Let’s get started!
From prototype to sellable product, here are some helpful tips to help get you going!
Tip 1: Google it.
When you have your lightbulb moment, it’s a good idea to jump on your computer and do a little research. You may think you have the best idea ever, but it’s very likely (not to be negative) that the idea already exists. Be open to that possibility – it’s ok to move on quickly if that is the case. In fact, take it as a compliment: your idea was so good that someone else already created it! Having said that, you may find similar products (aka your future competition) or you may discover that your awesome idea is totally original. Ask yourself two questions: is your idea a twist on a similar product? And does your idea make an existing product even better? Whatever the case may be, arming yourself with this important information from the start is critical.
Tip 2: Get crafty.
The prototype phase with physical products can start at home. It doesn’t have to look perfect. At this point, you need to put pencil to paper. Draw your idea. Get it out of your head and onto paper. For Sockabu, I took baby socks and cut off the toe portion of the socks. I grabbed my sewing machine and used fabric I already had at home to create my first ever ‘flip sock.’
By creating my own prototype, I knew that my idea was possible, but I also understood what my future manufacturing challenges would be.
Tip 3: Get a patent.
Based on your research, you may believe that your product is patentable. This can be a very expensive process. It can involve lawyers and easily take years to get your idea patented. Also, after all of that effort, there’s still no guarantee - have I mentioned that this is not for the faint of heart?! You could try to file your patent on your own, but I would research that further (I chose to hire an attorney to help navigate this). I ended up with two design patents, which have helped me protect my product.
Tip 4: Find a manufacturer.
While you are patent-pending, it’s time to find a manufacturer. It is also a good idea to have an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) on hand. It protects you at this phase and allows you to share your idea without fearing someone will take your product and beat you to market. I never had any issues with someone signing an NDA before agreeing to sample my product. It’s good for both parties. If you have a physical product, reaching out to the Manufacturing Solutions Center in North Carolina is a good next step. (Honestly, I wish I had known about this sooner! It would have saved me a lot of time
There’s a lot more to do before you are ready to start selling, but I hope this helps you get started. Everyone has their own path. I’m sharing my process in the hope that it helps others turn their idea into their dream product. Best of luck!
To learn more about our seamless, open-toe socks for kids, visit our website!
Here's more about our spunky and sensory-friendly socks! Sockabu has the largest selection of fun and colorful, non-slip socks for babies and kids. Sockabu socks are the only socks that convert into toeless socks. They are pediatrician-approved socks for fewer slips and falls for babies and toddlers learning to walk. Also, the seamless design and no-heel construction make our socks ideal sensory-friendly socks for children who struggle wearing traditional socks. These toeless flip flop socks with compression are the best seamless, gripper socks for sensory issues. Sockabu’s patented open toe socks are the ultimate fun and functional socks!
You can also shop Sockabu on Target.com. Here's the link!