The next interview in our collection of Walmart Get on the Shelf contestants Jack D’Alelio.
What product did you submit to Walmart’s Get on the Shelf contest?
My product is called the Magic Toob™ Lampshade Leveler. It represents a quantum leap forward for clip-on style shades because it will allow them to work properly (i.e. remain straight and level) with virtually ANY size, shape or type of bulb.
Where’d the idea come from?
The idea simply came to me one day. It started out as an effort to get a clip-on style lampshade to fit one of the new spiral CFL bulbs that are becoming increasingly popular, but has expanded well beyond that. Thereâ€™s an ever widening array of odd shaped bulbs coming on the market as traditional incandescents are phased out and the product is also used to help keep mini shades straight on chandeliers and other smaller fixtures.
What’s your background (and or day job)?
My background includes a degree in chemistry and many years of work experience in highly regulated manufacturing and quality processes centered on things like pharmaceuticals, medical devices, etc. I currently work as an independent inventor/entrepreneur/product developer full time.
What difficulties did you have creating the product?
One of the biggest challenges was dealing with manufacturers who are literally on the other side of the planet. Even small entrepreneurs like me are forced to compete in a global marketplace when trying to bring a product to market. The difficulties that await any entrepreneur are almost too numerous to mention, but they include things like the search for adequate capital, patent costs, manufacturing & shipping costs, quality issues, etc, etc.
Have you sold any? (or is the product currently for sale somewhere already?)
The product is for sale and thus far hundreds of units have been sold. Itâ€™s available through the Magic Toob™ website, the Daily Grommet website and at lamp and shade shops around the country.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I think the first thing I would tell any aspiring entrepreneur would be that this stuff is NOT for the faint of heart. It requires nerves of steel, a LOT of hard work & sacrifice, and a steadfast commitment to oneâ€™s self and oneâ€™s ideals. You will suffer MANY slings and arrows in your quest. Youâ€™re likely to encounter many individuals along the way who will be trying to make money from your desire to succeed, be VERY wary. Before paying a single dime to any invention help company, be sure and learn what theyâ€™re required by law to disclose under the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999. The vast majority have success rates that are appallingly low!
His GOTS link getontheshelf.com/product/538/Magic-Toob-Lampshade-Lev is and his video is below.
Good luck Jack!