Time to Call in Mom For Help

We have a tradition of going up to the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree every December. Brittany and I had done it every year, even when we were dating. But we had a tough decision to make because we had already let two months go by without getting our first official prototype made. In October we had to cancel plans with Brittany's Mom, Joan, to help us sew the first bag. So we decided that we had to sacrifice going up north and cutting down our tree, in order to have time to go and get our bag sewn. It turned out to be well-worth it, even though it makes me choke back tears thinking about not going up north ;)

My Mother-in-law Joan is a sweetheart. I really lucked out in having good in-laws with marrying Brittany. We spent about six straight hours with her figuring out the best way to make the bag, we still didn't have the main details figured out. But she patiently and tirelessly worked on making our prototype. It turned out great and we finally had something to work with. 

I love the pictures we took along the way to document the process. In this one you can see Brit and Joan on the floor in the light of the Christmas tree in her living room. We have made changes to the original bag we made that day, but it has been a template on many levels. One major thing we discovered is that the spacer mesh wasn't open enough to let the water come in and the debris from the socks all stayed in the MatchMaid. We realized we needed a way to open the bag up more so water and debris could flow through it easily, which helped us create the MatchMaid we have today.

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The Early Stage Struggle Is Real!

When we started running with the idea, I was ready to launch it that month, even with barely any preparation. I found a wholesaler who sold laundry bags for cheap and figured we could just use them and have it be a simple sport mesh with a drawstring.  Bless my sweet wife because she kindly told me in her own way that my idea was a terrible one. She said we needed to see if we should patent it and go through the process to make it unique. I realized we should see if it actually works. We tested some socks in some other style bags and the idea worked but there really wasn't a laundry bag out there that could do what our's does now. 

I remember going down to Home Depot and looking for materials I could use to make a really rough prototype out of a drawstring bag. We wanted it to be able to connect to an existing laundry hamper and have it stay open enough to conveniently put socks in the laundry bag. With my limited knowledge and way of jimmy rigging everything, I collected some supplies and made the worst prototype ever lol. But it was a learning process and we needed some stiffer material and obviously some professional help eventually. 

We discovered some spacer mesh as being a thicker, foamy type of material that would help the bag stay open and have a stiffer shape. So we ordered five yards of that and had no idea how to get it started. On top of that, we had no idea how to make the "hook" that would connect the MatchMaid to an existing laundry hamper. Needless to say, my wife was right and I was wrong. We had a long way to go and I had no idea what I was in for to get a legit, real product made. But thank goodness we have been able to work together on this product. It has been a blessing and a headache all at different times, but it has all been worth it.

How It All Started...

On our honeymoon, Brittany and I watched marathons of Shark Tank in our hotel room.  I instantly knew I had married the right person. A few months prior, I had just started my first business, a swimming pool service and repair business.  I had the entrepreneur bug! I wanted to create a great life with my wife and for our future children. 

Being so sick of working for someone else and not having freedom to do what I want or what I love, I couldn't stop thinking about creating that product that could change our lives. Not to mention being broke since 2008 when the recession hit, oddly enough the same time Brittany graduated college and I became an adult myself, we both have seen and felt the struggle of being broke and having nothing (material wise).  

While watching shows like Shark Tank and The Profit, Brittany and I kept asking ourselves questions like, "how does a product like that succeed?"  Or "that idea is so stupid, we have to be able to come up with something as good or better than that!" Naturally, we start brainstorming ideas together here and there.  Brittany is the much smarter and grounded one, and I am the more impatient, risk taking one that is terrible at thinking it through or planning:)  

Last summer, I started shooting off ideas to Brittany almost every day and she would politely shoot them down in a very nice manner.  Until one day, I threw an idea at her and she responded for the first time saying, "that's actually a really good idea."  I was shocked... because she is not one to BS me.  We decided to run with this idea. 

The idea that we came up with is what we know now as the MatchMaid.  The struggle that I have always had is losing my socks, whether it's after I take them off or put them in the laundry or after they get washed.  No matter what, it seems like my sock would find a way to get lost and disappear.  But what if we created a laundry bag just for our socks, then what if we could wash and dry that bag with the socks still inside it, and take the socks out freshly washed and dried while they're all still together, safe and sound.  Ever since then, we have been working on this idea for a product.  

The idea is pretty universal.  Everyone wears socks and seems to have this same problem.  Socks are small and easily forgotten, but the MatchMaid resolves this problem and fills a need that everyone can benefit from.  Simply put- #1: Place your socks in the MatchMaid laundry bag. #2: Once bag is full or ready for laundry, zip it closed and throw in the washing machine.  #3: Put the MatchMaid in the dryer, run on a "timed dry" or "very dry" setting.  #4: Take the MatchMaid out and find all your socks together, clean and organized, ready to be folded or worn.  The beauty is you can wash with other laundry too.  Nothing is different, except your MatchMaid keeps your socks organized and not lost.  Everyone please make sure to practice safe socks;)