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The irony of the hands-free towel

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Ken Mohney was born with one hand. Is it ironic that he would invent and patent a hands-free towel? He says he never really worried much about having only one hand; it was not something that occupied his mind.

“I was born this way,” says Ken. “I didn’t think that much about it. I am a great golfer; I wrestled and played baseball. I have had a great life, a great career with Disney and I am married with two kids.“

As his story unfolds it becomes obviously clear that his invention had nothing to do with the fact that he has only one hand. “I came up with my idea several years ago while shaving and brushing my teeth. When I needed it, the towel wasn’t there, so I took an old towel, cut a slit in it and hung it over my head like a bib. I used it for several months.” During this time he had no thoughts about patenting a product.

Six months later he was on a treadmill at Disney where he worked. “There was a girl on a treadmill beside me and her towel fell to the floor. You could tell she was quite frustrated by the experience. Minutes later the towel I had draped across the treadmill fell to the floor.” Those two incidents somehow signaled Ken that it was time to develop a hands-free towel.

His basic goal was to come up with a towel and make it hands free so it was always at your side when you needed it. “I developed this towel that uses a spiral cord and a grommet as an adjustable belt to fit anyone’s waist size. It will also adjust small enough to place around your neck. Now you have a towel when you need it.” He named it the All Around Towel.

The applications for the All Around Towel are endless. “It doesn’t matter if you are fishing, grilling, golfing, cooking, running or working out in the gym. This product works anywhere you need a towel. I have sold thousands of them for every application you can think of.”

Ken’s is one of those stories where you get an idea, believe in the product and just go out there and do it. “Only in America can you take a towel,” says Ken, “add a rope to it and make a profit.”

Distribution began with flea markets and craft shows and has grown to retail placements. In the fishing market Ken signed up Vicious Fishing to sell the product under their label. The partnership will expand retail distribution. Golfers use towels all the time. PGA golfer Bill Weakly endorses the PGA edition towel giving Ken some PGA exposure. He also has Realtree licensing for his camo towels.

Ken is increasing product distribution through licensing. “I sell the Vicious Fishing edition towel, the PGA edition towel and my original All Around Towel. I am licensing it out and expanding distribution based on the market demand.”

Ken believes fate may have had something to do with development of the towel. “People don’t buy the product because of me, they buy because of its usefulness. They don’t know me from Adam. They are buying because they see an application where they can use it.”

“Really, when I think back as to why the idea came to me, it had nothing to do with me personally. It had everything to do with circumstances. The fact that I didn’t have a towel when I was shaving, that could have happened to anyone. It had nothing to do with me being born with one hand. The fact that the girl at the gym dropped her towel, that had nothing to do with me personally, I just observed it. It’s the fact that it did happened to me, and my circumstances, that’s why I think it is destiny.”

Ken believes people should have a goal in life and work towards it. “I was born with one hand, so the fact that I was given this idea, of all the people in the world that could have had the idea for a hands-free towel, it was me. That is not a coincidence. I think there is a much bigger purpose in this than me selling a towel and having a company.”

The goal that he envisions working for is much more than simple profit. “I really think there is a lot I can do with this. My goal is to use the benefits from this product to help amputees of all ages. Whether it’s children, guys from war, people that have diabetes that lost legs, that’s the long-term goal of my involvement with this product. It is all about being able to use my product in a way that is so much more important that just making a successful product, so we will see.”

“I know that I know that I know, there is more to this than just selling a towel.”

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