By Meghan Conlin
MIDDLETON – Some ideas come like bolts out of the blue. Others travel at far less than the speed of lightning. Just ask the Inspire Design product development group.
Jim Boda, a founder of the Middleton-based Inspire Design group, saw a potential niche in the garage storage market. So he and other members of the group set out to develop a storage system that was flexible, inexpensive and easy to install.
“There was no flash idea to create this system; it was something we planned because we saw a market for garage storage products,” Boda said.
The result was the Flip Clip garage storage system, an inexpensive and flexible set of garage storage clips designed to be mounted on the exposed wooden studs found on the insides of many garages and attics. The clips can hold up to 75 pounds and can be arranged several different ways to best fit the customer’s needs.
What makes the system unique, Boda said, is that it is so flexible and can be customized to fit an individual garage and store dozens of different types of things.
“People like that this system is so flexible,” Boda said. “People like to move things, whether it is their sofa in their living room or the things in their garage.”
Because the Flip Clip system can be attached to any 2×4 support beam, its different clip kits (there are more than a dozen) can be attached virtually anywhere on the wall.
“The only other systems that offer flexibility like this are $1,000 flat-wall systems,” Boda said. “This system is as flexible, but a fraction of the cost.”
The clips, which are a modular system that can be installed onto wooden studs without the use of any tools, can hold anything from a bicycle to a canoe to a garden hose. An application on the company’s website, http://www.flipclipstorage.com, lets customers set up their own planned storage solution on a bare wall and then print out a shopping list to get all of the pieces they need to make that happen in their own home.
At present, the Flip Clip storage system is available at Ace, True Value, and Target stores, and has been on the market for about a year and a half.
Conlin is a student in the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication.