Sometimes fate turns on a pin.
At least that's what happened to Nancy Tedeschi, a part-time Clearwater resident, when she helped her mother repair a pair of eyeglasses. That simple act of helpfulness led her to create Snap It Screw
, an eyeglass repair kit she has patented and is currently selling to retailers, with hopes of going after über retailer Walmart.
"My mother was doing volunteer work in Nicaragua," explains Tedeschi. "She broke her glasses, so she stuck a pin in them. When she got home, she asked me to help fix them. So I ended up designing this dangly bead that hung from her glasses. Everyone would stop her and ask about her charm. She told me I should invent a charm. So I did."
"But I really didn't start working on a kit until 2009 because I had a full-time job," Tedeschi continues. "So what ended up happening is that I invented the screw and the beads got put on the back burner. I got a U.S. patent for the screw on Dec. 6, 2011, and I ended up doing a little promo in a magazine. They posted a picture of the screw. Then an optometrist called me from Long Island and he couldn’t believe someone had invented something so simple. He helped me distribute it to other opticians. I have since gotten my product in select Walgreens. And now I’m going after the big boy, Walmart.''
With the help of Alex Benshoff, a grad student at the University of Tampa
, Tedeschi has entered Walmart's Get On the Shelf
contest to get her product in front of Walmart shoppers
. Products are voted on via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as well as by text and email.
Tedeschi has since begun sharing her experiences with other budding inventors. "I have patents pending all over the world," says Tedeschi. "And I wouldn’t wish this process on anyone. It’s so frustrating. I’ve Googled my way through it. I just can’t believe how people did this before the Internet. But it’s changed my life. I'm able to go after my passion, which is to help other inventors find a new way."
Tedeschi offers this advice to those with an idea they want to bring to the marketplace: "Find a mentor. Find someone you can trust. The world out there is very jaded. A lot of people with their hands out. If anyone asks for money up front, run. They are not in your best interest."
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Nancy Tedeschi, Snap It Screw