Via My Life and Art
Irina: Hi Jean, what is your invention?
Jean: I created a wearable organizer bag that could be used by both men and women from travel, work or play to hold their multiple high tech devices and daily essentials. I saw your profile on Gables Home Page and it said you don't leave home without your high tech devices so I know you'll love this accessory. My first invention, the PUP (for personal utility pouch) has been featured in gift catalogs, Dillards and QVC . I have appeared on QVC over 35 times as a guest host selling in excess of $1.5 million in PUP sales.
...Irina: How did you bring the bag to market?
Jean: The first sales started in Dec 2003 and 2 months later in Feb 2004 the product (the PUP personal utility pouch) had already been accepted at QVC. My first show on QVC was in May where 3900 were sold in less than 7 minutes. It's now more difficult to enter the home shopping networks in that way.
...Irina: How did you get your first customers?
Jean: My first customers were the associates in my office and their families. I continued to hear my customers say the product would be ideal for HSN or QVC. I pursued that advice and was turned down 5 times by HSN but was accepted immediately at QVC.
...Irina: How did you finance the different phases of the company?
Jean: Funding was a challenge. When I placed my first order to my bag company in Hialeah I was under the impression I could have any amount at our agreed upon price. But I soon discovered my first order had to be 3,000. I wasn't sure I wanted to go forward since that was a large sum. I funded my first order on a credit card. But 2 months later QVC wanted 3,000. Although I had the PO from QVC I found no bank interested in a 60 or 90 day loan. Luckily I had a home equity loan in place with a zero balance and I was able to self fund.
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