Written by Sara Marsalis
This 35-year-old Santa Cruz local loves his dogs (who are featured on his website) and his girlfriend, but he has a much deeper passion he pursues in his day-to-day life. We will get to that in a moment.
Let’s start with his product: Love Buds! What? You’ve never heard of them?
How many times have you had the uncomfortable pleasure of sharing one set of ear buds with someone? Does this sound familiar?: Your partner or friend pulls one of his/her ear buds out from one ear, stretches it over to you and says, “You’ve got to hear this song. . .” I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally like putting anything into my ear that has already been in someone else’s. . .no matter how much I love them! Even if sharing ear devices is not an issue for you, there is still the fact that you can’t really move because you have to lean in close and stay there while you share the buds.
Love Buds is Henry’s clever solution to this problem. One plug with four ear buds and with separate volume controls! Henry was driven to this idea by one of his truest passions:
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Henry to find out where this idea came from.
Me: What is your passion?
Henry: Traveling and creating products. [While most people just see a product and what it can do for them, Henry sees the journey that product has gone through]. . . from the moment it comes into your mind as an idea to the very last step where it is ready to sell.
(He is creating a brand, HH Creativity, because his active mind already has ideas for future products. Don’t let it fool you though, he still has to work his regular day job to survive in Santa Cruz.
Henry says he has been traveling for the last decade and mostly with his girlfriend, Ellie. He started to notice that while they were flying together, that they weren’t really interacting with each other.)
Henry: We would be sitting with each other, but not really spending time together. We were doing separate things or trying to synchronize our movies with each other. When I looked around me, I realized that other couples looked the same.
The “what if” moment: when somebody’s light bulb appears above his/her head.
Henry: So I thought, “what if there was a product that could help people make more memorable moments together?”
(Henry believes that the actual traveling should be just as enjoyable as the destination. Using transportation can be a positive experience when you are enjoying it with someone else as well.)
Me: Other than traveling, how do you see the Love Buds being used?
(His response shows his wise business mind.)
Henry: Whenever someone purchases the Love Buds on Amazon, I send them a ‘Thank You’ email, which also asks them to let me know what other unique ways they are using the Love Buds.
(Henry has gotten answers such as:
Henry said that he hadn’t even thought of these things.)
Henry: People don’t think about how these activities can be so much more intimate when they are experiencing them concurrently with another person: Listening to the same music while enjoying an activity.
Me: What is your favorite thing about the Love Buds and/or the creation of them?
Henry: Customer feedback. Knowing that people are enjoying and using my product to benefit their life in some way. I had one person tell me that they used the Love Buds to share books on tape and music with their loved one in a hospital. It was amazing.
(I should note that while Henry recalled this moment, a smile lit up his face as he thought about his product being used for such a vulnerable and emotional experience. It is clear that he holds his product to high standards, and is proud.)
Me: If you could go back and change one thing about the product, what would it be?
Henry: I created the longer wires intentionally to give the customer more room to be able to move around without bothering the other person, but there is always a problem with tangled wires. If I could go back, I may have tried to find an affordable solution to this, however, if I can get more sales, there may be a second generation of Love Buds.
(Henry has hopes to expand the Love Buds to be more gender neutral by using different colors, and different wording. Instead of “his and hers” he would like to have “his and his”, “hers and hers” and “yours and mine.”)
Me: From your experience creating the Love Buds, what piece of advice would you give other people that want to create a product?
Henry: Well, for people who are starting out as I did, working a day job, starting with a low budget and without any connections, my best advice is to have small tangible goals. A lot of people have an idea for what they want, but can’t see the journey they have to take to get there. For example, the first step could be finding out if people are interested in your product. When I had the idea for Love Buds, I sent out a free survey to all of my friends and family! If you have an extra half hour in your day are you going to watch an episode of your favorite show? Or are you going to work on what you are passionate about?
You can check out Henry’s website here: www.mylovebuds.com
Or go straight to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QU2LMMW