By Laura Saitta
It’s rare to meet someone where they don’t ask, “What do you do for a living?” For me, I inevitably say, “I invented a mosaic tile tool.” I never realized how fascinated people were with inventors until I became one, in part because I had never met one myself. Admittedly, I was addicted to the TV Show “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” so I was certainly open to pursuing a “Big Idea” should one ever come along.
In 2007, I was in the process of renovating my own kitchen when I came to an area around the window where I just could not get the tiles to fit properly. I decided to create a mosaic with remnant pieces from other tiles that had already been cut. I popped up the wet saw blade, and with my fingers almost touching the blade, I proceeded to make horizontal length cuts of various sizes against an offsetting ¼” vertical length to fit around the windowsill. My dog was barking in the background at the sound of the wet saw while I was trying desperately to focus on the tile being cut. Mind you, I was not a tile setter by trade, but more of a weekend warrior trying to get her house ready for sale.
TileSizer™ was really created with the idea that there had to be a better way. In an effort to keep my fingers a safer distance away from the blade, and to allow for room to manipulate the tile, I created the first prototype. I took an old 3½ floppy disk that was lying around the house and cut an opening in it to allow the tile to slide into it. I then took clamps that you might find at an office supply store and used those to help secure the tile in place. It was clumsy, at best, but it worked. And I knew I could make it better.
A month later, after several prototype designs, the tool was equipped with 2 sets of diagonal notches, an adjustable arm to accommodate different size tiles, a straight edge to line up with the wet saw straight edge, and other really great features that catapulted TileSizer™ into the professional tool that it is today.
I believe everyone has a “Big Idea.” Should you ever have the opportunity to pursue one, it is worth the journey. But it is a long journey and one in which you need perseverance, resourcefulness, and determination. There are those that will deter you out of the gate, and those that will take advantage of you along the way. But there are also those that will champion your cause and lift you up when you feel like you are on your last step. My advice is that you think through the entire process before you dip your toe into the deep end. Choose something you know, and that you love. Hopefully, if luck meets opportunity you will be able to do it for a very long time. Good Luck!
TileSizer Inc. (www.tilesizer.com) is a privately held company based in Roswell, GA. We are proud to have TileSizer™ “MADE IN THE USA.” We believe, as a country, that we have to begin to invest in ourselves. Investing in US Companies to manufacture and supply parts to TileSizer™ is more expensive, but we believe it’s worth it. Connect at www.fb.com/tilesizer or @tilesizer on Twitter.