Utilitarian Beauty Tool’s Sales Grow Exponentially: the recoup BEAUTISCOOP
Michelle Gast, the winner of NIU EIGERlab’s 2016 FastPitch Competition, is a self-proclaimed “idea person.” Since she was a teenager, she has envisioned a variety of useful inventions—”build a better mousetrap.” Michelle became truly driven when she realized that others had invented a minimum ten products that she had previously imagined.
One day, she was unable to reach the remaining amount of her skin-care product in its container. She went to her kitchen but found no utensils that were small enough to assist. After she had become serious about turning her idea into an invention, she began to watch NBC’s “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch,” and it confirmed her opinion that anyone from any walk of life could become an inventor with enough drive.
She thought of her invention back in 2006, but shelved any efforts regarding a patent and production until her sons were in school—she then became serious. She spent time planning and executed next steps including connecting with Brian DiBona from the McHenry College’s Small Business Development Center who led her to Mike Cobert of NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development. Mike assisted her with first converting her idea into a design and then produced working prototypes. The final step was to introduce Michelle to a local manufacturer.
She was encouraged to compete in the 2015 FastPitch Competition but elected to wait until the 2016 event. Discovering that her competition was quite stiff, self-doubt crept in, and she nearly declined to compete. She spent two full days developing and practicing her pitch and was elated to win first prize. “Winning FastPitch put the wind back in my sails,” Michelle shared. “It confirmed, once again, that I have a desirable product. Now it’s just a matter of getting the word out!”
Her advice to others includes believing in your invention and what you can accomplish. Most inventors prefer to wait until their widget, packaging or marketing materials are perfect, but waiting too long can be somewhat paralyzing. “It can all start with you…one person can make a huge difference,” Michelle stated.
Michelle has bootstrapped her invention both financially and in regards to the sales and marketing. She did her homework and learned the process to submit her product for consideration to beauty product related magazines. When REAL SIMPLE (RS) magazine chose her product, the recoup BEAUTISCOOP, to be featured in the “Pretty Smart…latest beauty products” section in their January 2017 issue, sales grew exponentially. RS‘s fantastic coverage resulted in sales of the recoup BEAUTISCOOP in 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. This incredible response again confirmed her unique invention is an ingenious product that women love. One of Michelle’s favorite sayings is, “Move and the way will open.” The recoup BEAUTISCOOP is available on her website, www.livebeautility.com.