Charlotte “Ceecee” Krasinski of Port Charlotte didn’t win Walmart’s Get It on the Shelf contest with her Snap-a-Strap invention last spring. Neither did Csonger Daniel, the North Port resident who also entered his Fittball invention in the contest.
That didn’t stop the local inventors from continuing their dogged efforts to get their products into stores and homes.
Krasinski may not have her product on Walmart’s shelves, but through her own marketing efforts she’s gotten shelf space at numerous local shops and several others in Florida. She’s even gotten interest from the managers of two area Walgreens.
“It’s been challenging,” Krasinski said of her mission to manufacture and market her invention. Called Snap-a-Strap, it wraps around two straps of a purse to hold them together.
Unlike others on the market with the same idea, Snap-a-Strap has an inner tab that wraps around the straps to stay in place, and an outer, decorative strap with a sparkling charm that enhances the purse.
Since the Sun profiled Krasinski during the contest, she has expanded to offer four varieties of straps to match or enhance the most common purse colors. Raging Red, Metallic Moss (green), faux Black Snakeskin and faux Brown Snakeskin are each decorated with a circle of faux crystals.
Snap-a-Strap is available at Hip-Notique in Punta Gorda, Kyle Kurtis Salon and Spa in North Port, Amber’s Jewel Box in North Port, Fraser’s Island Gift Nook in Venice and Full Circle Boutique in Nokomis. Her suggested price is $14.95.
Krasinski originally got the idea for Snap-a-Strap because she was tired of having a purse strap fall off her shoulder when using a two-strap purse. She didn’t like the utilitarian look of others on the market, or that they fell off when you opened the purse.
Finding a company to manufacture the product was a project, however. Most didn’t want to bother with her small order. Others wouldn’t sign her nondisclosure contract. She finally found a company that was happy to accommodate her.
Next, Krasinski wants to add other charms to her line — specifically a dog, a cat and a bumblebee — additional colors of straps, and perhaps one in leather. She’s still working on finding the ideal way to package the product.
Daniel, meanwhile, has taken an entirely different approach to marketing his Fittball, which is a portable ball on a string that can be used for exercise anywhere — indoors, outdoors, seated and standing. He’s working with a California marketing company that specializes in unique and affordable marketing methods. His chosen method is to advertise Fittball on media that want to “fill in” empty advertising spaces.
“It’s kind of like the way Priceline.com gets you cheap hotel rooms, because the hotels would rather rent the room at a cheap price than not at all,” said Daniel.
After the election, Fittball will be featured on the radio and on websites such as rocket
hub.com, where people can receive a Fittball in exchange for a donation to help fund Daniel’s inventions.
As the prolific inventor Thomas Edison said, “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”