OP Graduate Debuts Product at Fair Oaks Mall
Bryan Cole wants his product to help people keep track of their phones and other essentials.
Bryan Cole, alumnus of Osbourn Park High School and Radford University, had trouble landing a full-time job after graduating from college a year ago. Rather than be discouraged, he took the time to develop a product he thought up while still in school.
“I had the idea for the concept of the product during my senior year at RU,” Cole said. “I was in a fraternity and noticed that many girls lost their phones and purses at parties because they would put them down and forget about them.”
Cole said the 'Joey' is a part of his accessory line, Neckid. The point of the 'Joey' is to keep things such as cellphones, credit cards and keys attached to the body so they won’t get left behind. It is a pouch that hangs by a variety of different necklaces, can be worn above or beneath the shirt, and comes in a variety of colors.
Cole first began by sketching out what he wanted his product to look like, and then began researching how to manufacture it.
“I knew that aesthetics and functionality were very important so I knew I had to track down a industry professional,” Cole said. “Long story short, I got screwed over by a manufacturer in New Jersey, then luckily found a fashion consultant in Los Angeles.”
He flew out to Los Angeles for a couple of weeks to design the 'Joey' and select the materials. He said it took about eight months to get from sketch to manufactured product.
Cole said he plans to launch more necklace and Joey designs in the future.
“The main benefits of the Joey are: hands free, worry free; you can just put your essentials in the pouch and not worry about keeping track of it," he said. "You can easily tuck the pouch under the shirt without it being noticeable, and its interchangeable--the pouch can detach and attach to any necklace."
Cole said based on his own experience as an aspiring entrepreneuer the best advice he could give is to believe in the idea before anyone else does, and do it for the opportunity, not the money.
He said it’s also important to listen to others' opinions without letting them sway you too much.
Research is important to know if there are similar ideas out there. Seeking professionals within the industry of interest is also a good way to get advice, and possibly support, he said.
“Know that it is usually going to get worse before it gets better. Be patient; know that it isn’t going to instantly take off,” Cole said. “If it doesn't work out, realize the hands on experience you gained will take you further than the money you may have lost."
Cole and his Joey kiosk can be found at Fair Oaks Mall Friday June 29 through Sunday July 1. More informatoin provided at Neckid.com