I’m actually a software developer and I don’t have any design background but a few years ago I came up with an idea for a self-closing jar after a colleague of mine kept leaving the cookie boxes open.
The mechanism is very simple and uses gravity to close the jar after the user lets go of it:
You can see the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0I5f4WA-uY
My goal was to make a self-closing jar but the result is a much easier jar to use than regular jars because you don’t need to mess with the lid. It is perfect for taking things on the go, children, the elderly and people with disabilitiies.
And obviously it can be used for many food and non-food items.
Here are a couple of images of two different prototypes I made.
I have a utility patent on the mechanism and I really want to bring it to market as I really think it can disrupt the counter-top storage industry.
As I don’t have a design background my main goal was to license the patent to a company in this field (IKEA, OXO, etc.) that can bring it to market. At one time I almost succeeded but the deal unfortunately fell through.
I tried to develop it as much as I could. The second prototype is actually ready for manufacturing for less than $5 per unit, but I don’t have the funds to manufacture it myself.
So I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips!
Also, if anyone knows someone at a company that might be interested in it.
In an attempt to get some exposure to it I submitted it to several design magazines like Core77 and others and they don’t seem interested at all in it. It seems that they don’t even bother opening the video… Does anyone have any tips to make it more appealing to them?
Any help is appreciated,
The chaps over at D2M might take a crack at your design idea.
I can’t help you; however, as a consumer–depending on the final price, I’d want more than one and give them as gifts.
I like your Design Idea, it definitely helps with what your intent was.
Unfortunately i cannot be of any help with respect to manufacturing currently, but will keep it in mind if an opportunity comes
Also, curious where are you located? Have seen few people work with local small manufacturer for selling online directly on Amazon. Especially since you have your patent, chances of duplicacy will be little low. Apart from utility, would recommend you to file desing patent as well if you plan to sell it on your own.
Also, i believe in order to convince a retailer you shouldn’t limit it’s application to kitchen.
For e.g. Firstly it can be in different sizes that way it can have more use in other areas outside kitchen, like bathroom or medicine storage for elderly in small variant.
@udirub nice idea and kudos for getting it to such a high fidelity prototype. I could definitely see OXO or maybe Umbra being interested in this. Both actively take submissions. I have a friend who used to work at Umbra, I’ll forward this on to him to see if he has any words of wisdom. Also, maybe a friend of mine at Smart Design who do a lot of work with OXO will have some advice. They are both super buys, so they might not get back with anything, but I’ll forward on to them.
Thank you @Anmol_Sarin
I’m in Israel so we don’t have many manufacturers here that are relevant…
I completely agree that is has many other implications outside the kitchen. The kitchen has been my main angle since I think it has the greatest market potential but I am open to anything.
Thank you @Carolyn_Overcash
I hope you will be able to purchase it soon
I see a ton of plastic molded products come out of Israel. I’m sure there are a few that could help.
The best way forward is to try to get an order. If you have an order, or sometimes just a letter of interest from someone, you can get a gap loan to fund your production. Mind you, tooling lead times are probably 3 months and POs are rarely longer than that, so you will have to assume some risk on tooling.
As for getting an order, it’s hard work. A lot of cold calling, meeting people and following up. The good thing is that there are sales people who work on commision only, if you find one that specializes in housewares, they might be able to open doors. Also, there are sales reps like Acosta. [url]https://www.adww.com/[/url] One of my former employers used them to get started at Costco.
One last thing that I can suggest is negotiate with a manufacturing partner. I’ve heard of manufacturers giving a break on tooling cost if you promise a certain number of units with them exclusively (if you pay tooling, you own it and can leave whenever you want). Also, if you can find a factory that has ties to big clients, they could probably get you in to see some buyers which would be a big advantage at your point.
btw: www.keter.com is the Israeli molding company I’ve heard of. They make tool chests, trunks, sheds. They might be too big to be interested, but I’ve seen other molded products from Israel here in Canada.
Good luck and feel free to reach out if you if you have any specific questions.
There are a few manufacturers here in Israel that deal with kitchen gadgets and similar items. I’ve talked to them and they generally produce products that are physically small and require only a single mold. My jar is just too big for them.
Keter is indeed a very big company that has the capacity to produce the jar and I’ve actually talked to someone there a few years ago but it didn’t pan out. They don’t really have products in this area and as I understand they are not very open to outside innovation… I may try to reach out again and see if anything changed.
This might be of interest at my last company I worked at - Progressive International in Kent, WA. Send them an email with your invention! They manufacture kitchen storage products like ProKeepers and PL8 branded products, selling at Crate & Barrel, Target, Bed Bath, etc. We used to partner with inventors like you that had utility patents and would develop the products together but pay loyalty fee to the inventors which I thought were great passive way to make $
Hi @smyoung ,
Can you connect me to someone at Progressive International?
I think it would be better than just sending a cold email to their customer service or something…
Seems very useful.
It is difficult to get companies to accept any new design.
You are not alone in deals “falling through”.