Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Chretien.
Monique, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The I Hold Anything was born out of necessity. With nothing available to hold a coffee cup while shopping, I began making prototypes at home and then in a sewing class. After several prototypes that failed, the I Hold Anything was finally developed to perfection. I used all the money in my savings account to get a patent. I tried to get it into stores by contacting distributors and stores themselves, like Market Basket and Dunkin Donuts. Nobody was interested though, so I saved up more money, had them manufactured and developed an e-commerce website.
Now I sell them myself on IHoldAnything.com and on Amazon. I would still really love to have them distributed in stores because I believe there’s a real need for them. I see people holding their coffee or other drink all the time when I shop and I think they could really use my “cup” holder to help keep their hands free. I call it a “cup” holder rather loosely now because I’ve discovered that it has so many other uses. When I suffered an injury and was prohibited from putting pressure on my leg, I used several I Hold Anythings on my walker to keep my medications, TV remote, hand wipes and phone with me at all times – it was great! The I Hold Anything can be used on a shopping cart to hold snacks, sippy cups, cell phones and car keys. It can also be used on walkers, motorized scooters and crutches for the injured or elderly to hold medications, TV remotes, tissues and more. It’s made of flexible material unlike the wire or plastic cup holders for sale on other websites, so it easily folds to fit in a trouser pocket, car glove compartment, purse, diaper bag, etc.
The I Hold Anything is so versatile, I think there are endless uses for it if people look at as more than just a “cup” holder. So far, customers seem to be very happy with the cup holders they’ve purchased. I love hearing feedback and getting photos from people too. My hope is that business will continue to grow and soon the world will be filled with people using my “cup” holder!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been a lot of struggles and I have put countless hours into this product over many, many years. The first struggle was getting the cup holder to work correctly. I wanted something that had two straps so my drink wouldn’t tip over. I had difficulty with finding the perfect way to fasten the straps to the shopping cart. Once the design was perfected and the patent was granted, it was time for manufacturing. This was an extremely tough experience because I wanted to sell them at a reasonable price, but manufacturing is expensive. I tried several different companies, getting samples from them, etc. Finally I found a company willing to work with me for a good price. I saved up more money to have them manufactured. Then, I had a lot of struggles trying to get people to consider selling them in their stores. I still struggle with that today. Thankfully, I have a website now where people can buy them.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The business is called IHoldAnything.com and I sell “cup” holders which people can use in various ways to help hold virtually anything and in turn keep their hands free to do whatever. What I am most proud of is that I didn’t give up. There was a myriad of times I just wanted to throw in the towel because it seemed like I would never be able to bring my product to market. I have a strong faith in GOD and I believe HIS strength kept me going. My product is different from other cup holders in a couple of ways – mine is made of a soft material that allows it to be carried pretty much anywhere. Other cup holders are made of plastic or metal which you can’t easily fit into a purse or trouser pocket. My design also has two straps for balancing the “cup”, whereas some other cup holders only have one strap still allowing for a drink to tip over.
What were you like growing up?
I was a silly, outgoing kid and I still am nowadays. I’ve always had an interest in animals and originally wanted to be a veterinarian. However, I went to school to become an animal behaviorist instead and that is my actual work now. I loved to dance as a kid and still do. For a while I wanted to grow up to be the lead dancer on “Solid Gold” (did I just age myself)?
- $6.00/ea. cup holder + shipping
- Website: https://www.iholdanything.com/
- Email: IHoldAnything@Gmail.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IHoldAnything/
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovj-7sN35BE