Discovery Made Easy
We were in our early thirties with one house flip under our belts and moving to our forever home. This is the house my husband asked me to find ‘that had not been ruined with shoddy home improvements’. Yes, my super smart and uber talented husband was going to tackle adding on an extension to the new nest. We were young enough – or naive enough – to think this was all manageable. However the wrinkle in this ambitious DIY project was that he had a full-time job and I had a baby on each hip. So it was decided; he would make a list and I would head out during the week to have them ready for the weekends when family would show up to lend a hand with the build.
Now I loved being home with my babinos. But not so much when driving to pick up the renovation supplies. The highways were confusing in the new area and were totally stressing me out on every single supply run.
How was I supposed to remember hundreds of these stores along all these miles? It seemed impossible. I was in perpetual panic. I’d sweat holding my breath constantly checking the rear view mirror and bare knuckling each drive. I made endless U-turns and burning precious time to find the lumber yards, the roofing supplier, the lighting stores, the flooring stores, the hardware stores, the kitchen appliance stores.
Three months into this renovation lifestyle my husband comes home early and pulls me aside with a nervous look on his face. He had good news: he had three months to work on the extension all day long everyday.
He had bad news: he had three months time, meaning severance pay, to find a new job.
Looking back 30 years I can tell you that those three months of time were a precious gift. Weekend family help turned into daily family help. We played with the babies together each morning.
And he went out for the supply runs on the crazy highways, not me.
By the end of the summer we had the roof on, everything was closed in, and he was back in the corporate world. And I was back to making the errand runs.
That’s when the returning highway panic turned me into a complainer. One evening, my overworked hubby finally blurted out: "well then do something about it!"
What? Hmmmm, ok yes . . . YES, I do want to fix this problem. I can build things too. Challenge accepted.
Now all I needed to get started was a mac laptop and illustrator.
And Hubby very kindly shared his corporate tools with me for my build. Hubby's short job interruption was my wakeup call about how vulnerable it is for a family to live on one salary. That realization plus the frustration fire I had, drove my vision for that first highway guide. I guess I took another vow: to solve the pain point in my life and to share the solution with others. That first guide led to dozens of HandyGuides, supported by businesses, for thousands of my fellow neighbors. My passion for solving and sharing, well that's stronger than ever, only now I ideate in multiple areas.
The Kitchen Testers
There is of course MY backstory: Pre-babies I was a bench scientist and then a product manager. I was in the first wave of folks to fall in love with desktop publishing with the one Apple Macintosh in the marketing department. In ‘86 I shocked hubby by taking this putty colored box home from work to typeset the sales catalog. Now hubby was a Bell Labs researcher, an electrical engineer and part of the first wave of computer scientists. The concept of lay people (me) frequently and easily taking a PC to a new place was a totally novel concept. I did blow his mind a bit ;)
So 10 years later, in '96, I really did only need a laptop and with a design program loaded to begin building my vision for easing life with handy reference tools.
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Iris is as capable and as dilligent as one can be. You won't go wrong hiring Iris for any project she is willing to accept! Roger Gross – NIA National Realty Inc. Paramus NJ