Thursday, April 15, 2010

Inventor Showcase: Dangled Expressions - Open Stems Dangle-link

Do you love the look of hook earrings, but your earlobes just can't wear the style?  Well, Dangled Expressions Open Stems Dangle-link, invented by Connie Young, is your answer!!!  Connie has solved a problem that many women encounter through no fault of their own.  Now they can have the look of dangley, hook earrings with this innovative and beautiful solution.  I am pleased to introduce the talented and sweet Connie Young:
 Q. What brought about your idea for this unique earring design?

It really transpired over a few years.  I’d be admiring dangle earrings and saying to myself, ‘why don’t they put those on a post earring instead of earwire?’ The designs I liked always seemed to be displayed from earwire and I’m not a huge fan of earwire for myself.  At a time when I really needed a creative outlet, I got to thinking, ‘why can’t I be “they”’ and started bending wire and penciling sketches.  At the same time, I had picked up Tamara Monosoff’s The Mom Inventor’s Handbook. I actually finished it in a weekend and I am not an avid reader.  It was really a culmination of several things all coming together at once.

Q. I can see that your invention would benefit many women who have seen better days with their pierced ears, but your design is so beautiful that really anyone would love your earrings.  Can you tell us all the features your earrings have?

These earrings have several features.  They can be worn alone, without anything displayed from them, if that is the preference - they look just beautiful alone.  However, their design allows you to link dangles or charms over the open end of the stem.  Here, the possibilities are endless!  I have a friend who purchased a pair of earrings that were on earwire, took the dangle component off the earwire and now links them onto her Open Stems dangle•links. Most important to me, though, is that they are an alternative to earwire from which to display dangles or charms. I wanted to conceal my stretched piercings, so I placed the post centrally on the stud portion of the earring.  For many people, these designs may conceal their stretch or disfigurement entirely.
Q.  Please tell us more about the various design options.  Two designs are currently on the market with a third on it’s way!  Rosy has a coil-shaped stem and is a little larger on the front.  The second design, Amanda, is slimmer on the front and the stem is U-shaped.  This is a very delicate option.  The third design is gorgeous as well and offers more silver and design.

Q.  What was your experience like in the actual design and manufacturing of your product? 

The original picture and design that I had in mind is very different from the designs that I have actually brought to the market…the design definitely evolved.  In the beginning, finding a manufacturer was difficult, due in part to the fact that I was so new to the process.  The process of manufacturing is certainly not something one is born knowing.  I had a good idea, but then had to figure out how to bring the idea to reality…quite a learning process!  I spent many hours on the phone and doing internet searches for manufacturers that met my needs and would work with someone who had virtually no experience in the industry and small orders to start.  It was important to me to keep the  manufacturing of the earrings in the U.S.  I am thankful to all of those that shared their expertise and knowledge.  I gleaned what I could from each of them, whether it was a five minute phone call or an hour long phone call!  And I still have so much to learn! The most important thing I learned…the value of networking.

Q. How do you balance running your business with family?

A very supportive family!  I couldn’t embark on a journey like this without that support.  I believe such an undertaking is truly a family decision and it is essential that everyone knows as much as possible of what is/could be involved from the very beginning.  I take my daughter with me to many meetings and events that I have to attend.  I think it gives her a learning opportunity not otherwise received to experience such discussions and decision-making.  Hopefully, it will be to her benefit in the future.

Q. What did you do prior to your invention?

I’m still working my ‘day’ job. I am an RN and work in clinical data management for a contract research organization.

Q. What fact would readers find interesting about you?

I never ever in a million years would have dreamed that I would be doing this. I never thought I would have the endurance to take on such a ‘project’, let alone caring for a family and working as well. I have to say that I love it, though. There are the exhausting days that I wonder, ‘what in the world am I doing?’, and then there are the days when I have people (women and men!) tell me what a fantastic idea this is and ‘why didn’t I think of that?’. And the repeat customers…well, they make it all worth it – thanks so much to all of them for that!
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