Borough resident John Supino's invention the Shade Anchor Bag, an anchor for beach umbrellas, will be making its debut on QVC Tuesday.
Supino and his partner Joanna Cali co-founded the company Beach Buoy to market and distribute his invention. The pair will have six to eight minutes of airtime on QVC in which they hope to sell 3,000 Shade Anchor Bags. They are the fourth product scheduled in the 4 p.m. hour of programming.
A former lifeguard on Long Beach Island, Supino watched umbrellas "blowing dangerously down the sand" which was the eventual inspiration for his invention. His frustration at attempting to set up the umbrellas for his own young family made Supino think there had to be a better solution.
"I’ve seen hundreds of umbrellas blowing down the beach, which isn’t just annoying but dangerous," said Supino. "I came up with the idea for the Shade Anchor because there just wasn’t anything on the market that could do the job well."
"After seeing all this, John had an epiphany about ballast," according to a Beach Buoy press release. "He believed putting weight on the bottom of the umbrella, and anchoring it from the top, was the best way to make sure the umbrella stayed in place."
Supino decided to develop a prototype which he "gave away along beaches from Holgate to Westerly, RI, while friends and family handed them out in Florida, California and Aruba."
After getting feedback from the users of the prototype, Supino refined his design. He and Cali began contacting potential retailers and in less than a month QVC requested a sample in November 2010.
Supino and Cali were then invited to take the vendor training program conducted by QVC and the shopping network placed an order for Shade Anchors after they passed quality control checks, according to Supino.
"We are encouraged by the response we have been getting from the public," Supino said. "People are buying two and three at a time."