"The strongest thing you can cultivate as an entrepreneur is to not rely on luck but cultivating an ability to recognize fortunate situations when they are occurring. "
The Grommet launch opened a gateway to a multitude of business to business opportunities. The trick was deciphering between genuine and legitimate partnerships and people who just want a piece of your pie. The weeks following The Grommet launch were filled with conference calls. Up to this point, Kyler participated in every meeting and call, but I couldn't take him out of school everyday for meetings, so I had to do most of the meeting and w...
"Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them."
- Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady of The US
People often ask if Kyler's younger sister gets jealous of the attention Kyler gets from his invention. We constantly remind both kids that everyone has a special and unique talent to share with the world. When we see glimpses of their special abilities we always try to point them out. Elle is extremely witty, creative and athletic, and she has an uncanny way of making friends anywhere we go--like on airplanes or trains in Washington D.C. Kyler is our “quality assurance guy”. He re...
The launch of Kyler's Comfy Cup on The Grommet website in April presented new opportunities for media attention. Kyle had his first TV interview on the local KC Fox morning show. We took Kyler out of school for his interview and brought his sister along with her iPad to take video and photos to share on social media. We got to experience the Green Room (which isn't actually green) and behind the scenes on television. This was another amazing learning opportunity for both of the kids. I was so proud of Kyler. He didn't seem nervous at all. I was definitely nervous enough for him. I sat behind the cameramen with Elle as Ky...
"The world's most successful entrepreneurs play hard, but they work even harder. "
Kyler was invited to share his Comfy Cup™ invention with a group of Medical Profession Academy students at Olathe North High School to help them learn about Kyler’s entrepreneurial journey. Kyler shared his successes and challenges. After our presentation, the students offered to do some testing on the Comfy Cup™ using the baseball team's pitching machine and their science department’s force plate. We happily gave them a handful of Comfy Cups™ to use for testing. After a couple of months, they returned with some fantastic resul...
"When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge." -Robert Kiyosaki
Mid-March our Comfy Cup™ inventory dwindled dangerously low. We placed an order for 3,000 more Comfy Cups, but they were not scheduled to arrive for months! We had to take the Comfy Cup™ off Amazon to ensure we would have enough product in stock for our big April 5th launch day on The Grommet. It was painful to go from filling 50 orders a day to zero during peak baseball season. But, it was a blessing in disguise…our family needed the break. It was a little gift from the Universe...a calm before the storm.
"Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."
At the beginning of March, Kyler entered his Comfy Cup into the University of Kansas Engineering School's Mini-Maker Faire. He was thrilled to win third place for his age group. It was a great opportunity for Kyler to practice his public speaking and see what other kids invented. If you live in Kansas, I highly recommend attending the University of Kansas Engineering Fair that is held in conjunction with the Mini Maker Faire.
The year was coming to an end, but we had new opportunities on the horizon for the Comfy Cup™. In July, Grandma Bebe had encouraged us to look into a company called The Grommet, a company that launches undiscovered products with a purpose invented by people with stories on their website and helps them succeed. We posted the Comfy Cup™ to The Grommet's Citizens' Gallery page and they reached out to us expressing interested in learning more about Kyler's Comfy Cup™. By the end of the year we signed a contract with The Grommet and a plan to launch the Comfy Cup™ in the spring.
" When life gives you a gift, receive it with all your heart."
Just before Christmas, we received our second shipment of 2,000 Comfy Cups. We were decorating Christmas Cookies as a family the day the giant truck backed up our street to unload the carton of Comfy Cups™ into our garage. Kyler's sister, Aunt Brooke, grandma Bebe and even Kyler’s little cousins helped carry the boxes of Comfy Cups™ off the truck and into our basement warehouse.
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”–Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.
Tonight at dinner, we were eating grilled hamburgers. The topic of our dinner conversation was about how to do impact testing on the Comfy Cup™ in our own backyard. We decided that we needed something about the size of a 7-11 year olds’ private parts for testing. For these tests, we didn’t want anyone to have to put their own test...