Could a product you created be the next big thing?
The Dallas Market Center wants to find out. It is accepting applications for its third annual Next Big Thing contest.
Rowlett resident Renee Williams' idea was a solution to a problem, and your idea could be next.
"I was at a girl's night out, and we were mingling around, just having fun and I kept hearing requests for napkins and paper towels," said Williams. "The reason was because there were spills."
Whether shaken or stirred, dry or dirty, one issue always floats to the top when you order a martini: It's not exactly the easiest drink to keep in its glass.
"It really just popped into my head, and I was like, 'OK. I know what I can do,'" she said.
Williams created a martini glass, the Sipatiniz, that is designed with a lip and hole for a little straw, to keep your drink right where it belongs -- inside your glass.
"It just cuts down on that basic slosh when you're mingling around and talking with your hands and the things we do," she said.
Creating it was one thing, but figuring out how to market it was a completely different story -- at least until she heard about the Dallas Market Center's nationwide contest.
"I thought, 'Well I have a new and innovative product,' so I entered the contest," she said. "They selected me as one of the final three. Ultimately, Sipatiniz won that contest."
It was quite a shock to Williams, a nondrinker with an IT background. Part of her prize was an opportunity to showcase her product at the Dallas Market Center, where buyers could purchase Sipatiniz for retail stores across the country.
"They're in approximately 120 retail locations between, well, from coast to coast," she said.
With the Dallas Market Center now accepting applications for their third annual 'Next Big Thing' contest, Renee has a little advice for anyone with a great product to market.
"If you have an idea, just kind of go for it," she said.
Because you never know if your product could be the next big thing.
This year's winner will receive a prize package worth more than $15,000, including a $5,000 cash prize. The application deadline is March 26, 2010.
For your application and more information about 'The Next Big Thing' contest, go to www.dallasmarketcenter.com.