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Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:20
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Finding inexpensive custom clothing is difficult, especially if you’re working on a budget. No one would know this better than Steve Downing.

Steve had finally managed to have a closet full of good quality suits and fitted shirts when he was blessed with successful weight loss. With the loss of 50 pounds came a problem; he discovered that he no longer fit in his custom shirts and nice suits. He needed all new pieces. Early last year, Steve found himself doing a little research on mens fashion when he stumbled upon Mass Couture, a mens custom clothing direct sales company. He suddenly realized that it would be possible to buy the new clothing he needed, and it wouldn’t cost nearly as much as it had before. He also saw promise in the opportunity they offer.

I recently had the chance to speak with Steve about this unique business and the opportunity they offer.

Tell us a little about Mass Couture.

Mass Couture is a German based clothier expanding into the US market, introducing a revolutionary new concept in the world of fashion: high quality, customized clothing that is accessible and affordable, sized and shipped at the click of a mouse.

“Couture” is a word that means, “the designing and making of fashionable clothing.” Couture is derived from two Latin words that mean, “sew together!”

Our clothes are distributed by a network of independent representatives using a network marketing business model but the prices are street level: Custom-made, 100% Wool Suits $99 (member price: $79), Custom-made, 100% Cotton Shirts $19.90 (member price: $14.90), Men’s and Women’s Jeans $19.90 (member price: $14.90), etc. Suits are also available for women with fabulous 100% wool fabrics.

Take your own measurements and create your size profile, design and personalize a custom suit, shirt, jeans, shoes, belt, overcoat or cufflinks from millions of design combinations – and have it shipped to you anywhere around the world.

For example, the shirts I order require 17 separate measurements. Don’t worry, though! There is an online video ready to walk you through each and every measurement! It’s as easy as pie!

The shoes and jeans will be available in late February, 2011!

This is a turn key, no inventory business featuring affordable, top quality, custom clothing for all sizes: plus, big & tall and petite.

The clothing is tailor made in Hong Kong for men and women using excellent materials: 100% wool, 100% cotton and 100% leather. There are literally thousands of options available as you select and create your shirt or suit!

What inspired you to become a representative for this company?

I’m 63 years old and I’ve worked in customer service all of my adult life.

My goal when I got married in 1976 was to create a great wardrobe to help advance my career. This was done – by January, 2010, I had 12, 100% wool suits hanging in my closet along with 20, 100% cotton, shirts. The suits were off the rack, not custom made. The shirts were custom made, at a price of about $75 each.

But last year, two things happened.

One, I lost 50 pounds using Bodyline. My suit size went from 50 L to 46 L and nothing fit any more. My tailor told me that it wasn’t a good idea to tailor my existing suits and that I needed to replace them! Same thing with the shirts – I needed to buy all new shirts!

And, two, early in 2010 I delivered a speech at my Toastmasters club entitled, “Dress for Success,” which required a little internet research on men’s fashion and it was there that I discovered Mass Couture!

When I discovered that I could purchase custom-made, 100% wool suits for $79, I was very interested! When I discovered that I could purchase custom-made, 100% cotton shirts for $14.90, I was even more interested! When my wife discovered that she could purchase custom-made, 100% cotton jeans (available in late February, 2011) for $14.90, she made me join!! :-)

Question: Have you ever spent 3 hours in Ross Dress for Less, Marshall’s, KOHL’s or TJ Max trying on jeans, trying to get a pair that fits right? I did that last November, after I lost 50 pounds. I needed a pair of jeans. I almost passed out!

Mass Couture will have your exact size recorded in your profile and you can select different washings, pocket styles, stitching colors, etc. and order at the click of a mouse. Every pair will fit perfectly, according to your exact measurements. Isn’t that great? Tell all your girl friends!!

What kind of clothing do they offer? Average cost?

Suit, shirts, jeans, shoes, belts, overcoats and cufflinks.

Custom-made, 100% Wool Suits $99 (member price: $79), Custom-made, 100% Cotton Shirts $19.90 (member price: $14.90), Men’s and Women’s Jeans $19.90 (member price: $14.90), etc.

What separates Mass Couture from other companies in the clothing business?

Our clothes are custom made for an exact fit from fine 100% wool and 100% cotton fabrics but have tremendous value due to our street level prices!

