I received the fabric that I had ordered and could not wait to get started sewing my very own prototype! A prototype is a three-dimensional version of your vision. I needed to create a homemade version to test my design and bring my product to life.
But wait… The fabric was not quite what I expected. I had ordered some PUL fabric which was very thin and I couldn’t see it working for the purpose I had in mind. Don’t get me wrong, it was great fabric, and I can think of some future uses for it, but I was getting a much-needed lesson in types of fabrics. Polyurethane laminate, or PUL, is more of a waterproof fabric, something that liquid would sort of bead up on or roll off of. Think bibs or rain gear. I needed something that would absorb liquid.
And so I began my search for a more suitable fabric for my creation…
My first step was to begin researching fabric for my creation. I began Googling waterproof fabrics, when what I really needed was absorbent fabrics. I ordered a yard of the fabric I had found, and eagerly waited for its arrival.
In the meantime I began reading a book by Gary Bronga, Bringing a Product to Market From Your Home. He offers some great tips in the book, and it is a quick read (for a review of this book you can visit my author site book review page). Mr. Bronga is a wonderful, very approachable person who is willing to help and generous with his advice. He was extremely nice to take the time to answer some questions that I had.
I also talked to a friend of my dad’s, a semi-retired entrepreneur who acts as a part-time CFO for many different start-up companies. He has also served as a mentor and faculty advisor at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Stanford Business School. I figured with credentials like that, I couldn’t go wrong!
Finally, I talked to a friend whose success I want to emulate. Roberta has a very successful pet bed business – all of her own creation! You may have heard of Snappy Snoozers® pet beds. Roberta was my inspiration to actually begin the whole process of creating my own product.
This might sound crazy, but I didn’t want to waste too much time researching the subject, I just wanted to get going. I’m a big learn-as-you-go type person, and I like to always be working towards a goal. It’s like if I’m not working on something new constantly, I feel stagnant…
As you may know, I write books and stories based on my time in the Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA). What this means for me is a lot of time spent waiting. And waiting. Waiting for the Publication Review Board (PRB) to approve my manuscripts each time I write one and each time I make changes to one. You see, when you go to work for the CIA you sign a secrecy agreement, and that means that if I write anything for publication, they must review it prior to my exposing it to the world. This is to ensure it does not expose any classified information. Those black lines that you see in my books, called redactions, are segments of text that the PRB has deemed classified, or too sensitive for public exposure.
It was during a particularly long wait on the review of one of my books that I decided to move forward with a project that I had thought up after the birth of my first child. I had an idea for a baby product, but had put it aside thinking it would be too hard to create a physical product, or too expensive – actually, I’m not exactly sure why I put the idea aside, but now seemed like a good time to revive the idea. With a bit of inspiration in the form of a friend who created her own successfully selling product, I decided to give it a shot…