A Parker entrepreneur is hoping to turn some heads with a disgustingly cute children’s bath toy. Adam Tice, founder of Everyday Innovations, LLC, …
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A Parker entrepreneur is hoping to turn some heads with a disgustingly cute children’s bath toy.
Adam Tice, founder of Everyday Innovations, LLC, says the idea for his ZooPoo product — a plush animal that contains a shampoo bottle — came from a joke his friend played on his bathing child. A threat to put “poo,” as in shampoo, on the toddler’s head lodged itself in Tice’s brain.
Knowing that a child’s favorite toy is typically a stuffed animal that cannot be brought into the bathtub, the home-based business owner set about creating ZooPoo. All it takes is a squeeze of the belly and the shampoo comes out the other end of a plush lion, kangaroo or monkey.
“I found a manufacturer that could make a cloth bath toy,” he said. “It’s got a flat bottom so it can sit on the side of the tub and the cloth, which is basically a wash rag, air dries overnight.”
Tice, who earned an MBA in entrepreneurship, has invested $15,000 and countless hours building his invention into what he hopes to be a household name. Thus far, his exposure has been limited to a handful of craft shows and visits to his website, www.ZooPoo.com via word-of-mouth, but Tice’s was one of a few thousand entries recently accepted into an invention contest by WalMart called "Get On The Shelf."
The retail giant will have a public vote between March 7 and April 3. WalMart is not only offering to reserve space on its shelves for the product, but has pledged to fund mass production and marketing efforts.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Tice, who moved to Parker in 2007. “It’s a springboard, almost a rocket ship to where you’re going.”
Things were not always so easy. It took three years for him to get ZooPoo trademarked and patented. One manufacturer even stole his money. Tice sells security software during the day, but he is hoping ZooPoo and a handful of other inventions might take off and bring in enough income to quit his day job. He also has a bicycle hydration product called the Sip Away, which enables riders to sip water through a long straw that goes on the handle bars without reaching down and releasing their grip on the bars.
Tice is storing 5,000 ZooPoo units at his house and selling about 20-50 per month. His confidence is boosted with every order that comes in.
“To have someone spend money on something that came out of my head is just very rewarding,” he said.
During his push for votes in the WalMart contest, Tice is lowering the price of his ZooPoo toys from $19.95 to $14.95. Go to www.vote4zoopoo.com to vote.
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