SD Voyager article, December 7, 2017
We decided to save the world! But that seemed a wee bit ambitious. And so, we narrowed our sights to what we could do to make things a little bit better. These thoughts came to us one unhurried morning while relaxing in bed.
We had been reading Popular Science Magazine and noted all the wonderful inventions large and small that people all over the world were coming up with to improve the human condition in some profound or simple way. Arlene asked why we couldn’t invent something to make things better. John replied we have already come up with several things. “Like what,” she asked. “Like that,” he said, pointing to what would become known as the first Draft Ender curtain clip.
Being people who work late, and thus sleep late, and also living in an area of the county that gets very cold in winter, we needed something to block the morning light from coming around the edges of our curtains and also keep the curtains flush against the wall to keep out the cold and keep in the heat. As our curtains cover a door from the bedroom to the outdoors, it also needed to be easy to open and close to access the door. John came up with a magnet attached to the curtain that attaches itself to a metal plate attached to the wall. The concept worked flawlessly.
On that morning, we decided to look into turning this invention, that worked so well for us, into an inexpensive and practical way for people to use magnets to hold curtain ends flush against walls to keep in (or out) heat, block out unwanted light, or, thwart the intrusion of prying eyes. And at the same time, save people money and a substantial amount of energy on heating and cooling bills.
And this thing really worked!
And to our surprise we learned that no one had ever done anything like this before. We began simultaneously investigating how to mass produce them and also began the process of obtaining a patent.
We found that the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that “approximately one-third of a home’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors”. That’s a lot of energy! And of course, lost energy costs you Money! The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the average electric bill in 2013 was $1,320. Not to mention harming the environment and depleting valuable Natural Resources! And when that costly, wasted energy is going out, uncomfortable, unhealthy, cold drafts are coming in!
Then there is light pollution. Unwanted ambient light from outside coming into your home around gaping curtain ends, at night, or in the daytime if you work nights can be annoying and even harmful. Doctors have proven that even mild light pollution in the sleeping environment can contribute to sleep disorders which are being tied to major diseases.
And security! Is there anything more important than protecting your family? It is amazing just how much can be seen around those open curtain ends! If you do not want prying eyes keeping tabs on you and your family or even your business, there is an answer. Draft Enders solves it with one touch.
Draft Enders may not save the world, but it does definitely make our world just a little bit better.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Getting there has been a bit of a struggle. Obtaining a patent was a real challenge. Navigating through the system took a lot of time, effort, and money, but it ultimately panned out. Finding competent, legitimate manufacturers, distributors, and sellers continues to be an ongoing challenge.
Draft Enders – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are most proud of as a company is that we took a simple idea and turned it into an award-winning product with US patent 9464648. It was featured on television, on radio across the country, and recognized and respected at the Inventor’s Expo in 2015. And has improved the lives of all those who have used it.
Draft Enders is currently sold on ebay.com. What sets us apart from others is that there is nothing else like it.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
When we received our patent after 2 years of struggling.
We were invited on the radio show My Cool Invention in 2015 to talk about our product. Listeners called in and voted thumbs up or down on it. We got a rating of 70% thumbs up.
We were at the San Diego Response Expo in February of 2015. We were one of only 3 inventions that won an award. So we were interviewed on live T.V.
Award at 2015 S.D. Response Expo