That’s right! Sick and tired of propping her tablet up against the kitchen fruit bowl – only to have it constantly fall down! – Katrina did what any aspiring entrepreneur would do. She glued together three toilet paper rolls and Voila! iCaddy was born. Today, iCaddy is a mobile device multi-tool that serves as a stand and charging station. Plus, it includes ear buds and a hidden storage compartment. The solution folds up neatly for a backpack or travel bag. We had a chance to interview Katrina and asked about her story, how she started her business and the future of iCaddy.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
The idea for the iCaddy came about from my 7-year-old sister Katrina. She kept propping her Kindle up against the centerpiece of the table to watch her favorite movies and videos only to have it fall again and again. She knew she needed to find a way to keep this from happening because she was getting frustrated. One day she taped together a few empty toilet paper tubes and made a stand for her Kindle. The design was simple, and she customized it with different bright colored ribbons to give it some style (see pics of original iCaddy below). I saw this and thought it was very creative and although very simple, solved a major problem in Katrina’s life. I liked it so much, I decided to use it as the basis of my capstone project in my MBA class. After I presented the project, I got so much positive feedback from my professors and fellow students encouraging me to take this product to market. So, after a few more reiterations and design enhancements, here we are!
How did you come up with your business name?
We wanted to come up with a catchy name that suggests high tech and captures the entire product. Like a golfer’s caddy that carries everything a golfer needs, the iCaddy can carry all your mobile device accessories like a battery, battery charging cable, ear buds and more! We like to think of ourselves as the power station behind the technology!
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
The iCaddy is a universal mobile device stand that allows a user to dock and charge at the same time. The battery that comes with the unit can be used to charge both a phone and a tablet. The original product is targeted towards tweens with 13 different vibrant patterns to choose from. Moms love it because kids can store their mobile device accessories right in the unit for safe keeping so they won’t get lost. I can’t tell you how many mothers I spoke with saying they bought their kids 50 pairs of ear buds and multiple portable batteries, but they can never find them when they need them. Keeping everything together in one place will help kids find what they are looking for and keep moms happy that they don’t need to buy more mobile accessories! We’re also in development with solid colors that will have broader appeal to a wider demographic.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
What makes iCaddy unique is that there is nothing like it in the market today. There are many different clunky tablet stands and smaller cell phone accessories like pop-sockets, but there is no universal mobile device stand that can be used for both tablets and phones, hold earbuds, a battery and USB/charging cables together in one unit. Plus, we offer 13 different trendy, colorful designs and patterns. We are looking at producing higher end units with glitter and gold that will be our “bling line” as well as putting sports teams’ logos and superhero characters on the units. Our possibilities are endless on what we can do with the iCaddy and what demographic we can sell it to.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
We want to make iCaddy a household brand name and get the product on retail shelves around the world. Our goal is to be the number one mobile device accessory in the world.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
My best advice to other entrepreneurs and business owners’ is don’t be afraid to ask others for help and advice. We knew we had a good product with a great story behind it but that’s about it. I was fortunate enough to be going for my MBA at Northeastern University at the time of product development, so I was surrounded by great resources such as my peers and professors. They offered me great advice and feedback about the product and encouraged me to take the product to market. With the help of one Professor, I was able to secure a couple of grants from the university to help cover engineering and 3D printing costs.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”
— Steve Jobs. This is our favorite quote because Katrina and I both love Apple products and the vision that Steve Jobs had. We also realize all the work that needs to go on behind the scenes to bring a new product to market.
What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
Since our product launch in January, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the iCaddy and how it originated. One achievement we are very proud of is being selected a top 5 new gadget at the CES Tech Show in Las Vegas this year. This was amazing for iCaddy considering the companies that were there and the products they represent.
Another great achievement for the product was being selected as a recipient of the prestigious Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center. This recognition is very special for the brand and makes it stand out from the competition.
And finally, we are excited to be launching in retail this holiday season, including chainwide at Cracker Barrel stores. Plus, we just secured a deal with the largest consumer electronics distributor in the Canadian market.
We are very proud of these achievements as the product was just released this past January. We hope to have many more updates and successes soon.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
We are working on licensing agreements with companies like Mossy Oak and Marvel to bring new and exciting colors and patterns to the iCaddy. These will be available soon, please check our website www.shopicaddy.com for updates! Or check us out on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/All-One-Tablet-Phone-Accessory/dp/B07PH2YJ7J/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=icaddy&qid=1556746369&s=gateway&sr=8-1.
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