The Exercise Eezer in action.
The Exercise Eezer is a lightweight portable whole body work exercise device that can enable people with movement restriction to exercise with greater ease.
The Exercise Eezer is one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart.
Inventor Martina Hauptmann recently to talk to us about Pilates, differentiating the Exercise Eezer from all the other exercise products out there, creating the prototype and being free from “punching in” to a job…
What was the defining moment that led you to create this product? What problem does it solve?
I teach an osteoporosis mat Pilates class. I had a number of clients that had a hard time exercising comfortably on the floor. I was having those individuals exercise over 1 pillow or even 2 pillows. I came to the realization I should design my own pillow and by adding resistance straps it turned the “pillow” into a full body exercise support.
After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?
I’m in the business of physical therapy and Pilates. I knew there wasn’t a exercise device like the EXERCISE EEZER. I also knew that there were a lot of exercise devices for “healthy” individuals but not much for people that have movement restrictions. It is common knowledge that population of America is aging.
Pilates equipment is expensive. The EXERCISE EEZER could be used in numerous settings…Pilates studios to enable a cost effective way of offering classes similar to exercise classes that feature the bulky and expensive Pilates reformers. It also enables physical therapy to break into the health wellness arena by allowing them to do Pilates classes catering toward certain diagnoses like osteoporosis, fibromyalgia etc. It also allows the home owner to buy an small portable exercise device for the home.
How did you go about naming your product?
I wanted it to be clear what the exercise support did for the individual….the name is EXERCISE EEZER.
How long did it take you to create you initial prototype, and what problems did you run into along the way?
It took me 4 months to create the initial prototype. I am able to sew but I’m not a pattern maker. It was difficult to for me to design the upper panel. However, I was able to figure it out. I then had a stroke of luck and a family friend is an upholstery consultant for the auto industry and she was able to refine the initial prototype. Her version of the prototype was beautiful. However, to manufacture it as designed would have been too expensive so efforts were made to decrease the manual work necessary to fabricate it.
Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?
The initial funding came from me. I took another job to help pay for the costs of the startup. The initial run of the EXERCISE EEZER (100 units) caused me to seek funding from family and friends. Through the SBDC I then have been able to secure a credit line with CHASE Bank and this will be used for further product development, especially DVD production for specific workouts (osteoporosis beginner, intermediate, advanced workouts for example)
Is this a product you’d like to produce and sell yourself, or are you wanting to license it to someone else?
I’m hoping to sell the product myself.
What all channels are you using to market your product?
Marketing the product will be done through use of local media/news channels. My product is fully manufactured in CO. I hope to attend trade shows for Pilates, physical therapy, health/ fitness, aging. I also will seek help to increase marketing on the internet.
How many people do you currently have involved in your business?
How do you define success? What would hitting a “home run” look like in your mind?
Success for me would be that I could be free from punching a time clock. That I would be fully working for myself. I also feel that being able to develop a product that helps people exercise in a safe and effective way will be very rewarding. I’m hoping to design more exercise devices that will help more people.
Where do people go to find out more about your product?
www.udotherapeutics.com or facebook Exercise Eezer