So, let's we could start with we're gonna have you you tell us a little bit about yourself but first I just love the videos the creativity you have on the videos for your product Jenny's may or assist in here Jenny if you want to play the first video so that our viewers get an idea of what Serena has developed
You gotta love it like that's, I mean, everyone in the office here has watched that several times. It's very captivating. So, well let's start with first of all your, your background is amazing. You're an industrial engineer, you've had, you know, a long career doing several things that seem at first to not be related to developing, you know, children's products. But that's that's just kind of everything has been like a building block for you, bringing you to where you are now. So tell us a little bit about what led you to invent the Aspen type traveler like what was your inspiration behind that?
Yes, um, I would like to emphasize what you said is is so like the building block and I at first when we when you hear the background sound like it's all with the player like aside from being industrial engineer, later working as a manufacturing engineer and become and become financial analyst. It doesn't sound like if connected events eventually I quit my job and do the real estate development I have the studio space for is more like timeshare for photographer, and then I learned the diaper bag, it sounds like everything is all over the place. But that is one thing that I will say is is the core that people might not see that in the middle, which is the organization system. So everything that we talk about behind the scene is required the system, I have to be pretty organized in order to be to do well in each function when I did that. Yeah. I also view myself as the lemonade maker as we as we always hear that If life gives you lemons make lemonade, so and that that is the part that I see myself because I seem to have fun facing the challenge and try to see out what is the better solution is the solution out there in the market, that kind of stuff. So it's more like it's also fun along the process. Not not just not just obstacle but I tried to inject the fun aspect into into my journey as well.
You've definitely done that. But you talk about the lemons, you know, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. What was tell us about some of the lemons that that you were given that inspired the ice been that has been tight traveller?
Yes. One of the biggest landmine that I have was about 10 years ago, when I had my baby, if I feel like I was facing the landfill. So like, every every turn, I had, I follow labor. And and one of the biggest one was, when I took the baby out in public area, and have to share the diaper. As we go, as we go to the public restroom, I could not have my husband there with me. So it's more like be just between me and my active baby. And my baby, but there seemed to be like, he loves to grab everything, let's say if I feel like, Oh, I am ready right now. And suddenly he grabbed the diaper, he grabbed the baby, wipe everything and draw on the floor. So everyone know when, when everything falls on the floor like you and it's just you and the baby, you have to you have to use one hand, making sure that the babies stay on the changing station and you have to bend down and try to find your staff. And so that that was a very awkward situation. And I feel like hey, it got to be something better that can help the parent do that job. So that also come come to the first idea that I feel like if I if I made the diaper bag, everything had to stay. And it had to stay in one area is more like one stop shopping. And I got to give me the better access to each item while my baby doesn't have access to all of that. So that is my original idea. The second idea also come to the frustration if I forget to put something in the in the diaper bag. I feel like hey, as a mom, oh my god, like the way I fail again today that I forgot to throw in the diaper, thing like that. So that also come to the the reminder system to to make me feel like hey, I'm ready to take the baby out in public.
Cuz I mean, looking at the two dads like In comparison, the one is disorganized, he's got multiple bags. And like most baby diaper bags, and I know as a dad of five, that there was really I've never seen anything with so many like organized compartments, and they all close. So even if the baby grabs that stuff, it's not like they're going to be able to take anything, and throw it on the floor. Like you said, in the restaurant floors. What could be more disgusting than the floor of a public restroom. So even if you can hold the baby and grab the item. That's not what you want to do, but then to remember everything to run through this checklist. I mean, now my kids are older. But I even need a checklist just for normally when I leave the house like wallet, keys cell phone, but can you do the baby that's most of that's exponential, you've got pacifier, diaper wipe, like whatever all this this other stuff that you need to take bottle, extra bottle, extra nipples, whatever, all this stuff. But it's so nice to have this checklist system that really helps with organization like that's so so. So you had this you didn't set out to create a new product you initially were looking to buy something that would make your life easier.
