What: Double-ended sealable bags
Who: Denise Bein of QuickSeals
When: Started in 2007
Startup costs: $20,000
After 15 years as a flight attendant for United Airlines, Denise Bein was offered a five-year leave of absence following 9/11. In that time, Bein raised her children and began to toy with a new kind of handy bag for the kitchen.
In fact, QuickSeals started out of Bein's own experience as a mother. On a family trip, she was having trouble saving food. "Many of the items were too large to squeeze in Baggies," recalls Bein, 39. "I realized all I needed was a bag top that could fit on top of most packages, would seal in the freshness and be easy for my children to open and close."
In late 2006, Bein secured the patent on a unique double-ended plastic bag, which has a pull lock on one side and is sealed with double-sided tape on the other. She officially launched QuickSeals in January 2007, using her family's savings account. Soon she was looking for manufacturers. "With my homemade QuickSeals in hand, I went to China and met an agent who helped me outsource plastic bag makers," she says.
Bein admits she's impressed with the success she's seen in just over a year. Starting off with a $10,000 patent and $10,000 worth of plastic, QuickSeals made $300,000 in its first year. QuickSeals are now sold in Australia and Greece as well as in the U.S., and can be purchased on the company's website and in Bed Bath & Beyond stores. Bein is currently looking to design a heavy-duty version of QuickSeals for stores like Home Depot.The company continues to grow and evolve. "We now have six employees, as well as about 10 agents worldwide selling QuickSeals," says Bein. "The numbers keep growing, and that's a wonderful feeling."