Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Hunt.
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I invented OptoOrg when I was twenty-five after 15 years of wearing contacts. There was never any efficient way to store my lenses, and they would look like clutter in my bathroom. I thought, “There are storage solutions for everything else in the world; why isn’t there a good one for my contacts?” So I went on a hunt (pun intended 😉 I searched all over the internet but could not find any solutions less than $50. That just was not acceptable.
I developed OptoOrg as the go-to DailyLens Contact Lens Dispenser to help turn the chaotic countertop for contact lens wearers into a zen landscape by organizing their daily lenses with a sleek, modern, quirky, and fun aesthetic to choose from to complement their style. I wanted the dispensers to be easy. I knew I would never use it if it weren’t, and if I wouldn’t use it, who would? I began sketching designs in my Rocketbook, using my yardstick to take measurements and trying to calculate how thick the walls would need to be. I had three compartments with four holes when I got the basic design down. I sent it to a CAD designer and 3D printer to get a prototype.
In the prototype, I realized I would need some back-on-the-side dispensing compartments to hold the last lens in place and that I hadn’t quite calculated the middle dimension long enough. So, back to the CAD designer. The 2nd prototype worked! But now, how to mount it? Where to mount it?
For the 3rd prototype, we added a hanging mechanism and a lid to keep dust out, making sure to design both so as not to use any parts other than injection molding. In the 3rd prototype, the hanging mechanism was too big to use thumbtacks, though push pins and command strips worked fine.
For the final and on-sale design, the hanging narrowed mechanism enough that thumbtacks now also work. Now it’s time to start selling.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest struggle was finding enough cash to pay for the injection mold that allows us to produce the units in bulk for a reasonable price. (An individual 3D print is $100 minimum, our goal was less than $5/unit). We attempted to make pre-sales and market before going into production but found that selling a product you don’t have yet is tough. It took us an extra three months of saving from paychecks and $9,000 sourced from family members to be paid back to raise the capital to start production. Now that we have a product, our marketing efforts are going a lot smoother, though marketing generally takes time to ramp up and show true results.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about OptoOrg?
OptoOrg is your one-stop shop for Daily Contact Lens Dispensers and Accessories. What sets our Dispensers apart from others on the market is that they are Easy to Hang, Easy to Load, Easy to Tear, only cost $25, and can store 6 weeks of lenses. Our accessories turn the dispenser into a notepad or a work of art! The ThinkBoard Whiteboard adheres to the dispenser so dry erase messages and pictures can brighten the day, and our magnetic photo frames hold a 5×7 picture.
In the next two years, we will also release a recycling companion that allows lens wearers. To easily keep the empty blister packs away from the rest of the trash so you can recycle them with TerraCycle, as well as a traveling dispenser that holds 2 weeks of lenses for easy dispensing on the go.
Is something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Even though I often work 12-hour days, I don’t drink coffee. Not even caffeine. I run on sugar and willpower. Decaf Tea and Hot Chocolate all the way.
- DailyLens Dispenser $25
- Whiteboard Accessory $8
- Magnetic PhotoFrame Accessory $8
- Website: www.optoorg.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/optoorg
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/optoorg
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/optoorg
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtbytY3ov27uSbgj9936oyg