The first inventor to ever sell out a product during a first-time airing on HSN is an Eastern Kentucky University graduate.
Russie Coy Jones, inventor of the patented Rely-a-Light and Lamp Angel emergency light technology, was featured recently on the shopping network’s “American Dream” program with Adam Freeman, where Lamp Angel, sold out in 10 minutes.
“The next day, they called us for a reorder,” Jones said.
The idea for the products came to Jones during an ice storm in 2009 when her father fell over his oxygen tubing while investigating a power outage in the darkness of his home. Although her father was unharmed, Jones immediately took action to provide a solution that would prevent any such accidents in the future. In less than a week, she and her husband invented an innovative emergency light lamp that provides light for up to 16 hours without electricity. Rely-a-Light and the newest product, Angel Lamp, also feature a USB port, which provides a convenient charging source for any smart device.
To expedite the process of launching of her invention and business, Jones took advantage of resources available to future and existing business owners and entrepreneurs at Eastern Kentucky University. Her first stop on campus was the Kentucky Innovation Network (KIN).
“The Kentucky Innovation Network was fundamental in the development of my product and business, and is still an important part of my company today,” Jones said. “For example, a business plan is fluid, and I rely on the KIN to help guide and counsel me on each new direction my business takes. These are people who know what they’re doing and I trust them wholeheartedly. They have no other motive but to help make you the best you can be. It’s a priceless resource, located right at EKU.”
Jones’ education in interior design is showcased in the beautiful lamps, which are currently being sold in big-box retailers across the country, as well as QVC in the United Kingdom and Germany.
“Our invention went from the kitchen table to worldwide,” the 1984 EKU graduate said. “I just can’t believe it. To walk in a store and see your product on shelves, is just the most wonderful feeling.”
Jones’ success hasn’t come without struggle. Since launching her business, her father passed away, and she lost her mother-in-law, who came up with the products’ tagline, “Blackouts Turn Me ON!” Meanwhile, Jones continues to battle both cancer and Parkinson’s disease, but she has persevered with unrelenting determination. She offered three points of advice for future business owners and entrepreneurs:
“First, please know that true entrepreneurs are there to help each other out and pay it forward. Surround yourself with these people and positivity. Second, constructive criticism is your most valuable tool. Finally, don’t ever be afraid of the word ‘no.’ It never hurts to make the ask. If you’re told ‘no,’ ask, why not? ‘No’ doesn’t hurt and if you don’t ask, you’ll never get a ‘yes.’”
Visit https://www.facebook.com/MyCoolInventions/videos to see Jones’ sellout success and hear her story on the HSN show. Or, watch her live when she is featured on another airing on HSN on Monday, Jan. 30, at noon EST.