Making Something From Nothing: Paige Brattin of Worthy Brands On How To Go From Idea To Launch

An Interview With Doug Noll

Doug Noll
Authority Magazine
12 min readMar 22, 2023


Growing is not easy. Great sales and growth sounds like all good things. But there are growing pains.

During covid, our sales tripled. We were doing great, we sold out. However replenishing stock, no matter what type of forecasting and planning we did during that time turned out to be a problem. There was slow manufacturing due to factory shut downs as employees got sick, inflation all across the board, ridiculously high shipping fees, and slow waits.

As a part of our series called “Making Something From Nothing”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Paige Brattin

Paige Bradbury Brattin has a MA in Education and has taught in various settings from elementary school up through University classrooms. She has owned prior retail businesses but when her daughter, Eddy, was 6 years old and needed to be treated for a serious case of amblyopia, that was when Paige learned about product development and manufacturing. As someone who is meticulous in all she endeavors, Paige spent 2+ years innovating eye patches so that they would stand out on the market and truly be able to help children who need them. Paige had committed her life to helping families who have children fighting blindness after her own experience with her daughter. She has structured See Worthy Patches so that a portion of proceeds go to early detection vision screening programs. She is committed to bringing awareness to the importance of all children seeing an eye doctor before they turn three.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

My childhood was spent in New Jersey with my parents and two brothers. My parents worked a lot and since I was six years older than my youngest brother, I was responsible for taking care of him while my parents were gone. I loved it, it felt so rewarding,I knew from a young age, that I wanted to be a mom. Since parents were so busy, I always thought I wanted to not work while I was in parenthood; I wanted to be very available for my children. That soon changed once we received Eddy’s diagnosis. Starting my own business and creating an eye patch brand was a completely different direction than anticipated, but so worth it, and the process of creating the product and the fulfillment of seeing how it helps so many children and families makes it all worthwhile.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You win more flies with honey than vinegar” — I’m pretty sure my dad told me that one on repeat during my teenage years. I have found it to be one of the best tools to use in problem solving, in particular when the challenge involves other people.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I remember when I saw the film, “Life is Beautiful,” I was so moved and so touched. The movie is such a celebration of family, and the heart warming story about the lengths a parent will go through to protect their child, and show them there is brightness and happiness in the world- even when that world is quite bleak. Although there are obvious sad undertones and events during the movie since it takes place during The Holocaust, the themes of love and perserverance creates an uplifting and inspiring sentiment at the same time. I think I took that with me into my adult years; trying to find inspiration or light in dark situations. If these characters could do it, we could at least try.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. There is no shortage of good ideas out there. Many people have good ideas all the time. But people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. Can you share a few ideas from your experience about how to overcome this challenge?

I would not have tried to translate this idea into a business if I didn’t think it was something that would help people and those people really had a need for it. I’ve had lots of ideas for products, and I could always convince myself someone might need it. Ultimately, they were an accessory. Hence the challenge to move forward and translate this idea into a business. When I developed See Worthy Patches, I knew the market: 1 in 45 children, or 2 million in the USA alone, needed eye patches in order to save their vision. I knew I had to make this product better for that demographic. It was more of a calling to do it; the challenges of if and how completely disappeared.

Often when people think of a new idea, they dismiss it saying someone else must have thought of it before. How would you recommend that someone go about researching whether or not their idea has already been created?

Since we live in the age of Google, I would have to say that’s the place to start. If a similar product exists, it is likely being marketed and sold somewhere online. From there, Amazon is a great second spot to look. It is true, there is most likely someone else out there with a similar idea, you just have to either beat them to market… or make it better, much better.

For the benefit of our readers, can you outline the steps one has to go through, from when they think of the idea, until it finally lands in a customer’s hands? In particular, we’d love to hear about how to file a patent, how to source a good manufacturer, and how to find a retailer to distribute it.

From concept to customer looks different for all people. I did not come from a manufacturing background so I had a lot to learn. It was a lot of research and work.

I think writing a business plan is the best road map any entrepreneur can make for themselves, even if they do not need financing. Writing every aspect of how the business runs can really help to figure out your own next steps.

In my case, I had a hard time finding the right people to help with product development and manufacturing. Internet research and local innovation centers called short of what I needed or trusted I could use. In the end, I literally talked about my idea everywhere I went. Eventually the “who you know” factor helped. One of the retired older men who hung out where I got coffee would talk to me, then he told me to talk to his daughter about it, and then her friend, and her ex husband, and then his friend … and then I was finally connected to the right team. Which by the way, wasn’t a far away circle from my own friends due to the small town nature of Honolulu. Point being, while that seems like quite a few connections away, it really was a little bit under my nose. If you’re trying to source a way to create a product for market, one may need to become creative on how to figure it out. Using any and all connections and resources is completely relevant. People innately want to help others.

Once my team began product development, and then manufacturing, I knew exactly where I would retail, and I knew my audience. I knew I would be consumer direct via my website and Amazon. While I would love to expand to CVS and or Target, I am still growing.

I completely innovated a 200+ year old product, I knew it was integral to patent it. I also knew that being a busy mom to two girls under the age of eight at that time, it meant I could not file it on my own. I found a patent attorney and it was the best way for me to handle and accomplish that task.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Started Leading My Company” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1 . No shortage of unimaginable mishaps can occur.

