Little Pearls of Inventing Wisdom

What the hell is going with the Braduct, you are probably asking?  I have not written about the Braduct in a long while and this has been intentional – I have been in a regrouping phase of Research and Development.  Believe me, I did not want to deny any of you information or updates, I just needed time to regroup on the arduous path in front me.  You all know that I am extremely impatient and, therefore, set ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS timelines for myself.  After a bit of searching and examining what I was really trying to do, I am now able to proceed forward with the R&D phase.

Just to bring all of you up to speed…..last year, I had an inkling of an idea for a bra-related productI began the VERY LONG journey of nurturing this idea from the confines of my brain to the Women of America.  Along the way, my ten-year old son (who blushes endlessly when he hears the word bra) exclaimed that I was not working on a bra-related product but rather a BRADUCT.  The term Braduct was born after this, and although this is not the official product name, we now affectionately refer to the item as a Braduct.

Over the last 8 months, I have met some of the best people to aid and facilitate in the process……I first met “prototype guy” in a coffee shop to discuss the details of him taking on the task of helping me with designing a prototype.  I anxiously awaited his answer over last Thanksgiving, and when he gave the project a thumbs up, I was ecstatic.  Prototype Guy and I are now like an old married couple….we know what to expect from one another and prepare accordingly.  A few months back, we were struggling with a few material based issues, so we engaged with Prototype Guy 2.  I was speculative about this, but Prototype Guy 1 did not steer me wrong AND now we are back on track (hear fireworks in the background).

Initially, I was hoping to be Testing by now (haha – I know), so when we realized that we needed to go back to the drawing board, I wanted to tuck my tail between my legs and give up.  This only lasted for a day or 2, and then I was ready to go again…..I have been called dogged in my approach to most of life before, and I guess that I am.  I was NOT going to give up.  Over a series of skype conference calls and face-to-face meetings, my team and I have visualized an even better, improved Braduct.

Unfortunately, NO, I am not ready to fully disclose or share, but rather to say that the Braduct is alive and well!  We are examining material selections at this point and pinpointing the best way to create our models…..just then and maybe then, will I be ready to test.  Maybe!  Although, there will be many steps after that….

What I do like to share are little gems of wisdom that I gather with my Readers, so here you go:

Little pearls of invention advice….

-When I first started the process, Leslie Haywood, Inventor of Grill Charms, told me that she went from idea to market in 18 months AND that was FAST…..underlying meaning = inventing takes time!

-I was lucky to meet with Tony Shaw, an inventor & expert at over-seas importing, and he imparted with me these three words – FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.

-I learned many valuable product lessons at Spark & Hustle with Tory Johnson.  Most important from Sari Crevin, President and Founder of BooginHead – do NOT skimp on lawyers when inventing!

-Finally, from my own Prototype Guy 2, when searching for something on the internet, as in a particular material, and you are not having success, it may take days of trying various terms/words AND then you hit on the right one…….

Inventing takes an enormous amount of TIME, EXPERTISE, PATIENCE, FOCUS, RESEARCH, and we cannot forget – FUNDING.

I will leave you with a link for a video on funding (food for thought for your Monday) by the Brain Trust at StartupNation.  Any thoughts – please share! Rachel;Strategy-Smackdown

{ 27 comments… add one }

  • Jen Sako May 16, 2011, 10:16 AM

    I have only ever been involved with service, never with products, which seems so daunting. I love following you on this subject. GO BRADUCT!!! BTW, the word, “braduct,” sounds like something having to do with nursing = “bra” + “duct.” Well, anyway, I laughed.

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 17, 2011, 4:56 AM

      That is funny Jen! Who knows what the real name will end up being…..I think that I will have to run a vote on the blog or something….Rachel

  • Susan Berland May 16, 2011, 12:22 PM

    I agree with Jen, it does sound like nursing. I was hoping you would be coming up with something for us large breasted women that would be beautiful, provide support and be super-duper comfortable. Now, that would be an invention to write home about! I’m sure whatever new invention you are working on will be incredible. I can’t wait to hear more and celebrate with you as it launches and succeeds!

