Kitchen Wares Inventor Taps HSN To Build $100 Million Biz

The Wall Street Journal reports that fans of HSN, the home shopping network, might recognize Debbie Meyer, the soft-spoken uber-housewife who sells nifty inventions — say, a device that creates holes in cupcakes, while they’re baking, for no-mess filling — as if teleported from the 1950s.

What many may not realize is that behind the apron is a shrewd entrepreneur who’s built a company, Housewares America Inc. of Clearwater, Fla., with more than $100 million in annual revenues.

Her patented products, including best-seller Debbie Meyer GreenBags, are now sold in Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and other stores.

Q. You’re known for solving household problems — does that come naturally?

A. Whenever I was upset growing up, my mother knew to put me in a room that needed the most work! It was very therapeutic to me, to bring order to chaos.

Q. That first invention was the “kake-kut’r” — how did you come up with it?

A. This was born out of a women in search of a piece of cake! When I was little my mother always hated to see people lick their finger as they were cutting cake, and wouldn’t let me eat any at parties [because of germs].

I developed this cake cutter — it wasn’t very sharp but highly polished — with two handles that you could squeeze together and walk around the room, saying: “Who wants a piece of cake?”

To make it, I went to a sheet-metal shop with my design, and asked the guys to cut me a piece of metal. They thought it was crazy, but I said, “just do it.”

When I showed friends — they said, “Can you make me one? And can you make one for my mother?”

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Photo by WSJ.

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