By: Chace Vineski
AccelNow – Social Media Coordinator
This is the 2nd part of a 2-part series where we highlight the journey of local entrepreneur and inventor, Mark Sutton, and his product Firestarter Mug handle for yeti-styled insulated drinking mugs.
We left off discussing the prototype he created at Sync Space, in downtown Kingsport, with the 3D Printer belonging to The Inventor Center back when The Inventor Center had yet to move into their new location. At the time, Mark was in talks with manufacturing companies to find the right fit. Now, 5 months later, not only does Mark Sutton have a manufacture but he has his Firestarter Mug ready for pre-sales!
Working with a manufacturing company on a physical product that is your own can be a daunting task. You’re entrusting a company with the creation of your idea and you want it to be exactly how you imagine it. Mark, however, was able to navigate those waters after a few back and forth conversations and the result was a mold he was more than satisfied with. It’s a single mold that is able to create 500,000 of his Firestarter Mugs. While he’s not exactly making that many mug handles right away, he has ordered 2,000 in the first shipment, which he is anticipating to sell out before that initial shipment gets here in approximately 5 to 7 weeks. It will consist of orange, black and red colors. His patent-pending handle design is made of polypropylene and silicone, for comfort, and is BPA certified.
Mark has already filed a provisional patent and he’s currently in talks with a patent lawyer on his upcoming non-provisional patent filing, along with trademarking Firestarter Mug. He’s also speaking with his patent lawyer about an upcoming product that he has in the works that is similar to Firestarter Mug. He wants to keep it under wraps for now but assures me it is just as unique.
The next step for Firestarter Mug is to first become a supplier for colleges and sports franchises and then the big box retailers like Walmart. He’s hoping the sales from his first batch of Firestarter Mugs will afford him the financial means to file for a non-provisional patent for both his current product and the undisclosed 2nd product that in the works, as well as the trademark for Firestarter Mug. Along with the 2,000 handle units in his first order, he’s also ordered 3,000 caps for the mugs which will also consist of black, orange, and red colors, 1,000 hats, and an order of stickers as well! The Firestarter Mugs sell for $19.99.
Firestarter of TN. Inc is the registered name for Firestarter Mug
To purchase, go to his website FireStartermug.com