Have you ever found a way to make an everyday task easier, or discovered a solution to a common problem? These three savvy women turned their genius ideas into reality, and took their inventions all the way to the bank. Read on to find out how they did it — and how you could, too.
“My easy egg peeler invention made me a millionaire!”
“A few years ago, while making deviled eggs for a party, I was frustrated at the time it took to remove the shells. There has to be a way to make this tedious task easier, I thought. Even though I had no experience inventing, I was determined to find it.
“My concept was sparked by watching commercial egg peelers. A ride on a conveyor belt shakes the eggs back and forth, and then they get sprayed with water. My business partner, Sheila, knew enough about 3D printing to put a smaller-scale concept into the computer, and the local library had a ‘Makers’ Space’ with the equipment we needed to print our prototype! After two years of trial and error, the Negg was born!
“All you do is open the handheld gadget, add water and a hard-boiled egg. Then you close it, gently shake the Negg four to 12 times, and the shell slides right off. People, like fitness advocates who love this quicker way to get their protein, and older folks who suffer from arthritis, have become so passionate about it. It’s amazing to see the pleasure folks get from being able to peel a hard-boiled egg. Plus, I love showing other women that it’s never too late to develop a big idea! In just 13 months, my part-time hobby turned into a million-dollar company — money that goes toward my retirement.” — Bonnie Tyler, 71, Southport, CT
“My simple shower cleaning invention brings in over $1 million a year!”
“With a large family and four dogs, my showers are in frequent need of a good cleaning! A couple of years ago, while filling a bucket over and over to clean my shower, I thought there had to be a way to make shower and tub cleaning and rinsing easier. I started researching how to get a patent, develop and source a product, create a working prototype, and find a manufacturer. One of my best friends is a patent attorney, and she really encouraged me to pursue my idea.
“I found an engineer who was able to help me develop the Rinseroo—it’s basically a connector made of thermoplastic that slips on showerheads and faucets to make cleaning and rinsing easy. The lightweight hose is super stretchy so it can reach every corner of the shower. My engineer connected me to my manufacturer, and in 2019, we officially launched the Rinseroo on Rinseroo.com and Amazon after four years of development.
“What started as a side business is now my full-time job. Today, the Rinseroo sells for $25 and is a top-selling product on Amazon; it made over $1 million in sales in its first year! Even better, I was able to hire my son as my e-commerce manager handling logistics and shipping, while I do the sales and marketing. I love having him by my side every day. I’ve been continually surprised by how many ways the Rinseroo is being put to use. Beyond cleaning the shower, customers use it to bathe pets and babies, fill portable washing machines, and fill fish tanks. It’s amazing to hear how much the Rinseroo is helping people!” — Lisa Lane, 55, Clarksburg, NJ
“I earn more than $1 million a year with my cold remedy invention!”
“In 2009, we welcomed our adopted daughter from Vietnam. She was recovering from open heart surgery and was considered immunocompromised. Determined to protect her, I learned through my research that most illnesses start in the nose. That’s when my mad scientist phase began. I would like to say it was super-cool and interesting, but it was more like a Lucille Ball episode with a toddler, a cat, and the ruination of three carpets. However, I eventually came up with a Manuka honey remedy, which I swabbed in my kids’ noses to help them fight cold and flu symptoms, while also enhancing their overall nasal biome and immune function.
“Three years ago, with my daughters a little older and more independent, I decided to try and sell my product. As a teacher with no entrepreneurial experience, I reached out to my local Small Business Development Center. They assigned me a mentor, who helped me get my company, Buzzagogo, off the ground. I rented a commercial kitchen, launched a website (ColdBeeGone.com) and began selling my Cold Bee Gone remedy.
“For a few years, my side hustle brought in $30,000 annually. But when the pandemic hit, demand for nasal immune protection skyrocketed. Retailers like CVS, T.J.Maxx, and Marshalls started selling my products, which brought in over a million dollars last year. I was even able to quit teaching to focus full-time on Buzzagogo. It’s a privilege to offer homeopathic immune protection that really works during this stressful time!” — Joyce Dales, 48, Nottingham, NH
This story originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.