June 18, 2012
The Wyoming Women’s Business Center is pleased to introduce John Thorn, a local innovator who has worked hard to bring a new cord management product to the market. The WWBC worked with John to fine tune his business plan and successfully obtain a microloan to fund the beginning production and marketing of his exciting new product.
John Thorn designed a cable management device out of frustration, “I was sitting on a plane and reached into my briefcase and pulled out a mess of tangled cords. I wanted to find a better way to deal with constantly tangled computer cables."
The journey from John Thorn’s initial frustration with his mess of tangled cords to the final product that is now known as “Coil” has included several partners along the way. Partners include: the Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC) that provided the operating capital and technical assistance to John through its microloan program; United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program (RMAP) that provided the loan and technical assistance grant to the WWBC; Wyoming Small Business Development Center coached John on social media marketing; Legacy Molding, Riverton, WY, a company in tune with the needs of the smaller manufacturer; and Community Entry Services (CES) a Wyoming Non Profit Corporation, incorporated in 1975 to provide habilitation and rehabilitation services to adults and children with developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries.
Derrel Carruth, USDA Rural Development State Director stated, “USDA RD is pleased to see the success Wyoming Women’s Business Center is having with the RMAP, the efforts they have put forth to work with John Thorn’s business is a fine example of what can be accomplished in working with rural businesses.”
As John began developing his Coil cord case, providing jobs for special needs individuals became an important factor in the design and production of the convenient cord managers. “I’m primarily a psychologist, and spent many years working with the disabled community. Many of us have jobs that fulfill us, but when you have multiple disabilities, your options are severely limited. It was equally important that everything be based in the USA. I was told that I could be more profitable by manufacturing offshore, but Coil is about much more than being cheap to produce. We provide jobs and our packaging minimally impacts the environment. We are very conscientious about how Coil is brought to market.”
“I was elated to find an injection molding company, Legacy Molding, in Riverton, Wyoming. Legacy’s owner Rob Wright was incredibly helpful as we worked through several prototypes to our production model. He was also entirely supportive of my idea of having local workers from CES assemble Coil on his premises.” Legacy’s plant crew echo Rob Wright’s comment that “Team Coil brings a very special energy to the workplace with them that benefits everyone.” In addition, Rob agreed to make the process simpler and more efficient to ship by offering space for inventory and shipping.
The CES mission is to empower individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible within the community. CES’s cooperative efforts with Coil have created an opportunity for people with disabilities to work at a job located in their community, a situation that is difficult to find and or develop in rural Wyoming.
Members of “Team Coil” are learning valuable work skills, gaining a sense of pride in completing the work available to them through Coil and they each receive a “real” paycheck. Shawn Griffin, CEO at CES says, “We truly appreciate the opportunity this has provided for persons with significant developmental disabilities and know that the success of this project will benefit the State of Wyoming, Legacy Molding and Team Coil, (Alannah, Leonard, Alan, Lavern, Christine, and Sherry) and many other individuals with disabilities hopefully for years to come. CES wishes Coil well and is committed to help make this a successful business enterprise with positive results on many levels.” Team Coil’s Trainer, Dora says, “I have fun working with the team and helping them face new challenges and develop lasting skills.” Dora’s happy and gentle demeanor keeps the crew working together in good spirits and with excellent productivity.
The Coil cord organizer is currently available in a 2.75” size which supports lightweight cords up to 3 feet in length, and provides a complete storage solution and protective case for earbud-style headphones. Coil also features a non-skid base and adhesive-backed Velcro coins for attaching Coil to vertical surfaces. To purchase your own Coil and learn more, visit http://cordcoilstore.com.
Coil, LLC is a Wyoming-based manufacturer of consumer products, launched in 2010 by John Thorn. Coil’s mission is to create useful, long-lasting products that solve common problems while creating jobs, supporting individuals with disabilities and using environmental-friendly processes and packaging.