    Susan Berland
    A Picture’s Worth

  • Laurie Hurley May 16, 2011, 12:39 PM

    Well tenacity and patience wins out all the time. I am so glad “it” as I affectionately call your invention is still in the making. I can’t wait to see the fnished product. I know of what you speak on a different level. I have an accounting program that has been in the works for three years and I am just now finally working with the right programmers. Very frustrating for this Driven warrior, but I know time will pay off in the end. Keep updating us! Hope we see each other again face to face somewhere with your new “it” in hand!

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 17, 2011, 4:58 AM

      Laurie – isn’t patience just the hardest thing when you are so driven? ugh! I would love to catch up face to face really soon! Rachel

  • Haralee May 16, 2011, 1:02 PM

    Product development takes time, and most likely more time than you planned. I have been there and my thoughts are have a back-up plan for materials and production. While you are still in the ‘dating phase’ of suppliers, entertain bids from several.This comes under the “Just in Case” file.
    We had our first manufactureer suddenly go out of business. Then another manufacturer declared bancruptcy with our patterns locked in their drama. We learned to have the ‘Just in Case’ suppliers and manufacturers and give them some business throught-out the year so we can be always be in business and not at the mercy or held hostage from our suppliers.

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 17, 2011, 4:59 AM

      Haralee – FABULOUS advice! Thanks! Yes — we are not even really dating yet with suppliers, but rather “speed dating” to find the right few. I will keep your little tidbit in the back of my brain! Rachel

  • Nicole Fende May 16, 2011, 2:07 PM

    Well we may not know what a Braduct IS, but at least now we know about the NAME. Thank you for satisfying part of my curiosity!

    Having run an import business, I discovered even ordering so-called standard items can be filled with unexpected pitfalls. Like an order from India in which I explicitly wrote on the order form “No Elephants”. Guess what was on every single item?^#&*(@

    My best friend and I joked that they must have been stowaways from the flight.

    Point is – hang in there Rachel! You are doing this the right way, rather than rushing in and wasting tons of money.

  • Hollee Temple May 16, 2011, 3:06 PM

    I knew you would not give up! You are an inspiration, and we are still here, cheering you on!

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 17, 2011, 5:01 AM

      Hollee – Thanks….I am just trying to finish in time to get a spotlight in your’s and Becky’s book 2 :):) RB

  • Donna McCord May 16, 2011, 4:05 PM

    This is so exciting, Rachel! I am so impressed with how you are taking your invention beyond the idea and dreams into reality…it all sounds so daunting to me, and I applaud you for your ability to hang in there and follow this through all the channels and delays and anxieties that must crop up along the way. I loved the video! it kind of reminded me of Shark Tank…have you ever watched that program? Maybe you should think about going on there to look for funding! I bet they would love you and your product (whoops, Braduct!). The woman on their panel would probably be the one most likely to love you. Although I think you have to show that you have some sales first before you can approach them. In any event, I am rooting for you and look forward to actually seeing your invention and finding out what makes it so unique! I liked the idea of finding a distributor that could market your product and test it, too. Nordstrom would be awesome! Wishing you all the best and excited to hear the next installment in your story!

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 17, 2011, 5:05 AM

      Donna – I have seen the show! Yes – I think they prefer sales….we will see! Maybe one day! In the meantime…I am just continuing on the Development journey. RB

  • Judy Stone-Goldman May 16, 2011, 5:49 PM

    I am in such awe, as the idea of creating and producing a product is shrouded in mystery for me! Absolutely loved reading this and to hear of a real-live person doing real-live things in real-live TIME! In so many ways we set unrealistic time schedules, as least I do, and that’s without trying to invent a product of this nature.

    As for your product, I cannot wait to hear what it is! You are definitely creating excitement and buzz.

    Great post – can’t wait to read the next installment, whenever it comes.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    “My cat owns me, my clutter stymies me, my writing frees me. Word maven loves—and learns from—ordinary life.”

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 17, 2011, 5:04 AM

      Thanks Judy! I think that blogging about my pitfalls in my real time allows others to really feel the process…..oh, this is so long! BUT, exciting at the same time. Thanks for being so excited over the Braduct – Rachel

  • Pat Zahn May 16, 2011, 11:12 PM

    Well, you’re still teasing us, Rachel! I can’t offer you any advice, but I’m so impressed with your tenacity. My mind is noisy with all the questions I would have if I was inventing something (no doubt filled with something someone we both know would call LBs.) Did the startup nation peeps suggestions help you at all?

