What Makes Us Light Up?
Turning light bulb moments into products is our passion. We love seeing inventors and entrepreneurs we've worked with over the years achieve their dreams.
Every search offers a new opportunity for our members. You'll find below the stories of everyday idea people who, thanks to Edison Nation, are on this road in the company of the world’s leading retailers and manufacturers.
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The Work Behind a Success Story
We’ve highlighted a handful of successful Edison Nation products and their inventors below. For every success story on this page, there are dozens in the making.
For a peek into what goes into making your ideas a success, watch us turn Charlie Lumsden’s rough sketch into the coolest piece of exercise equipment you’ve ever seen.
Over 100 Success Stories and Counting!
Read about all of the Edison Nation inventors whose ideas have been licensed and are in development on our blog.
On a chance day in a Bed Bath & Beyond store, Betsy Kaufman came across “Edison Nation” on the back of a store receipt. Lucky for us, this sparked an interest.
While standing over her stove early one morning, watching the water boil a few eggs, she came across her “kooky” concept. What about a heat-resistant, egg-shaped container that prevented hairline fractures? One that kept you from laboring over egg shells, the notorious bane of garbage disposals around the country?
Betsy’s “Eggies” idea was quickly selected from an As Seen On TV search, and according to our partner, early indications show that Eggies is on track to becoming one of the best DRTV products of the year. Beginning this summer and fall, you’ll be able to find Eggies in Walgreens, Bed Bath & Beyond and many more stores across the country.
How about that for a “kooky” idea? It’s going to be huge. And we’re all so excited to be a part of Betsy’s exciting journey as mother and TV producer-turned-inventor of mega-selling infomercial product.
Brad & Melinda Shepard
Parents are natural problem solvers. Children are inherently messy. When Brad and Melinda's son couldn't seem to keep his Cheerios from spilling onto the minivan floor or collecting dust in the far reaches of the living room couch, they took matters into their own hands. The two young parents came to our Everyday Edisons casting call toting the working prototype for a snack bowl that could swivel, dip and oscillate to withstand the quick movements of a busy toddler…and keep dry foods in place when they're on the move.
With a galactic design that appeals to both parents and their children, the spill-resistant Gyro Bowl is an internationally recognized (and sought after) children's product with major press appeal. What began as a product on a public television series in 2007 is now an infomercial bestseller.
As most cat owners can attest, trimming their felines' claws is a problem many encounter. Not only can it be painful for the cat, but it's also difficult for the owner to wrangle their felines for regular vet visits or to witness their furniture as they become scratching posts. There's a good reason the phrase “like herding cats” is part of our everyday vernacular.
Michael's Emery Cat unfolded on the second season of Everyday Edisons, where viewers were able to watch along with this San Diego-based consultant as his original homemade prototype evolved into a multi-functional pet product.
The Emery Cat is now a stylish board that functions as a dual cat toy and claw duller, utilizing a patented abrasive coating that naturally files down cats' claws as they play, stretch or scratch. The Emery Cat's cardboard, honeycomb-like surface is infused with catnip to attract cats, and its base features non-skid durable footpads to make it a well-functioning product for both the cat and the owner.
Today, the Emery Cat is an infomercial sensation, and has been featured on NPR's Marketplace Morning Report and in USA Today, Cat Fancy magazine and more. The Emery Cat can be found on national store shelves in Walgreens, Target, PetSmart, Walmart and many more.
Will Howe & Ric Payne
Nightlife scenesters Will Howe and Ric Payne know how to style and profile wherever they go. Combined, their background includes acting, restaurant and bar owning, even a gig hosting the Playboy TV channel. Such lifestyles leave little room for mundane household tasks like doing laundry.
We first met Will and Ric during Season 3 of Everyday Edisons. Their idea and enthusiasm caught the eyes of our development team. Today, the Mister Steamy dryer ball is a solution to those low on time or just lacking the will to fold and put away clothes right as the dryer buzzes.
Mister Steamy can be seen on its own national infomercial and is available in major retail stores across the country.
If you've bought a stainless steel, foot pedal trashcan, chances are it includes Franklin's Pressix technology. His idea for a trashcan that holds the trash bag securely in place makes so much sense it actually makes you stop and say: Why didn't I come up with that?
We were introduced to Franklin on the first season of Everyday Edisons in 2007. Whenever Franklin tried to empty wastebaskets when helping his wife, Ann, with her new commercial janitorial business, he could never seem to secure new trash bags properly. Franklin's knotted bags were all either too loose, too tight or tore in the end. Out of frustration, Franklin headed to his garage workshop where he devised a system for keeping trashcan liners in their proper place, without ever having to tie, knot or tear a single bag.
