Wine Widgy LLC was created to solve the dilemma of drinking wine from a standard wine glass while on a pontoon boat. Cup holders on boats are made to hold cans or solo cups, not wine stems. Since few wine drinkers enjoy their wine from a solo cup, this was a dilemma. We bought a Pontoon boat in 2012 and this dilemma became annoying. I searched online to see what solutions were available and learned there weren’t many so I began to mull over ideas. I imagined a bumper of sorts that would fill the gap between the stem and the wall of the cupholder. My first idea was just use the end of a swim noodle, however that didn’t quite work. After trying several foam variations, I found a gardening pad typically used for kneeling on. I used a circle drill that was similar diameter to a cupholder and made the first workable widgy. It was perfectly round with a slit through the radius. The only problem with this model was a bit of difficulty removing the widgy from the cupholder. My husband came up with the idea for the cutouts which not only is more accommodating to stem variations and easier to get out of the cupholder, it also looked like a "Widgy"! The EVA foam is sturdy, light weight and allows for stem diameter variation and floats.
To get this company up and running, we joined with a manufacturer to produce the Widgys right here in Michigan. That was important to us. The Great Lakes Area has more than ⅓ of the entire country’s registered boaters, so it only makes sense to keep our product local.
The target user of this product spans the socioeconomic class of boaters, from pontooners to yachters. These widgys could be used as promotional give-aways for wine distributors or company conventions. I envision that logos or pictures could be printed on them for company advertising or personal party themes. We are starting with 3 colors (soon to be 4) and hope to add more colors in the near future. The various colors can serve as wine charms for glass identification or for holiday celebrations such as the 4th of July! Another idea is as a hostess gift along with a bottle of wine to take to a party, We feel the possibilities are endless. Our best marketing strategy will be word of mouth. We strongly feel once people see the simple effectiveness of this product, they will clamber to purchase a set or two for themselves and several more to give as gifts.