  • jonesrandf May 16, 2011, 11:28 PM

    I am more intrigued than ever as to what exactly this product is. I don’t know if it will be applicable, but if you could find a way for the underwire to actually be the same length as the pocket it’s in, that would be great. I’m so tired of it shifting away from the center and then hanging funny. Maybe it’s just me?? I don’t know. Anyway, I look forward to your launch of your product. I’m glad to hear that it’s still moving forward 🙂

  • Brandy Mychals May 17, 2011, 7:10 AM

    Focus, determination and a little bit dogged…sounds entreprenerial to me 🙂 Perhaps you can apply to be on Shark Tank? I think what you are doing is fabulous! Motherhood, the creativity of inventing and the leadership of running a business – good combination 🙂 I’m excited to learn more!

  • Molly Perry May 17, 2011, 10:33 AM

    It sure seems like one must have a lot of patience and persistence to develop a product from start to finish. I admire you for not giving up on your quest to develop Braduct. I can’t wait to see the finished product! You go, girl!

  • Louise Edington May 17, 2011, 2:09 PM

    I don’t think I have the patience to invent anything and bring it to market, I’m in awe that you can stay so focused. I have only ever been in service and sales myself. I am full of admiration that you even came up with an innovative idea, never mind the drive and perseverence to bring it to market! I think I’ll stick to Social Media Marketing coaching 😉

    Louise Edington
    Fearless for Freedom

  • Maridel Bowes May 17, 2011, 4:06 PM

    What an icon of perseverance and faith you are! Faith in yourself AND the Braduct. I’m thinking about ALL the qualities this is building in you…including patience. I believe that so often these inspirational enterprises have an evolutionary agenda for us–fine if we/product are is successful, but even more importantly that we emerge as more of the truth of ourselves with a greater capacity to live and love.
    I so loved your sharing of all the pearls that have gotten you this far too. The Universe is obviously co-chairing the project!

  • Rita Brennan Freay May 17, 2011, 4:23 PM

    You have the drive and determination….glad to hear its all starting to come together for you…even if it takes a while! It will all be worth it. Can’t imagine the patience it requires…not sure that I have that! Your doing an amazing job Rachel….inventing is not for the weak…what a process…wow! Hang in…..and good luck. Looking forward to being part of the reveal and promotion of “it”….we’re all “supporting” you…punn intended.

    Rita Brennan Freay

  • Yvonne Elm Hall May 18, 2011, 7:42 AM

    Good for you for picking yourself back up, brushing yourself off and getting back on the proverbial horse. I loved that startup nation video. All very interesting to me but not sure I am the personality type to be in your shoes. Fun to watch and learn from you though! Thanks for always being open and honest with us.
    Yvonne Hall

  • Debbie Goldberg May 19, 2011, 1:55 PM

    Hi Rachel – Thanks for the update. I can tell you that the one thing you should never do when starting a business is skimp on lawyers or rely on a hand shake deal. Such an important point and something that I think women, in particular, find very intimidating. What if I upset someone by asking to document this legally? What if they get mad? Screw that.. protect yourself and your family and then get to work!

    • Rachel Blaufeld May 25, 2011, 9:47 AM

      Debbie – Absolutely! We have to worry about ourselves and not what others will think when we ask for something that is standard practice in business! Rachel

  • Denisse Marie May 19, 2011, 6:08 PM

    I applaud you on your commitment and focus. I offer a service which is no where near as difficult as dealing with a product. It involves a lot more work and patience to get things going and you are doing it! Great job. Can’t wait to know the details of the braduct.

  • Robbie Schlosser May 20, 2011, 8:10 PM

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for the update, and I’m looking forward to further news. Impatient or not, did you have ANY idea this process would be so arduous?

    Two more comments: First, I really enjoyed the video, especially how it got me thinking about marketing. And second, is duct tape involved in the braduct? I hear that duct tape’s usefulness is practically limitless, and I already have a couple of interesting mental images…



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