It’s no secret that some of the best ideas and inventions are cooked up right in (usually) sunny Colorado. In this series, we’ll be exploring the latest products coming from the state's makers, builders and innovators.
Bill Feldman came to Denver last February to hawk Liberty Wristband — his invention that allows dog-owners to walk their pets while keeping their hands free — at our beloved Furry Scurry. “I know the pet industry is strong in Colorado," he explains. "When the nation’s largest dog event was coming up, I made the trek out here with my last couple of hundred wristbands.” And after he sold 65 of them in two hours, he decided to stay in Colorado.
The Navy veteran was living in Florida when he came up with the idea for a hands-free dog-walking system shortly after adopting his dog, Henry. “He’s seventy pounds," Feldman says. "I started walking him on a daily basis, and he’d pull the leash out of my hands a lot. Even when he became well-trained, I hated holding onto the end of a leash, and I hated wrist-wrapping the leash around my hand."
In the Navy, Feldman had become familiar with quick-release harnesses and other safety gear. So he used a sailing grove and a snap shackle to make his own hands-free leash, and started walking Henry with that. Before long, other dog owners noticed Feldman’s invention.
Feldman called his sister, Wendy Jones, who had been making leashes and collars in Colorado for twenty years under the Walk-e-Woo brand, and asked if there was anything in the pet industry like his glove. When she said there wasn’t, he turned the glove into a sleeker wristband, and “put every penny and more" into making what he decided to call the Liberty Wristband. His invention “allows you to shackle your dog’s leash to your wrist, freeing up your hand to hold a phone, a drink or just hang free and unencumbered,” Feldman says.
“It’s simply constructed out of nylon webbing, neoprene for comfort and an aluminum clasp,” Feldman adds, noting that his product “has waterproof qualities, and is one-size-fits-all.” The Liberty Wristband comes in two colors – black and blue – and Feldman estimates that they’re compatible with 85 percent of leashes currently on the market. “The whole concep tis built around being able to manually release it if you need to,” he says.
Feldman launched Liberty Wristband on July 4, 2014, and says he sold his first run of 1,000 wristbands in “a matter of months.” He’s taken his product to three trade shows, and has gotten “nothing but positive feedback," he continues. And then came the Furry Scurry, and a move to Denver.
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A second production of Liberty Wristbands just came in, and the new generation of bands feature Lycra over the neoprene, for a “more finished and polished appearance,” Feldman says. “Also, because Henry inspired the invention, we put him on the wristband.”
A Liberty Wristband retails for $29.99. They're available online and in local retail stores including the Wag Shop and Urban Dogg, at 695 East 19th Avenue. For more information, visit the Liberty Wristband website.
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