This month we’re featuring Teal Trunk, a household product company that makes uniquely designed, patent-pending, bacteria-resistant home cleaning products to help you wash dishes and scrub surfaces.
Here’s more about Teal Trunk and how its founder started her business with Incfile.
Creating a Better Way to Clean
The events over the last year have focused everyone’s attention on the importance of hygiene, sanitation and household cleaning products. Kara Wilk, founder and CEO of Teal Trunk, has been working on building a better cleaning product since 2018, when she first launched her Teal Trunk bottle brush. Teal Trunk products are made with silicone, are bacteria-resistant and have an ergonomic design that's easier to hold.
“I couldn't take another day with one of my biggest pet peeves: a soggy, dirty sponge,” Kara said. “My husband would always leave it in the bottom of the sink, and I hated not knowing what it was used on last. I knew there had to be something more hygienic and reusable.”
Kara is a mother of three, a military spouse and known for her resourcefulness and “can-do, fix-it” spirit. So she decided to design her own kitchen scrubber that would be more sanitary and easy to use, without the drawbacks of a typical kitchen brush or sponge.
“I’m known as the tinkerer,” Kara said. “When I saw what cleaning products were currently on the market, I knew there needed to be some improvements. I decided to turn to the drawing board and sketch out what is now becoming consumers’ favorite little scrubber.”
Starting from a mundane everyday problem, Kara became a successful inventor and entrepreneur. She now has two patent-pending products: the Teal Trunk Silicone Scrubber (a reusable multipurpose silicone sponge) and the Teal Trunk Silicone Bottle Brush. Both Teal Trunk products are bacteria, mildew and stain-resistant, making them an ideal solution for kitchens and household cleaning.
Going Global with a Household Cleaning Product
Teal Trunk started in Kara’s kitchen, but is now being sold on multiple platforms throughout the U.S. and in three other countries. “Now my bacteria-resistant reusable products are being welcomed into homes across the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland,” Kara said. “What began as my own unsanitary nuisance has transformed into a global movement!”
Don’t assume that your business has to stay small or depend entirely on local clientele. If you have a great product and are eager to hustle, build relationships and spread the word, you can start selling to customers all over the world.
Making the Business “Official” with Incfile
Lots of entrepreneurs get started with a home-based business or by tinkering in their garage until they have a product that’s ready to sell. Kara was in a similar mindset; she started out experimenting with her product designs on a small scale. But once she was ready to really start getting serious with her business — applying for patents and starting to market her products on a wider level — she knew that she wanted to form an LLC and make her business official.
“I knew I needed to form an LLC to get started when my patent attorney gave me the green light, and Incfile was listed as one of the top business formation services to use,” Kara said. “When I inquired with some other entrepreneurs about who they used to start a business, Incfile was their recommended choice as well. With easy steps to follow and different package choices, it was an easy decision.”
Starting a business is a 24-hour-a-day learning experience, especially for first-time entrepreneurs who have never built a company before and might be learning a lot of new terminology and concepts. Working with Incfile can help entrepreneurs avoid the hassles and frictions of filing business formation paperwork and navigating state-specific regulations and requirements. When time is of the essence, Incfile helps entrepreneurs get their business formations handled correctly by taking big items off of their worry list.
“Using Incfile was the easiest and most stress-free part of starting my own business,” Kara said. “My questions were answered and everything was easy to follow. I had my business created with forms at my door within the week.”
Building a Future with Everyday Inspiration
Kara is proud to be an entrepreneur and inventor, but she also has a humble attitude.
“Honestly, I sometimes forget that I fall into that category of being an entrepreneur,” Kara said. “My friends and family always remind me how I’m kicking butt as a female inventor and entrepreneur, and then I just smile and say anyone can do it if they follow their passion.”
The future is looking bright for Teal Trunk. Our current situation over the last year has reminded people worldwide about the value of good household cleaning products, and the ergonomic designs are ideal for an aging population of people who might need products that are more comfortable to hold. Kara says that she is going to keep working to introduce Teal Trunk to more online platforms, get on more retail store shelves and possibly expand the product line.
Her experience working with Incfile also reminded Kara of the value of her time as an entrepreneur and the importance of outsourcing and getting help when needed. Entrepreneurs don’t have to go it alone!
“It’s hard sometimes as the business owner to recognize your weaknesses, but in order to push your business forward, you need to outsource those tasks to experts,” Kara said. “Your time is better focused on pushing your business forward with the momentum that got you started, not learning a new skill that a professional can handle for you.”
Ben Gran is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa. Ben has written for Fortune 500 companies, the Governor of Iowa (who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and many corporate clients. He writes about entrepreneurship, technology, food and other areas of great personal interest.