Father Knows Best: The Story of an Inventor


 Father Knows Best: The Story of an Inventor

I’ve always been a little hesitant to speak about myself and my work because I believe that the products themselves should speak for themselves. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s difficult for me not to participate in the complexities and dynamic nature of our environment.

In order to give you a clearer picture of who is designing, making, and eventually selling these products let me start with a little background on myself. My name is Walter Vickers. When I was in high school, my father used to take me camping on most weekends that we had off of school. We’d set up camp in the woods and catch fish with a long-handled net and then cook the fish over an open fire.
I loved it; it was the first time I ever felt a part of something bigger than my everyday life. I became fascinated with everything nature, so this became my way of life.
I spent almost every weekend outdoors from 17 to 23 years old having very few evenings off from college or work. My time outside in nature was so important to me that it became my favorite way to spend time – my form of meditation. I was so engrossed in nature that I made it my life mission to find a way to use it in my everyday life.
I graduated college with a degree in biology and then entered graduate school at Cornell University where I studied medicine. My studies were not well received. Everyone found me very odd and strange because of the immense amounts of time I spent outside studying nature. I was told while in class that I needed to either “get a life or be more productive as my brain wasn’t as sharp as everyone else’s”.
Naturally, being a little sensitive to what others thought about me I was very upset with the way I was treated. In spite of this, when I graduated from college I somehow managed to win the "Outstanding Graduate Student" award from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
However, the years went by and nothing came of it (other than a few interviews for odd jobs). Time passed and I continued to go back to nature as often as possible because even now it provides me with relaxation time and helps me deal with daily stress.
Over a year ago I started noticing that many people were beginning to use my products without knowing who originally designed them or where they came from. So, I decided to start recording my thoughts on nature and writing them down. I've also started using Amazon's Mechanical Turk so that I can transcribe videos and do web research in order to provide feedback for the people who use my products.
I had no idea how much this little project was going to grow into until one day I was at a forum where an old friend of mine told me that the sales of my products were so good he had decided to invest in them (a site where he sells my products can be found here ). It startled me because I didn't realize that my products were selling very well.
In the past few years, I've developed a passion for making and selling products of my own that help people to make their lives simpler. I believe my products make life much easier on those who use them. I also believe that my products are better than those available on the market – even though they are similar to some already available.
In order to reach a wider audience with these ideas, I created an online store where your can purchase one-of-a-kind sustainable handcrafted wood burning accessories and home items made by me.
The main focus of this online store is to provide tools and home items made with nature as the base material so that you can live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. You can find my products for sale here .
I hope you will enjoy using my products as much as I do.
Walter J. Vickers, Ph.D., MCHES
Inventor of the Following Original Products:  ...and more to come!
Note: If you're interested in purchasing some of Walter's original hand crafted wood burning tools and accessories you can find them here . Walter is also a member of Etsy , so that you can shop with him there, too. He has a series of excellent instructions on his website on how to use the items that he sells on Etsy properly.
Walter's blog and Etsy shop are a great place to find his photos and some of the better descriptions about the products that he sells.
More About Walter in the Interview:
Many people have contacted me with several questions regarding how I became an inventor, why I stay in my hometown, what it's like to work in a small family-owned business, and more. Again, for anyone who cares about these things I hope that this is worth reading.
My name is Walter Vickers . My father was an inventor as well (he made many inventions for NASA ) so it always seemed like something that I would try to do one day. From the time I was a little kid I loved to create things. As a young boy I made my own toy trains, rockets, robots, and more.
I lived in northern Virginia until my senior year of high school when we moved to New York . My father had been offered a job at NASA and chose the area because of its natural beauty. We bought a large house on 35 acres with plenty of space for us to go camping in the summer and hiking through the woods in the winter.
When I was about 14 or 15 years old my father taught me how to make a bow-and-arrow out of wood (the kinds that you see Native Americans using). This was pretty much my no. 1 creation. I made quite a few of the bow-and-arrows and gave them to friends as gifts. It would thrill them that I decorated these pieces with my own artwork.
Later I made a wood carving of a character from a comic book that I had read when I was little, it was amazingly realistic and one of the best things that I had ever carved (the character's name was "Kakashi" from "Naruto").
I even won a fair amount of money in an international art competition for it (the award was to be displayed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C).
I was also always the class geek (I wore the same pair of glasses from elementary school until my junior year in high school) and I was constantly creating funny stories and art that my friends would enjoy.
Since graduating from high school I have always worked in a family owned business. My father was a sort of "jack-of-all-trades" so he taught me how to do many things. I'm very mechanically inclined, as well as computer savvy, so this was a very good fit for me.

Walter is an excellent example of the many inventors and artists out there who create new and better products but lack the funds to bring them to market. We hope that he and others like him will be able to find the money they need through the use of crowdsourcing and social media. Thanks, Walter! Good luck with your inventions!
Walter's Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodBurningTools
His blog: naturegearandmasqueradecostumes.blogspot.com
For more information on crowdfunding, patents, trademarks, copyrights, inventions and more I also recommend checking out Patently-O . They have a great YouTube channel (with over 500 videos).

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