The Kotacks from Milton hope that an appearance on national TV with their family-made invention, a microwave-heated slipper sold online, will help their creation appear under more trees this Christmas.
The Milton family is taking their business proposal to CBC's Dragon's Den, a show where entrepreneurs try and negotiate deals with a panel of wealthy business people, which airs on December 9. The invention was created out of circumstance after Patricia Kotack was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth. The neurological disorder causes a loss of muscle tissue and the sensation of touch.
"My feet were always freezing," she told the Compass.
"I tried all sorts of things," said Patricia, who was unable to find a solution to relieve her chronically cold feet.
Patricia's daughters Melissa and Amanda, her son Jordan and her husband Allan were hot on the cold-foot case file. They developed a slipper made out of polar fleece stuffed with sterilized oats that takes only 90 seconds to nuke into warm, soft-soled footwear. Patricia gives full credit to her entire family for the slipper's concept.
"After they made them for me, I was like 'oh my God, this is so great!' They worked and it was just amazing," Patricia said.
When Allan stitched together the first pair of slippers for his wife, he decided to write up a patent for the invention and its name, CosySoles. The product is now patented in the UK, US and Canada and, because he wrote it himself, Allan avoided paying "a lot of money" to lawyers.
"There was no doubt that we thought this was a practical, useable product," Allan said. Melissa submitted the slippers at a University of Guelph craft show, discovering the invention for mom was generating rave reviews.
The creation has been a part-time family endeavour ever since, but an appearance on CBC's top reality/game show is just the beginning of Allan's plans to make selling the CosySoles his full-time job.