Area inventor sees the light
Hal Savageau changed his wife's career the day he declared he wanted nothing to do with roasting s'mores. Sitting in front of their home fireplace two years ago, he had agreed to try the gooey treat for the first time. Using wire hangers as roast...
Hal Savageau changed his wife's career the day he declared he wanted nothing to do with roasting s'mores.
Sitting in front of their home fireplace two years ago, he had agreed to try the gooey treat for the first time.
Using wire hangers as roasting tools, he watched in dismay as the marshmallows melted into the fireplace - and he had to clean it up.
"I said, 'If this is s'mores, God, I don't want any part of it,' " he recalled.
His inventor wife, however, wasn't about to let the issue fade.
After a bit of trial and error, Deb Savageau has launched a new roasting tool - a fire fork with a patented tip that prevents melted food and burnt fingers.
But she didn't want to quit at practicality. She wanted her product to glow.
Working from an office in her Fargo home, she's turned her glimmer of an idea into an online glow-in-the-dark camping equipment store.
"It was just a neat idea to make it more fun and exciting by adding the glow in the dark handle," she said of the fire fork. "That's when the idea came about: What about a line?"
Letsglowcamping.com offers glow-in-the-dark fire forks, rope, tent stakes, dock cleats, dock pole caps and dog collars.
Products are manufactured with a new glow pigment that is charged by light. They then glow throughout the night.
"It makes it fun. The kids get excited that way. Plus, we've included the family pet," Deb Savageau said of the dog collars.
The self-employed Fargo woman said she's always had an interest in products and how to improve them.
"It's almost like a science where you have to tear it apart and put it back together. You want to make it look better," she said.
And it was only natural to look into camping equipment because some of her best memories are of spending time at Lake Eunice in Minnesota.
She also remembers tripping over tent stakes and running into the dock with the pontoon at night.
"These are just so practical - and they're affordable," she said of her products.
Her merchandise isn't yet available in retail stores, but she does have distributors marketing the items.
Sales are also possible through the online store, with products shipped from an Eden Prairie, Minn., manufacturing company.
Customers will receive their merchandise within 10 days.
With her camping line about to take off, Deb Savageau is also looking into future products like glow-in-the-dark games and toys.
She doesn't have any plans to start her own retail stores.
"I'm just going to let my distributors handle it. It gives me more time to focus on designing new things," she said.
Tim Nelson of Saint James, Minn., met the Savageaus at a distributor show where he was selling bedding and furniture for cabins. He agreed to market their products.
"It's just a no-brainer. It's a quality product. You're not selling junk and 'another one of these.' Nobody's got this thing. It's great," Nelson said.
Hours and hours of research are done to create the right formula for products, Deb Savageau said.
"It takes time to develop everything, but we're sure getting there and it's getting exciting," she said. "It's kind of a dream come true for me."
To place orders or for more information, Fire Forks Unlimited can be reached at (701) 271-0211 or through www.letsglowcamping .com.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Teri Finneman at (701) 241-5560