About a year ago while walking into Whole Foods, there was a gentleman walking out and Tom McMullen, our founder (and not a shy bone in his body), walked up to him and said, “Sir, could I talk with you for a minute? I noticed that you have only one arm. How do you cut your fingernails?” Looking a bit puzzled, the man replied, “I can’t, my wife does it and I hate it.” Tom enthusiastically responded, “We’re developing a fingernail clipper for people with differing abilities and you’ll be able to cut your own fingernails.” The Mystery Man’s look changed to that of heartfelt surprise as he leaned close to Tom and said, “Why would you think of us?”
It was soon after that exchange, that Tom decided to kick things into gear and inspire all of us at ClipDifferent to get this product out there. In fact, here’s one of the first emails he sent:
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Tom McMullen
Date: Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 5:58 PM
Subject: Nail Clippers
To: TJ McMullen III
Here’s a few words regarding my motivation to make nail clippers for underserved niches:
It’s no particular big deal for the mother down the block to not have a safe, reliable way to clip her baby’s fingernails. She’ll figure out how to do it with what’s on the market now. She might bite them, use a traditional clipper (maybe once or twice clipping a little bit of the finger), or not attend to them often enough, resulting in the baby scratching herself. No big deal, it’s just one baby … except when you consider that this is happening with millions of babies or toddlers. Collectively it really adds to be major. The same reasoning applies to the person across town who has lost their sight, or a person who has lost significant dexterity in their hands, or to a particular child who doesn’t trust their parent to clip his fingernails, or to a particular child who is ‘’independent” and wants to do her own, or to the adult who just wants to clip her nails in a different, more user friendly way, or to the guy who doesn’t want clipped nails flying around the kitchen or office, or to the soldier in Iowa who has lost an arm and would love to have a way to clip his nails without being dependent on someone else to help him. This list of underserved could and will grow as we pay more attention to their needs. For just the one individual, no big deal. Collectively however, I think it matters and am absolutely committed to making a difference. Who else will do it if I don’t? Who else sees the need? Who else has the vision, energy, tenacity, network, enthusiasm, and resources to develop a nail clipper for these and more?
Let’s get going, we’re burning daylight.
“The ClipDifferent project grabbed a hold of me and would not let go.”
NOTE: Do you know who the Whole Foods Mystery man is? This took place at the Edina Whole Foods. He is probably around the Baby Boomer age range. Pass this message onto him so we can connect.