But, first let me share my story. If you hate my stories, then scroll on down to the important stuff as I can tend to ramble!
Inventing something is not always as simple as it seems. First there is that initial hare brained idea that you think is pretty darn good, but you have to "sell" to your friends and family. Only this time, most of them actually said, "You know what, that is pretty darn smart." Which was all the encouragement I needed to go forward and that is where is ride gets a little like the runaway mine train at Six Flags. As it turns out, bringing a product to the market consists of many phases!
Starting off with the prototyping and testing. Which even once you think you have anticipated every hurdle, there comes another one and even now with the Genies wild success we still have some improvements we want to bring to you...more about that a bit further down this post!
But let me digress a moment, back to the early stages of the project, when I realized that I had to patent this item to protect my interest. I headed over to the U.S. Patent and Trademark website....FYI, this patent application system is one confusing maze that will send you straight to the loony bin or in my case it sent me straight to a lawyer who specializes in patents and is happy to take a large sum of many from you to do it! At that point you really have to take a giant leap of faith and write them that check. At that point, things got real fast!
This did not happen as quickly as I had hoped it would, you know sadly I was not the legal services only client, and they kept handing my information back to me for more info, but I knew that if I was going to do this, I had to do it right. (for an instant gratification person, this was THE hardest part of the entire process) When I finally got my patent pending application all submitted correctly and the lawyer dotted all my I's and crossed all my T's, and got all the correct paperwork submitted it was finally time to introduce you all to my little invention the Stencil Genie.
So, on my daughters birthday, August 23, my friend Tammy posted her homemade video using the Stencil Genie and almost overnight not only did my life change but hers did as well. You see we really didn't think that part out too well. Tammy posted the video from her personal facebook page with no link to my site. She went from my wonderful friend, to "that girls whose video was shared over 2000 times in a very short period of time! She was inundated with inquiries as to where to purchase this new fangled contraption!
Even with that bumpy start, within the first 24 hours we had sold more Genies than I thought we would in a year. I called in family and friends to help us run the machines, pack boxes, take orders and make multiple runs to the post office!
To my surprise, some of the greats of the cookie community picked up on my new "contraption" pretty quickly and shared it on their pages, which brought in even more orders. Sleep became a valuable commodity in my household....hubby had to take a weeks vacation from his "real job" to stay home and run the equipment, and in fact we even had to order in more equipment. To this day we still have only had a couple of full nights of sleep.
But we are so happy with the response even thought the last 30 days have literally been a whirlwind.
Now that many of you (and when I say many I mean HUNDREDS and hundreds) have your stencil genies in hand I have gotten a few people with some questions...so I am going to try to answer the most asked right here.
When we created the genie we based our sizes off the thicknesses of cookiers we knew who made both thick and thin cookies, but each of you does your own thing, so sometimes your normal is not the normal we found and we want your genie to work great for everyone! So here goes!
1- if you are one of the people that roll and ice on the thinner side, the thin side of the genie may not be quite thin enough for you....here are some options: first try putting a small folder piece of parchment under the cookie to lift it up a bit...you want the cookie to touch the stencil or you will get underspray. If this is a now and then thing, the parchment is a good fix,
BUT if all of your cookies are consistently too thin, then message me. We are working on an even thinner side you can get to use in place of the thin side you are using. I want to be sure that this new piece is actually think enough, so your input will be greatly appreciated!
2-IF your cookie is even thicker than the thick side of the cookie,(yes, some people make some REALLY thick cookies) that really should not be an issue, just let the genie "dangle" over the cookie if that makes sense. the magnets are snug enough to hold the stencil in place without slipping out and the weight of the genie will keep in tact.
3-No matter if you are using the genie or not, if you are spraying at too much of an angle will cause the color to get up under the stencil
4-Too much color coming out at one time will also cause some running of your colors....it is better to do light coats and do them a couple of times than to put down too much color at once....(just like using a can of spray paint)
5- If your stencil does not fit the genie, no worries. If it is too big the genie will hold it, if it is too small and a square try adding a border of blue painters tape to your stencil. If you have a round stencil, or you don't want to put tape on your stencil check out 2tsstencils.com
Tammy of 2Ts worked with me to create a set of adapters that fit most other stencils and if you don't see one that will work she will probably be able to create one that will work.
If you have any other tips please share them with others by sending me a contact message through here and I will continually post them!
the Creative Cookier and inventor of the Stencil Genie