She was so freaking uncomfortable at work one day, that she actually snuck to the bathroom and CUT her tights open around the waist. Not because they didn’t fit, just because they weren’t made for comfort. So she reimagined the “tights” concept and invented her own.
On today’s podcast episode, we’re talking with Laura McGuire, inventor and founder of Hipstik Legwear about how she came up with her idea and ALL the steps she took in between to launch & sell her product to success. (Including getting it on the shelves at Macy’s! 😱)
You’ll learn about the invention & manufacturing process (and why you don’t even need blueprints to start, just an idea), NDAs, getting a patent, and different ways to sell your product through different online & offline retail stores.
Laura’s VERY experienced in this area, and has TONS of advice and helpful insights to share!
Things We Talked About
- Where & how she got the idea for better tights & professional leg wear (she had to cut a slit in hers one day just because they were so damn uncomfortable)
- Finding a manufacturer & discovering that there had been no innovation in how the product was made in DECADES
- Working WITH a manufacturer to get the product just right… you don’t have to have the end result in mind; just a desire to make something better – MY big takeaway from this episode was this
- Using family & friends & really grassroots, inexpensive ways to do product & market testing
- Why NDAs are so, so important with product ideas & design
- Why she wished she knew more about patenting from the get-go & what you need to know if & when you get started. (You need to design for a patent BEFORE your product is out & on the market for sale.)
- Why you should just suck it up & take the time to write your own patent & have a lawyer look it over, instead of having a lawyer look it all over for you. Put in the mind-numbing details.
- How long the patent process takes: she began in 2016 & is still patent pending. Be ready to be patient, but don’t let it hold you back from getting your product out there.
- Getting physical products on shelves: her journey in doing this & how she’d advise other entrepreneurs to go about it
- Selling on other online platforms like Amazon & Walmart. (Walmart now allows third party sellers! Who knew!)
- Getting through the gatekeeper to get a retail store to place an order & how getting placed in one store can translate into getting placed into 100 or 1,000 more stores.
- Why a no is never a no in her book. (And my book.)
- How Covid affected their business: a higher percentage of sales coming through e-commerce, AND it changing their target market of customers.
- You need to have a lot of “you’s” to make your business happen, but the “you’s” out there in the world may not be the biggest piece of your business’s profitability pie.
- Why she STILL answers EVERY SINGLE customer email, despite having three different jobs
- Hipstik Legwear @ hipstiks.com – Get 15% off everything with coupon code BIZ15
- Fifty Fifty Marketing Agency
- Idea to Shelf to Sold
- Episode 18: Start & Grow an E-commerce Business with Luke Pearce of Radical Tea Towel
- Google Patents
- Email Permutator: Find (almost) anyone’s email
- Google Analytics
- Email Laura: firstname.lastname@example.org