Tag: product development

Cyndi Prince is the founder of LooHoo, LLC, a Maine-based company. She created LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls, which are reusable, energy-saving alternatives to dryer sheets.  The product was designed specifically for those who are concerned about protecting both their family’s health and the environment. 

Cyndi has been awarded a SPANX by Sara Blakely “Leg Up” Promotion, was selected as the SBA Business Award and was a recipient of the Eileen Fisher Woman-Owned Business Grant.

Cyndi’s journey is really interesting.  She created her product based on a need that she discovered during a transitional time in her life. There’s a really important lesson to be learned here.  New product or service ideas can be discovered by asking two simple questions:  1) What needs arise as a result of transition in life; and 2) are there compelling and innovative ways to solve those needs through a product or service? 

Her Philosophy

Build an incredible team.  Surround yourself with amazing people.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Just start.
  • Keep going for it no matter how many road blocks you hit.
  • Ask questions.  People are out there to help.  You just have to ask the right questions.  Keep asking and keep knocking on doors.
  • Focus on sales and get a lot of practice selling things.  This is crucial , especially with product based businesses.

Links

www.loo-hoo.com

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Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, MD, is a family doctor turned entrepreneur.  She has helped 600,000 people live happier, healthier, well-rested lives. When she was in private practice and struggled with her own sleep issues, Wei-Shin and her husband invented SleepPhones®, the world’s first headphones designed for sleeping.  I was interested in talking to Wei-Shin due to her technical background in medicine.

During our conversation, she highlighted the idea that our life experiences can often inspire new solutions for old problems.  We also talked creating success through team work.

Her Philosophy

  • Respect everybody.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  •  Know yourself.  Understand yourself and what motivates you or sucks your energy away.  know what you’re capable of, your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ask for help if there is something that you don’t know about.
  • Know when to fire yourself.  Focus on the things that you know you’re good at.  Hire others to take care of the rest.

Links

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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.

 

Her Philosophy

  • 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.

Links

  • http://www.thegrayl.com/

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