The Story Of Skinny Clip™

The Mother Of Necessity

Have you ever had a need for a product and thought, “why doesn’t someone make one of those”. And it never occurred to you that years later, you would be the person who would eventually do just that, make one. It’s funny, because that happened to me and I am an inventor. And at that time I was hoping to design a simple, lightweight product that appealed to the masses, and there it was in front of me the whole time.

My name is Harold and I invented and designed Skinny Clip™, not to make a buck, but because I needed something to hold up my pants. Something other than a belt because, like most people, I hate to wear a belt. The story of how I took Skinny Clip™ from an idea to a highly functional, engineered device began a few years ago.

Anyone who wears blue jeans knows that denim stretches as the day goes on. By the end of the day, I would find myself holding up my pants by twisting my waistband around my thumb. Eventually I grabbed a binder clip, twisted my waistband and clipped the bundle. It only took a few minutes for the clip to pop off, but that was that moment the idea for Skinny Clip™ was born.

The Search For The Ideal Patentable Product

Most young inventors have no idea what they are getting, especially those who give up the chance of a normal career in pursuit of some wacky idea or business venture. And I was no different. After a lot of failure and some mild success with other inventions, I came up with 5 criteria for the ideal invention. Amazingly enough, Skinny Clip™ met at least 4 of those 5 criteria but I still didn’t see it’s value. In addition to being highly functional, Skinny Clip™; Appeals to the masses, Is simple to manufacture, Is easy to understand and demonstrate, Is lightweight and practical to ship. And not sure about the 5th, but Skinny Clip™ might; Sell well on TV.

Even though I had invented a device that met most of my criteria, it still didn’t occur to me that I should build this device and sell it to others. All I knew is I had one, and I used it almost daily. A few years later one of my friends borrowed Skinny Clip™ before we went out one night and the next day, he asked me if I could make him one, so I did. And that’s when it occurred to me that I might have what I was looking for in my next project, so I did a patent search and it came back positive for me.

Research and Development

The first step in the process after the patent search is to apply for a provisional patent, which is like a “patent placeholder” for inventors. Within a year of the provisional patent, I applied for a utility patent, which offers the highest level of protection from the United States Patent Office.

Over the next few years I tried every possible design I could imagine. One of the important question that was answered through R&D was whether to include moving parts or to make the product static. Eventually I settled on a fairly simple yet elegant design that is easy to manufacture and highly functional.

I made 30 units of what I considered to be the best design. Each unit was cut out of an aluminum sheet, filed by hand and dipped in plastic. Next, I made a display and attached 8 units to it. The next step was to find a convenient store that was willing to display my invention. After 2 months of searching and about 15 to 20 “no” answers, I finally found someone who was nice enough to help me. All 8 units sold out in 5 days. A few people came in the store the following weeks and asked if they still sold Skinny Clip™. It was clear to me at this point that this product has potential.

Manufacturing In The USA

Every step of bringing a product to the market has to be carefully managed and picking the correct manufacturer can not be underestimated. Do not listen to popular culture and go to China from the beginning. If you want to manufacture in China to save a few pennies per unit later, that might be advantageous, but it is not a good idea for start ups. Pay the extra $500 or whatever it cost to manufacture in the USA, you won’t regret it.

After getting the run around from many American plastic molding companies I finally settled on a manufacturer in Wisconsin. Every Skinny Clip™ sold, is, and always will be, made in the USA!

 

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Contact us here: info@skinnyclip.com