MY “AHA” MOMENT
April 3, 2006 was the first time I died. I was 35 years old. The culprit was renal failure due to a Streptococcus infection. During my initial 7 week stay in the hospital I was forced by hospital staff to use a walker to help regain my mobility and balance. I was fighting for my life and spent most of my time figuring out how to make hospital equipment better. Of course, this made me think of those disgusting bacteria laden tennis balls on walkers all over the world. What the heck is the deal with those tennis balls? Why would anyone want those? Those aren’t for walkers, those are for playing tennis! I thought to myself that these people deserve better! I deserve better! So I wrote down my idea of unique fun walker glides built specifically for walkers, not for playing tennis! I let the idea sit for 10 years in which time I died a few more times, endured 2 lengthy comas and also received a kidney transplant from a childhood classmate who died unexpectedly. Her name was Jill
THE BIG IDEA
In observing users of walkers I noticed that they often times are treated by others as an obstacle to get around. In the waiting rooms of doctors, walker users are ignored for the most part. It seems fully mobile people are somewhat afraid to speak with someone who is using a walker. Why do we push aside our most valuable population and attach dirty tennis balls to something that keeps them safe and mobile? Smile Glides help those wonderful people (who happen to need to use a walker) to smile a little more and feel a little less like “the person with the walker” and more like themselves. Smile Glides function as a walker glide should, on all surfaces, in any direction. Unlike tennis balls.
WHY MY IDEA IS BETTER THAN THE REST
Smile Glides’ unique patented designs are specifically built to allow a walker to move in any direction with ease. Smile Glides will not collect bacteria like a dirty tennis ball does. Smile Glides work well on any surface. Smile Glides are the only walker glides available with an incredible patented twist lock change out system that is universal with all Smile Glides. Easily change your Smile Glides to a different design. Change from a flowerpot to a fishing bobber to a baseball to a holiday ornament or to any Smile Glides design within minutes all without tools and without having to remove the lower leg insert that glides along the floor. Smile Glides will bring the conversation to you! Smile Glides will create smiles. Most importantly, the main reason users of walkers fall is because they are not using their walker. People don’t want to use their walkers and I don’t blame them. Smile Glides will make you “want to” use your walker more often. Using your walker more means you will fall less!
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT
Funds will be used for online sales, marketing, product video and photos, website, packaging, plastic injection tooling, legal work for future design patents, overall product promotion, filling of orders. I also feel Smile Glides would be a great “direct to consumer” product, QVC would be a possible asset. From my understanding to use QVC I would need a large quantity of product boxed and ready for sale. I do not like brick and mortar retail due to the lower profit margins and loss of product control. However, I like the idea of brick and mortar retail, as Smile Glides do tug at your heart strings for a spur of the moment purchase and Smile Glides do make a great gift. I suppose brick and mortar retail could be a nice addition to the sales numbers if Smile Glides were in the correct big box stores and chain pharmacies focusing on a very high sales volume. I would suspect brick and mortar sales are way down since Covid has hit the world so hard. I would also suspect Direct to Consumer sales are way up. Either route will take funds to bring Smile Glides to market. However, I would focus on online sales, Direct to Consumer.