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Excerpt from “Time” Magazine…

Flight Attendant Darryl Lenz and her husband Randy were dashing through the Atlanta airport with their 2 year old son, Dawson perched precariously on top of their luggage when Darryl wondered, Why hasn’t anyone invented a baby seat that you can attach to a rolling suitcase? A few chopped-up beach chairs later the Lenzes had a prototype. They sat on it for a couple years, nervous about spending the $5000.00 on a patent, but when Randy saw other parent’s reactions to the Ride On Carry On – which attaches to roll-on luggage and then folds flat for storage in an overhead bin – he agreed to mortgage their Deerfield Beach, FL house. The chair was sold via the internet in 2002, started winning awards, and this month will debut in the One Step Ahead catalog – considered by many inventors a sure sign of success.

American Way Travel Magazine

American Way magazine was our first PR. Even though American is my airline we went the old fashioned way and sent them a sample to try. It works every time! Most people think, oh, that can’t work, until they try it and then they are sold.

Other Magazine and News Mentions

  • June 18, 2004 – USA Today
  • June 6, 2004 – Ft. Lauderdale, Sun Sentinel
  • June 2004 – New York’s Daily News
  • American Way – “The family vacation just got simpler”
  • Toronto Star – “A great alternative to bringing a stroller”
  • New York Newsday – “For children who either can’t or won’t walk those long airport or train corridors, here’s a way to hitch a ride aboard the luggage.”
  • Hemispheres – “Does away with the need to carry a stroller for traveling tykes.
  • LA Times – “Taking the kids is more fun and manageable”
  • Toronto Globe and Mail – “A simple but effective solution to equipment overload.
  • In Business Las Vegas – “Invented out of necessity by someone already nestled in the transportation industry. Darryl Lenz transformed her idea into a product based on thousands of hours of experiancein her respective career.
  • Dallas Morning News – “Winner in our Book!”
Business Week – Best New Products

We never knew we were even being considered, but the day this article came out we received too many phone calls and orders to count. Then a call came in from Europe to distribute there and I finally asked, “Where did you see us?” and he said, “Business Week chose your product as one of their best new products of 2003!” I was shocked and thrilled and we were on our way…

Featured on TV

  • Can be viewed on You Tube!
  • Nov. 10th 2004 – “Good Morning America”
  • Sept. 3rd 2004 – ” The View” on ABC
  • July 7th 2004 – “Home Shopping Network”
  • May 16th 2003 – WSVN Channel 7 Miami w/ Belkey’s Nerey
  • July 2005 – “Inside Edition” w/ Deborah Norville

RADIO

  • KYSR in LA w/ Jamie and Danny Bonaduce
  • Kidd Kraddick in the Morning in Dallas
  • KFRG in CA – Frogmen in the Morning
Ride-On Carry-On Chair Attachment For Luggage Earns Couple $50K On ‘Shark Tank”

A vacation can do wonders for the body and mind. But traveling is known to take the wind out of one’s sails. This is especially so if you happen to be traveling with plenty of luggage and a young child to boot. Even if you do have a good travel partner, either the baggage is slipping out of your fingers, or your four-year-old tyke is planning his next getaway. At some point between the time you leave from home and the time you finally board the plane, train or bus, you are going to lose control of something. And that is where the Ride-On Carry-On chair attachment to luggage comes in.

A couple from Peachtree City appeared on ABC’s reality show Shark Tank last Friday with their Ride-On Carry-On chair attachment. They left with $50,000 after persuading the only woman on the show’s panel, real estate biggie Barbara Corcoran to invest in their business. Their Ride-On Carry-On chair attachment is a simple innovation that could go a long way in helping parents lug their luggage and child without having to carry a heavy, space-consuming stroller.

Darryl and Randy Lenz pitched their unique idea before the Shark Tank panel, demonstrating how tough it is to juggle a child and luggage while traveling. The chair attachment was Darryl’s idea, something that American Airlines flight attendant came up with 15 years ago. The chair attachment can be used for children between the ages of 8 months and 5 years.

Darryl and Randy have been selling these chair attachments for several years now. Over the years, they have sold 20,000 pieces.  Most of the sales came via catalogue sites.

The couple is now keen to get into retail, which is why they came on ABC’s reality show. Panelist Jeff Foxworthy raised questions about safety, but Darryl assured him that there were no issues on that front. Meanwhile, Robert Hariavec was not at all impressed by what he described as a “lawn chair strapped to a piece of luggage”. Swimming in this Shark Tank is never easy. However, Darryl promised that while parents loved the convenience factor, kids loved riding along with the luggage.

The couple also revealed that there were good profits and that they had earned back their initial investment of $150,000. On the reality show, the couple sought to sell a 25 percent stake in their company for $50,000. Their plan was to use this sum to increase awareness about the Ride-On Carry-On chair attachment and improve web optimization.

Although Foxworthy, Heriavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary chose not to invest in the Lenzes business, co-panelist Corcoran surprised everyone by not even haggling with the Lenzes. She accepted their initial offer of $50,000 for a 25 percent stake. She explained her no-bargaining stance by saying that she could see the product “selling like hotcakes”.

Corcoran could soon be proved right. Already the Lenzes are swamped with orders following the show’s going on air.

Via: AJC Blogs