You may or may not already know it but today is #InventorsDay so I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase a few of the amazing Inventors out there that you might not have heard of but you’ll be glad you do now.
Introducing Phanyard – The UK’s Only Retractable Phone Lanyard
Why I Invented Phanyard
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved inventing. I invented a pulley system to send messages between my brothers and I’s bedroom at bedtime until my mum found it and took it down! I also invented the snow machine so that when I flicked my duvet off in the morning, I could have a snow day every day. I have since worked at one of the leading companies for innovation in the world (Apple) and built their entire events program up from scratch as well as inventing several event flavours of my own to inspire young people to write and produce their own music using a Mac.
I invented Phanyard as I was fed up of constantly misplacing and dropping my phone. My brother is also constantly losing his phone when out and about in London and has had it stolen off tables in pubs several times. I use my phone to take photos as well as pay for drinks and I need to always be able to hear it just in case the school phones me about the children. There are other phone lanyards on the market but I wanted to invent one that was retractable so I could retract it and put it in my coat for security reasons when I was walking around London. I also find it more comfortable to not have it at full length all the time. We also added padding to the neck so it is comfortable to wear and is working on improvements to its design as well as variations on the product all the time. We have recently added a clip so you can clip it to your top and reduce any ‘dangle-factor’ when you bend forwards.
My Journey So Far
I first started developing the product last year and then wore it the whole of the Summer to various festivals and on holiday so I could get the experience my customers would be getting and be able to offer them tips and tricks. The invention was a life changer for me so I decided to go ahead and create a brand around it with an old friend who also helped me build the website. We then started a Facebook page and invited friends and family to look at what we were doing and give us feedback. It has always been important to me to not expect people to help me so it is always so touching when people tell me how much they love the product and how it has made their lives so much easier or offer to help get the word out there.
Getting The Family Involved
My children have been paramount in the invention of Phanyard from the start. They helped to design the logo, help at events and are always offering really useful tips on how to market it and who would find it useful. It was my 9-year-old who suggested we took our hole maker to an event so we could pierce existing cases rather than stocking up on every phone case for every phone to ensure it was compatible. It was a genius idea! My mum and dad have also been extremely helpful in adding new angles that I hadn’t thought of and my mum uses hers to do the housework while listening to books so it also maps her steps. People are thinking up new ways to use it all the time which is fascinating to me.
Who would benefit from a Phanyard?
Our target markets are dog walkers, events managers, mums, festival goers, paddle boarders, students, commuters, travellers – basically anyone that has ever had that awful thought of ‘where’s my phone’ and then had to search for it in their massive handbag or fish it out of the loo. I also have a troupe of cheerleaders that would like matching ones for a tournament that they have coming up! The leaders want to be able to contact the performers at all times but they don’t have pockets in their leotards so tend to leave their phones in their bags when they wander around the stadium or go to the toilet.
It has been extremely useful to me to be able to hang up my phone too. When I go swimming or to the ladies, I can hang it on the hook and see/hear it if it rings. I also hang it on the kitchen door handle when I get home so I don’t lose it around the house. It is very useful when listening to Audible or music too as I can go out with my hands completely free and my headphones on. It is very liberating to not require a handbag anymore. I keep my front door key tucked in mine too so I literally don’t need pockets. Perfect in the Summer when I want to wear a dress or attend a formal evening event. I also feel more comfortable letting my children use my phone as I know they can’t lose or smash it. I let them wander a little further from us at a festival this year too as I knew they could call us if they needed to and vice versa. I also have a mummy customer who feels a lot more comfortable letting her 10-year-old out on his bike with friends now she can call him to come home and he can call her if they get lost! She has given him a stripped down iPhone 5 with the camera function, texts and calls enabled so it is literally a lifeline for him and a great way to capture his adventures. We have four different styles of cases and can cater to any phone. My favourite is the flip one that can carry all my cards and keys too so I literally have everything visible, secure and accessible at all times.
We have sold nearly 100 locally and overseas so we are now looking to broaden our horizons and introduce new products to the portfolio. We also have a stand at our first festival this year which is very exciting! As an ex-events and marketing manager, I would have loved this product at events and I am delighted to be providing a solution to people that need their phone accessible at all times and their hands-free. We have had companies approach us asking us to design solutions for them as their employees lose and drop their phones frequently which ends up being very expensive. We are in the process of creating a more masculine, sturdy product for a group of builders which has a waterproof element and their branding. We have designed it from scratch and will be introducing it as a standalone alternative to the original Phanyard.
Where Can You Find Out More?
Come back tomorrow to find out more about Rockit the Portable Baby Rocker.