Monday, August 3, 2009

Do Tell

I have been seeing so many comments and questions regarding who has or has not received further information about the show so I thought I would dedicate this blog post to the ladies who would like to share whatever information they feel comfortable sharing about Women Inventor.

If you would like to share if/when you were contacted from Milojo/Discovery, what was said or written to you about your invention, if you are signing the contract, etc., I'm sure we'd all be happy to support you in any way we can!

On a side note,
I am honored that a few Women Inventors have shared their stories with me (via phone) about being contacted by the show, what was said, what contracts they were given and what they plan on doing going forward. They have trusted me not to reveal who they are and I think that is a good testament to how we all are looking out for each other!

After a phone "interview" today with a Women Inventor that auditioned for the show, I was given permission to say that she is NOT signing the contract that was given to her by Milojo/Discovery.

From what I understand from what she and another W.I (Women Inventor)has told me, the contract is very vague and does not state what percentage of sales you will receive.

Also, Discovery wants the W.I to sign a contract saying they "own" your invention for a period of 7 years. During that time, if you have your product for sale somewhere else, ie: online, you must stop selling from the time you sign the contract.

Although the show stated that you did not have to have a "shelf ready" product, it appears that shelf ready products are the ones that have been selected.

If you are reading this and you HAVE been given a contract without having a "shelf ready" product, let us know!You can always remain anonymous.

If you have been contacted asking from more info and are still waiting, let us wait with you! Fill us in and let us be your cheerleaders!

I will leave it open to you now... so ladies... Do tell!


  1. Tracy,

    I figured they wouldn't choose any idea that wasn't already being manufactured and sold (even if only online). It takes time and effort to get ideas ready for market and a TV show doesn't want to do all that effort for probably a one hour show.

    In fact I'll bet that there are no baby products selected or if one does make it, it wouldn't be chosen for HSN. HSN is only going to sell what fits with their other offerings.

    The show would be a great opportunity for any company. I wonder if the exclusivity agreement is disolved if your product is not the one chosen for HSN. I would think that only one of the inventors really has to worry about an exclusive sales agreement for 7 yrs at the end of the show. I would also think that HSN would say that they have the right to terminate the agreement if they no longer wish to sell the product upon which time the exclusivity agreement would be null. 7 yrs isn't bad if they give your product a lot of sales and exposure. Probably the inventor will get close to 50% of the retail and their profit will be determined by the product cost and other expenses necessary.

    Good luck to all of them. Will you be continuing this blog until the end of the show next year?



  2. Hi Cherie,
    Thank you for all the info!
    Yes, I am going to continue blogging...I have some pretty exciting things coming up that I will want to share with all of you and I love having a place for everyone to come and offer their encouragement/support.
    Plus, it's just really fun to do!
    Do you have a website that we can check out about your product?

  3. Hey Tracy,
    Just curious about the outline for the show. Did any of the ladies tell you how they are going to work it? I know you said 24 ladies but is that so many per show and then elminted or how will they work it?

  4. I have to say I am really quite peeved now that I know that they want to own your product for seven years!!!! How many of us would have spent the close to 1000.00 to audition if we would have know that going in. I imagine that a fraction of the people would have shown up. Not to mention the arrangments I had to make to have my special needs son taken care of. It did ignite a passon in me, so I can thank them for that but I still think that we should have been informed of that in the paperwork for the audition. I would have just sent in my video if I would have know that. I guess they will do anything to have a show at our expense. Plus do they really need anymore $$$$$. We are the ones trying to make it and it takes every last dime to get products to market. When you license your product your percentage is very small. Years ago I went to QVC and I was working with their Diamonique department. They were talking 3%. So for every 100,000 they make I make 3000 (and those numbers are very lofty goals for profit). In my experience it is better to sell your product yourself than license it and have just a very tiny portion. It's harder, but more exciting to do it yourself.

