42: Nancie Weston Creates an Ultra Light Water Purifier
Nancie Weston is the inventor, founder and chief designer at GRAYL Inc., the maker of advanced yet stylish water filters and purifiers that allow you drink water from any source, anywhere in the world. She founded GRAYL due to her concerns about water quality and the impact of plastic from bottled water bottles on our land and oceans. Nancie had worked in sales and marketing for over 25 years and then she found her true passion product design.
I wanted to talk to Nancy to better understand how she came up with such an innovative idea and also to find out how she was able to get her product manufactured.
- Never taking “NO” for an answer.
Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs
- Never take “no” for an answer. If you believe in your product, your passion and your vision, just keep going until you get someone who will listen.
- Don’t be afraid of your weaknesses. Instead, hire people who can help. Use a subcontractor, friend, relative, volunteers, etc.
- Before launching your product or starting on the design process, get retailers on board. Ask them: 1) What does it take to get into your store?; 2) What do you need?; 3) Would this be a product of interest?; 4) Theoretically, if you were going to order, how many would you order?
- Use the retailer information (above) in your negotiations with manufacturers
- Be very sure of the people you are hiring. Don’t just hire the first person who comes into your office. Wait until you get the right person.
- Believe in yourself. Understand what you like and what your vision is.