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UNWRAPPED! The Best Holiday Hostess Gifts

Top 8 criteria home shopping channels look for when evaluating a product

If you can answer yes to several of these questions, you may have a hit product on your hands. 1. Is it problem/solution oriented? Does it solve a "real" problem? Is it a problem that is NOT currently being addressed/satisfied in the marketplace? If the problem is already being addressed in the marketplace, does this product address the problem more effectively or efficiently? Is it a problem that consumers already know they have and don't have to be taught they have? What is the magnitude of the problem? Can the product solve the problem immediately? 2. Is it unique? Is there anything else on the market like it? Is the product so unique/compelling that it might be purchased even if it doesn't solve a problem? 3. Does it have mass market appeal? Does the product’s appeal cross many demographics or is it targeted to a niche audience? Most infomercial companies won’t take on a product unless they believe they can sell 5 million+ units. 4. Is it a “better mousetrap?” Many times products that solve a problem in better, faster or less expensive way than others on the market can be hugely successful. 5. Is the product easily explained/demonstrated? Can the product be thoroughly described in less than a minute? Does the demonstration provide a “wow” factor that viewers will respond to? 6. Is the product targeted to an age appropriate audience? Know the shopping channel you’re targeting and find out who their audience is as they’re always looking for products that primarily target their demographic. 7. Does the product fall within a category that isn’t crowded. Understandably, shopping channels shy away from products that solve a problem in a category that is filled with other products. 8. Do you have a story to tell? Products that have a compelling story behind them provide a connection with the viewing audience that is invaluable. QVC LOGO

Top 10 Must Have Mother’s Day Gifts

The Style and Go™ Hair Care Valet named the Winner “Best Gift for Her” on GIFTS.Com

The Style and Go™ Hair Care Valet was honored by with a Giftee Award for “BEST GIFT OF THE YEAR FOR HER.” The Giftee award recognizes the best in gifting from across the web. The Giftees ten exciting categories, from the most popular gadgets to the best gifts under $25.00, highlight the top gift ideas of 2012. [caption id="attachment_1563" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="The Style and Go Hair Care Valet"][/caption] As was one of ten products receiving the Giftee Award, The Style and Go™ was nominated and evaluated by a panel of judges from esteemed lifestyle magazines and popular blogs. Thousands of people voted to help find out what America really wants this holiday season. According to, America has spoken and “The Style & Go™ won be a landslide.” [caption id="attachment_1564" align="aligncenter" width="554" caption="Best Gift For Her Award Winner"]The 2012 Giftee Award Winners[/caption] Marcy McKenna, CEO of Simply Solved Innovations and the winner of TLC’s “Homemade Millionaire” with Kelly Ripa, said “The award is such a source of pride validation for me. Though the nomination came from, knowing that Americans voted it “The Best Gift for Her” is what makes it such a special honor. When I created The Style & Go, I knew it solved a huge problem for I know the world appreciates it too!” Revolutionizing the daily hairstyling experience, The Style and Go™ Hair Care Valet is a wall mounted cabinet with a built-in power source that allows you to use your hair appliances from the same place you store them, freeing up valuable bathroom storage space and saving much needed time in the morning. For more information on The Style and Go™, please visit

Marcy McKenna launches DiamondShield™ Mirror Protector for Mobile Phones

Award winning inventor and entrepreneur, Marcy McKenna, launches DiamondShield™, an industrial grade mobile device screen protector that instantly becomes a mirror. No more searching for a compact in your purse or trying to catch your reflection in the window. When your phone is in sleep mode, the Instant Mirror™ technology kicks in and voila’...a crystal clear mirror image. Now you can check your lipstick one minute...and your emails the next! Diamond Shield DiamondShield™ is made from the DynaShield™ scratch- and shatter-resistant industrial strength material, giving your screen the ultimate protection. The DiamondShield™ protector is not only scratch- and shatter-resistant but also optically clear, so it does not reduce the screens brightness or distort images in any way. The super low-tack adhesive offers dimensional stability and “cling-like” adhesion, which makes it easy to install and re-install, if necessary. Diamond Shield After months of R&D Marcy was able to finalize this innovative beauty product, making it the must-have fall accessory. She now needs your help to: 1. Get the final manufacturing setup for production for the most popular phones and tablets and 2.Get our retail packaging designed and finalized before being able to sell this to retail chains. Beauty enthusiasts alike can come together and make this necessary accessory become reality! For More Information, please visit DiamondShield™ Details about DiamondShield™ •Ultra-thin and optically clear without blocking your view when the screen light is on •Easy to remove with no sticky residue. The super low- tack adhesive offers dimensional stability and “cling-like” adhesion, which makes it easy to install and re-install, if necessary. •Made of an industrial strength material giving your screen the ultimate protection. These same materials have been used by the government and Fortune 500 companies for over 10 years.