Today, when you are shopping at Williams Sonoma, The Container Store, Walmart or Bed Bath & Beyond, take a peak inside one of the high-end trashcans on display; not too shabby for an inventor in his golden years.
Gearbox Deluxe Bedside Caddy
As the mom of a college student and a “natural organizer,” Stephanie Boynton saw our Bed Bath & Beyond® “Students of Invention” Live Product Search as the perfect opportunity to get creative.
Working as a professional prototype designer and maker, Stephanie was accustomed to working with colors, patterns and textures in all mediums. Combining this expertise with her love for organization, and using her daughter's college needs as inspiration, Stephanie conceptualized what is now the Gearbox Deluxe Bedside Caddy.
The Gearbox is a pocket-sized bedroom storage organizer that fits perfectly under a mattress — while hanging neatly over the side of the bed — for easy storage and access to books, writing utensils and other dorm room essentials. Stephanie's invention launched in Bed Bath & Beyond stores in July 2012 and is available online at www.bedbathandbeyond.com.
Jonathan C. Smith
When coming across our Bed Bath & Beyond® “Students of Invention” Live Product Search, Jonathan Smith needed only to summon an idea from his dorm room days to come up with the perfect submission. Living in the same dorm for three years during college, Jonathan accumulated a lot of belongings. With dorm room space already a challenge, Jonathan wanted a way to create more space without changing the dynamics of his room too drastically – so he began brainstorming.
Jonathan recalled seeing bed risers in Bed Bath & Beyond stores and knew they would be the perfect solution. After adding the risers, Jonathan gained an extra 12cuft. of storage space under his bed. While this solved his problem, he felt it would be great to make them even more functional, so he came up with an idea to add lights to the risers to serve as a night light. Jonathan submitted the idea to our Live Product Search and Bed Bath & Beyond selected it for licensing.
Realizing that there was a way to expand upon Jonathan’s idea even further, the team at Bed Bath & Beyond developed Jonathan’s product into what is now known as Bed Lifts. Bed Lifts are unique, dual-functioning bed risers, which feature a built-in AC outlet and USB charger. Now students not only receive the benefit of extra under-bed space, but also additional power outlets – another often limited necessity in dorm rooms. Bed Lifts launched in Bed Bath & Beyond stores in July 2012 and are also available online at www.bedbathandbeyond.com.
Born and raised in rural Georgia, Jennifer Waldroup Holloway always knew she was destined to make it big. The problem was – by her own admission – the only thing “big” in her early years was what garnered her the nickname of “Wide-Load Waldroup.”
Inspired by others’ taunts, Jen went from heavy-set farm girl to becoming Miss Georgia and a popular Florida-based television anchor and personality. How did she do it? She simply got active. No bells, whistles or surgeries needed. Though as Jen trimmed down her waistline, she discovered pain and soreness in her joints. To power through it, she added high-density foam and a touch of instability to her step device, both of which activated her core muscles and relieved the pressure and strain away from her joints.
Jen’s Workout 180 was first revealed on the premiere season of Everyday Edisons. Since then, the entire Edison Nation team has made a cross-country effort, from Los Angeles to North Carolina, to get the Workout 180 in primetime. Jen is now getting the last laugh to her school age bullies. The Workout 180 was named Shape Magazine’s “favorite new home workout tool,” can be found on MTV’s popular I Used To Be Fat docu-series (click here to watch a segment from the show featuring Workout 180).
Clinical psychologist and innovator aren't usually interchangeable terms, but Matt Fleming takes what he's learning in his therapy practice and applies it to the entrepreneurial side of life. “Therapy is a lot like inventing,” says Fleming. “I spend my sessions working with patients to think of new solutions to their problems and new ways of viewing things.”
Matt's Monster Pong bounced onto the second season of Everyday Edisons. He came up with the idea for a modern take on old-school ping pong and presented his original plywood gaming prototype at the Washington, D.C. casting call. When the judges watched Matt and his wife, Erin, demonstrate Monster Pong, they knew they had the next gaming sensation on their hands.
Today, Monster Pong allows for game play on the go with up to six players. Its portability makes it a great addition to the rituals of tailgating, summer cookouts and friendly (or not so friendly) competitions. Monster Pong now boasts an angled playing surface, guitar pick shape, a goal shaped like a recessed cup and new game play rules to master.
