My wife, Kay, and I have always enjoyed our beautiful homes. Over the years, many of our homes contained what we affectionately called “ugly dangling attic cords” hanging from the recessed attic doors that were located in our hallways, closets, rooms and garages. We were always perplexed as to how these “cords” could be eliminated to enhance the beauty of our homes.
My daughter, Jenny Wood and her husband, Nathan, lived in a beautiful home in Dallas that was plagued by a similar problem. In their second floor hallway sat the same old “ugly dangling attic cord.” But Nathan had devised a make shift system where he got an eye-bolt and replaced the cord and built a reach hook by screwing a hook into the end of a broom. The result was indeed better than a “dangling cord” but not by much.
Jenny and Nathan challenged me to come up with “something better” if I didn’t like their home engineering project. I was determined to do it. I set out on my journey to create the perfect solution to an ugly problem--“get rid of that ugly dangling attic cord and replace it with something that was fashionable, efficient, inexpensive and practical.” “Trial and Error” best describes my efforts to design the perfect solution to the “ugly dangling attic cord” dilemma that exists in more than 80 million homes in the U.S. alone.
After a long (back of the envelope) design process I contacted numerous manufacturers of all the component parts that I believed were necessary to create the perfect “kit.” I worked with dowel manufacturers; decorative hardware distributors; mechanics, wood finishers; grip manufacturers; and hook and pull rings manufacturers from literally all around the world. A prototype that looked good, worked and could be manufactured and assembled at a cost that made the product reasonable and marketable was developed.
I then worked with an advertising agency, Agency Creative, here in Dallas, to brand my product and to create the perfect packaging solution. We came up with the name, Attic Ease®. Mark Wyatt of Agency Creative and his design staff came up with the perfect packaging that displayed the product well at retail. I hired an intellectual property attorney, Stephen Walder, of Dallas who walked me through the process of securing a trademark and a patent. We were awarded both after more work, money, worry and consternation that I could have ever predicted.
From the day that Nathan and Jenny challenged me to “come up with something better” to the day that I delivered my first Attic Ease kits (Brass and Satin/Nickel) to Elliott’s Hardware store in Plano, Texas almost a year to the day had lapsed. One year and thousands of dollars with many private hesitations and doubts later Attic Ease® had been born. The journey was just starting. Marketing had to be done. To make a long story short, we are very excited that Home Depot, Lowes and Menards (the three largest home improvement center chains in the U.S.), among others, are all selling Attic Ease® kits. We are getting inquiries from Australia, the U.K. and elsewhere. It’s all hard to believe, but it is real. We are very appreciative.