I was born in Australia where I began my nursing career and graduated as a registered nurse, midwife and pediatric nurse. I have since lived more than half my life in Dallas, Texas since being recruited to Baylor University Medical Center in 1971. While working in the Cardiac Surgery unit at I simultaneously trained to become a cardiopulmonary bypass technician for a position with the professor at the University of Athens, Greece from 1973–75. On my return to the United States, I was appointed to Head Nurse in the Neonatal ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital prior to moving to the Medical College of Virginia as a coordinator for the neonatal and pediatric ICUs. My husband’s medical training in cardiac surgery was the primary reason for our many international moves between 1974 and 1984.
In 1981, while living in London, I designed a positioning product for premature babies while in a neonatal ICU. I also developed a successful direct patient study at the University College Hospital. I eventually began producing the product from my home and selling it to hospitals across Europe. In 1984, we returned to Dallas where my husband started Baylor’s heart transplant program. With no previous business experience, I brazenly started a business to develop and distribute a line of products for patient positioning. In the following fifteen years, I received seven patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for inventions I had designed for patient positioning.
In 1986, I was named “Woman Business Owner of the Year” by The Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Dallas, and in 1987, I was nominated for the “Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” as well as, receiving an award from Service Corp of Retired Executive for my business ventures. Since then, I continued manufacturing, with up to twenty employees, selling my products to major companies such as Toys ‘R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Costco, Baby Super Stores, and Disney, as well as, major medical catalogues and hospitals. I also established a national network of sales representatives to market and distribute my product lines.
In 1995, while continuing to market to the medical profession, I began designing women’s apparel under the name of Masinali Originals and sold my creations to boutiques. The manufacturing business I created handled designing, cutting and sewing all of the products for both the clothing and medical product industries, which continued over the next ten years. I then sold one of my patents, along with my medical manufacturing business, and opted to retire after having worked for forty-five years—looking forward to more traveling and relaxation.
However, in 2012, while visiting my family in Australia, I recognized there wasn’t a convenient and attractive way to wear sarongs—other than to tie bulky, unflattering knots or use some type of pins. So, after returning to Dallas, I began experimenting with magnets to find a solution to this need. In October, I came up with what has become my most exciting invention—a magnetic textile fastener. I immediately applied for my eighth U.S. patent. This invention was so important to me that at the age of sixty-nine I came out of retirement to re-enter the business world once again, but this time taking a huge risk by financing this new business with my retirement savings!
I launched MY MAGGIES, LLC in January 2013 from my home and began selling Maggies (multipurpose magnetic fasteners) at accessory shows and boutiques in New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Las Vegas. Maggies were very well received with an impressive reorder rate, which confirmed my intuition that this product was a “winner”. I continued to attend trade shows, though my marketing efforts necessarily were interrupted for nearly a year when I took time out to be a full-time caregiver to my ailing partner.
In June 2015, I was the recipient of three invention awards at the INPEX Invention Show in Pittsburg where I won a gold medal, the “Midas Touch Award” and the prestigious “Martin Burger Founders Award” with several more awards from the ICAN International Invention Awards in Toronto, Canada in 2016.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
— Albert Einstein
The ingenuity of Maggies is the unique combination of a ball magnet to a metal ring, and when separated and reconnected, it securely holds multiple layers of fabric together without damaging even the finest fabric fibers—unlike any other available product. This invention was designed to make it possible to wear a flat piece of fabric such as shawls, scarves and sarongs in a multitude of new ways. Women of all ages and sizes can use Maggies as a wardrobe staple—my ultimate goal is to make MAGGIES a recognized household brand name like “Kleenex” is to tissues. When I launched Maggies, it was important to me, because of my age, that I not grow the business too quickly so I avoided social media and concentrated on wholesale only to over 250 specialty boutiques and catalogues. My first major account was The Grommet, which generated great sales with their video product presentations. I found that because of the uniqueness of these products, with absolutely no comparable competition, the product needed constant demonstration to be fully understood. My marketing budget was therefore focused on professionally produced videos, digital materials and trade shows to support this.
Maggies’ big break came in June 2016 when I completed an online application to the Home Shopping Network program. The product was put through vigorous testing prior to accepting Maggies into the program. My first trip to the Home Shopping Network studios, “On Air,” with master host Bob Circosta was in October 2016. We were quickly rewarded by selling out of our sample order within minutes. In April 2018, I was honored to receive the “HSN Star Award” for the program in recognition for selling 28,000 units of product in 2017. The Home Shopping Network has continued to promote Maggies since then, and my most recent appearance sold over 4,000 units in a 15-minute spot with the assistance of Colleen Lopez.
Having made my decision to concentrate on wholesale only for Maggies, I have been able to grow this company at a strong but steady pace, manageable to me with cash flow financing the growth. This has, in turn, allowed more time for product development. After all, my products are not meant for the short-term but to be useful and available to the world a century from now long after I am gone. After recently having my 75th birthday, I am confident, with so many decades of experience in product development, the path I have chosen for Maggies is the best way to make this product a forever item—making the Maggies brand recognized all over the world just like Velcro and Zippers.
MAGGIES is protected by the following US PATENTS, which will not expire until 2033.
US Patent #9,320,328
US Patent #9,489,873 B2
US Patent #9,737,102
Trademarks #5573202 for the brand and logo: MAGGIES were issued October 2018
- Pay as much attention to the future as to the present.
- Plan, plan and plan and know where you want to be two, five and ten years ahead.
- Know your product as well as the market potential.
- Don’t be afraid to change course when necessary
- Build a strong foundation for the future so that valuable energy is never wasted.
- Always plan for cash flow to effectively manage growth without running out of necessary resources.