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Sun City Center inventor’s travel pillow lands online

Published on: October 19, 2017

KEVIN BRADY PHOTO
“Ideally, I would like to license (the Travel Kozy) to someone who would then market it,” said Glenn McCain, above. “Sometimes you bring a baby into the world and watch it grow, but you have to let it go.” The pillow provides neck, back and lumbar support.

By KEVIN BRADY

Glenn McCain thinks his travel pillow can make those long trips in the car or plane easier with his new invention, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

McCain, a retired architect who says he logged around 1 million miles during his 39-year career, is betting $45,000 of his retirement savings that the Travel Kozy will be a hit. Some 1,500 pillows arrived at the Port of Tampa Oct. 5 and are already selling online.

Boom or bust, McCain has no regrets. “I know this is a product that will work and I just don’t want to have regrets a few years down the road,” McCain said. “This is something I believe can help a lot of people.”

A self-inflating pillow providing lower back and/or neck support, the pillow comes in a one- or three-piece design and at 15-inches wide fits all standard planes, trains, cars and truck seats comfortably.

It was his endless and fruitless search for comfort on planes, trains and cars that sent McCain to his sketchpad in the mid 1990s.  “I would stuff pillows around my neck and back, but I could never get comfortable,” recalled McCain whose terriority saw him travel from Florida to Maine and out to Ohio. “I knew there had to be a better way.”

Drawing and prototype in hand, McCain wasn’t sure where to take his idea until he opened up a local paper in February 2016.

“I was always wondering about bringing it to market then one day I just opened the Tampa Tribune and there was an article on CMS Sports (a Clearwater company) that helped inventors,” McCain said. “I called them Monday and by Wednesday I was sitting in the office with their designers (examining) my prototype that I had made with memory foam and a cover. They were great to work with.”

Mike Hebert met McCain in 2015 at an orientation for new Sun City Center residents. The two became firm friends and regulars on local golf courses.

“At first, Glenn was focused on airline passengers using the pillow, but my wife’s father was a truck driver, and those guys are driving 10 to 12 hours a day. He told me stories of how uncomfortable his seats used to be,” said Hebert, a retired electrial engineer who worked for General Motors and Chysler over a 38-year career. “I also tried using (the Travel Kozy) at home, in my golf cart and car.”

Hebert believes the pillow’s flexibility  — “I’m 5-foot, 4-inches (tall), but the pillow can adjust to someone 6-foot, 4-inches (tall),” — and the fact it self-inflates will be major selling points. “And he also has a good price.”

Sinking a small fortune into development, manufacturing and marketing, McCain is taking a chance, something Hebert admires. “This is his baby.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF TRAVEL KOZY
McCain, whose wife Regina, acted as the model testing out his first designs, had wanted to call his pillow the Travel Buddy “but that name was taken,” he said.

The one-piece Travel Kozy is $59.95 — best suited for those under 6-feet tall — with the detatchable three-piece pillow — better for those over 6-foot — selling for $69.95. It is available online at www.travelkozy.com or on Amazon.

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