'Foolish' Small Business Idea: A fitted bottom bed sheet, that stayed put instead of popping off the mattress.
Start-up Capital: Nearly $16,000 - borrowed from friends and family - for the patent.
How small business idea was launched: Secured the patent from office in Washington, D.C. The two largest Canadian sheet manufacturers were not interested in her design. So, she tried Springs Industries in the U.S., and they purchased her patent.
Sales: Through Springs Industries.
Earnings: Giselle Jubinville was paid $1million plus for the sale of the patent.
Housewife Giselle Jubinville, can hardly sew a stitch, but she was so fed-up with fitted sheets that kept popping off mattress corners that she decided to design a better fitted sheet - one that really did stay put.
For two months, day and night, she tried hundreds of designs, using just her old sewing machine. Everyone told her she was crazy and even experts said she was wasting her time, because you can't patent a sheet. But, Giselle was determined and wouldn't give up, even sewing in the corner of her bedroom all night, while her husband, Leonard, slept.
The breakthrough came, when one night she saw the perfect design in a dream. By stitching the corners at just the right angle and using slightly more fabric, she was able to make a deeper pocket, and the sheet remained in place, because the pocket stayed on any mattress.
Despite designing the perfect fitted sheet, it took Giselle of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, another 4 years to sell her design. The patent office in Washington, D.C. turned her down three times, because there were already more than 100 patented ways of sewing sheet corners, so they didn't agree that Giselle's idea was new. Furious, she travelled to Washington, taking with her a miniature mattress and the new sheet corner. Once the patent examiner had been shown the design he agreed it was new, and awarded a patent.
Next stop was the two largest Canadian sheet manufacturers. However, Giselle Jubinville suffered a devastating setback when both companies were not in the least bit interested in purchasing her design. But when she tried Springs Industries in the U.S., they purchased her patent for a $1million plus. Now Giselle Jubinville and her family are enjoying the results of her 'foolish' idea - a four-bedroom dream house newly built, they are on easy street and having a ball.