Can you tell us a little about the Mass Couture business opportunity.

Our products are sold using the network marketing business model and commissions are only paid when a product is sold.

There is a retail commission of 20% on the shirts, 25% on the suits, etc., as shown below, and as your network grows, commissions are paid out as shown below, 5 levels deep, unlimited width.

Custom Made shirt $14.90 discount (-25%) Final Price $19.90
Custom Made Suits $79.00 discount (-20%) Final Price $99.00

Level 1 5% Bonus 2 registered Member required
Level 2 5% Bonus 3 registered Member required
Level 3 5% Bonus 5 registered Member required
Level 4 5% Bonus 7 registered Member required
Level 5 5% Bonus 10 registered Member required

We pay out with every placed order. Our commission plan is well-thought-out and is being used successfully by well-known companies such as Tupperware, Amway etc.

What are the requirements for signing up?

It is very easy to become a member. Member sign-up fee is $29, 18 years of age and older.

Flash-powered distributor website is free and includes the measurement tool application.

Do you have any goals that you’d like to accomplish with the company in the next year or so?

I personally lost 50 pounds last year and all of my suits and shirts need replacement. So, my goal for this year is to rebuild my wardrobe: 12 custom-made, 100% wool suits (two of them double breasted) and 20 custom-made, 100% cotton shirts (four of them with french cuffs) that all fit like a glove and make me look and feel like a million bucks!

I would also like to reach the college and university, graduating senior market as we enter the spring. I want to register 25 graduating seniors as Mass Couture distributors and get them and their classmates affordably “dressed for success” as they prepare for their job interviews after graduation in June. To do this last, I have been emailing the college and university newspaper staffs of many, many institutions and negotiating prices for ads, advertorials, etc.

What are some lessons this business has taught you?

With all the MLMs out there, with their products at very high prices, it’s discouraging because most regular folks don’t want to pay $20 for shampoo or $25 for a quart of juice!

Our products are high quality, they fit well but they are priced at street level!

The lesson I learned from this, “Don’t stop looking. If you keep looking for something, you’ll find it!”

I was looking for a network marketing opportunity that had good products at good prices.

And, I found that with Mass Couture.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Zig Ziglar said, “One cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure!”

William Shakespeare said, “Pursue thy habit with all thy purse can bear, for clothes oft proclaim the man.”

When you’re are well dressed, your confidence will soar and this will be perceived in the eyes of the beholders – your customers! They will be happy being around you. You will have their attention and their interest and success will follow!

Whether you’re a graduating senior scheduling job interviews, an up and coming sales professional, an attorney new to the firm or a young guy or gal just starting your career, you need an excellent quality wardrobe that will turn heads and cause people to say, “that person is going places!”

Mass Couture (TM) is your ticket to success!

Any advice you’d like to offer anyone that may be considering a direct sales opportunity like this?

If you are going to start a business, look for something that you like doing.

I like to dress professionally. I’m from New York City and I like to put on a suit and show up at work looking sharp, thus Mass Couture is perfect for me.

I love handing out my business card and watching people react to me in my blue, pinstripe suit, red striped shirt and white tie.

If you like to dress well and look sharp, Mass Couture is for you!

Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:20
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The lazy susan has been around for years. Most people will recognize it for its swiveling plate for serving food. However, Carmen Molina has taken the basic idea behind this device and turned it into a completely new product called the Pix N’ Tray. Like the lazy susan people know so well, it swivels on a base but that is where the similarities end.

The Pix N’ Tray is customizable, and various “accessories” like wine glasses and ribbon can be added to further add to its allure. Each section has space to slide in one of their event cards, or you can create a batch of your own and completely customize the tray for any event. It’s not even limited to food. The tray also works wonders as a business card or pamphlet server.

I recently asked Carmen a few questions about her unique product and the inspiration behind it.

Tell us a little about the Pix N’ Tray.

Pix N’ Tray™ is a patented unique multi-purpose snack- serving tray that also displays photos, business cards, and fun cards of your choice to personalize for any occasion. This new Lazy Susan-like product has a swivel base for keeping many food goods and stationery goods within easy reach and photos within easy viewing.

