Barry Connelly and Jessica Haynes display the patents and trademarks for their Socket Saver devices.(Photo: Tom Leyde/For Off 68)

Barry Connelly and Jessica Haynes display the patents and trademarks for their Socket Saver devices.(Photo: Tom Leyde/For Off 68)

Jessica Haynes and Barry Connelly invent the socket saver

Courtesy of the Salinas Californian

Tom Leyde

July 11, 2014

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.

That’s what Jessica Haynes and Barry Connelly did with an annoying household problem.

The Off 68 couple are the inventors of the Socket Saver, a small plastic device that keeps plugs from falling out of electrical wall sockets. The two have patents on the device and are working to market it worldwide.

It’s been a fascinating and eye-opening process for Connelly, a corporate pilot for Earthbound Farm, and Haynes, a personal consultant and self-help book author.

The journey started when Haynes had had it with loose electrical outlets.

“I’m tired of holding my hand next to the plugs to keep them from falling out,” she told her husband. “He woke up one morning and said, ‘I have an idea,’ and it was the Socket Saver,” Haynes said.

Connelly, a former service station owner and auto mechanic, went into his garage with a small plastic child safety device used to prevent children from shocks from electrical outlets. It covers up the holes.

“I filed it and played with it until it fit and it worked great,” Connelly said.

When the Socket Saver prototype was perfected, the couple got a patent pending certificate and through a patent attorney, got the device patented.

“It went through the Patent Office easily,” Haynes said. “There was nothing like it on the market.”

With three patents in hand, Connelly went searching for a manufacturer. Santa Maria Mold in CA was the choice. A package of ten costs $9.99.

The next step was testing the Socket Saver, “and everybody loved it” Haynes said.

The couple then created a website, socketsaver.com, and sales began growing. They also have videos on YouTube, showing how the device works.

“Trying to explain this (device) over the phone, sometimes they don’t get it, Connelly said. “But if I show it to them, they get it.”

Recently, the inventors were invited to the Las Vegas Hardware Trade Show by Invention Home. It’s the largest trade show of its kind in the United States and features some 2,600 booths, featuring well-known brands and new products throughout the U.S., China and Mexico.

“We were walking through these booths,” Haynes said. “They have anything you could possibly imagine.”

The journey to Las Vegas was a success. “They (people at the show) liked the Socket Saver and said it worked fantastically,” Haynes said.

Besides the invention itself, Haynes and Connelly had another trump card in their inventor’s deck. Haynes is friends with Barbara Bigford, inventor of the Beach Pocket, a device that keeps your beach umbrella from blowing over at the sea or lakeshore. Millions of Beach Pockets have been sold and Bigford is in demand as a speaker at colleges and universities. She helped guide Haynes and Connelly on their inventor’s journey.

Bigford and Haynes became acquainted about eight years ago when Bigford was marketing the Beach Pocket on the West Coast. Haynes had a radio show in Carmel and Bigford called into the show. The two became fast friends.

Bigford has tried the Socket Saver and, “I love it,” she said in a telephone interview from her Philadelphia home. “If you have a product like Jessica’s which solves the problem and the demographics aren’t narrow… then you really have a great product,” Bigford said. “This is an international global problem that can be solved with the Socket Saver.”

Haynes and Connelly are now in the marketing phase of their invention. “The marketing is a learning curve,” Connelly said.

A major goal is to sell the Socket Saver on Amazon.com as well as other mass marketing firms.

If things go smoothly as they have so far with the Socket Saver, there won’t be a loose socket in the world. And Haynes and Connelly will have a firm hold on the market and a healthy bank account.

For more information on the Socket Saver, visit SocketSaver.com or key in Socket Saver on You Tube.