Find A Need & Fill It


Written by CMG News Contributor, Doug Carleton


When she got home she and her partner started searching the internet for clear masks and found none, so they set out to try to create a transparent mask. After many tries and prototypes, they finally had one and started a company to produce them. Their intention was to serve mostly specialized populations in health care including the deaf and hard of hearing, children and older patients. They also submitted their mask to the FDA for approval which they had to do for medical use.r didn’t show up, so once in the operating room she was surrounded by her surgery team and had no idea of what they were saying. It caused her a lot of anxiety, confusion, and fear.


When she got home she and her partner started searching the internet for clear masks and found none, so they set out to try to create a transparent mask. After many tries and prototypes, they finally had one and started a company to produce them. Their intention was to serve mostly specialized populations in health care including the deaf and hard of hearing, children, and older patients. They also submitted their mask to the FDA for approval which they had to do for medical use.


Sales take off


They put up a website to describe the product while they were waiting for FDA approval and started marketing. Soon they started to be contacted by Chinese mask suppliers who found their product on their website before it had gotten FDA approval. So they made a decision to start to produce a less expensive version to sell to consumers, businesses, and others who did not need FDA approval for use in health care settings. Sales to Chinese mask suppliers began to increase. Then as these sales were beginning to increase, the FDA granted approval and sales really took off. Since that time, the company has grown to 250 people and sold about 12 million transparent masks worldwide – all because a deaf woman wanted to be able to see the person she was talking to.


Find a need and fill it.

This blog entry is a slightly edited excerpt from Doug Carleton's 'The Daily Life Of A Small Business Owner' series. Doug was a mentor with SCORE, Startup Virginia, and Lighthouse Labs, and has 25+ years of experience in small business finance including 12 years in SBA lending. To contact Doug directly, please email him at sbaloanspecialist@comcast.net.

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