  5. Anonymous and Anonymous,

    I was told the outline of the show would be that a camera crew would be coming to your house to film for 6 days and then one final day in NY in the spring.
    When I was in Chicago, I was told it would not be a "contest" and it would be 2 ladies each show, both with the opportunity to sell their products on HSN.
    However, yesterday the W.I. I spoke to said they have changed that and now it WILL be a contest.
    Kevin at Milojo had told me that they have no idea yet what they are doing and that they don't even have a name for the show so I guess they are figuring it out as they go.

    To address what the second Anonymous wrote,
    I feel you! I know you just said what many, many of us are thinking.
    But let's look at the silver lining...hmm, not that there is much of a silver lining in spending $1000...ok, let's just say, "everything happens for a reason". I'm happy to hear that the process ignited a passion in you! Me too!
    Good luck going forward - I'm excited to learn more about your product!

  6. I would be surprised if these inventors agree to "license" their product when they are already the manufacturer of it. Manufacturers don't license they wholesale. It sounds like the 7 yrs is more of an exclusivity agreement. I'm sure it has more to do with HSN than Milojo. HSN wants to be sure that if they put the effort into making the product a name brand in households that they have the exclusive right to sell it. They don't want it to become popular and then have Walmart come and snatch it away from them.

    It always kind of sounded like a contest to me. 16 inventions but only one goes on to sell at HSN. Maybe they'll try all of them out on HSN and whoever has the best sales gets the long term commitment. They had a similar thing on Martha Stewart's apprentice show. The product wasn't theirs but they competed on pitching it.

    As far as my website goes I actually attach the URL to my post name each time I post. And if you notice I change the name of my post name every time I post because it makes a difference in backlinks to my website if I have links that are associated with the various search terms for my website. All of your followers should be doing it if they have a website. All you have to do is select NAME/URL under the "Comment as". Then all someone has to do is click on the post name and it will take them directly to your website.

    But to answer your question more directly I have 2 websites that are almost mirrors of one another but I target baby bottle holders (and similar keywords) on one and gifts for multiples on the other. I figure there are lots of people looking for baby shower gifts who aren't looking for hands free bottle feeding. If I get an order for twin shirts and no sling I'll slip in a brochure on the sling as the item was probably bought as a gift.



  7. Fellow casters,

    I was fearing for a while that I was the only one with bitter feelings. Nice to know I'm not. I need to vent! They told us; bring a working prototype. Turns out that was a waste of money. They told us they will help to manufacture it. Turns out they won't, they want products already in production. They told us they would help market and sell it. Turns out they won't help, they'll just do it themselves by taking your product and much of your profits. Turns out that all of us who believed they would help, all of us who needed it were misled. All of us who are trying to bring our products to market are strapped for cash. We need that money to get to market. We spent the money, took the time to cast and it was a waste. We didn't even have a chance. Turns out they want rights for existing products, and at the date of signing the contract - that's crazy. Who would give up 6 months of sales and 7 years of rights with no guarantees. Couldn't they just have just been up front from the beginning. This never was about helping us. It is so far from helping us that I think they owe all of us an apology.

    Venting Inventor

  8. I agree that they should have told everyone that the invention needed to already be in manufacturing. They never really said that they would help with money or help with getting the idea manufactured. The help that they are offering is very valuable as the exposure the product would get from being on TV would be huge. Think of how much money companies spend on commercials and the TV show would be much longer than a 30 sec commercial.

    They told everyone to apply for the show regardless of the stage of the concept because they are already starting on growing an audience for the TV show. How many people are going to watch the show now because you are dying to know who they selected and find out more details about the show?

    I don't think Milojo really knew what they would get from the products submitted and I'm not surprised that they are changing the show on the fly. If they do the series a second time they will probably be more concrete. It's the same concept behind Tracy's blog, a little mystery builds interest. I think it was ingenious of her to withhold what her product was to grow followers who wanted to find out. And once she got the followers she keeps them coming back for information, very clever indeed and useful.

