More To The Story...#1
You should be on Shark Tank!
Every time I hear someone say this, I smile to myself. From the outside, my invention seems a simple concept, some might say a no-brainer, but there is so much more to the story. I hope you enjoy this insider glimpse into my journey.
I remember the very moment the idea for MaskIT came to me. I was staring at the overflowing trash bin in my hallway bathroom, filled with complete frustration when it hit me.
Every annoyance I ever had with discarding my menstrual items flashed through my mind.
In an instant, it suddenly became very clear exactly what was needed.
Why not something that could cover my hand during the removal process, invert to contain everything, seal shut, block odor and not leak, all without drawing attention to the bin?
I wanted a cleaner, better way.
The Handmade Prototype
I went into my kitchen and made my first prototype with Glad Press and Seal and Scotch tape.
I wasn't trying to be an inventor, I wasn't trying to think of an idea, it just came to me. I have three daughters, we had a septic tank and I was tired of wasting toilet paper trying to cover tampons.
My only suspicion for why something like MaskIT did not already exist…the stigma around menstruation, the lack of conversation.
Early on in my research, I learned that 20 billion tampons and pads go to US landfills every year. I could hardly put my head around it. This was a telling moment for me. I knew I would need a flexible material with specific properties, similar to plastic, to create MaskIT.I knew the half life of plastic is 500 years and I was not willing to be responsible for contributing single use plastics to our landfills. I decided that I would not move forward unless I could find an environmentally responsible way to bring my idea to life.
Six Months later
After endless research and countless phone calls, I finally found a 100% plant based biofilm that could be extruded with the properties I needed, and could be consumed by microorganisms that naturally occur in our soils.
I was on cloud 9!
I filed my patent application.
My research continued - how bloodborne pathogens are contracted, the true cost of wasting toilet paper, plumbing problems caused by tampons, etc. The more I learned, the more clear it became that MaskIT was really needed.