WATERFORD, Maine — Relocating to their log cabin home in Western Maine in 2008, Claire and Charlie Ball found the pace of retirement a little slow. So when Claire said “she wished she had a device that held clothes in place on her ironing board to make ironing and cleaning them easier,” Charlie decided to invent a solution.
After two years of design, prototyping and patent paperwork, Charlie and Claire were granted a patent for an ironing board clamp. The resulting product, Groomstik, is now transforming ironing boards across the country into household work stations. In fact, Claire says “the Groomstik works so well people keep finding more applications for it”. Groomstiks are being used to hold sweaters down so users can pull the material taut and comb or shave fabric “pills” away with ease. It also makes it easier for a seamstress to cut material and quilters and knitters to press their final pieces.
Groomstik holds your clothes so tight on your ironing board, you can actually vacuum, brush or roll away pet hair and lint without the fabric lifting and bunching. By using Groomstik, all of these cleaning devices will, for the first time, work beautifully on an ironing board. Moreover, the Groomstik helps people with physical impairments or developmental disabilities perform these tasks more easily.
Christine Roman, one of the first people to use a Groomstik, says “this is really a terrific device. It attaches easily with one hand and is like a third hand holding down large unwieldy pieces of fabric such as tablecloths.”
Claire says that “In addition, one of my neighbors bought a Groomstik for her son in the military. He uses it to keep his uniform pressed with perfect creases thus avoiding dry cleaning bills.”
“To date, I have really been surprised by the strong positive consumer reaction to Groomstik” Claire says. One woman wrote us and said “this is a really a great invention. I love using it in so many ways.” The Groomstik is manufactured entirely in the USA.
Norway Novelties Inc. is a startup company located in Waterford, Maine. Founded in 2009 by Claire and Charlie Ball, Norway Novelties is a small family owned business with four employees. For information, visit http://www.groomstik.com.
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