That's correct. Add effort when we talk about checklists, and I searched on I google for the baby baby packing checklist and print that out which I believe most of the parents do that as well. So but the problem become live when you have a piece of paper you put in the back and each time you pack you have to take the paper out and check if you have every item and eventually I end up using those diaper to wrap to rub their dirty diaper or to use that paper to do something which also come to the next question like hey, how can I embed that that type of shapeless system into the bag? Why is the bag because when you are out with the baby What do you have with you at all time like other than your clothes, which is the bag like like what I offer is so it's not the diaper bag per se because you can buy that diaper bag assisting diaper bag in the market already. But what I offer is more like the organization system is the system that remind you what you need before you get out of the house. And also by that time because I think a lot of parents that do not get much Sleep. And more than 10 parents seem to forget thing all the time, at the same time because we, we tend to do a loss of work over attention is with baby at all time, I feel like it's also good to reward the parent. So it also comes down to the word mum nice or when I say Mum nice or because because of my background as industrial engineer, so I feel like hey, what if I can marry three elements together, like the first element is the combat method, I believe everyone in the business know combined method method because I love the the visibility, the virtualized of the floor. So that's why all the pack or the pocket that we have virtualized, we also have the checkmark in that. So when you put the item, you know that hey, that that pocket that that is one checklist that that your audience share. So that is the first element, which is the combat. The second the second element is the shape list. If everyone have read The Checklist Manifesto, is very simple and humble method however, like checklist can save lives. So I love the idea of checklist, I still use checklist every day in my life. And the third element that we add is also organization system to make sure that when when you have designated place for each item, when you read into your pocket, you don't even need to think like why should I search for that item. Because you know, if you if you read your head in right pocket, you find this item, if you read read your hand into the left pocket, you will find the key or the keychain or something like that. We also come to like I also like condos, sorry, if you have a condo reorganizations technique. Sorry, I'm also a big fan of kandori.
So one of the things that that I think a lot of our viewers would find inspiring, because a lot of inventors, their biggest obstacle is the financial is finding the funds and trying to get the money so that they can and they can file for a patent so that they can produce prototypes. And well, we'll get back to patents as well. Because you're you're very fortunate that you realize the importance of protecting your idea and you have it patented. But but in order to file for the patent, you have to have the funds. And it's not really advisable to start selling your product until you have the patent. So that's a big catch 22 for inventors, how can they legally protect their idea without funding? And how can they get funding first. So that's those are the always competing interests. Tell us about how you were able to raise funds for your concept using Kickstarter, and you have a second product as well. So pretty, we're going to play that video also. But first, tell us about your experience with using Kickstarter to raise funds for your support the inventing.
Yes, and for our first Kickstarter project, we start that after after we have our idea fall like we do F PTO. So like we started with provisional patent first because that process doesn't require too much money. And after after we file a provisional patent, we know that we have a year to go back and the pattern so for a lot of inventor that doesn't want to spend too much money upfront, I strongly recommend you doing that before you release your idea to the public. So after we fall provisional pattern, that when we come to start the Kickstarter project, and for us, we do the Kickstarter project merely to test the idea because we feel like it'd be launched on Kickstarter and we did not get enough support. That also mean that the idea that we thought might be good might not be the idea that we want to pursue so with that, it can save us 1000s of dollars. However, when we launched on Kickstarter, we got we got a lot of support. We got a lot of Filipiak those are organic pa especially I think the video really helped a lot and we got our contact from from the other country lady, we were in the GQ magazine in Brazil. We got a lot of contact from Japan and things like that because they saw that video and they we got a lot of free free properties. see from that one, so that when we come back and said, Hey, this might be a good idea to go ahead and pursue. So that how that how we can start at the beginning, talking about Kickstarter itself, we never will Kickstarter as the platform to go in to generate a loss of income, like a lot of people when they launch the product and start selling products on, on Amazon. For me, that is yes, that is the selling platform. But I will Kickstarter as the platform to go fi like my people and see if the message that you want to set resonate well with with your target market. And that for me, that is like that is the real market research other than hiring some company to do the survey or things like that, I feel like that. That is not the true market research. For me. This is the real life market research when people were willing to spend money upfront, even though the product doesn't exist yet, and wait for a couple months before they get the product. I feel like that is the win for us that we can find someone who's willing to invest in our idea.
