I met Alan Tratner in 1989 when I had an idea for a fun novelty drink holder called
the Puppet Kooler. I joined the Inventors Workshop International, and what is now
Green2Gold and was helped and coached in getting my idea developed and protected.
I was introduced to a gentleman on their Board of Directors who became a mentor
and eventually business partner.
We developed a prototype, applied for a patent and created a corporation. We then
created concept drawings and with these drawings and prototype in hand we attended
our first trade show.
The trade show gave us great exposure and interest from many big box store chains
which resulted in a large Purchase Order. This was a major step in finding
Angel investors. We utilized our Patent as our equity investment and were able
to obtain $500,000.00 in funding to get our product and company started.
This was an Education of many types for me because it exposed me to the tools that
I would need to invent and develop all my future ideas. Once you have been
bitten by the Entrepreneurial bug you will always want to develop new ideas
I was able to travel and build a factory in Tijuana and Guadalajara Mexico and
then traveled to Hong Kong China to oversee our product production with a large
toy manufacturer. Upon returning the market had changed and my company wanted
to go in one direction while I believed it should go another direction and
I resigned my position and sold my stock interest and walked away with a large
sum of cash and free to develop new ideas.
My next idea was similar to the 1975 Pet Rock idea that became a very financially
rewarding fad. I developed the CyberKids later changed to the Hackers, a group
of figurines that were created as part of the computer virus craze. I eventually
landed an animation deal with Hanna Barbera Cartoons to develop a Saturday
morning kids program. I was paid $10,000.00 up front licensing fee with a royalties
contract. Unfortunately our deal never came to fruition due to financial difficulties
and the absorption of the studios by other companies in 2001. We did manage
to get the Hackers into several retailers and still make some money.
My idea train continued on with Guardian Angel Bears, Magical Monster Guardz, and
a patent for an Avocado Cutter called the Slice-N-Scoop where we sold over
500,000 units to clients such as McCormick Schilling, California Avocado Commission
and Crate N Barrel. We continue to sell these via our online website. I also
developed a product called The Casper Safety Night Walker that entered into
a two year licensing deal for the Casper the Friendly Ghost franchise which
helped me land a $25,000.00 up front fee with royalty guarantees with a medium
sized toy manufacture who unfortunately could not develop the product idea
successfully for the market place.
I made some money and lost some money and took time off from inventing. With the
advent of the internet and Alibaba as a direct resource to China manufacturers
I was now able to develop and have direct contact with manufacturers in China
in real time verses weeks of having to fax and send back in forth material,
drawings etc via Federal Express...very time consuming and costly.
I decided to develop 3 new ideas and I am currently developing and getting ready
for market two (2) novelty wedding coins the Decision Maker Coin and the Lucky
Mini Penny as well as a new style Body Board or Boogie Board called the Wave
I cannot thank Alan Tratner enough for giving me that first taste of the entrepreneurial
world and the excitement of having an idea and watching it develop into a tangible
The education I received in developing a product from concept drawings to product
to packaging and marketing is a true life lesson and love of spirit to create.
The difference between people who have an idea and an entrepreneur is that the
entrepreneur will take that idea and develop it as risky as it may be....
Thank you again Alan for giving me a great journey in life….