It started with a road trip. Driving cross country, my parents were playing some of the great golf courses of America as they made their way west from New York City. A schedule based on tee times, meant breakfast and often lunch were eaten in the car. Not wanting to arrive in messy polos and Bermudas they covered themselves in napkins, newspapers, and paper and plastic bags. During that last day as they approached their final destination with a tuna sandwich from Subway in hand, the concept for NEATsheets became obvious. As a busy mother of three, who always had kids hurrying off to sporting event, eating in the car was more the rule than the exception. I wanted a package in my car right away. But there was never time to develop the product and so it remained unrealized.
While I always understood the value of NEATsheets, it was not until one of my visits to my 98 year-old Grandmother that I truly understood the necessity. Always fabulous and totally stylish, there was also no denying the difficulty of age. But regardless of how NEATsheets functioned on a practical level, I knew that it also had to be attractive and appealing. I adored and revered my grandmother and ultimately wanted to preserve her dignity.
In the fall of 2014, I was offered the opportunity to join a Women’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Group called The Refinery. During this time I realized the idea for NEATsheets was part of a much larger concept. Why did eldercare objects have to look old? Imbued with my grandmother’s irreverence towards age and the enthusiastic response and support from the other entrepreneurs and mentors at TheRefineryCT, NEATsheets became NEATGOODS. Elevated products for the everyday needs of the rapidly growing senior market.
Overwhelmed by the potential, I was also overwhelmed by the task at hand. As an entrepreneur you quickly learn that good ideas abound, but successful implementation is rare. I needed a partner and hoped that my brother Greg, who had an MBA and a strong background in business would join me. It took many subtle hints and some not so subtle nudges, but on a hot day in June, Greg called to tell me that he had retired from being a corporate junkie and was diving into the world of entrepreneurship. Since that day, his focus, drive, and type A organization, has made NEATGOODS a reality. He has kept us on track and at a pace that makes every moment invigorating, exciting, and intense. Today we kick-off our new website and tomorrow Greg heads to our first trade show. We are raring to go.