Yeah, so that's really more accurate. Because asking somebody if they would buy your product, that's that's one way is the surveys. And they've been proven to be wrong, because a lot of people when it's when there's not real money involved, they would say yes, I would buy that. But now when it comes to taking out your credit card, and and actually entering the numbers and knowing that as soon as you hit submit that money is going to leave your account, that's the real, that's the most accurate survey you can get because they're purchasing. So I like your your concept of using a using Kickstarter, kind of as a litmus test to see if you're onto something like listen, is there a potential because if people are not willing to buy pre orders of the product, then you can save a lot of money by not putting a ton of money into production? And manufacturing? Because why produce something that nobody's going to buy? Correct? Like yes, correct.
And based on Kickstarter, because you will also need to need to ship your product to your backer as well. And from the address that we got, we pull all those address and also plot in the map so that we we have better understanding on people, I let's see people from the from the West, which area that we seem to penetrate better. Like, for example, we got we got a lot of support from California from the West Coast area. And we also get a lot of support from the from the East Coast area as well like New York area, and things like that. So so we know that hey, this is our target market. If our assumption is right, per per the result that we see. Yeah. And on the other hand, when we talk about survey, I have the real life example with that Kickstarter project the Aspen's Hi traveler, because we also allow people to vote for the color. Maybe we post the color and have people vote for that. The most popular that people vote for the turquoise color. How however when it comes down to ordering even people who want to quiet them, when when they want the back for themselves. It seemed to be the forest gray and black. And I even talked to them that order black and I asked him Did you also vote what is your favorite color that you want me to relate? And he said yes. What color and you said oh the burgundy. So what did you order? I ordered the black. So that is that is to two are different. They like when one is the survey. The other one is what they decide for reality.
Because one is okay, when it's a survey, they don't have any skin in the game, right? It's like, what neat, interesting color would you like to see and they're just there's no loss. Now when it comes to ordering, and it's a credit card and their own money. Now they have to think about what color do they want to be seen with if they have this? What outfits do they wear and what matches best? And then you get the accurate answer. That's That's great insight that a lot of lot of our viewers could could learn a lot from because it's one thing that try to predict what your consumers are going to want and then the actual data that comes from actual sales, there's no replacement for that. To give another example, I mean, you're watching that video. And I know a lot of your marketing seems to be oriented towards towards dads, right like and one of your slogans is dads with bags, but the incredible demand that you're having from from moms for the product because it's, you know, be having an organized system is universal, like women also want don't want stuff thrown all over the place and their babies to throw the diaper on the restaurant floor. So that's where actual sales come in. Because you're getting a lot of sales and a lot of interest from from moms. So you're kind of now the product is is is universal, right basically parents now you're targeting parents in general. That is correct. And
a lot of time we also have mom buying the back to give to the dad as well as gifts, right, father day Steve.
Perfect. Now we're gonna take a quick break to play a second video of yours because you now are a serial inventor you've got a second product that's being run on Kickstarter with a campaign as well so Jenny, let's play this.
Love it love this video, this is your So you've now have experienced two different Kickstarter campaigns. And that's an area that a lot of inventors are experimenting with they're struggling with. And Jenny if you want for those that are not familiar with Kickstarter, if you want to just in the chat, type in the URL for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, if anyone wants to look those up. But Serena, what advice would you have for any inventors that are contemplating a Kickstarter campaign? What have you learned that you wish you would have known when you did your first campaign?
Ah, I will say for both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the first day is crucial, you will need to get a lot of momentum going into your project and get a lot of support and also the donation or the backer into your project the first day when you get when you get a lot of support on the first day, that momentum will also trigger the following days as well we have when when we launch on Aspen Ty, I believe, because of that video is generate a lot of interest. And we have a lot of the other campaign contacting us wanting to do the cross promotion, we have a lot of marketing company shout out for us and things like that. At the same time, like when when we did the second Kickstarter, like we we try different aspects and it's more like what you call a low key because that seems to be what they call make 100 which we will allow to to only do like 100 reward so we thought okay, this is my small smaller scale and we try with different methods and we did not get that much attention as well for fortunately, we get enough funding to to pass our goal for for the second campaign but I strongly recommend everyone to to work a lot to to build up that interest to go to your your first day of hitting the launch.
So basically you want to start start strong, right that's the advice like it's better to take a little bit longer before you launch. But make that launch day count. Like really hit the market hard. Get all your ducks in a row get your videos like perfected the marketing employees. And then when you're ready to launch, because you don't get a second, the expression, you don't have a second chance to make a first impression, that first impression on Kickstarter is really important.
That is correct. We can like when we when we go on the launch, I will say for both projects that we had, we we learn when we feel like we were ready, but we, we didn't build up that interest. But fortunately, the first project went very well, because of the video, we got over 10,000 views on Kickstarter itself, just on the video itself. And with that, it gave us enough momentum to be able to, I will say give us the leverage to cross promote with the other popular project as well. Think this way, just just like high school, if you are popular, and popular group of people will open their arm to welcome you in. But if they feel like a your project is not popular enough that they might not want to work with you.
So yeah, that's an interesting take one of the questions that I think is, is fascinating there's, and by the way, Jenny, if you want to post a link to the inventors mastermind, my private Facebook group, and we'll have more information, and I'll address any questions that others may have. But one of the questions were so simple, but I'd like to end with that question. It's a four word question. Four words, and that is was it worth it? So how would you address that the whole because your your career spanned several different fields. And this last, and I wouldn't say this is the last chapter because your chapters keep emerging, you now have this second product and a second launch. But was how would you say what advice would you have for inventors that are at the early stages right now? And they're wondering, you know, is it all going to be worth it? So was it worth it for you?
Yes, for me, yes. I will say the first question that you might the inventor might need to ask themselves is, what do they like to do? And the second thing is, why are you doing this? Like for me, I know, since the since I was a child, I love to invent so. So I quit my job doing the business and things like that. But coming down to the invention. This is something that I love to do since since I was little. And the second thing is, why am I still doing this? Like, I don't know, like how many times I fail, but I still get up and still doing this. And of course, we are not making millions of dollars yet right now. But I'm still doing it. Because I feel like hey, I don't know, like how much longer I leave a thing like that. If this is worth it for me to do it. And I feel like yes, I rather leave this to the world before I leave the world. So that that is just my just the answer for for my personal why. So it's also coming back to the inventor, like what are you looking for? I will say even mentors are looking for money they might need, they might have a different answer. But for me, it's more like if I can leave the legacy for people to remember me after I leave the world for me. Yes, that is
so I mean in that sense I've had other inventors that have interviewed they get a lot of inspiration from reviews of their product and people that have been writing in about how it's helped them and change their life. I know that's played a big part in in in filling your sales so to speak during those obstacles or during those tough periods to look and see you know what it is making a difference and getting this feedback from inventors that have or sorry customers that have purchased your product and it's made their life better because after all, that's what inventing is all about.
That's definitely true. And for the listener out there, you You never know how much is me and just just one simple sentence that you give feedback to the inventor. Like for example we got we got the feedback just one sentence that said I just want to thank you last week I went to the library and your diaper bag saved my life because my baby has to explore unfortunately the the library doesn't have the changing table so I end up changing my baby on the library floor that I want I want to let you know that it just something simple like that. That'd be feel like hey, yes right there we hit the mark. That is the purpose of us literally releasing this invent invention. I, I want to I want to tell the listeners out there if you find that some product you use In in daily life, really answer your need to, I want you to reach out to the inventor let them know that hey, your, your effort has has paid off because at least he saved he saved my time has saved my life that will mean a lot to the inventor.
Wow, what a wonderful thing to end on serrania We promised everyone that half hour, because these days isn't, you know, in the midst of the pandemic, people are kind of zoomed out. So we do promise to keep these short. I would love to have you come back I do an inventor's virtual summit once a year. And lately it's been, you know, it's been a virtual and it's been a huge success. So I'd love to have you back. You're a source of a lot of wisdom for our viewers. And that last piece of advice, I just want to repeat it if For those viewers here, if you buy a product and you happen to purchase something from either Kickstarter, or you know, it's an individual inventor, that feedback is phenomenal. It can make a huge difference, especially for that an inventor who's facing an obstacle, maybe a cash crunch, perhaps a prototype that's not just not working out the way they wanted. And if they're on that verge of giving up, that could make the difference for them. So terrific advice from Surya thank you for joining us today. And those viewers. Thank you once again, and have a wonderful weekend. Happy Friday, everybody. And with that I'm going to conclude. Thank you.
Thank you so much for having me.