EZee-Cover is a fashion accessory for small wastebaskets. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and 75 year old Marji Stone found a need that I never noticed. She uses plastic shopping bags as can liners in 5 of her small wastebaskets; in the bathrooms, the living room and in each in the 2 bathrooms. The fact that the shopping bag was visible hanging over the top of the can bothered her. So one day, she went online to see if anyone sold a trim or some kind of cover that she could buy. When she didn’t find anything, she invented her own: the Ezee-Cover.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Marji and ask her some questions. (My questions are below in bold.)
How did you bring it to life?
I am not a professional seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, so I went to a professional to have a prototype made. Then I bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to put it together.
Where do you see it in five years?
It would be wonderful if I could eventually hire women in my area to do the sewing when sales are strong. So I would say my dream is to have it in some stores by then.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Raise a little money first and then be able to market it better.
What does your typical day look like?
I check the website and do some tweaking sometimes, maybe add or delete covers. I check the stats on visitor activity. I do Pinterest pinnings and maybe some Facebook. I do a little sewing and looking for new fabric designs.
Whatâ€™s one trend that really excites you?
Just the leveling of the playing field for small businesses like myself, startups online. You just have to do some research and read a lot to find out the things that are available to help you in marketing your product and that are inexpensive or free.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I never had a worst job because they all taught me something, and I was always eager to learn something new. Maybe I could say telemarketing, I did that for a short, short time.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Pass out business cards everywhere I go, to everyone I meet. Use my smart phone to show my product to people I meet everywhere.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I tried to raise funds for the business online at Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and a few others and they don’t like my type of product. So that was a total failure.
What is one business idea that youâ€™re willing to give away to our readers?
I think GoFundMe is a good place to help with startup funds.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would make it possible that food and water was everywhere so everyone could eat and drink. If I could change it then that means I have money, right? So I would use the money I have to do whatever it takes to implement those plans.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
About an hour ago, at my dog. She is so funny and cute! She is a rescue Chihuahua, doesn’t bark, bite or shiver. Very laid back, has a snaggle tooth and sweet, sweet eyes.
Who is your hero?
Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?
No, not really, but many people who have been extremely helpful, kind, patient and informative. I have used SCORE a few times since I’m 75.
Tell us a secret.
I’m always wanted (and still do) to be a standup comedian. Robin Williams RIP
Any closing thoughts?
The most important thing is to believe in yourself and your product. There will always be the naysayers, some like your product, some don’t, so what! Don’t be your own worst enemy. Have fun and enjoy being creative. Thank you for this opportunity.
Thank you Marji for participating!
You can find out more about EZee-Cover and connect with Marji Stone at ezeecover.com, and on Twitter at @marjis.