Exclusive interview with Maggies designer-inventor Margaret Sinclair who’s created a new way of fastening clothing
By Robin Rowe
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2013/12/4 – It’s not a button, a zipper, a pin, a snap or Velcro. A Maggie is a powerful magnet and metal ring that turns scarves or shawls into elegant tops or sarongs. With an impressive click, one Maggie will securely hold in place many layers of cloth.
The idea for Maggies came to Margaret Sinclair after wearing a lot of sarongs at her lake house and at the beach. “I knew that there had to be a better way to secure them without the usual unflattering knots and ties,” says Maggies designer and MyMaggies president Margaret Sinclair. “I had the idea to use magnets. The first attempt was using two magnets, a powerful ring magnet and a powerful sphere.”
The prototype proved the idea worked but had a significant flaw that the inventor had to overcome. When the prototype’s magnet touched a car or a shopping cart, it might unstick. Your dress or top could fall off…a wardrobe malfunction.
“The magnets were drawn to large metal objects like cars and shopping carts resulting in loss of connection,” says Sinclair. “I then had the idea to use a metal ring which was non-magnetic. The ring could be worn on the outside of the garment and would not be attracted to large metal objects. Problem solved.” The steel ring is much more durable too. The prototype’s ring magnet was very brittle, could shatter if dropped. With her second design .Sinclair had a new type of fastener that was practical and fashionable.
“I realized that the resulting item had great potential on the market and visited my patent attorney to begin the patent process,” says Sinclair. She then raided her retirement savings and borrowed some additional capital from a friend in order to start manufacturing.
Sinclair is busy traveling to show Maggies at trade shows to the apparel industry throughout the continental United States, Hawaii and Australia. “I am planning to be marketing to larger catalog and online stores as well as my current base of boutiques where they are currently selling well with sizable re-orders,” says Sinclair. “At this time I have no plans to team with a label.”
Sinclair says Maggies can also be used for fastening other fabric items such as drapes and offers a wide application in textiles. “The uses and possibilities are endless, but I must focus on the retailers in the apparel industry at this time,” says Sinclair. “I do not plan to make this product into jewelry as it is intended as a functional item. Buttons or decorative jewelry with a metal back can be worn over the magnet if desired.”
Sinclair is in the process of designing another functional product based on magnets that she hopes will be as revolutionary as Maggies. She hopes to unveil that in Q1 2014. Maggies are American-made.