This monthly series is designed to introduce you to people right here in Whatcom County that invented products that

solve everyday problems. Invention is a process accessible to anyone with an idea and we need people with great ideas

to solve big and small problems. This series will introduce you to some everyday people, maybe even your next door

neighbor, who had a great idea and decided to do something with it.

 

Name: Claudia Hall

Occupation: Stay-at- home Mom

City: Bellingham

Invention: Bedpak

Description: A travel bag that lays flat to allow a place to store all of your items and provide a comfortable place to sit.

Also works as an organizing bag for emergency preparation (earthquakes, etc).

Website: www.bedpak.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bedpak

How to buy: Contact Claudia at Claudia@bedpak.com

 

1. Every invention starts with a story – usually a problem to be solved, what’s your story?

“A few years ago, I was traveling by plane with my two young boys and, as happens often, our flight was delayed. Not

just a little, a lot, it went from a few hours to overnight. So there I was at the airport, I’ve got no good place to sit my

boys on either side of me. I’m trying to keep track of the luggage, keep my kids comfortable and get some rest. When I

realized I was going to have to stay like this all night, I thought – nope, I’m not doing this again – there has to be a better

way. Soon after arriving home I started looking around on the internet to find a bag that would work and couldn’t find

one. I knew it was up to me to do something about it. I started sketching some ideas and worked to find someone who

could make me a prototype. As that started coming together I realized, I didn’t really know what to do next and started

wonder if I really could do something about solving this problem.”

 

2. So despite not really knowing what to do, you went forward with it anyway. What was the biggest challenge

you faced in doing so?

“Fear. At first I was afraid people would think it was a foolish idea, then I thought if I do this I might fail, or succeed!

Either one was terrifying. However, I soon realized I had to focus on the end result, the good that this bag could do in the

world. And not just for travelers like me and my family, but in preparing for an emergency or even for the emergency

responders themselves.”

 

3. Now that you have come through and are on the other side, having learned about manufacturing and running a

successful crowdfunding campaign to help fund it, what is the one piece of advice you’d give to other aspiring

inventors?

“Follow your dream. Don’t think about the fear or the outcome. It helps to realize quickly that you can’t do it alone. You

need to find the right advisors and support systems that will help you achieve that dream.”

Want to learn more about Claudia’s story? Visit her Facebook page for videos, pictures and more stories on her path to

producing this product.

 

*This piece originally appeared in the Bellingham Herald.