Pix N’ Tray launched a year and eight months ago and going strong. Little by little consumers are finding and are enjoying our product. We have received orders all the way from Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, Pennsylvania and recently, some enquiries from Alaska. Some customers have ordered 2 to 3 trays at one time and a couple of customers have ordered 10 trays at one time.

What inspired it?

The initial inspiration for Pix N’ Tray was out of necessity. I had that epiphany moment one day after getting frustrated while preparing some pitas and tacos and trying to get them to stay in an upright position. They kept tilting to their sides creating a big mess and so I said “there has to be a better way”. The rest was history!

How many sizes/styles do you offer?

Currently we offer only one size of the tray. It measures about 16”in diameter…made of high quality Acrylic. We also offer Pix N’ Tray –fun cards, for displaying and personalizing photo tray for every occasion. Currently, the design we sell are; Happy Birthday, Thinking of You, Baby Shower and Anniversary. We are looking to add more fun designs and so we’re hoping to, in the near future, for the opportunity to hold a License deal with the NFL, Disney, Comics, Nicklelodeon, etc. Also, to make other tray styles, sizes and colors and eventually incorporating for oven-ware.

Some people may assume your tray is only for food, but what are some of the other fun uses it has?

Oh my goodness, the versatility on this product is amazing. That’s why I have a few that I use around my own home and use when hosting parties or for get-togethers. It’s not only convenient for supporting food goods, but also so much fun.

The tray comes with a swivel base which allows the tray to spin and I realized that so many fun games can be played. Many of us use to play and still today play the game “spin the bottle”. Well, with Pix N’ Tray you can play these fun games and many other fun games. You can check out some of the fun games you can play with my product in my Blog. This is great when hosting a party to keep your guest entertained, especially for kids Birthday parties and Superbowl parties.

Another fun use, the tray can be personalized with photos and messages…this adds a personal touch… great when given as a gift and when used as a centerpiece for your parties. Also, the tray can sort your mail, invitations and organize your photos and many more…Possibilities are endless.

What separates you from the competition?

Pix N’ Tray is like having more then 10 products in one. Is like a gift basket that keeps on giving, providing the consumer quality, value, and convenience… saving them time and money.

What are some goals you’d like to accomplish in the next year or so?

My product is already increasing awareness through the internet, local promoting, showcasing in fairs through my local community and now reaching out to the media.

I recently showcased Pix N’ Tray at a local fair and the response I got from the public was “Your product belongs in TV!” This all has added some inspiring fuel to the next step, hoping by next year or so, bringing Pix N’ Tray to the number one TV Retailer to expand exposure and to reach out to a broader audience. Then, taking it to retail shelves because everyone knows and loves Pix N’ Tray. With this kind of exposure, we will reach a Global market.

What are some lessons your business has taught you?

My business has taught be many valuable lessons. I have learned a great deal about starting a business and continue to learn everyday. Some in particular:

Through all the hurdles I’ve come across there is always something I’ve learned from it and has helped me grow, get better focused and more knowledgeable.

It has taught me that running your own business is not just a 9-to 5 job. It requires about 12 hours ever day and sometimes overnight shifts to be able to communicate with sources overseas. There is no such thing the weekend is here. My business is in my mind even when I’m sleeping. There is no shortcut to reaching dreams and success.
Taking great care establishing my brand identity.

Also, networking a lot and surrounding myself with like minded people…this helps in keeping the learning alive and to share my own experiences so it can help and inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

This past year and half has been an extraordinary journey. It feels like a roller coaster ride with so much hard work, tough learning lessons, to so many wonderful things unfolding and continues to unfold each day.

Recently, my product Pix N’ Tray and I was featured in Inventors Digest-The Magazine for Idea people, May 2011 Issue. I am so humbled and grateful for this wonderful honor. I must say, I got some happy teary eyes when I saw my story featured in one of the oldest most respected inventors magazine in the country. All the sacrifices and hard work has been and still is worth while.

I know I still have much work ahead of me, but this sure gives me more psychological fuel to continue to work hard and continue to reach for my dreams. I’m truly overwhelmed and grateful to God for this wonderful journey thus far and to my loving family, friends and customers for all the love and support.

