From accelerator programs at the Venture Center in Little Rock to the hosting of a Startup Weekend in Northwest Arkansas, leaders across the state are doing more and more every year to foster bold visions and entrepreneurial spirit. The five inventors we have elected to highlight this month are the reason for that.
There are a plethora of great minds with dynamic and unique ideas in Arkansas, in virtually every industry. But often, the concept itself is the easy part. Diving into entrepreneurialism, turning your life 180 degrees into the unknown, is the hard part. These five homegrown inventors trudged through some of those fears, broke down walls and speed bumps and made their dreams a reality.
Created by Christi Brown of Rogers, FlexEhoop provides an innovative way to workout with inspiration from a childhood toy – the hula hoop.
FlexEhoop is an exercise hoop that you can use just like a standard hula hoop, but, with its unique design and material, get much more of a workout. But unlike a hula hoop, either standard or weighted, that is made of rigid plastic, the FlexEhoop is flexible. This makes it more portable, space conscious and softer on your body.
This patent-pending design also enables the FlexEHoop to double as a resistance band, making it a literal one stop for all workout needs.
Brown came up with the idea of FlexEhoop out of her own personal necessity, saying that she, like most people, is not always disciplined when it comes to working out or is just too busy altogether. She needed something fun but could also be quick and straightforward. Hula hooping itself initially filled that desire, but since it was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, she came up with a better alternative in FlexEhoop.
“Developing a new product without going into debt or quitting my job has been a challenge at best,” Brown says. “But I believe that God opens and closes doors, so I let Him lead. I was able to get it onto Walmart.com (I ran out of product), as well as, receive an offer by an exercise product company and a purchase order from Academy Sports.
“This has been a three-and-a-half-year journey that has taken me out of my comfort zone many times,” Brown admits. “But that helped me to gain confidence and be able to help others.”