idea. He liked it and started the process. He said to tell no one, and we signed a letter of confidentiality.
We received a patent pending certificate.
We sent our patent attorney a refined prototype, and our patent went through easily. There was nothing like it on the market. No competition. Our attorney was very surprised and pleased for us.
The next step was that we needed to get a mold made to produce the Socket Saver
The bids were expensive for a plastic polypropylene mold, as high as $15,000 for a single cavity mold as opposed to $5,500 for the same quality. Barry learned a lot about the molding process. We kept researching. Barry found a local plastic molding company who liked the idea, was reputable and our manufacturing agreement began. The quality was excellent! The final product looked great and worked perfectly. Our lesson was to keep looking for the best company at the best price, with the best reputation.
In the beginning, we approached a number of the BIG companies that could benefit from our invention. We received a number of responses from the legal departments. Basically they each sent us a lengthy 30 page contract asking us to waive our rights to the invention and patents. They wanted the invention… just not pay for it. Our patent attorney said, “No”. So we waited and looked for better options.
A local friend introduced us to Don Varner who invented the California Water Blade. His huge success with Costco and other major outlets was exciting. Don and Barry came up with the idea of the Socket Saver Wall Plate. So we were on to our second patent. (Simply replace a worn out receptacle wall plate with the Socket Saver Wall Plate and your loose wall socket problem is fixed in seconds). Now, consumers had two great options. A Socket Saver that can go anywhere with you, and designer wall plate that solved the problem.
Our second patent for the Socket Saver Wall Plate had some challenges. Our patent attorney had retired. We needed to find a new resource.
A new firm was highly recommended. We ended up spending thousands of dollars with lots of unexplained bills. But this story has a silver lining. I met one of the best patent attorneys in my life. She said, “Jessica, follow me to my new firm.” We did. Within a few months our full utility patent was issued. This covered the Wall Plate and the original Socket Saver. Now we were doubly protected. And she didn’t charge us for the filing fees and other processing expenses to make-up for how much she believed in the Socket Saver and how much money we were overcharged by her previous employers.
Our Expanding Market
We started getting more and more orders and positive feedback about our invention through the Internet. We had a wide appeal to renters, home owners, college students, B & B’s, RV enthusiasts, business owners with older buildings, and travelers who encountered loose wall sockets at airports, motels, who could not charge their cell phones, lap tops, and other electronic devices because the plug kept falling out. The Socket Saver proved to be a HUGE Christmas stocking stuffer success as an affordable and desirable gift.
Technology Changed Everything and a Third Patent.
Early on I secured SocketSaver.com. With sales we secured the Trademark for Socket Saver. Also, we secured our next Utility patent, for the Use, Method, and Kit of the Socket Saver. SocketSaver.com attracted customers all over the country.
Working Out of Our Home
We had every order shipped out the next day. With Barry’s business background he set up a system through the website and our Web Master to receive orders, collect the payment, and ship the product. It was seamless. Our customers are very happy with the Socket Saver. Ten Socket Savers sell for $9.99.
With my marketing background I created several videos in a professional film studio. They came out very well. Some are funny, some are to the point like, “As Seen On TV”, and some are informational. You can see them on the website and U Tube.
We attended the Las Vegas Hardware Trade Show, the largest trade show of its kind in the United States. It features some 2,600 booths, featuring well-known brands and new products. We met numerous new and experienced inventors and learned so much about packaging, marketing, promoting and connecting with buyers.
Making Key Connections
I met Barbara Bigford, the inventor of The Beach Pocket. Her invention keeps your beach umbrellas from blowing over at the sea or lakeshore. Barbara is in demand as a speaker at colleges and universities due to her selling millions of Beach Pockets globally. We met through my consulting business and became fast friends.
She has been a wonderful advisor. Her experience of coming up with an idea and getting it to market successfully has been a genuine treasure. She notes that the statistics of an invention making it is 3%. Luckily, we have made excellent connections that believe in us and we have a fantastic product.
Thank You InventonStories.com
SocketSaver.com – Get Connected – Stay Connected.
For more information, please visit www.socketsaver.com