I'm always inspired by the ingenious creativity of some of the women entrepreneurs out there who created products and services because they couldn't find what they needed in the market place.
They grew tired of settling and making do with what they could find in the stores, while starting to think, what if I just created what I needed?
Ideas turned into designs. Designs into prototypes. Friends and family became test subjects.
And then, a snowball effect started to happen. People began to notice what they created and became curious. They started asking... 'Hey, where can I get one of those?' Turning the idea into a whole new business.
Laura Lopuch, owner and creator of RuffArmor, a company that makes hardcore dog auto seat covers says: "I started RuffArmor because I couldn't find any that were tough enough for my two mud-loving big dogs. The only seat covers I could find were flimsy, cheap-feeling, and too small for my seats. They didn't even stay in place on the seats."
Lopuch created her own auto seat covers made out of tough, military fabric using a new inventive design that keeps the covers in place.
Lopuch says: "Other people mentioned they liked my covers and wanted a set. Their big dogs were destroying their seat covers and auto seats, too. And RuffArmor was born."
It was while looking for a better way to hang pictures that Karina Rabin, owner and creator of Hang-O-Matic, came up with her idea.
Rabin says: "I was trying to hang some stuff around the house and after much frustration and ruined walls; my unhappy husband tried to patch and repaint, only to add more holes. I figured, there had to be a better way."
Rabin looked for such a product, only to find most of them punctured the wall for one nail. This was a problem, because her pretty shelves had two anchors on the back.
Rabin says: "I told my husband, lets solve this problem, so I can hang my stuff without frustration. That's when Hang-O-Matic was born."
But let's be honest here. Taking an idea and turning it into a product or service requires a certain level of tenacity.
You hear it all the time. Someone sharing a great idea for a product or service, but that's all it remains, just another idea, because it takes a lot sweat and hard work to make it happen.
Alison O'Brien, CEO and Co-Founder of JWalking Designs, a company that sells fit, functional, fashionable, and earth-friendly workout wear says:
Have I ever been tempted to throw in the towel? Hell, yes! But I am admittedly too darn stubborn to quit. I put a lot of time and personal money into this venture and I am not going to go down without a fight. That said, as a single woman with now-sporadic income, I do have an exit plan. But until that drop-dead-date, I will just keep moving forward. What I've learned is... do not let a fear of failure keep you from trying to succeed at your dream."
O'Brien's workout wear gives women and men, of all shapes and sizes, the self-confidence to get out and get active. It's this mission that keeps O'Brien going.
With JWalking Designs, I aim to reach the woman who wants to get out and get active, the moms looking for "me time"; multi-taskers (like myself) who want one clothing item that works for a run in the park and after-run lunch with friends; those beginning their fitness journey, and those well on their way. All who want to look fit, functional, and fashionable doing so.