Customer Highlight: Cats Paw
Do you like to create things to help improve your own life and the life of others? Transfer Express dealer, Joel Gibney is an inventor who suffered from carpal tunnel. He decided to create a solution to prevent increased suffering. If you suffer from carpal tunnel, RSI, hand or wrist numbness, or decreased hand strength it may be able to help you too! Joel uses custom heat applied transfers as a branding solution for this product.
Joel is the owner and creator of the Cats Paw®. He created this product when his carpal tunnel symptoms got so bad that his hands would go numb in the middle of the night, get tingly, and wake him up. He observed that this pain was getting worse with continual use of his hands. Joel enjoyed inventing since he was a kid and decided that instead of suffering, he could take action and invent something that would subdue these symptoms. He also enjoys staying physically fit, and used this experience to realize that the way to combat his carpal tunnel, which got worse with continual use of his hands, was to invent an opposing muscular exercise specific for the hand. He proceeded to invent the Cats Paw, which subdued his symptoms and helped him to finally get some sleep. Joel said that he was sleeping through the night again his second time using it.The Cats Paw was invented in the late 1980s and first sold in 1992. The Cats Paw is endorsed by doctors and has several testimonials listed on its website. Joel even offers a money back guarantee if it does not work after a week of using it.
In his efforts to spread awareness of this product, Joel came across a few issues when he found that the phone number that he wanted for this brand as well as the website URL was already taken. In 1997, Joel registered the Cats Paw website, which was previously registered through someone else. Joel actually called the previous owner of the registered website to ask if he could have it to promote the Cats Paw. The owner of the time had no issues with this because though the website URL was registered to him, he did not need it. He gave up rights to the site and allowed Joel to use it for his product. The phone number was already taken as well. He really wanted the number for his company to be 1-800-CATSPAW; and would call the number occasionally, hoping that it was disconnected so he could claim it. One of the days that he called, it was finally disconnected. He took that opportunity to purchase the number and further establish this brand. Joel says that he feels very blessed to have had these situations work in his favor and is grateful to be able to continue to build this brand.
The Cats Paw comes in several different colors and can be purchased generic with the Cats Paw logo, or customized with a company’s logo. Joel says that more than half of his business comes from companies purchasing the product branded with their company’s logo and using it as a hand out for their own customers and employees. Typically, he prints the logo is white ink, unless they request otherwise.
Joel needed a way to brand his product by adding his logo to each Cats Paw. He tried direct to item screen printing, but found that it was very messy. He searched for a solution online and came across Transfer Express® and our screen printed transfers. Since the Cats Paw naturally stretches, the Elasti Prints® transfers were a great solution for helping the logo to stretch with the fabric when in use. He says that the screen printed transfers were “cleaner and looked great!”
He does not heavily market this product because it is a side job to his regular construction job. But when he does promote the Cats Paw, it is usually at tradeshows. Joel says that he typically tries to go to at least one trade show a year. He plans to attend a corporate safety tradeshow in the next few months that should help him to continue spreading public knowledge of the Cats Paw, and educate others on how it can help those with the same pain that Joel himself once suffered from.
We think it’s great that our transfers are the branding solution for a product that can make a difference for those in pain! Keep up the good work Joel, we’re excited to see how this product will continue to grow!