The Warm Mouse is a product born to an instant market. It is the type of product every retailer wants to carry, because it is unlikely to stay on the shelf. And since computers are virtually ubiquitous, so are computer mice. And who does not occasionally have cold hands?
Warm Mouse is the brainchild of Sandra Stone, one of two partners. "My office is always cold even when it is sunny out. I have a space heater, but that does not warm my mouse hand. Since I am on the computer so much, I am developing carpal tunnel, and I have arthritis. I thought how nice it would be if my mouse were warm."
The company was created in May of 2008, although it had been two years in the making. Stone found a place that made warm mice, and cut a deal with them to make some modifications on their product. "We wanted to change it ergonomically. Now it is fat, which makes it easy to hang on to. Your hand does not squish together." They also moved the on/off switch to the cord, and lengthened the cord as well.
Stone and her partner found a contract manufacturing facility in China and had a logo created. "One of my girlfriends is an artist," said Stone. "We put, 'Warm Me,' because we wanted the mouse to warm us up. It is really simple and to the point, and notice his tail is a USB plug? We love our little mouse!"
The website launched in September 2008, and is geared to the retail purchaser, although there is a link at the bottom for wholesalers. Clicking it provides wholesale buyers with an application that can be filled out online, a note that it will usually be returned by the next morning, and a promise to provide a confirmation email with a user name and password, in order to view the wholesale price list.
The site is clean, simple and full of information about the health dangers of working in a cold environment, and the benefits of both heat therapy and infrared ray energy. "The research took all of last year. We hired some separate companies and did a lot of it ourselves. It started with heat therapy, because heat therapy has been around for thousands of years," said Stone. They also sent out product samples to hundreds of organizations and asked for feedback. One was the Raynaud's Association, which is a U.S. based support group for a condition that causes areas of a person's body, such as the fingers, toes, nose tip, or ears, to feel numb in response to cold temperatures or stress.
The response from the product testers? "We have never received any negative feedback. Nothing but kudos," said Stone. The testimonials from both professional organizations and consumers are on their website, www.warmmouse.com. There are multiple raves for the ergonomic design, the ease of set up (plug'n'play), the comfortable, 104 degree temperature, and how easy it is to turn the heat on and off. Additionally, The Mouse comes in a standard two button, three function design, for the versatility mouse users are used to. Since it is optical, it does not need a mouse pad.
While it is especially beneficial to those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, Reynaud's, tendonitis and other muscle and joint aches, or for anyone who works in a cold office or warehouse, the testimonials on the website make it clear that the market for Warm Mouse outstrips just those who benefit therapeutically. In fact, much of the site research is devoted to prevention of those discomforts, not just alleviation.
The Mouse is so new they have not begun to tap the market. But with such a recent debut, the immediate interest, predictably, has been from distributors of computer components. Word is already traveling, said Stone. "I just signed one up for the U.K., and I already have an inquiry for a distributorship in Canada."
Despite distributor interest, the Mouse is affordably priced for small business owners. Although a case contains sixty units, the minimum order is only ten mice. "I wanted to make it for the little guy," said Stone. "There are lots of little stores; I owned one years ago. When you have a little store, those giant minimum requirements overwhelm you, and you can't order."
MINIMUM ORDER: Wholesale pricing ten at $22.95 each. Quantity discounts starting at 10,000 for $9.95 each. Sixty mice per case. Recommended retail price is $34.95.
For more information:
Warm Mouse, LLC
35 West Main St., #B120
Ventura, CA 93001
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