These days it seems most new inventions come in the form of software, such as games or apps for your smartphone. But at least one Hawaii entrepreneur is finding success with a more old-fashioned invention.
Like most inventions, the FOG Safe Drain Guard was inspired by frustration. Shawn Santos is a Kailua real estate investor who managed his own rental properties, which brought him face to face with a common plumbing problem that was costing him time and money. Tenants would pour just about anything down their kitchen drain, including grease, with the whole mess stopping up the works.
FOG stands for fats, oils and grease and Santos partnered with a designer to develop something like a coffee filter for kitchen drains that would strain and trap those substances before they can clog drains. As every inventor knows having the idea is one thing, selling the product is another. After pitching the product in person to retailer after retailer, he’s now selling in Times Supermarkets, City Mill, Simply Organized, and Hardware Hawaii.
His next goal is to take this local product national. He spent two years pitching to a new-product website called The Grommet, only to be shot down, until finally, he was able to meet representatives in person at a Mainland trade show. He was finally featured on the site just last week and tells PBN he’s already getting interest from as far as Australia and the United Kingdom.
If the eco-friendly product takes off, it may benefit far more than homeowners and property managers. So-called fatbergs have become the bane of municipal sewer systems worldwide, costing cities millions to clear.