Several years ago, I had an idea to fix one of several annoying out-of-plumb doors in our home that never wanted to stay against the wall when we opened them. Gravity would simply make them drift to either a fully or partially closed position requiring the use of a common doorstop or weight to hold the door open. It occurred to me that perhaps placing a coil spring on the hinge pin that exerted force against the door edge would overcome gravity and push the door back against the wall where I wanted it.
So after many prototypes and experimentation, I was granted an important utility patent for this unique device (U.S. Patent No. 6,553,623). Eventually we settled on the simple design we now sell as SwingBack, with its two versions – a hollow-core door model and another stronger model for solid-core doors. We then ordered ample product inventory, marketing brochures, and tradeshow graphics and headed off to Chicago for a week to the 2001 National Hardware Show to introduce this innovative useful device. The reception of SwingBack at the show was not only very exciting, but our little product was a recipient of the prestigious Retailers' Choice Award, presented to only 43 from the more than 150,000 other products at the show.
Since then, SwingBack has gained wide acceptance as the preferred alternative to common doorstops, selling tens of thousands in the process. The success of SwingBack has encouraged me to bring to market a few other products for solving everyday problems, at home and on the road. Now that I’m finally retired, I plan to devote more time to completing the development and marketing plans for these small, but pretty cool items. Located in coastal Central California midway between L.A. and S.F., surrounded by rolling hills and only 15 minutes from the ocean in three different directions, our little town of San Luis Obispo is often regarded as "California's little secret" and is touted as "the happiest city in the United States". So in the spirit of little SLO Town, I hope perhaps you too will get to appreciate the simple utility of using one or more of our innovative products. Thank you for reading our story, and I invite you to see what we have to offer.
Mike Long, Owner
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405