Our Story

How We Invented a Product and Started a New Business That Was Voted Amazon’s Top 6 Women-Owned Small Business of 2019 for Customer Satisfaction, Product Innovation, and Community Commitment in Just 3 Years

Who Am I?

Located in Ventura County, CA, my name is Kerry Mellin, and I’ve been a motion picture costume designer in Local 705 for 35 years. At age 58, I realized that the fast pace, long hours, and physically demanding work were becoming increasingly difficult. Always active with a ranch and various physical hobbies, my hands were well-used. Add to that arthritis running in my family, and my grip was not what it used to be - painful and weak.

How EaZyHold Was Invented

One day, while preparing the barn for a family get-together, I struggled to hold a broom due to sore thumbs. I grabbed some duct tape, made a loop over the broom handle, and slipped my hand in. The support over the back of my hand provided pain-free, grip-free ease of use. As I swept, I thought about all the other boomers who want to stay active despite similar challenges.

Putting Together a Good Team

Later at the party, while bobbing in the pool, my sisters Merrily, Wendy, and I discussed our recurring dream of starting a business together. I shared my makeshift broom handle solution, and we all had a good laugh. Inspired, I grabbed a silicone pot holder, cut two holes in it, and slid it over a broom handle. I proposed, "Let's make something like this." The next day, we got to work.

Prior Art and Prototyping

My sisters went to a Hollywood mask shop to source silicone and learn mold-making, mixing, coloring, pouring, and curing silicone. Meanwhile, I searched the internet for "prior art" (previous patents). I had some experience with assistive devices from volunteering at Northridge Hospital's occupational therapy department's spinal cord injury wing in my early 20s. Back then, therapists used elastic bands, ace bandages, popsicle sticks, and velcro to fashion crude U cuffs for holding objects—none of which were comfortable, sanitary, or adaptable.

To my surprise, there had been no significant advancements in assistive grip technology in 35 years. It seemed technology had leapfrogged over those who needed it most, from popsicle sticks and velcro to expensive robotic arms, with nothing in between.

A week later, we had made a thousand prototypes of various shapes, sizes, and colors in our kitchen, ready for trial. That’s how Mellin Works LLC, DBA EazyHold, started. Inventing and marketing a new assistive device for the elderly, disabled, and special needs communities from A to Z is not an easy task for three women with no engineering or medical device degrees.

Finding the Right Patent Attorney

We interviewed five patent law firms in our area, but none were interested in our simple device. Frustrated, I searched specifically for a female patent attorney, (who constituted only 20% of patent attorneys). What a difference! I found one an hour away who immediately saw the benefit and relevance of our prototype, and how it could enhance lives. She even had a special needs daughter and experience with medical silicone products!

Within 18 months, we had both a design and a utility patent.

Finding a Silicone Manufacturer

My sister Merrily sent out CAD files for quotes to mold a limited amount of product for trial. After months of no response, her husband suggested he put his name on the letters. The quotes started streaming in for "Jeff." To say we were frustrated was an understatement, but we soldiered on.

Getting Bank Support

Despite our stellar credit, opening a business account was challenging. We were repeatedly encouraged to include our husbands' names on the paperwork they set in front of us. I finally had to state, "Look, husbands come and go, but sisters are forever."

Introducing the Product to Doctors and Therapists

There was no protocol for fitting us into appointments to show our product. We ambushed doctors and therapists in hospital hallways with prototypes in hand - a fork, toothbrush, or marker. I’m not exaggerating when I say every single doctor wanted to set a trial because they had patients who could use them immediately.

Testing with the General Public

We decided to test EaZyHold at the Ventura County flea market, showcasing it on everything we could think of, from a computer stylus to a baby bottle, eating utensils to a boat oar… All borrowed from our kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and my barn, A  hundred different everyday items. The public response was overwhelmingly positive. By day's end, we had appointments with special education teachers, newspaper requests for interviews, and doctors from Children's Hospital LA and the Cerebral Palsy foundation requesting samples. We even had the Agoura Unified school district director of special education set up a meeting with us to trial with 8 of her special needs students!

Amazing Results

EaZyHold is the first and only readymade universal cuff that is sanitary and adaptable enough to be used in schools and care facilities. It’s also the only cuff made small enough for tiny children's hands, a game-changer for little kids (see Instagram).

Where Can You Buy?

EaZyHold is sold on our e-commerce platform, Amazon, Lowes in their Accessible Home department, and through 35 global distributors. It’s used in over 20,000 schools, hospitals, and care facilities worldwide and is cited in university textbooks on "Basic Application and Procedures of Occupational Therapy". EaZyHold was voted "Amazon’s Top 6 Women-Owned Businesses of 2019" for customer satisfaction, product innovation, and commitment to the community.

Gotta Get a Grip?

EaZyHold grip-assists help seniors remain active by providing an easy hold on any object for the house or garden. The comfortable silicone handles slide onto any object, giving your hands and joints a rest during repetitive motion activities.

Get an effortless grip on toothbrushes, hair dryers, eating utensils, sports bottles, pens, art supplies, crochet hooks, paint brushes, make-up pencils, garden tools, tennis rackets, and golf clubs! EaZyHold comes in 10 different sizes to fit everyone and can be easily washed and dried in the dishwasher basket. Stay fully independent and enjoy all the activities you love with EaZyHold.

Our products