(19 Total References)
WAVE Community Newspapers - BUSINESS NEWS
LOS ANGELES - Janet Curry had an idea for a new product.But, like many people, she didn't do much with it.Then 9/11 happened."I realized that in all the news coverage, [a number] of people were able to call home and tell their loved ones good-bye," she said."The majority of them were men.In fact, I don't know if one was a woman. "And the only difference I thought was the location of their [cell] phones.Men had theirs on their belts, and as women, we have ours in the purse or in the desk," said the Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, who was catalyzed by the tragedy to kick-start development of Digithong.The product, a digital device holder typically worn on a strap across the body, was initially designed for women, but Curry, who is also owner of J.C. Promotions, the parent company of Bauman and Curry Public Relations, didn't rely only on a gut feeling to determine if there was really a need for her product.She did her research."I bought a report that told me about the cell phone accessory market," she explained."What I found from a survey by Zogby in 2002 was that cell phones have almost become the norm in America.I also found that a slightly higher percentage of women than men carry cell phones."But the majority of the accessories on the market were designed for men.Taking that information to heart, Curry called Diana Barbor, a fashion designer friend, about a partnership to produce the product.
I just told them about the idea and my dream," said Curry
, adding that her
study of the market also helped her
provide the information necessary to convince investors to opt in.The first test of just how well the product would sell came about year after she
started, during the 2002 Governor's
Conference for Women in Long Beach."We set up a booth and got great response from women who were coming to buy the product.The ones who didn't buy it, we asked them what they liked and didn't like about it and what they were looking for," said Curry, who graduated with a civil engineering degree from UC Davis, and worked in that industry about five years before spending three years learning sales at Lynell Cosmetics.
The California company burst onto the scene in the early 1980s, grew too quickly to a high point of about $6 million and then went bankrupt.Curry
stayed the entire time because she
felt it was a wonderful learning opportunity.
is well aware that in order to really grab even a modest one percent share of the market of the 53.8 million cell phone users, the price of her
Digithong will have to come down.And she
and Barbor have got the next generation of the device on the drawing board."But we need more than $25,000 to get that going.We need to get $1 or $2 million, and to get that I've got to sit down and finish my business plan," said Curry
, a quiet spoken woman of African-American and Japanese parentage whose publicity company has given her
access to resources needed to grow Digithong to this point.But at the same it, it is also a time-consuming business that does not leave her
much time.And that's the current dilemma.In order to move forward, Curry
needs time to properly finish her
business plan and then shop it to potential investors.Once she
gets the next level of financing, Curry
can look at creating the more competitively priced Digithong that can be sold in both the domestic and international markets.The additional cash will allow her
to stay ahead of the inevitable knockoffs that are sure to surface once her
product is more widely distributed.She
can also begin to address her
ultimate goal for the company: To become a philanthropic entrepreneurial venture."We have it built-in where 25 to 50 cents off of each product sold is deposited into a saving account," said Curry
BaumanCurry & Co. • Marketing, Communications & Promotions (323) 525-0559
JANET CURRY ELLIS
FEATURE/DigiThong Introduces Fashionable Cell Phone Accessory Gift Pack for the Holiday Season
Co-designed by entrepreneur Janet Curry, founder and president of DigiThong(TM), this unique product is a fashionable waist or hip-length strap in a wide variety of styles, and universal locking device that allows the wearer to attach most cell phones or PDAs for ease of use.
"Men can always grab their cells from their belt loops when they ring, but women are often fumbling in purses, and missing calls," said Curry
also noticed the number of cell-phone mishaps -- dropped from laps, dropped in commodes, or lost when clipped to purses.In emergencies at work, many women do not have access to their phones which are stored in their desks.The DigiThong(TM) allows a woman to keep her
phone handy at all times.Last year, 1.3 million people had their cell phones stolen, but more (some 1.6 million) lost their cell phones, according to a Continental Research survey.If the cell phone is lost or stolen, so is valuable information.
"The DigiThong(TM) Signature Line features designs with crystals, rhinestones, metal studs, and much more," said Janet Curry
Leadership - Lincoln Park Village
Jane Curry has worked as a writer and communications specialist in Chicago for 35 years, full-time with organizations including the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Today, the city Office for Senior Citizens, and 18 years for Erikson Institute, as well as owner of her own communications business.
In 2000, she trained for work as a hospice volunteer, volunteered for four years with the Palliative Care and Home Hospice program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and currently is a home visitor and bereavement volunteer with Horizon Hospice.
She served for a decade on the board of Friends of the Parks, helped lead the recent, successful effort to landmark the Arlington-Deming District in Lincoln Park, and continues to work on various community and city-wide preservation projects, including saving and restoring the historic William Walker mural on Evergreen Street in Chicago.
currently is providing archival consulting to Erikson Institute
as it settles into a new, expanded campus on LaSalle Street.
has been Jane's home since 1965.
Millenium Momentum Foundation, Inc. - Opening doors today for the leaders of tomorrow
Board Members Mark Chun, Santiago Sabocor, James Strong, Janet Curry, Tisa Jackson, Vic Ching, LaVerne G. Davis, Honoree Lou Gossett, Jr., Board Member take to the stage and join Oscar Winning Actor Lou Gossett, Jr., Larry Ahlquist, Felicia DeRouen, National Advisory Board Member Del Huff, CEO Jason Seward, Board Members Charles Franklin, MC and National Advisory Board Member John Davis, Board Members Desmond Blackburn, and Jose Pulido gather to celebrate success of Opening Doors Gala at hand.
...Janet Curry, Founding Board Member and President of BaumanCurry & Co., is joined and thanked for her generous support as a distinguished sponsor by Desmond Blackburn, Vice President of Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc.