Saturday, March 10, 2012

Eraselet® Story - Moms Its so much more!

Well hello all! I would like to thank "MAX" for providing me the opportunity to share with you about our adventure of a crazy family of 6, inventing a USA Made product and striving to live the American Dream!

My hubby, Bryan Ricci, invented the Eraselet® after our youngest daughter, then in second grade, sat down to do her homework after school. She went to her Poppy (that is what we all call Bryan around here because he is so fun!) and asked for an eraser. “What happened to the erasers I just bought you?” says Poppy? “I don’t know”, replied Audrey. Now many of you know from experience, that there is ALWAYS lots of pencil left but never enough eraser on your pencil! As Bryan looked down and noticed all the bracelets that Audrey was wearing he said, “As many bracelets you wear on your wrist, I am going to just tape one on you!” And there you have it, the “light bulb” moment and the birth of the Eraselet® The Bracelet That Erases!

Now, it is one thing to come up with an idea, it is TOTALLY another to follow it through. We do not have loads of money. In fact, with 4 kids we are pretty much tapped out like most of America. We live modestly in our 1978 built home and have come to learn how to make the most of our avocado kitchen countertops and harvest gold toilets. So when Bryan came up with this idea our next step was to secure a trademark and hiring a lawyer was out of the question, so Bryan hopped on the computer and went to USPTO website to learn how to self file a trademark and see if Eraselet was available. Yes it was available and yes it was going to cost us a little more than half of what was in our already meager bank account to file it. So, with caution thrown to the wind, we went for it!

Now we have never done anything like this before. Bryan was working full time as a service tech for an appliance company and part time doing graphic design and web development from our home, but he has never done anything like this. After work each day, he would come home and research the steps that needed to be taken to bring our little invention to the market.

Our next step was to file for a patent pending. We feared that if we attempted to take it to a manufacturer or anyone else, without the protection of the patent-pending, it would be taken away from us. Now patents are expensive and quotes from various patent attorneys were upwards of $20,000.00! That is a lot of money that we did not have. So, Bryan, being the self motivated fella’ that he is, gave himself a 3 week crash course on how to do a self-patent with the USPTO! Once we received our tax return, we had the funds to pay for the patent and off we went to find a US manufacturer and we soon found out that that was not an easy task!

Now there were several reasons why we were adamant about finding a manufacturer in the US. 1) We wanted to do our part to help rebuild the American economy. 2) We wanted to prove that it is still possible to believe and live the American dream. 3) We wanted to ensure the safety of our product because it is sold primarily to children. 4) We wanted to be involved with the development to ensure it would be a quality product. 5) We wanted to ensure our product is made responsibly in relationship to the impact on the environment.

Time and again we were told that if we wanted to make our product in the US it would be impossible for us to find a US manufacturer. We were told over and over again to go to China. We were told that even if we found a US manufacturer, we would not be able to make it affordably and that it would be next to impossible for the product to meet the margins needed for the retailers to pick it up. I myself searched for two months and even US manufacturers were telling me to go to China!

Out of frustration I told Bryan that I just didn’t think that we were going to be able to find one but he didn’t want to give up! He sat down and made a list of 25 rubber manufacturers and sat out to call every single one himself. After calling all 25, it turned out to be the first company that he contacted that not only wanted to work with us, they were in the perfect position to do so! Dennis Long with Alliance Rubber Company would turn out to be one of our closest allies and greatest proponents of Eraselet®! Not only did Alliance work with us diligently to create the type of rubber that we needed to make the perfect Eraselet®, they also loved the product so much that they put forth the investment to fill our initial inventory and worked out a licensing deal with us to be able to sell Eraselets to their clients and through their distribution channels as well. We are proud to say the 150 associates at Alliance Rubber Co make our product in the USA!

Being limited on funds and being blessed with many talents Bryan often spends 16+ hours a day on Eraselet®. He designs all of our fun little characters, he has designed our retail packaging, he built both of our websites and did both our YouTube videos, our favorite being Naner Bananer’s Extra Erasable and he is the head honcho, at least I let him think he is! Bryan also takes time out to speak at local non-profits, primarily relating to troubled teens, because as a homeless teen, it is his desire to help them know that they can make something out of their life. But that another story entirely and I will share that with you at another time!

Now, here we are almost a year after “officially” opening our company and we finally have our online store, scripture Eraselets in Lifeway Christian Stores and a test going on at the Dollar General Market to test our 1.00 item. We have also developed a custom department that allows us to make custom Eraselets for school, non-profits, churches, business, etc. We also founded a non-profit called Erase World Hunger It is our desire to use our little blessing to help bless others.

Do you have a cause you’d like to erase? The Eraselet® is the perfect promotional item to bring awareness to your cause. Not only is it a bracelet but it has a function as well! And by using that function we provide a new way to bring awareness to “Erase Your Cause”. You can “Erase Bullying”, “Erase Autism”, “Erase Debt”, “Erase Cancer” and the list goes on and on!

Having 3 kids in public schools, we realize the difficulties our school systems have and we also want to do our part to help teachers and schools raise much needed funds! That is why we offer our retail packages by the case at wholesale prices to schools, teachers & PTO/PTA’s to help raise funds for their class, school or various programs. Your school could earn up to 100% profit by selling Eraselets, just contact me to find out how!

In closing, I’d like to encourage you all to follow your dreams! Yes, it is difficult! Yes, it is challenging! However, I’ve got good news for you! We are normal people just like you and we are doing it, so you can do it too! Do you have a business you’ve always dreamed of starting or product that you have invented? Well there is no better time like the present to start!

Again, I’d like to thank Moms 2 Moms for giving me the platform to share our story and about our little product, Eraselet. We have a long way to go and I hope I have the opportunity to update you from time to time to share about our progress and challenges that arise. Our little adventure has been by no means easy, however, it has been a lot of fun and we are having the time of our life!

Look for Eraselet on Moms 2 Moms and please feel free to contact me at if you would like more information about a custom Eraselet® or using Eraselet® to raise funds for your school!

Guest Blogger

Kimberly Ricci
VP Sales & Marketing, Mom & Wife