Is my product idea good, great or not so great?

inventing-successEvery one of us who has an idea for a product or a business has that moment where we think we’ve created something life changing.   As a serial inventor, I can tell you I have that feeling at least once a month.  Ugh! My mind starts spinning, I become obsessed with my idea and I’m immediately convinced that I’ve come up with the next “big thing”...I will be making millions in no time!  Ever had that feeling?  I’ve driven my family crazy with all my so called “life changing ideas!”  Over time I finally learned to make a deal with myself—I committed to “sit” on my idea for 72 hours before telling anyone about it or taking any action.  That deal has served me well as nine times out of ten times, I realize my idea is not so life changing after all.  If you have an idea for a product or business that you think is great, take a look at what the Sharks say makes a good product idea, great.  Interesting thoughts!

Barbara Corcoran: If your business idea clearly answers a need in the marketplace, it's probably a good idea. If the need is already being met by well-entrenched competitors, it can still be a good idea if it's a new, cheaper or more clever way of doing it.

Daymond John: Something that solves a problem (i.e., helps you do something faster), satisfies a need (i.e., makes an existing product cheaper), or improves quality of life (i.e. medical devices).

Kevin Harrington: A good business idea is a product or service that solves a problem that is not already being solved in the marketplace. The product or service should be unique enough that it's not something already readily available.

Robert Herjavec: There are lots of good ideas but most great businesses are built on better execution of an existing idea. I am not a big believer in creating a better idea and the world beats a path to your door.

Inventing on a Budget…6 Tips for Getting your Idea off the Ground without Breaking the Bank

Everyone has a great idea for a product, but very few people feel they have the financial means to bring it to life. I’m here to challenge that myth. With the incredible resources available today, in my opinion, there’s never been a better time to try your hand at inventing! As an inventor who has brought several products to market and has many more in active development, I’m often asked how to get a product idea off the ground without spending a fortune. I’m happy to share my tried and true tips that will allow you to explore the world of inventing without breaking the bank. Patent Search – One of the most important first steps you should take when considering bringing an invention to market is to do a preliminary patent search to ensure the invention does not already exist and/or that your idea does not infringe on an existing patent. One way to do this is to hire a Patent Attorney—they will typically charge between $500 and $3000 to do the search for you. With the resources available today, you can do this preliminary patent search yourself at no cost.I find “Google Patent” ( and “PatentStorm” ( to be the most simple platforms to navigate. You can also go directly to the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office -- ). Down the road, you may want to have an attorney do a more thorough search, but in the initial stages, doing your own search can save you a lot of money. • Provisional Patent – To patent or not to patent is an ongoing debate in the world of inventing. Sadly, the thought of spending $5,000 to $10,000 to secure a patent scares most would-be inventors away. Did you know that only about 5% of the products in the market place are patented? When deciding whether to file a patent, it’s important to determine what your goal is. If you’re goal is to commercialize the product yourself, you may not need a patent at all. And in fact, it can often be a waste of money for small business owners as they are usually not financially equipped to defend it if their product should get knocked off. In most cases that money would be better spent building market share. However, if your goal is instead to license your idea to a company, then a patent is likely very important. The good news is that you don’t have to decide that now. You can file a “Provisional Patent” for $125 (In California. Other states may vary.) that will give you a “Patent Pending” status for 12 months while you explore the commercial viability of the product. Filing a full utility or design patent too early in the process can be a waste of money as the product will likely evolve over time. It’s usually best to wait until the product is manufacture ready before taking that step. As always, consult a patent attorney before making your final decision. • Trademarks– I happen to be a big believer in trademarks. When it comes to consumer products the name is usually one of the most important things. For example, when you go out to buy dark brown cookies with cream filling, what name comes to mind? I’m willing to bet it’s Oreos® over Hydrox®. It’s all about the name and brand loyalty. If you can create that loyalty with your product name then many times that can be much more valuable than a patent. And the good news is that trademark protection is relatively inexpensive and fast when compared to patent protection. Legal Zoom has trademark packages that start at $169 plus the government filing fee. • Developing a Prototype – A prototype is a working example of your idea. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The idea of a prototype is to make sure your idea will actually do what you want it to. Many people run out and spend thousands of dollars to get a working prototype built. Big mistake in my opinion! At least initially. You can build one yourself from anything you might have around the house or that you can find at your local hardware store. Remember you just need to know if it works at this point! My next step is usually to have a photorealistic 3-D rendering created that will illustrate my idea as a finished product. I work with an amazing firm out of San Diego called “Viz Source” ( Their quality is so good that within 5 days I have a photo rendering that makes it look like my idea actually exists as a product on the shelf. Instead of spending $10,000+ on a fancy prototype, I’ve only spent approximately $500. My best kept secret! (Tip--If you tell them I referred you, they’ll honor a 10% discount.) These renderings can help finalize a design and identify potential flaws before it is too late and thousands of dollars have already been spent. I’ve sold inventions from these renderings alone. In my experience, a rendering like this combined with your ability to talk about your product and clearly explain the market, the features and benefits and the problem that it solves is often enough for someone to know whether they’re interested in it or not. Many times a company who wants to move forward with your idea/product will want to modify your design for their purposes. It’s at this point that a true prototype can be built. And at this point you’ll likely have the funds to do so or the interested company will put up the money. • Tradeshows – Tradeshows can be very expensive. Yet many first time inventors feel the need to exhibit at them in order to promote their products and/or ideas. This is certainly one way to do that, but expect to pay a couple thousand dollars plus for booth space alone. I definitely encourage new inventors to attend the key tradeshows, but I encourage them to do it as a guest and not as an exhibitor. Many times being a guest won’t cost you anything at all (other than travel expenses) and you’ll have the benefit of walking the showroom floor without exposing your invention to someone who could potentially knock it off. Tradeshows are an amazing forum from which to network as the key buyers are all usually in attendance. For this reason, you’ll want to have your product or prototype and/or your 3-D rendering on hand. If you’re concerned about protecting your idea, then having several copies of an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with you is also important. In my opinion it’s more valuable to walk the floor and network than it is to be in a booth hoping that the right person happens to stop by. • Invention Submission Companies – I get more questions about these companies than probably anything else. And sadly, I hear stories all the time about people who have been taken for thousands of dollars by them. My rule of thumb is to avoid any company that wants to charge you a large up-front fee. The bottom line is that reputable firms will never ask for large fees in advanced. But also know that they won’t take on your product unless they believe it will be successful. They make their money off the royalties from your successful product...period. If someone asks you for money up front, run...don’t walk! If you’re uncertain, contact The United Inventors Association to see if there have been any complaints. This is not to say that there are no good Invention Submission Companies out there—there are! You can find many in Inventor’s Digest Magazine—they’re very particular about who advertises with them and won’t work with anyone who might have questionable ethics.