John & Bill Murtagh
Kobalt Mortar Hoe
The late John Murtagh had the ambition and determination to conceptualize, design and patent an efficient mortar-mixing tool. Every inch of the mixing head is designed with one thing in mind: getting the most out of every mixing stroke.
“My greatest wish is to take my father into a store and have him see his invention on a store shelf,” says Bill Murtagh, John's son and engineer. “It's all I ever wanted.” Unfortunately, John lost his battle with cancer in 2004. His surviving wife and children took over efforts to bring the then-dubbed “Murtagh Mixing Hoe” to market, and earned a spot on the first season of Everyday Edisons in 2007.
It's been an arduous journey for the Murtagh family, but one that ends with a sight John Murtagh would be proud to see. In 2009, after years of tenacious pitching, the Edison Nation team signed the dotted line of a licensing deal with a major tool manufacturer. In summer 2010, John Murtagh's homegrown innovation will be unveiled in national Lowe's Home Improvement stores under the Kobalt® brand of next generation tools.
A World War II pilot, retired art teacher, father and grandfather, Herb Hart is not just a seasoned problem solver. He may actually be the picture in your imagination of a tinkerer, getting his hands dirty in his workshop. With his first big idea coming to market at the ripe age of 88, Herb has no plans of slowing down just yet.
His “dual wrench” is just one of the dozen tools Herb has built in his garage – and it's also the product idea that landed him on Season 3 of Everyday Edisons. His multifunctional and multiuse tool will be making its debut on the shelves of The Home Depot soon.
Foldable Baking Pans
When you first meet Phil Avery, you likely wouldn't mix in baking with his favorite pastimes of paragliding, designing and inventing. Though he may not be your traditional bakeware innovator, Phil has graciously accepted this role.
While in his kitchen, annoyed by the clutter of so many pots, pans and cookware, Phil hit on the idea for his foldable baking pans, predicting they would be an essential for busy bakers and crowded kitchens across the country. Featured on Everyday Edisons, the pans can fold in size, enabling them to be easily stored in kitchen cabinets and drawers without taking as much room as traditional baking pans. The set also features silicone bonding, which readily releases baked goods and allows for easy clean up.
Phil's idea is sure to stand out in a sea of similar commercial housewares and kitchen products. His foldable baking pans will be introduced to the market by World Kitchen and available on the QVC network.
Shoes are cultural icons in their own right, and many women (and even some men) just can't get enough. For shoe junkies that have maxed out their closet space and find themselves in need of organizational help, Holly Tucker's Shoe Skirt discreetly stows your favorite pairs.
After misplacing yet another shoe in her out-of-control closet, Holly went looking for uncharted organizational space in her bedroom. She soon discovered the area beneath the bed frame, conveniently hidden under her decorative bed skirt. Holly fashioned together a fabric organizer with 30 clear pockets where shoes could be stored out of sight, yet easily retrieved when needed. Her Shoe Skirt invention is an ideal hideaway not just for shoes, but even children's toys, books and other items typically scattered throughout the bedroom.
In 2008, Holly pitched her working prototype to the Edison Nation team at a Season Three casting call, thus initiating Shoe Skirt’s journey to market. It was Holly's out of the (shoe) box thinking that caught the attention of WestPoint Home, an industry leading home fashions manufacturer, which developed Holly's innovation for its debut in Bed Bath & Beyond stores. Today, Holly's Shoe Skirt (also known as Storage Skirt) is licensed to home organization distributor, Whitmor and continues on the road to success.
Austin Lin grew up in Louisiana obsessed with hurricanes, fighting fire ants and proving adults wrong. He made his way to Harvard with the original intent to cure cancer and instead, graduated with a degree in psychology, a love for food and a hankering to figure things out.
Every fall, students and parents flock to Bed Bath & Beyond stores with their dorm room checklist of products to make a “home away from home” within a room the size of a broom closet. Bed Bath's “Students of Invention” Live Product Search called on our members for decorative, space-saving and organizational solutions to the obstacles of dorm room living, and Austin was up for the challenge.
In a small apartment in Cambridge, Austin couldn't find a place to rest his coffee mug in a room big enough for only the sofa and torchiere lights. Austin resolved the issue by creating a removable table to attach to the torchiere lamp pole, providing a tabletop without the need for a space-hogging end table or the expense of a built-in table and lamp. Austin's Lampbuddy table began as a rough prototype made out of a yoga block, and was one of four ideas selected by the Bed Bath team to further develop and sell in stores across the country. Today Austin – a hot power yogi, Philz coffee enthusiast and master shallot roaster – can add problem-solving inventor to his varied and dynamic list of experiences.