Two local women are using the power of social media to get out the vote for their product, Bevi Bags—a self-fill, leak-proof, disposable and recyclable drink bag.
Kim Maguire and Eileen Walker have marketed their product through their website, Twitter and Facebook, using networks of friends, family and an array of health advocacy groups to spread the word that Bevi Bags was selected as a Walmart "Get on the Shelf" finalist among 4,000 products and needs votes to advance to the next round.
Contestants nationwide submitted videos of their inventions, which range from golf club dryers to decorative pillows to a device that catches drips from laundry detergent bottles, and the public votes for their favorite products via Facebook or text message.
The contest is another step toward the two woman realizing their dreams of national brand awareness for the product that started as a personal solution for Maguire, a Somers resident, and her daughter, who has autism and Down's Syndrome.
"If we were selected, I would be so proud of our accomplishment," said Maguire. "The idea was born out of love and has succeeded so far with the help of friends and family—it would be a joy to see it happen."
The product was born out of Maguire's need to give her daughter thickened liquids to help develop muscle tone in her mouth. She filled reusable plastic bottles with her own homemade juices—but had problems with malfunctioning straws and bottles that smelled after repeated use.
She and Walker invented Bevi Bags five years ago and have been promoting it to parents, athletes and anyone who prefers to pour their own drinks into a BPA-free product.
The product has been steadily attracting more attention, landing them an product pitch to Kelly Ripa on and a spot on ABC News Now and being named 2010 Women Inventors of the Year at the Invention and New Product Exposition trade show.
Could winning the contest at the giant retailer could be lifechanging?
"It could. My family and friends know how hard we work and would be so proud of us," said Maguire.
Voting ends April 3. To vote for Bevi Bags, click here.