Now I had an idea with legs. A universal grip that can attach to almost any roof rack, making it easier and safer to strap something to a vehicle roof rack. I ran through numerous design iterations and several prototypes. This was a stand alone product that could be marketed to Do-It-Yourselfers and sold through home centers like Lowe’s and Home Depot. However, the real value was the potential to develop a whole line of roof rack accessories that integrate with these grips – now there is a business around several market segments: DIY, Outdoor Recreation, and Camping.
Eventually, I realized that my ability to create was limited and in order to get to a viable consumer product, I would need to hire an industrial design firm to take the concept further. A professional firm that would consider human factors, aesthetics, and manufacturability. I engaged Fred Sparks Design, who worked over the summer of 2015.
We started with a conceptual phase, using my concept and reviewing several others. They presented 4 unique designs, each with a variety of features. After discussing of the pros and cons of the concepts, they proceeded with a refinement phase – taking the best of the designs and working toward a final design. However, several other concepts were thrown into the mix and the result was two final design concepts.
Next step – patent protection.