The lazy susan has been around for years. Most people will recognize it for its swiveling plate for serving food. However, Carmen Molina has taken the basic idea behind this device and turned it into a completely new product called the Pix N’ Tray. Like the lazy susan people know so well, it swivels on a base but that is where the similarities end.
The Pix N’ Tray is customizable, and various “accessories” like wine glasses and ribbon can be added to further add to its allure. Each section has space to slide in one of their event cards, or you can create a batch of your own and completely customize the tray for any event. It’s not even limited to food. The tray also works wonders as a business card or pamphlet server.
I recently asked Carmen a few questions about her unique product and the inspiration behind it.
Tell us a little about the Pix N’ Tray.
Pix N’ Tray™ is a patented unique multi-purpose snack- serving tray that also displays photos, business cards, and fun cards of your choice to personalize for any occasion. This new Lazy Susan-like product has a swivel base for keeping many food goods and stationery goods within easy reach and photos within easy viewing.
Pix N’ Tray launched a year and eight months ago and going strong. Little by little consumers are finding and are enjoying our product. We have received orders all the way from Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, Pennsylvania and recently, some enquiries from Alaska. Some customers have ordered 2 to 3 trays at one time and a couple of customers have ordered 10 trays at one time.
What inspired it?
The initial inspiration for Pix N’ Tray was out of necessity. I had that epiphany moment one day after getting frustrated while preparing some pitas and tacos and trying to get them to stay in an upright position. They kept tilting to their sides creating a big mess and so I said “there has to be a better way”. The rest was history!
How many sizes/styles do you offer?
Currently we offer only one size of the tray. It measures about 16”in diameter…made of high quality Acrylic. We also offer Pix N’ Tray –fun cards, for displaying and personalizing photo tray for every occasion. Currently, the design we sell are; Happy Birthday, Thinking of You, Baby Shower and Anniversary. We are looking to add more fun designs and so we’re hoping to, in the near future, for the opportunity to hold a License deal with the NFL, Disney, Comics, Nicklelodeon, etc. Also, to make other tray styles, sizes and colors and eventually incorporating for oven-ware.
Some people may assume your tray is only for food, but what are some of the other fun uses it has?
Oh my goodness, the versatility on this product is amazing. That’s why I have a few that I use around my own home and use when hosting parties or for get-togethers. It’s not only convenient for supporting food goods, but also so much fun.
The tray comes with a swivel base which allows the tray to spin and I realized that so many fun games can be played. Many of us use to play and still today play the game “spin the bottle”. Well, with Pix N’ Tray you can play these fun games and many other fun games. You can check out some of the fun games you can play with my product in my Blog. This is great when hosting a party to keep your guest entertained, especially for kids Birthday parties and Superbowl parties.
Another fun use, the tray can be personalized with photos and messages…this adds a personal touch… great when given as a gift and when used as a centerpiece for your parties. Also, the tray can sort your mail, invitations and organize your photos and many more…Possibilities are endless.
What separates you from the competition?
Pix N’ Tray is like having more then 10 products in one. Is like a gift basket that keeps on giving, providing the consumer quality, value, and convenience… saving them time and money.
What are some goals you’d like to accomplish in the next year or so?
My product is already increasing awareness through the internet, local promoting, showcasing in fairs through my local community and now reaching out to the media.
I recently showcased Pix N’ Tray at a local fair and the response I got from the public was “Your product belongs in TV!” This all has added some inspiring fuel to the next step, hoping by next year or so, bringing Pix N’ Tray to the number one TV Retailer to expand exposure and to reach out to a broader audience. Then, taking it to retail shelves because everyone knows and loves Pix N’ Tray. With this kind of exposure, we will reach a Global market.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
My business has taught be many valuable lessons. I have learned a great deal about starting a business and continue to learn everyday. Some in particular:
Through all the hurdles I’ve come across there is always something I’ve learned from it and has helped me grow, get better focused and more knowledgeable.
It has taught me that running your own business is not just a 9-to 5 job. It requires about 12 hours ever day and sometimes overnight shifts to be able to communicate with sources overseas. There is no such thing the weekend is here. My business is in my mind even when I’m sleeping. There is no shortcut to reaching dreams and success.
Taking great care establishing my brand identity.
Also, networking a lot and surrounding myself with like minded people…this helps in keeping the learning alive and to share my own experiences so it can help and inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
This past year and half has been an extraordinary journey. It feels like a roller coaster ride with so much hard work, tough learning lessons, to so many wonderful things unfolding and continues to unfold each day.
Recently, my product Pix N’ Tray and I was featured in Inventors Digest-The Magazine for Idea people, May 2011 Issue. I am so humbled and grateful for this wonderful honor. I must say, I got some happy teary eyes when I saw my story featured in one of the oldest most respected inventors magazine in the country. All the sacrifices and hard work has been and still is worth while.
I know I still have much work ahead of me, but this sure gives me more psychological fuel to continue to work hard and continue to reach for my dreams. I’m truly overwhelmed and grateful to God for this wonderful journey thus far and to my loving family, friends and customers for all the love and support.
I’m currently also working on my newest innovation Strap N’ Guard™ (patents pending) —A Must Have Fashion Accessory for Ladies…launching this summer (Lord willing). Is one of those products that solves a common problem and so I needed to bring to market ASAP.
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
Ummm… from my own personal experiences, there is so much fundamentals to cover from the moment an initial idea is conceived to all the way in launching a new business, but just to mention a few;
-Create a business plan, set goals and stick to it.
-Have lots of patience…we must remember that success does not happen overnight.
- Continue to persevere, work hard and have determination.
-You must truly love and have passion for your business; this reflects on to your customers and ignites your wants to succeed.
-Always give 110% effort to your business.
- Surround yourself with like minded people, always trust your intuition and have lots of faith.
- And, never ever give up on your dreams!
I also would like to say, I truly love and have passion for my business and what has made all my experiences and sacrifices worthwhile, thus far, is to know customers are enjoying my products…that for me is priceless. I’m wishing the very best to all aspiring entrepreneurs with all their future endeavors. Cheers!