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Get It Together

Janet Lau's attempt to keep files organized resulted in a paper clip evolution.

By
This story appears in the May 2008 issue of Start Up.

What: Paper clip with a sticky note

Who: Janet Lau of Clip-rite Inc.

Where: Hayward, California

When: Started in 2007

Startup costs:
$100,000



For years, Janet Lau organized her papers with sticky notes and paper clips but was constantly frustrated by the messiness that would ensue. Then, in 2004, she decided to fuse the two office supplies together, and Clip-Tabs were born. "You think about it for days and months, and that's when it hits you and you wake up," recalls Lau of the moment her idea came to life.

Her brother Max, who was living in China at the time, was able to help her search for potential manufacturers while she lined up deals in the U.S. with buyers such as Office Depot, Office Max and Staples. The paper clips, which are attached to a durable, double-sided note and come in a variety of bright colors, hit stores last year and sell for about $3 a package.

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