I’ve been contemplating for a while on what to write about on my blog. At first, I thought I would write mainly about family, baby stuff and Poli sippy cup. After meditating, I got my answer — it would be about all those things and my journey of starting a product all by myself. Tons of blogs out there talk about family and baby stuff, which are important, but the Universe told me there is no one out there blogging about creating a Poli sippy cup.
On my blog, I will be honest and raw with all the details about following through with your own invention — the good, the bad and the ugly. I will also focus on how I stayed resilient during the challenging times when I was close to quitting. I’m glad I didn’t though, because fast forward eight years later I have a product I’m thrilled to share with the world. I hope to spread the word about our amazing product all over the world through blogging but more importantly, I hope I can inspire women all over the world to pursue their dreams.
It seems like many moons ago, but it was only eight years ago when my children were babies that I popped into the bathroom while my husband was bathing our son Jack and announced that I was going to invent a better sippy cup. He looked at me skeptically and expressed concerned, as he felt that there was something not right with the economy (this was right before the 2009 recession). John is usually an upbeat, funny and positive person, but that night he didn’t say much or show any enthusiasm. We had just invested lots of money on some properties out of state and he was having second thoughts. It didn’t matter to me how he felt because I was on a honeymoon with my idea of an easy-to-clean sippy cup.
I took out my drawing book and started sketching out my ideas for about a month before I stopped. My monkey mind started telling me it was not possible and frankly, I got scared (just like a kid) because I’d never done something like this before. I have a background in education and art — not science or engineering. I promptly put my drawing book away and for about six months I didn’t do anything. I remember going to a party one evening and talking to a former Mattel employee. We chatted about turning ideas into reality. I felt the passion coming back and had faith that I could do it. Later in the week, John was talking to my friend Teri casually on the phone (she’s my spiritual counselor who told me at the beginning to pursue my dream) about my sippy cup project. I hadn’t told her that I had stopped journaling my project and my husband relayed to me that Teri told him, “Gwen needs to go back to work on her sippy cup invention. She has put her book away and it’s important she starts again soon.” I had second guessed myself and hadn’t trusted myself enough that I could do it.
I started on my idea and called different people about plastic molding. I really had no idea what I was doing; I sort of jumped in with both feet without much research. Well…I take it back. I did read Mom Inventor Book by Tamara Monosoff, which tells you step by step on how to get your idea to market. I looked up plastic molders in the Yellow Pages and started calling around. I visited a couple of small local shops and found them interesting, but I was not well versed enough to know the right questions to ask. However, that didn’t stop me at all. I visited a mold maker close by and he referred me to Jeff Harlan in Corona, Calif., to make my CAD drawings. Basically, they are 3 dimensional drawings used to make tools before production. I met him at his home and explained my idea of creating an easy-to-clean and no parts-to-lose sippy cup. He sat there making sketches while I talked.
It took about eight months to design an easy-to-clean and no parts-to-lose sippy cup. I was super excited and ready to build tools for production. But because I didn’t spend more time on my design and on finding the right tool maker, we had tons of big problems, which delayed the product going to market. This is where the nightmare began…Stay tuned.