JACKSON CO. -- You could add a southern Illinois man's invention to your cart this holiday season. Dave Restivo transformed his idea into a real product, thanks to help of innovative students at SIU.
"I used to sell ceiling fans for one of the largest ceiling fan companies in the world," said Restivo. "You had ceiling fans all up and everything was always clean, by hand. You got up on a ladder and cleaned everything, so that really sparked the idea."
In 1985, Restivo got an idea for a cleaning product to help keep ceiling fan blades dust free.
But it wasn't until 30 years later, that idea could become a reality, with the help of SIU.
Restivo got put in touch with associate professor, Aaron Scott and his design students to help refine his inspiration.
"I knew with this product we were going to need both our industrial design and our communications design," said Scott. "So we needed branding, we needed logos, and we needed graphics and packaging."
The collaboration worked. After three years of innovation., modifications, and setbacks, the Blade Maid is now on the market.
"A lot of the final results here have been influenced by students...the logos were developed here at SIU, the name, blade maid," said Scott. "For the students it's a learning opportunity for them."
The $24 cleaning product wipes away dust from your ceiling fans using a patented design. But it's just one of many ideas that could be generated from our region, so they hope to inspire more innovation.
"There are a lot of ideas in southern Illinois," said Scott. "There's actually a pretty big history of design at SIU...we're just bringing together a new face a new spin to it."
"Knowing everything we know now, and having SIU available here and having Aaron Scott and the students to help along with this cuts costs immensely," said Restivo.
Restivo and Scott hope Blade Maid becomes the first of many successful collaborations between area inventors, the SIU design department, and the entire support network the two men now have in southern Illinois.
"If you're an inventor and you have ideas and thoughts in your brain, in your mind and they can take it and make it a tangible object," said Restivo. "If it wasn't for SIU, I can tell you right now, I wouldn't be standing here right now."