Inventor Makes a Splash
Minneapolis graphic designer and life-long musician Sid Tincher found herself in a familiar predicament in 2001. While playing her guitar, she reached for a drink. She recalls, “What should have been a simple task turned into a chaotic domino effect – my headstock hit my microphone stand, knocking it into my music stand – they both fell over sending equipment and paper tumbling down onto the very drink I was trying to retrieve.”
Sid started looking for a safe home for her future beverages. Not finding a holder to her liking, she went down to her basement and started tinkering. Sid came up with a slick, fun design. “Musicians began clamoring for one of their own when they saw my SwirlyGig on stage. I made a few more in my basement, but realized quickly that I had a viable and needed product.”
Now, SwirlyGig is the premier cup and beverage holder for musicians and stage artists. “I think that what people responded to the most was the fun, playful simplicity of the design. There are no clamps or screws – it functions simply and swiftly with its own friction and gravity. It’s lightweight, sleek, and the swirly shape just looks cool!”
SwirlyGigs offer a safe, convenient, stylish and lightweight beverage holder that attaches easily to microphone stands. SwirlyGig Industries offers the Original SwirlyGig, SwirlyGig II for larger microphone stand and tubing, and SwirlySchtick drumstick holders.
SwirlyGigs are beginning to make an entry into other markets as well with sales in the medical industry already mounting. Because SwirlyGigs work on any standard tubing, the possibilities for new markets are many.
Early on, Sid sought help in building her business by completing the Neighborhood Development Center’s (NDC) Entrepreneur Program – subsequently earning both the Seward Neighborhood Entrepreneur Award and the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Innovative Product Award. She learned of the SBA and all its resources through the NDC, and was paired with SCORE counselors. SCORE provided valuable advice, boosted her confidence, and helped her make valuable connections.
As a resource partner with the SBA, SCORE provides information vital to small business success. This includes counseling on financing options, business planning, marketing strategies, product development and more. Individual members and counseling teams with diverse business knowledge and experience provide one-on-one, confidential counseling at no cost to the business owner. Currently, Sid is receiving one-on-one assistance from the Minnesota Trade Office to export SwirlyGigs.