Our InvENtor Spotlight for May is shining on Kristen Ami! Kristen has been a member of the Edison Nation community since 2015 and is an active Insider!
Where is your home town?
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Where do you currently reside?
What is your professional background?
I’m a graphic designer in the product development and fashion industry.
How did you initially hear about Edison Nation?
Working in front of a computer all day, I have the habit of Googling a lot… anything that might pop in my mind, any question I might have. I had a product idea I was looking to patent and that is how the “link clicking train” to discovering EN began.
So I guess in retrospect, “pure dumb luck” is the short answer.
Have you ever collaborated with another inventor(s) on a project? If so, how was that experience for you?
In my day job I am constantly working in a team environment. It has its pros and cons. Ultimately it’s a client, buyer, art director or CEO who will have the final say in how something ends up looking. For me, EN is the perfect creative outlet where I can create, design and dream, then just hit submit and what “will be will be.” It’s a nice break from the pressures of having to impress a boss.
What are some general industry trends you have noticed recently
The cool thing I notice about trends today is how they carry across all industries. From the latest music that’s on the top 10, the clothes that are worn, the cars that are driven to the color of a toaster. Currently working in the fashion industry I see a lot of this especially. Technology-influenced textile patterns that carry right back to the colors of the latest iPhone, then the classic beach theme tying into the latest home ware. At the beginning of every big season we have what are called “trend boards” that depict the current trends and theme of that season. I utilize these when I invent and design… you might have a cool idea but its got to look good, too.
What inspired you to start inventing?
This is going to be a mouthful, lol..
So I have always been an artsy creative person and always wanted to pursue a career in the creative industry. When I was a teenager I met a guy named Joe. Joe was 21, lived in a huge house and drove an awesome car. Joe was care free and had lots of money. Turns out when Joe was 17, he invented the glow in the dark hacky sack, licensed the idea to several companies and the rest was history. Meeting Joe for me will always be my first real “ah ha” moment to the potentials of inventing – that it truly takes just one great idea to change someone’s life completely.
“One day I will have a life changing idea,” I then said to myself 🙂 “I want to be my own boss. How cool to get paid for your ideas, to get rich off your creativity, never work again!”
I was 16 after all! Years later after several different “life pit stops,” I eventually chose to attend a graphic design program. That opened the door into my current career while always keeping in the back of my mind my goal of being my own boss, and creating my own products. Now, of course, with a more realistic (mature) outlook on the actual work that is involved.
In my day job I make a salary for my ideas and that is great. I love my job. Not only has it taught me a lot about all aspects of the design-to-retail process, but also has given me the confidence in myself. [It has shown me] that I do have good ideas that can make money.
I’m still waiting for my chance to break free and do my own thing. I am a strong believer in “everything happens for a reason,” and I’m excited for my future. From meeting Joe, my choice to attend graphic design school, the jobs I have accepted and declined over the last 10 years, to my random Google clicking that led me to EN… Just like a successful product, a lot of variables contribute to a successful person, and I kind of feel like my variables are lining up.
Looking back at all of my life’s up and downs and where I am now, I remain inspired every day to continue pursuing my goal.
Do you find that invention ideas come to you or do you have to go after them?
Depends. Sometimes things just pop in my head. Sometimes I’m fueled by a project at work or a search on EN. As I am sure a lot of the community members will agree, when you have the “creative bug” it’s never turned off. Every day I’m consistently inspired, and searching for my next big idea.
You have been an EN member since 2015, can you provide us with some details around your experiences and journey to date?
When I first discovered the site I submitted a bunch of ideas. None of which made it past G5. At that the time I had a non-opinion on the process; I didn’t feel rejected nor did I feel really encouraged to continue submitting. Then day-to-day life got in the way and I got a little sidetracked. For the last year I have been off work taking care of my new baby boy. During this time I found my way back to EN (an incredibly useful distraction from diaper changing and bottles might I add).
This time around I spent a little more time understanding the EN process and realized it’s not much different from what I do every day in my actual day job. I encouraged myself to start thinking business smart about the concepts I have been submitting and considering the same things I consider in my day job. Example: simplicity, trends, pricing, potential wholesale cost and/or materials. Currently I have a submission sitting at G7 with the Dulcop America bubble search and several others active in other searches. Fingers crossed.
What advice would you tell others just embarking on their inventing journey?
Never stop learning, growing and moving forward. Don’t take rejection personally. It’s never personal, it’s just business.
What are some other fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share with the EN community?
As one of five kids, I was always considered the wild child and the independent one of the bunch. My mother always said “no news is good news with Kristen.” I traveled and worked in several different industries in my youth, including telemarketing, singer in a rock band, a cruise ship entertainment host in Europe and house keeper in Vancouver. When I was 22, I had my daughter and found myself a single mother. It was then I found the motivation to return to school and pursue my dream of working in the creative industry.
My daughter was my kick in the butt to pursue my goals and prove that anything is achievable when you work for it.