In the last blog, I described the very first VelaRosa candle fragrance diffuser concept. In this blog, I’ll give a bit more of the history.
About a week or so after my husband, Victor, showed me his first concept, he showed me the next iteration of his idea. This time, it appeared to be plastic packaging from something else. He threaded rubber bands through it, which held a fan.
On top of the fan he had placed a black CD holder, and a candle. Then he placed a huge glass vase upside down on top of the candle. He used the fan to demonstrate how he was able to keep the candle burning, despite the fact that it was completely covered by a glass vase.
I admitted that it was a neat trick, but didn’t really think anything of it. My husband is an engineer, and there are always interesting discoveries that seem to pop up in our daily lives. Again, I appreciated his enthusiastic tinkering, but his concept certainly didn’t look great, to say the least. But, as a supporting partner in a relationship, I resisted getting in the way of his creativity. Not to mention that, during this time, he was half way through his MBA program at Babson College, regarded for its entrepreneurial programs. So here he is, developing this candle idea as a basis for his class projects, a full-time job, and studying with barely any sleep… no, I’m not getting in the way of that! (Thinking back now, we didn’t have kids so this is another reason why it was easier to let this take its course.)
Search for a patent law firm
As he continued to tinker with this concept, he became more confident that this idea was unique enough to patent. This set him off on a search to see if there were products and patents similar to his concept. When he didn’t find anything… Well, that’s when things got serious…
He focused on researching patent law firms, and after a few weeks, he came up with a short list of law firms to visit. So guess what we did over a few vacation days? We took a day trip to Boston and began the Victor and Christine patent law firm tour. We hit a few places around Cambridge and Canton, but most of them were in Boston. He and I took notes as we sat with these different lawyers. After the last visit, we had lunch at a sea food place in Boston, and over a few Cosmopolitans, we decided there that we were most comfortable with Robert Hunt at Wolf Greenfield in downtown Boston. This is a picture of the notes I took and the name tag I used to get into the building.
After choosing the law firm, Robert was quick to send Victor draft patent applications which prompted questions… and those questions were like a burst of energy to my husband… there he went… researching… prototyping… testing… he was like Flint Lockwood on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!
Mad science lab
As the weeks went on, our spare bedroom became more and more filled with various sized vases. Here a just a few of the vases and glasses he had.
By the time December 2004 rolled around, he had taken to renting scientific meters to measure things.
By July 2005 he switched to tea lights to keep the diffuser small. I did like the way the candle glowed through the frosted glass.
All of this tinkering sometimes lead to all sorts of mishaps, including the shattering of many different glasses and vases from the high heat exposure of the candle flames. Though it left a mess, these small “accidents” lead to another design challenge that Victor ended up solving…..
I’ll continue this part of the story in the next blog. Until then, please sign up for our email list we’re building for our Kickstarter campaign, where we’ll launch the VelaRosa candle fragrance diffuser!
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