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While reading through an Entrepreneur magazine a couple of issues ago I came across an interesting product that helps you seal up your food items without having to waste an entire gallon zip-top plastic bag. Instead of putting your entire bag of candy into a large zip-top bag, you simply seal a QuickSeals bag top onto the existing candy bag and zip it up. (See photos below.) And, it’s not just for food. You can use it for crafts, puzzles and other projects too. The best part is that the product was invented by a mom!
Denise Bein is the creator of QuickSeals and a mom of two children: Brooke, 9 and Blake, 8. After reading about her product in the magazine, I emailed her to see if she would answer questions for the Balancing Motherhood readers and she enthusiastically agreed.
I’m sure you’ll learn a lot about how a mom can balance family life, start and run a business and still have fun.
Where did you get the idea for QuickSeals?
Many times in my kitchen I would say, “Why can’t I add a sealable top to items that don’t have built in slider seals already or for those products that I would rip off the existing seal by accident.” Examples of these are: cereals, nuts, snacks, frozen vegetables, cheeses and many other products.
Having a new family, we had many opened products being wasted because of staleness, spillage and infestation which always bothered me. It must stem from my frugal childhood.
During a family vacation, seeing many un-sealable food products opened and now wanting to bring them home with me in my suitcase created a problem. Knowing many of the extra large items such as the pasta bag or large cereal would not fit in the baggies, I had on hand, I thought,â€ What Iâ€™m I going to do here, waste them or keep them?â€ I did end up keeping them because I created my very 1st home made QuickSeals. I realized when I got back home from our family trip; I still had the cooking instructions with a few of the food item too. If I poured them into a baggie, I would have no longer had the cooking instructions or nutritional information.
Could you imagine my suitcase when I got home if I didnâ€™t have a QuickSeal on top of my food products for the journey homeâ€¦.What a mess that would have been.
That’s when and where QuickSeals began.
We even now use QuickSeals on our games when pieces need to be sealed up. You will find them in our garage sealing up bags of nails, screw and potting soil.
You Name It QuickSeals Can Seal It….
How hard was it to get a prototype started and actually go into production with QuickSeals?
My first prototype was easy … It was made out of necessity on our trip.
However, months later while on my first trip to China to locate a QuickSeals manufacturer it became more challenging to produce. Needing to find the best manufacturer for QuickSeals was not simple. The manufacturer had to understand our company philosophy, produce the product and meet shipping requirements. The most important to us was quality and production control.
It has taken us three product revisions to finally have a product that we can market to our retailers/customers.
We all work together as a team, knowing the end result will benefit us all in the long run.
While at the plant in China speaking with the owner and the engineers about the tooling the QuickSeals machinery we needed to try to somehow put a fold in the QuickSeals to help make it easier for the customer to attach to their un-sealable products.
Did I ever in my life think I would be speaking about machinery and how to adjust the equipment to solve a production problem? NO, never, however, I never limited myself either. I worked with them as a team and together we found a perfect solution to our problem.
Women never should underestimate what they can do in any situation. It’s amazing how we can be so supportive and loving to our families and then when called upon we can also solve very difficult problems in any arena weâ€™re in.
My example of this was the tooling for our current production line.
Never limit yourself.
Dream and know you can do anything.
How has being a mother affected your business decisions?
I work very hard at my business. I work crazy hours, early morning, late, late nights, Saturday, and Sundays … whenever the business needs me I’m there, however, Motherhood always comes first in my life and I never forgot that.
I’m always volunteering at my childrenâ€™s school events. I play with them often when asked. I run a pretty organized home ship where our children know after school we have snack, homework, and then playtime. I try to get most of my work done when they are at school or sleeping so we can hang out together when theyâ€™re home.
I know my children are proud of me running my own business and they know if they ever, ever need me I will drop anything for them.
I think motherhood has taught me to sit back, enjoy life and not to always focus on work. Don’t get me wrong, I do work a lot; however, I take lots of time to enjoy just being with my family.
You mentioned in our email that as both a mother and business owner time is very important? How do you manage to balance both jobs?
As stated above, I have a pretty organized schedule when to work and when not to. When I’m with the children, I’m focused only on them. We play and I try to bring really fun memorable memories into their lives. We often sit back and say, â€œRemember when â€¦â€ Itâ€™s wonderful to have these special times together. Life goes by so fast â€¦ all we will have at the end is memories.
What are your hopes for your product?
My hope for QuickSeals is simple; I would love for it to become super successful. With the rise in oil prices and everyone becoming more GREEN, I can see this happening for us soon.
For the environment, QuickSeals uses only a third of what a whole plastic bag would use. Can you imagine using that much less plastic in our environment over time? This would change the future for our children and childrenâ€™s children.
Plastic bags are all produced from oil. So only having 1/3 the plastic is much cheaper to produce than a large Ziploc type of baggie. Itâ€™s always important to save for our future.
Itâ€™s all about saving now â€¦. Money and Environment.
What else are you working on?
Iâ€™m always working a something â€¦ But for now, I must stay focused on the QuickSeals company so I can build it to the successful level needed to hopeful sell it to: Glad, Hefty or Ziploc.
I think itâ€™s very important to remember when running a business. There are only so many hours in a day and you must stay focused on you current path. Donâ€™t get your hands into to many things. This most often cuts your family and personal time fairly slim. And usually this creates non-production too.
From where do you get your inspiration?
My wonderful husband whoâ€™s always cheering me on, he believe in me and trusts me. Heâ€™s my true backbone and supporter. I can always count on him.
And, I guess really life experience where if see a need or a need to change and make something better. Keep it simple!!!!!
What advice do you have for other mothers who have dreams of creating and launching their own inventions or products?
Just do it â€¦ Never look back and always move forward. You will run into challenges, however believe in yourself and know you will work through them gracefully, smile laugh when itâ€™s all over.
There is always a pot of gold at the end … it may not always be money. The learning experience is the most valuable pot of gold one can receive at the end.
Mothers should always keep in mind legal ramifications and much needed legal protections like patents and trademarks. In this area, there is a supper large pot of gold to learn from.
Seal up all of your craft projects.
(Photo courtesy Denise Bein, Neese Products)
Denise with her family. They believe in having fun!
(Photo courtesy Denise Bein)