Pam Turner of Blaine has always been an entrepreneur, so when she became fed up with trying to thread a needle to sew a button on a shirt, she invented a needle to make the job easier.
“When you’re threading my needle, instead of trying to get a limp piece of thread through a hole you can’t see anymore, you don’t even have to look at it,” Turner said.
The sewer instead runs a thread up the Spiral Eye Needle she invented. Once the thread catches near the head of the needle, you run the thread in a “z” motion to secure it.
Turner has peddled her Spiral Eye Needle product all over the country since inventing it in 2006, most recently in Michigan.
She will be appearing at the Minnesota State Fair for the first time this year, which began Aug. 22 and runs through Labor Day (Sept. 2). Her booth is on the upper floor of the south end of the Grandstand building.
Turner credits her mother for planting the seed for her business venture. She does not sew a lot and only out of necessity.
When Turner became flustered trying to get a button back on a shirt, she remembered her mother over 30 years ago had said the words, “We’ve been to the moon. Why can’t someone fix the sewing needle.”
Turner looked at a few options on the market and did not find what she was looking for, so she took a proactive approach.
“It was a matter of nobody else would do it,” she said.
She has sold over 20 million needles worldwide if counting all that she has licensed. Approximately 50,000 needles have been made at Unity Tool, a small family-run business in Dayton.
Some would like her to make smaller needle than a size eight, but that’s the smallest that can be manufactured to accommodate the different head design.
The needles are made out of stainless steel, so they do not rust and are sturdy. Her clientèle go well beyond people needing to sew a button on a shirt or patch a hole in a pair of jeans and the crafters. They include ranchers and fishermen. She hopes to be able to market her needle design to surgeons.
“When you starting seeing people buy them and encourage you to keep doing this, it’s worth the battle,” Turner said.
Turner won five awards in 2008 at the Minnesota Inventors Congress in Redwood Falls. She has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s “PitchMen” show and ABC’s “Nightline.”
To watch a demonstration video, visit www.rockethub.com/projects/27610-never-struggle-to-thread-a-sewing-needle-again.
Visit www.SpiralEyeNeedles.com for more information.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]