It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. In Skip Perry’s case, he saw the need, so he got right to work creating an invention that would help himself and help others. Initially, Skip and his wife would struggle opening and closing the plantation-style wooden shutters that were installed high up in their living room’s vaulted ceiling. If they wanted to let more light in or to close the shutters completely, moving the louvers up or down was cumbersome because the shutters were so high up the wall.
Skip asked the installer if he had any suggestions to more easily open and close the shutters, but he had no ideas that would make things easier. Skip thought about the problem some more, and came up with the idea for the Smart Reacher. This tool would allow them to easily reach the shutters, but that wasn’t all it would be able to do. The Smart Reacher vertical/horizontal tool was designed so the user could screw it onto any standard extension pole or broom handle. Also, Skip’s idea incorporated notch cuts on the front and back for utility, as well vinyl covers to cover the notches for some applications.
Coincidentally, Skip’s son Matt is a mechanical engineer, so Skip conveyed what he wanted and his son designed it in CAD. The first iteration made from aluminium would have been too expensive to mass produce, so molded plastic was the better choice.
Before Skip contacted ICOMold, he received quotes from other injection molders as high as $14,000 for 1,000 pieces. Also, he was pleased that ICOMold did not require a minimum purchase like other mold shops that he contacted.
“I found ICOMold on Google and they were very friendly and helpful right off the bat. We had to do a little back and forth about the threads because there were some issues on the first prototype. So, I had my son redesign the threads, and the second prototype was perfect. ICO’s quality was outstanding! Plus using the ABS plastic material made it affordable. ICOMold even followed up to see if things were okay after shipment.”
The Smart Reacher has a multitude of uses and is available on Amazon.com, eBay.com, and directly through their website at: www.smartreacher.com.