I’m currently also working on my newest innovation Strap N’ Guard™ (patents pending) —A Must Have Fashion Accessory for Ladies…launching this summer (Lord willing). Is one of those products that solves a common problem and so I needed to bring to market ASAP.

Do you have any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs who are just getting started?

Ummm… from my own personal experiences, there is so much fundamentals to cover from the moment an initial idea is conceived to all the way in launching a new business, but just to mention a few;

-Create a business plan, set goals and stick to it.

-Have lots of patience…we must remember that success does not happen overnight.

- Continue to persevere, work hard and have determination.

-You must truly love and have passion for your business; this reflects on to your customers and ignites your wants to succeed.

-Always give 110% effort to your business.

- Surround yourself with like minded people, always trust your intuition and have lots of faith.

- And, never ever give up on your dreams!

I also would like to say, I truly love and have passion for my business and what has made all my experiences and sacrifices worthwhile, thus far, is to know customers are enjoying my products…that for me is priceless. I’m wishing the very best to all aspiring entrepreneurs with all their future endeavors. Cheers!

Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:20
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Kevin Goldstein was frustrated. He wanted to listen to music while riding his bike, but he felt it was not save to wear earbuds while riding. He tried using only one earbud, but he was still unhappy. So, he combined the stereo of regular headphones into one earbud, reports Tucson Velo.

He started selling the earbuds — which come in three different models — in March 2010 and has sold more than 1,000 of them since then.

Goldstein said all the sales were through his online site, but said he is working on retail packaging to start selling them in bike shops.

“Aside from runners and cyclists where I have gotten the biggest support for the product is from the single sided deaf community,” Goldstein said. “Although, they are kind of hard to lock down and market to, they have kind of found me. People who are deaf in one ear love these things. They want to listen too, but they don’t want to miss half their music.”

Goldstein said more goes into the earbud than just crossing the two audio tracks into one earbud. He said when you do that it produces popping, hissing and other nasty noises. Goldstein said he added circuitry to the plug to adjust the levels and eliminate the noises and allowing both left and right channels to be mixed together.

Logo from One Good Earbud

Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:20
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It didn’t matter that Roland S. Berthiaume has spent the past 15 years as a chiropractor, he still couldn’t manage to get his own back straightened out when he needed it most. So, he invented a device that would do it for him.

He’s formed a company called NGC Industries with Springfield businessman and landlord Thomas A. Valentine and that company has started selling Lo-Bak Trax via an infomercial and Website. The devices cost $159.95 each. He’s been developing Lo-Bak Trax since the year 2000. It’s received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But Berthiaume said that beats more elaborate traction devices that often involve motors or pulley setups that affix to doorways.

Here’s how it works. Users lie down flat on their backs then pull their knees up and get their ankles as close as they can to their buttocks. The Lo-Bak Trax is a set of handlbars a pointed part that goes between the person’s legs and two curved pieces that fit over the thighs. By placing the curved pieces as far up on the thigh as possible and pressing down on the handlebars, people can apply gentle pressure stretching out their spines, Berthiaume said.

“It takes less than 10 minutes,” he said. “Anyone can do it.”

Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:20
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Rocket Mail, 1931

Before “rocketmail” was the name of a short-lived free e-mail service in the late ’90s, it was an idea propounded by German inventor Professor Oberth, who thought it was a good idea to literally use a high-velocity, ill-aimed projectile to deliver mail from Berlin to New York City. He claimed to be able to achieve delivery in 24 minutes, but the Nazis later co-opted his idea for more nefarious — and obvious — uses, turning his rocket into the forerunner of the V-2 rocket that terrorized wartime Britain.

Time Controlled Mechanism, 1919

People must’ve been deep sleepers in the early 20th century, because inventor J.D. Humphrey came up with an alarm clock that didn’t just tell you the time — it woke you up with a blow to the head.

Car Seat Cooking Stove, 1921

Motorist munchies may or may not be a real thing, but Robert L. Martin would have taken care of the issue with his cooking stove that rested underneath the driver’s seat and was heated by the car’s rerouted exhaust pipe. So if the carbon monoxide didn’t kill you, and you managed to stay on the road while basting a rack of lamb between your legs, you had a red-hot car seat to look forward to sitting on as you ate!

For more of Life’s 30 dumb inventions visit here.

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