We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara Brzezicki and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cara, every day, we talk about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
My business name is Jazzie Beans LLC. I named my LLC after my dog, Jazzie Beans. She is the sweetest dog and use to have a ton of energy (she is 15 now and much slower). Because I love creating and inventing, I knew that I needed a LLC that enveloped all of my creations.
My first invention is the Sippie Clippie, which is a clamp and cord device to prevent sippy cups from hitting the floor. I created the Sippie Clippie out of frustration. When my oldest son was 6 months old, he thought it was hilarious to throw his sippy cup. It drove me bananas and nothing on the market was working. I had in my head that I needed a clamp that I can attach to anything with the cord connected to the clamp. That way, when my son through the sippy cup the cup would dangle and I would not have to worry that the clamp would come off.
So, I went to the hardware store and bought a huge clamp and drilled a hole in. I attached a cord and a hair tie at the end of the cord and made my first prototype. I would take it to restaurants and people would ask me where I got it. I decided I was on to something, so I went to work looking on how to create my product. I wanted the clamp to be sleek and small, so that it could fit into a diaper bag or purse. I ended up patenting the Sippie Clippie.
My second invention is the Flusher Blocker, which prevents the automatic toilet from flushing on you or your kiddos. My oldest kid was scared of the automatic toilet when he was potty training and it was so hard to help him use the toilet without the toilet flushing on him. Eventually, he got older and was not as scared of the automatic toilet. Then, my youngest son had the same terror from automatic toilets. But, my youngest son was so terrified that he would refuse to use the toilet and go in his pants. Disgusting!!
I knew that there had to be something that could keep the automatic toilet from flushing. There were ideas to put sticky notes over the sensor. I tried that and my son was scared that they would fall off. Also, I try to be kind to the environment, so wasting paper did not seem to be a good solution. Toilet paper would fall off from the sensor, so that was a no-go.
The next best thing was to create my own product that you could stick to the sensor, so it would not fall off, it had to be reusable and it had to be sanitary. So, I went through a few materials and created the Flusher Blocker.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started out as an inventor (and I continue to invent and sell my inventions) and transitioned to children’s books. I have always played out stories in my head as a kid, but never really thought about being a writer.
I try to be eco-conscientious, so I kept playing this story about a dog saving the planet. I saw the illustrations and the story in my head one day while I was in Steamboat on vacation. I wrote the whole story in 20 minutes. I just thought I would keep it, but it nagged at me. Every day I would think about that story and how it needs to get out to the world. I researched on how to publish and how to get illustrators and just went for it!
I think that what sets many creatives apart is the fact that they just go for it! They may be afraid of failing, but to not try is even worse. I am a super intuitive person, so when I have something on my mind that does not leave me, I know that I am supposed to move forward with that idea. I think this helps set me apart on reaching my full potential.
As anyone knows who has been in the entrepreneurial world, it is not easy! It takes patience, a lot of work, and little to no money in return (for the first part at least). I think this is why most entrepreneurs quit. It is because it takes years to be profitable and it really does take so many nos. That one yes is all we are all looking for!
For me, I just believe so much in my inventions and my books that I will continue to move forward. I love the cartoon of two guys digging for diamonds. The first guy has dug a huge tunnel and it shows the diamonds on the other side of this wall of dirt. He is so close and does not see the diamonds, and just turns around. The second guy keeps digging and gets to the diamonds. He decided that he was just going to keep going. That is how it is with me. I cannot turn back because I believe the reward will far outweigh the hard work that I put in.
There are so many lessons that we learn as we take more hikes around the sun. I think for entrepreneurs, if you really believe in yourself and your product, you should go for it. Just because someone else does not like it, really means nothing. Like I said earlier, it just takes one yes. Anyway, no just means not right now 😊
All of my books are to teach children issues that are huge in our society and/or world. Children have such moldable minds and really are our future. I think that when we teach them in a way that they can understand, we can truly make our world a better place. I want to make sure that I give goodness into this world with my books and my inventions. Ideas that help the environment and human-kind.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ooh, this is a fun question!! Since I live in Littleton, CO, I would first take her to Red Rocks. If there was an awesome concert that we both would like to see, I would take her there. If there was not anyone in town, I would still take her to Red Rocks to see the amphitheater and walk the steps 😆
Of course we would have to go up to the mountains. I love the I70 corridor mountains, but honestly, Steamboat Springs is my happy place. I would take her their for a long weekend. If it was the summer, we would stay at the Steamboat Grand. We would hang out at the pool and have some cocktails. The next day we would head up to Fishcreek Falls and hike all the way to the top to see the awesome waterfall.
That night we would have to go to Beau Jo’s. They have amazing pizza and as a vegan, they have the best vegan pizza (yes, they do have honey in their crust, but this is the only time I eat honey). If we bring the razor, we have to go razoring. We can go downtown and see their cute shops and then for dinner, we will eat at Salt & Lime for amazing tacos (even vegan tacos) and the best margaritas in town!! We would definitely go to Strawberry Springs one day as well. They have the most beautiful hot springs!
Once we get back to town, we would have to go downtown to the 16th street mall. There are so many art places to check and some awesome food. If there was a show in town, I would love to take her to the Denver Performing Arts Center. They have such amazing talent that goes through there.
I would definitely take her down to Cherry Creek. They have some awesome food places (too many to name) and some great little bars. Ogden Street South is close to there and is the best bar for karaoke.
Once we were back in Littleton, we would go Paddle Boarding at Chatfield State Park. They have the ponds there that are perfect for kayaking and paddle boarding. For dinner, my favorite place of all time is Thai Bistro. They have the best Thai food ever!! Seriously, I always try Pad Thai when I go places, and I have never found a better Thai place than Thai Bistro. Also, Chris and Jenny have to be the nicest people ever. They welcome you and are so friendly and accommodating. We go there so often that they know my order by heart. That is huge because I am a vegan and I am really particular about my food and they know it and recite it before I even tell them. Wow!!
For a breakfast place, we would go over to Snooze. There are a few in the Denver area, but the best one by far is the one in Centennial. The servers there are amazing and extremely nice. When you get there, you have to ask for Kristin because she is the best server in town! She is so sweet and kind and truly likes getting to know her customers. The food is amazing as well. They source their food from local sources and try to buy organic and non-GMO food. Also, they have a good-sized selection of vegan food.
If we had time, I would take my friend up to Fort Collins (Go Rams!!) and we would see a CSU football game. They are so much fun. Fort Collins is beautiful and such a fun city. One of the best sandwich shops is Silver Mine Subs. Yummo!! And, if you are going to Fort Collins, you have to stop at the Rio. Yes, their chips and salsa are great, but their margaritas are amazing! They limit you to three because they will get right on top of you. Wow! They have both frozen and regular and they both are fantastic.
I know there are so many more places that I am leaving out. Coming to the Denver area will allow anyone to see so many awesome sites, have amazing foods, and enjoying the outdoors.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, I have three people that I would like to give a shoutout to. My parents have always been behind me cheering me on and believing in me. They still believe in me and support me in whatever I do!! My husband has done so much for me on this adventure I am on. I honestly could not be where I am without him.