As Halloween quickly approaches, we took some time to chat with our resident Halloween expert, Greg Myracle, to learn a bit more about his Pumpkin Pegs product.
Why Pumpkin Pegs?
I knew that as a parent, the traditional carving kits were always a struggle with the younger kids, at least in our family.
The paper patterns wrinkle and tear, the scraps are messy, and the time commitment is well over an hour. Additionally, even though the saw blades are supposedly safer than kitchen knives, they still present a degree of risk. I tried giving the kids those decal kits, but that did not go over so well… When the sun went down, Mom and Dad’s candlelit traditional displays looked great, but the decal loaded pumpkins just sat there dark and lifeless; a few sideways glances from the kids and I knew I had to find some sort of middle ground.
I think the “Pumpkin Pegs” offer a safer, cleaner, quicker alternative and parents like that they can be used year after year. They are inexpensive, ridiculously simple, and they glow just as nice as the traditional displays.. and that keeps everyone happy!
Is Halloween a big deal with your family?
My family LOVES Halloween! It also happens to be my birthday so I am a bit partial – haha!
Would you consider yourself a “Halloween Clark Griswold”?
That would be a fair description, I think. However, my wife would probably consider me a 24/7/365 Clark Griswold – a lot of projects originate with great intentions, only to end up as certified disasters.
What is it like inventing a seasonal item?
Inventing a seasonal item is definitely challenging!
I remember seeing a statistic that Halloween generates over 7 billion in sales annually – there is a lot of money spent on Halloween, but the retail window is 60 days max and the competition for those dollars is fierce. The challenges are compounded when trying to introduce something that brings a new look, new method, or new way of doing things; people tend to stay loyal to tradition and retailers are very hesitant to take a chance on a new and unproven item that can only make a debut if an existing item or SKU is deleted. As I understand it, no one wants to be the guinea pig. Also, I was surprised to learn that retail buyers are often making decisions for seasonal items 16 months ahead of time! Timing is critical. Even with a great product, it could take two years to hit the shelf.
What have you been doing to self-promote this product?
This has been the fun part.
Thanks to the EN community, I have received a lot of support, suggestions, tips, and recommendations. I put together a basic Facebook Page. I also used my LinkedIn account to try and connect with a few national television producers and media personalities. I sent a short summary to my local news station and received an invitation to come to the studio to share the product info – that happens tomorrow morning so I am pretty excited about that new development! And the web site www.HelpaReporter.com has been a great resource. They send out daily lists that are drafted by reporters and producers seeking to interview people about various subjects. In less than 2 weeks since subscribing to this FREE service, I have connected with two very solid opportunities. One of those connections resulted in an invitation to be on a Halloween themed show for a nationally syndicated talk/travel program. Another opportunity is in the works to have “Pumpkin Pegs” featured on one of the top three cable news programs.
I have learned that getting the item to shelf is just part of the equation. As inventors, we need to stay focused on constantly promoting our products in new and creative ways. I was very inspired by Elizabeth Crouch’s Cupcake Rack spot on The Steve Harvey Show recently. Elizabeth’s enthusiasm is contagious. Roger Brown is also a wealth of information and has been an invaluable resource. And none of it would have happened were it not for John Vilardi who helped render my sketches into world class animated renderings.
What do all three of the above have in common?
They are ALL part of the EN community – and that is where I find the biggest value of all.
We thank Greg for his journey with us and wish him the best of luck for fantastic sales this Halloween!