Well everyone we are very excited to have made it past our initial concept launch during the summer of 2012, and have had nothing but positive feedback on our second release of our custom silicone designer jewelry line! We are hard at work to find out how much we can push the design capabilities of Silicone Jewelry, and are striving to become the leaders of the Trade-able Custom Children's Jewelry realm. Since every piece in our line is Magnetically connectable, we want to push kids to express themselves not only through bracelets, but through decorating their lifestyle with our fantastic designs in every way possible. Magnets lend themselves especially to this, becoming great Photo Accents for the fridge, backpack decorations, locker decorations, pony tail wraps, and much more! Mungi Bands are not only jewelry, they make awesome decorations for your lifestyle as well. So what we want to know is: How do you Mungi?
0 comments — posted 2012 Jul by Chad Anger
Local entrepreneur designs for kids
Wilmington inventor and entrepreneur Chad Anger shows off his newest idea, Mungi Bands.
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 3:06 p.m.
Thank heaven for little girls.
Three of them got dad's entrepreneurial wheels turning. And the resulting product – Mungi Bands – is connectable and collectible silicone bands that can become bracelets, necklaces, headbands – you name it, all held together by magnets. With a target market of children 5 to 13 year olds, Mungi Bands are made for both boys and girls with designs that reflect the differences – for instance, flowers, cupcakes and butterflies for girls and skateboards, guitars and sharks for boys.
Entrepreneur Chad Anger, 32, father of three girls – Kieley, 7; Emily, 4, and Ella, 2 – showed off his products this week at the Learning Express beside the new Whole Foods supermarket. The display held packs of the bands that retail for $6.99 each, and Anger wore a few on his wrist as he arrived.
Why Mungi? (Pronounced mun-ji or moon-ji, Anger says.) It was a subliminal name, he said, that was just fun to say. Fun is key to his product.
"The idea came from my pretty girls – from the whole Silly Bandz thing," Anger said. "They never ask for anything at the store, except at the check-out," where they would get Silly Bandz that they later wouldn't play with.
"I created a prototype and cut some jelly bands (a full silicone bracelet) in half and glued different magnets to them ... connecting different colors," he explained.
"The light bulb goes off and you see the fun of the magnets – connecting them, playing with them, even on the ground."
The product was a collaborative effort. "It was the one idea that I saw that the kids liked. "It was good watching the family go through it with me," Anger said, crediting wife Kim, a stay-at-home mom, with important support – plus she helped pick out the colors and the girls' designs.
He also has a business partner, Chris Goulet, who himself is an entrepreneur, creating and marketing the Rock Lock, a device to secure guitars. They met at an event at the Entrepreneurship Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Mungi Bands were test marketed locally – beginning with Anger's family, of course. But he also was invited to St. Mark School to talk to the kids and bring the bands. "First graders know how to invent," he said. It got them thinking creatively. "I had the kids go home and write all the things the magnets would connect to," Anger said. "My daughter's got a little book with stuff that she's thought of."
Like any product, its creation was never as simple as it might seem. "We used a proto-typer out of Raleigh and we did four designs, two for girls and two for boys, and then took that to a trade show in Las Vegas," Anger said.
The packaging, however, was designed locally. The key to kids' products is you have to catch their eye, he explained, so packaging was very important.
Mungi Bands won best in show for new toys at Las Vegas, and Anger made sales as a result. There he met people who would find him a manufacturer in China. From idea to product, Mungi Bands came together quickly.
Anger said he first came up with the idea Aug. 10, 2010, and filed a provisional patent on Dec. 21 of the same year. In December 2011, Mungi Bands were test marketed at two Learning Express stores in Wilmington. "We were in there part of a weekend. We sold through more than a case in that weekend – 100 packs. "That's when we knew the general public liked us," he said. "But it wasn't our final product. We wanted to make some changes.
"We decided to redo some aspects – make the magnets stronger," Anger said. "We added some adhesive that is a second layer of protection. "Then, in February, he took Mungi Bands to the New York Toy Fair and "had a very good response. We've been working on pre-sales since then. "Mungi Bands will soon be in nearly 40 stores.
"The specialty toy store is our core market" – in Topsail Island, the Outer Banks, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Raleigh and Georgia, Florida and Texas. "We have the first 50 cases already sold and another 200 cases are coming by the end of the month," Anger said.
Mungi Bands is set for growth, with an international sales manager and distributors in Germany and soon in Brazil. "We're looking at Canada and have been in talks with a potential distributor in Israel," Anger said. "We're already looking at new manufacturers for mass production," he said, "and we're hoping that we can get office space in town soon and start to employ people to build this."
Wayne Faulkner: 343-2329