|Mon Aug 19 2013 16:19:19|
Tempted to Design a Product? Nicole Kelner Was
By: Julia Wilkinson
Have you ever thought about designing your own product? Look to the needs in your own life that don't have a product meeting them out there in the marketplace.
Nicole Kelner did just that when she designed the "SmartPurse,™" a wallet/handbag that doubles as a waterproof cellphone carrier. (I think her Etsy shop gives the best bird's-eye view of her products; but she also has a web site at http://www.nicolekelnerdesigns.com/). That and her energetic marketing won her the EmpowerWomen mentorship contest sponsored by e-commerce website Alibaba.com.
How did Kelner get the idea? She left her purse on the back of a chair at a Chipotle (the horror!), but she did remember to take her phone, "and I kind of realized I was having trouble remembering to bring all my stuff when I was running around," she explains in an Alizila blog post.
She wanted to make it easier to keep her phone and purse together, but she couldn't find any handbag with an exterior phone pocket for sale anywhere. "So I went out and found a waterproof drypack and stitched it together with a small clutch. That was my first prototype," she said.
Compliments from friends, family and strangers followed, but she had to run through some trial and error before hitting her winning product design, she explained.
Her advice for people making their own products is to underpromise and overdeliver..she does this with her shipping, promising the item in 14 days but trying to ship in seven.
Another benefit to selling your own product is, well, you're the only vendor selling it! At least until and if you get copycats. One of the commenters on a recent blog post said they sold their own, unique product and therefore it took out the problems of having to worry about this or that which the competition was doing (leaving "just" the problems of marketing, production, and fulfillment, but still...).
But the big barrier is getting past your own inertia. Kudos to Nicole, and I hope that some of you out there who have ideas will find the time to try them out. (I for one would love to find a product that makes my hair less frizzy and curly, without having to blast on a layer of formaldehyde at 450 degrees).
What about you? Have you thought about designing and selling your own product, or have you done it? If you don't want to give away your secrets, tell us what you can. Post a comment here!
knew I had a product when friends and family and strangers kept telling me that they loved it. There was a lot of trial and error. I started out thinking I should be selling in flea markets and to friends, family and co-workers. But once I started getting online sales, that was a turning point—I realized that I had my company. - See more at: http://www.alizila.com/20-student-entrepreneur-already-has-million-dollar-business-idea#sthash.krrQpzsB.dpu
EmpowerWomen mentorship contest sponsored by global e-commerce website Alibaba.com - See more at: http://www.alizila.com/20-student-entrepreneur-already-has-million-dollar-business-idea#sthash.krrQpzsB.dpuf