    I suspect that none of the CHOSEN will regret being on the show regardless of the contract. If you need some advice on manufacturing I'd be glad to tell you what I know (which may not be much). I don't know how to get funding but I do know how to get products made relatively inexpensively. What I am trying to figure out is how to get a sales rep and get the product into major retail stores. This has eluded me for 7 yrs but I think I'm getting closer. I've been cheated by crooks along the way and spent money on things I now wish I hadn't. It's a continual learning process.



  9. Just posted an e-mail I received from Christina G. (Creative Executive, Milojo) in the comments section at

  10. Ladies,
    I am also frustrated and (although it's not my fault!), I am SO SORRY for everyone who spent money they couldn't afford to spend to make this happen!

    It's so tacky to take advantage of hard working people. It seems like the idea of the show was very benign, and now, some evil producer has their claws in it and it's turned into something altogether different.

    My family and I are praising God that we didn't get involved with this. There's no way I'd be happy with that contract (I'm a control freak!), and I would have been so upset to have to pay for a lawyer to tell me I shouldn't sign it! Good grief!

    Anyway, Cherie is right (and her product is awesome!), so let's chalk it up to experience (what a cool story for our kids... "I'll always remember the time I auditioned at a casting call for a tv show!").


    Rachel Hardy

  11. Hi Tracy,

    I was not able to attend a casting call and mailed my application in and have not heard anything as of yet, so thank you so much for all of the info that you and the other posters share. It really is great to talk with other people going through the same thing!

    I also applied for Shark Tank and made it to the video submission round, but have heard nothing at all from them for 2 weeks and there is no place like your site with other applicants sharing stories - the complete unknown is unbelievably nerve racking.

    Kuddos to you for getting this going and creating such a supportive network - with your positive, open, friendly, encouraging nature, I know things will go well for you no matter the TV show outcome.

    Happy thoughts and positive energy!

  12. Good evening ladies,
    I have been away but have been going through MAJOR computer withdraw and I HATE being away from my blog! So thanks for keeping the dialog going while I was away!

    Holly and Cherie,
    I love that you girls are so supportive of my blog! It keeps me motivated and I thank you! Also Cherie, thanks for the quick lesson in "linking". I have never been quite sure what that was all about!

    Dear Venting Inventor,
    Phew...we hear you and feel your pain!!! Get it out b/c you're not saying what a lot of us are feeling! Believe me, I did not have $1,400 (flight/hotel/food) to "blow" but hey...what can you do?!
    I am headed over to Melinda's blog to check out what Christina said but I bet I already know... :) We'll see!
    I'll be posting bright and early tomorrow morning with coffee in hand...

  13. Alas, I have not heard back from Christina...but I will tell you that when I wrote to her, I did share some of the frustration and asked if there wasn't some way they could provide some sort of concrete information on the Milojo site. Of course, if she responds, I will post immediately.

  14. Well Jen, I CAN NOT wait to see if you get a response!They will most likely stick to the "end of September" story...

  15. Ladies contracts are still being given out! I recently received a contract!!!!!!!! I was frozen when I saw the email from the legal dept of the show. So, it still can happen. My contract talks about a two year time period not seven like was stated by someone else. The terms of percentage I think were very fair and generous. They absolutely state that your invention remains your property not theirs like someone stated. There is a confidentiality agreement so I can't say who I am or what my invention is. I am not currently selling my product in stores or online yet, so keep the faith ladies. Best of luck out there to all of you wondrful inventors and I hope there is a contract coming your way. They do say that it is for the next phase of consideration but it is a full contract.
    Keep the faith :)

  16. Thanks Anonymous and good luck!!!

  17. Are we all getting the same 13 page contract? Anyone, please answer. Mine says 7 years and maybe 2 more.....

  18. Yes, sorry I didn't see the "exclusive term" which states the seven year term so yes it is 7 years plus another 2 after the exclusive term of which they will take 20%
    Sorry to mislead you were right.