Got Invention Radio Interview with Marcy McKenna!/user/gotinvention/interview_w_marcy_mckenna_inventor [caption id="attachment_1551" align="alignleft" width="125" caption="Got Invention Radio Interview"][/caption]

8 Easter Gifts to Make Your Hostess Happy!

15 Online Resources for Woman Entrepreneurs

15 Online Resources For Women Entrepreneurs (via Ecopreneurist)

In the spirit of Women’s Week on Important Media, I had to write about one of the best ways to empower women all over the world- entrepreneurship. Are you a women entrepreneur looking for some tools, tips and advice? Or plain ideas on how to make a positive change to your community and the world?…


10 Clever Valentine’s Gifts for Him & Her (that they’ll actually use!)


Interchangeable Designer Handbag Collection

The Cambia® Collection infuses sophistication and style with high end designer quality aesthetics to offer an entire collection of handbags for the price of only one.  In seconds, the three clutch covers can be interchanged to fit any outfit, any mood or any occasion.

Available in two rich color collections:
Shop Black Shop Espresso

Simple. Smart. Chic.

The Cambia® Clutch is conveniently unique – the interchangeable covers stack completely flat for packing and storage, so you can now fit three different purses in your suitcase or closet while taking up the space of only one.

Inspired by designs from the runway, this unique handbag system offers the style-conscious woman the ability to stay on the forefront of fashion at a tiny fraction of the cost.

It comes with three interchange clutch covers, a leather wristlet, an adjustable cross body chain strap and a plush storage case.

After becoming a “Customer Pick” on HSN and garnering nearly five star ratings across the board, The Cambia® Clutch sold out and is now available exclusively on our website for $119.00 including FREE SHIPPING.

Available in two rich color collections:
Shop Black Shop Espresso

What People Are Saying

Absolutely Amazing!… geeperz, FL 8/9/2011

Very nice leather clutch!… charbe15, CA 8/9/2011

What a Deal!… love2shop1989, NC 8/7/2011


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The Cambia® Clutch is a stylish handbag with three interchangeable flaps for versatility and convenience, by Marcy McKenna. Available in Black and Espresso.