When I first got to market, my products were up on Amazon about a week or two. At that time clicks helped you get higher rankings and move to higher visibility. They warned of having friends and family do the clicking. I went to my first pediatric ophthalmology conference where doctors were really excited about the new product, and they all asked if available on Amazon. About 2000 doctors clicked and clicked on each of my skus which resulted in Amazon flagging my brand as fraudulent, and took down my listings. It was a disaster. I used my start up money to attend this conference and market my product to the direct audience that needed it. They told their patients and then my product was not even searchable on the platform. It was a really rough launch. Fighting Amazon is like fighting city hall. It was hours and days of calls and fighting with them. I had to convince them I do not have 2000 friends that would click that much. It took what seemed like forever to resolve it. I lost any standing/visibility I had on the listings for that product. I am not sure I am ever forgiving Amazon for making it so hard to help children who are fighting for their sight.

2 . Growing is not easy. Great sales and growth sounds like all good things. But there are growing pains.

During covid, our sales tripled. We were doing great, we sold out. However replenishing stock, no matter what type of forecasting and planning we did during that time turned out to be a problem. There was slow manufacturing due to factory shut downs as employees got sick, inflation all across the board, ridiculously high shipping fees, and slow waits.

3 . Competitors become scared and cannot be trusted.

One of our competitors is antiquated. Their materials are thick, hot, and their adhesives tear the skin. They were the only product on the market for decades. After I innovated my product and was on the market for about 1.5 years, likely taking notable sales from their long standing sole product on the market, they noticed. They infringed on my patent and mimicked my adhesive technology and, their American distributors actually sent me letters from their legal team saying they wanted to open a dispute with me. After I pointed out that I actually owned the patent and they did not have any patents, things went silent for months. It was stressful as they were larger and more established than my brand. Then, their CEO in Europe personally called me, apologized for his American business partners, and now we keep in touch and even share photos of our children. It ended alright, but I am still on guard.

4 . No matter how you structure your business, you’re still going to work more than you anticipate.

Answering emails, preparing documents at 5 AM before the household wakes up, working after dinner and even while traveling, I am juggling so many responsibilities, and usually in a different time zone.

5 . Trying to sell your product globally is a completely unfair game.

The hoops Americans have to go through to have the right licenses or VAT taxes is extrmely extensive. It has taken almost 3 years to have all our approvals to sell in United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, yet our competitors have a free game to a larger market when they sell here.

Let’s imagine that a reader reading this interview has an idea for a product that they would like to invent. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?

Research, and more research. A friend once told me that you will never regret over researching for business. It takes a great deal of effort and determination to bring ideas into fruition. Making sure they will be successful once at market means researching all angles to insure they do not already exist, and finding the right materials and manufacturers are key.

There are many invention development consultants. Would you recommend that a person with a new idea hire such a consultant, or should they try to strike out on their own?

I think it depends on the industry, the individual, and their budget. Personally, I did not go that route. But I can see how it would helps others.

What are your thoughts about bootstrapping vs looking for venture capital? What is the best way to decide if you should do either one?

Personally, regardless of the pressure or stresses of financing my own venture, I enjoy being entirely in control of the money, how it is used, and not owing anyone else or letting anyone else down if goals aren’t met.

Ok. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

I would like to think the entire platform of my product and business make the world a better place. It’s literally our tagline, “Making difficult journeys better.” I’m making fighting blindness easier, bringing comfort to cancer patients, giving a portion of proceeds to their causes, and fighting legislation to have insurance cover it along the way.

You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I think a movement that would help all other movements would be a compassion movement. If there were a way for more people to have more compassion in their approach to more issues, a lot more could be solved. Whether the compassion is for helping the Earth, food shortages, the underprivileged, the disabled, the misunderstood, the education systems, the victims of war, compassion leads to understanding and kindness that can really benefit all.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

There are so many interesting and inspirational people in the public eye who would be interesting to have a meal with, who could benefit the cause of helping those having difficult journeys. Obviously I would like to choose someone who is sympathetic to the cause of helping children see, bettering the lives of those who would have to struggle to get ahead. It would be someone who sees the intrinsic value of children who see- can then read, become adults who can drive and can work, and how all of this helps the larger population. Someone who appreciates the woman business owner, the small business owner, and the need for public awareness on these healthcare issues … and that leaves two people, former President Barack Obama and Oprah… and I don’t want them to fight over me, so make it breakfast for three!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

About the Interviewer: Douglas E. Noll, JD, MA was born nearly blind, crippled with club feet, partially deaf, and left-handed. He overcame all of these obstacles to become a successful civil trial lawyer. In 2000, he abandoned his law practice to become a peacemaker. His calling is to serve humanity, and he executes his calling at many levels. He is an award-winning author, teacher, and trainer. He is a highly experienced mediator. Doug’s work carries him from international work to helping people resolve deep interpersonal and ideological conflicts. Doug teaches his innovative de-escalation skill that calms any angry person in 90 seconds or less. With Laurel Kaufer, Doug founded Prison of Peace in 2009. The Prison of Peace project trains life and long terms incarcerated people to be powerful peacemakers and mediators. He has been deeply moved by inmates who have learned and applied deep, empathic listening skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills to reduce violence in their prison communities. Their dedication to learning, improving, and serving their communities motivates him to expand the principles of Prison of Peace so that every human wanting to learn the skills of peace may do so. Doug’s awards include California Lawyer Magazine Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year, Purpose Prize Fellow, International Academy of Mediators Syd Leezak Award of Excellence, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals Neutral of the Year. His four books have won a number of awards and commendations. Doug’s podcast, Listen With Leaders, is now accepting guests. Click on this link to learn more and apply.



Doug Noll
Authority Magazine

Award-winning author, teacher, trainer, and now podcaster.