Tanja Neubauer, Inventor and Entrepreneur
As part of my series I am introducing you to an entrepreneur who is a good example of picking a great name and trademarking! Tanja Neubauer is both a give big and a start big story! Tanja is a soccer mom and SAP whiz and now she is an inventor too! Tanja has a patent pending and a trademark logo for the Fring-ez.
The Fring-ez is a tool that provides an easier way to cut fringe on the popular No Sew fleece blankets. It is an adjustable clear acrylic cutting template. It allows a person to place the fabric’s edge in it and run a pair of scissors down a row of slots to cut fringe all the same length and width in a straight line. It can accommodate four ply of fleece and can adjust to cut fringe that’s 2-, 3- or 4 inches long and an inch wide. It can be used on any kind of material to make fringe on items such as blankets, scarves, pillows and sleeping bags.
Have you always been inventive? Not really I am not crafty at all however I always looked for ways to make a job easier and more efficient.
How did you come up with the idea? I was having a hard time making a fringed fleece blanket for my great niece. I don’t sew, and I’m not a crafty person at all. I had a terrible time cutting because I can’t cut straight. I could not find a suitable cutting tool, so I invented one.
How do you market Fring-ez? The Fring-ez, which sells for $19.95, plus shipping, can be ordered on Amazon.com, Etsy.com and at my website: Fring-ez.com. I also now have a mini Fring-ez for half-inch-wide tab for small fringe.
So you are not just an inventor but also an entrepreneur? I guess so! It all came together from September to October. My first marketing venture was at the November Holiday Gift show at Hara Arena. I am not only inventing but I have had to learn how to source fabricators, understand packaging and all the other aspects of starting a business.
Where else are you selling your product? I currently have 200 Fring-ezs in stock, which I sell on Amazon and at area shows, including at the recent Bargain Mania at Veteran’s Memorial in Columbus.
What are you most excited about? I am hopeful that my template will be featured on a national craft show! I am most excited about helping others. I hope the success of Fring-ez will allow me greater resources to help the homeless and other community outreach programs. In the past year I have become very involved in with church and their outreach programs.
What has been your greatest surprise? My entire family looks at things differently. At first my kids (Neubauer and her husband, Scott, both IT consultants, with six children between them.) did not understand why I was pursuing making this product. They are now seeing ideas for new products in many things they do every day!