Okay I did not change the world. But I did design a pretty cool belt hanger. Here's what happened.
A man starts out with one. Then over the years he gets a couple more. Then one day he wakes up and has 9 of them.
But he notices that he only wears 2 of them. One Brown. One Black. Or maybe one with jeans, and one with a suit.
So he asks himself, should I get rid of this one? No. I cannot. Gift from my dad.
What about this one? Nope, its Italian leather. Must keep.
So for me, I ended up keeping all of them!
But where do I put them all? They look like flattened snakes all over my closet!
I'll curl them up on a shelf. But now they take up the whole damn shelf.
So I'll hang them on the closet rod. But they look weird there and keep falling off.
There must be a better way to organize belts.
Ah Ha! I'll get a Belt Hanger or a Belt Rack.
Okay, where? Walmart? Too cheap. Container Store? Too plastic. And I don't like actual stores (are those still a thing?).
Online? Yes. Amazon? Let's look...
So I'm browsing Amazon, and all the belt hangers are cheap looking. Either metal hooks or plastic. And the plastic ones purposely bend so you have to do a balancing act with your belts. That's dumb.
Why on earth would you force people to do a balancing act?
Why is there not a QUALITY, WOOD, and NICE-LOOKING Belt Hanger?
Why has literally every Belt Hanger Organizer for sale in the world "raced to the bottom" on the quality spectrum?
I don't know. But it's bad.
Opportunity perhaps? I did co-found HOUNDSBAY. So a Top-Quality Belt Hanger would be a nice addition to our product lineup. I set to work...
I decided to start with wood. Nice Wood. Really Nice Wood.
Like a block of rich, solid Mahogany.
Then I cut some belt slots into it and sanded it.
Then stain it with a Rich Brown Stain that will show off the Mahogany Grain.
And finally add a Stainless Steel Hook that fits on every Closet Rod.
DONE! I thought I was pretty smart.
I tested it, showed it to friends, and got great feedback. So...
I filed for a Design Patent, started manufacturing them and selling them as the "BLOCK" Belt Hanger.
And people are buying them. Awesome.
Lots of feedback starts pouring in from customers. All good except for one recurring problem. The belts slide out easily and fall on the floor!
Not Good. I can't fulfill my new dream of becoming a successful belt hanger designer if the belts fall off the hanger! You can't even call it a hanger if that happens!
I go back to the drawing board. I think and think.
I realize that we need something raised up on the upper edge to hold the belts in the slots.
How about little rubber squares?
No. That will look like crap. And this is supposed to be a solid block of mahogany. Something Simple.
Then I have that feeling that every Belt Hanger Designer dreams of. When a light bulb goes off and you solve the problem in your head.
My light bulb idea is to shave off part of the top of the block of mahogany to create a "Ridgeline" to hold the belts and prevent their sliding off.
I talk to our factory about this and they say it cannot be done. They say my proposed "shaving" will splinter the remaining wood that I intend to keep as the "Ridgeline".
So with the swashbuckling cockiness of a seasoned Belt Hanger Designer, I tell them to, "Just do it anyway."
They shake their heads and try it. It doesn't splinter. It can be done. We make the prototype.
To test my new design, I load it up with belts and Holy Cow, it works great. The belts do not slide off anymore (unless you shake the hell out of it)!
So now I file for another design patent.
We start manufacturing a ton of these "Block" Belt Hangers!
People love them because they are the only "really nice" belt hanger on the market (and they are very affordable - not much more money than the crappy belt hangers out there).
Our customers buy them for themselves, as gifts, for Father's Day, as Groomsman Gifts, Holiday Gifts, everything.
As for me, I feel good about adding a top quality product to a market flooded with junk. And my mother is proud. So there is no denying it: I AM A SUCCESSFUL BELT HANGER DESIGNER.
I have yet to be welcomed into the prestigious circles of the belt hanger "elite," but I know that time will come. I imagine going to Paris or Milan, rubbing elbows with other hanger-inventing icons. One day my friends.
So now you know how I became a Belt Hanger Designer, and you know the story behind the BLOCK Belt Hanger!
Click Here if you want to see more pictures of the BLOCK Belt Hanger.
Rich from HOUNDSBAY
“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” - Thomas Edison