Inspiration can spark anywhere, even when you’re walking your dog. Nichole Lackey and Lorri Smith learned this when they were out with their pets and decided to kick-off a unique project in the spring of 2016. They chose to “cheese the day” by working with Invent@NMU as they began their new business venture to create the Original Cheese Lights, naming their company “Two Cheezy Chicks”. The duo found the student team incredibly helpful, as they received assistance with CAD designs and building 3D printed prototypes. “It was great working with Invent@NMU,” says Lackey. “They had a clear process that they explained in both an initial meeting and also laid it out visually.”
“The challenges we faced through this process are what made this experience worth it and fun.” In the fall of 2016, the novelty string lights were officially on their way to launch and being manufactured. By mid-December, the final product was in their hands and ready for the market. They started selling the lights during the football season at Lambeau Field and locally in Marquette. Currently, these innovative women are working on developing wholesale relationships to assist them in placing their product in retail stores in Michigan and Wisconsin.