Allison Weglarz’s entrepreneurial journey began with a trip to the lake.

With 25 friends and family members under one roof, possessions were soon swapped, and “Whose charger is this?” became a universal question.

The owner of the charger in question would always pipe up with, “It’s mine.”

Weglarz, who has been a nurse since 1995 and an RN case manager in the emergency department of Duke University Health System since 2014, began to think the phrase sounded like a good name for a company.

More than a year after that lake trip, iTZMiNE launched in June 2017.

iTZMiNE sells charger clips that will help people identify their chargers. At launch, the site offered 47 designs, including retro patterns or designs featuring sports or animals.

“It’s a fun product that has a purpose and solves a problem,” Weglarz said. “It could touch a lot of people.”

Since the launch just a couple of weeks ago, iTZMiNE has sold more than 100 clips and seen lots of web traffic.

iTZMiNE is also looking to expand into stores; Weglarz has sent samples to 10 stores.

But the journey to launch wasn’t easy. Weglarz said she had no idea about how to be an entrepreneur, so the process involved a lot of self-education and market research.

She made the first version of a clip out of cut-up plastic folders and experimented with many different closure techniques. The final product was made by a third-party company.

Weglarz also consulted a patent attorney; the iTZMiNE trademark was recently approved, and the patent is still pending.

Weglarz also used her Duke connections to learn more about entrepreneurship, discussing her vision with Judd Staples, Duke I&E’s director of new venture creation, as well as Melissa Bernstein, co-founder of successful toy company Melissa & Doug and one of the mentors behind Duke I&E’s Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs program for students. A Duke alumnus who was skilled in graphic design helped her with some of the designs she used for launch.

Weglarz has a busy schedule as a nurse who works 12 hour shifts and as a mom who supports her son through a travel baseball schedule, but she still finds the time to work on iTZMiNE by setting weekly goals for herself. She’s doing everything independently, including managing the website and social media channels, but she solicits feedback from friends and acquaintances.

Although iTZMiNE is a brand-new company, Weglarz has a vision for its growth. She said she’d love to acquire licensing for various sports leagues and entertainment brands, as well as expand the designs being offered.

Other products may eventually be on the horizon – Weglarz said there are many opportunities for fun, personalized products that can fit under the iTZMiNE umbrella.

To learn more about iTZMiNE, visit the website.

To read about more Duke Entrepreneurs, click here.

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