Happy is the inventor who creates something for one market and then his/her product is adopted by another. Think Crocs®. Crocs were created as a spa shoe and later adopted by boaters. Now Crocs and their many imitators are worn by everybody. ChopSaver was originally created for musicians who use their lips to play an instrument. Sore, swollen or chapped lips can be a real problem when it comes to creating beautiful sounds on a trumpet or flute or trombone.
While my goal has always been to “cross over” much like Crocs did, I could never have imagined it would happen the way it did – via the medical profession. A few years ago, I received an email from a dermatologist. He was requesting samples of ChopSaver because a patient of his showed him the product. This patient was taking a drug for acne. It turns out one of the side effects of this particular class of drug known as isotretinoin is severe chapped lips. ChopSaver worked so well, the doctor wanted some of his other patients to try it. The doctor even posted something about it on a dermatology website and within in a few days, I had several requests from doctors for samples. To be honest, it took me a few months to grasp the ramifications of this. A formula that some trumpet player made in his kitchen was being recommended – “prescribed” if you will – by medical doctors! ChopSaver was bringing relief to a new group of people who were in desperate need.
Now, we split our marketing between our first niche – musicians – and all “People with Lips” using our newly earned medical seal of approval. We now attend medical events as well as our usual slate of music related trade shows. A product originally intended for band kids is now a fixture at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, a gathering of thousands of dermatologists from around the world. It is this sort of exposure that will enable us to increase our presence in the mass market.