On the Net
To learn more about INPEX and InventHelp, visit www.inpex.com.
Lamar Sexton didn’t realize the need to hang clothing at a yard sale would lead to an opportunity for marketing a new product.
But that’s exactly what happened.
The lifelong Forsyth County resident will travel to Pittsburg, Pa., later this month to take part in a national inventors’ conference.
Sexton will debut his creation, the six-way portable clothes rack, at the Invention & New Product Exposition, or INPEX.
“For as long as I can remember, my wife and family have been involved in garage sales,” Sexton said. “My grandson, Christopher, called one day and said his mom wanted to have a garage sale, but the racks they had for the clothes weren’t any good. So I said, ‘Lamar you need to do something about that.’”
He then started working to create a better clothes rack.
Organized through InventHelp, a group that assists inventors secure patents and other support for their inventions, INPEX allows inventors to showcase their products for licensing, marketing or manufacturing.
According to its Web site, it’s the largest trade show of its kind in America.
Gia DelliGatta, a spokeswoman of the company, said more than 300 inventors will take part in this year’s INPEX, which runs June 14-17.
Besides pitching their products to potential buyers and retailers, the inventors can join in a number of seminars, panel discussions and presentations.
It took Sexton about four years and numerous prototypes to come up with the final version of his invention, which uses telescoping sections to extend from 48 to 60 inches in height and 36, 48 or 60 inches in width.
It’s made of aluminum, weighing just 12 pounds.
The rack can be quickly set up and taken down. Sexton even created a special carrying bag for the device.
The local inventor said InventHelp worked with him to secure a patent for the product.
While it was created with yard sales in mind, Sexton said his creation is also perfect for anyone just needing extra closet space.
“It’d be great for small apartments or college dorms,” he said.
Inventing wasn’t something the 75-year-old retiree had done much of. He spent his working years in a number of different jobs, primarily as a real estate developer.
He was also one of Forsyth County’s first planning and zoning board members and has served on the Sawnee EMC board since 1975.
Sexton said the six-way portable clothes rack is his first invention, although he pursued another creation about 25 years ago.
The idea was for a thermometer that could give temperature readings both indoors and outdoors at the same time.
“I even got a lawyer to look into it, but he found out there were already a bunch of other people with the same idea so I ended up not doing anything with it,” Sexton said.
But he’s pleased with the clothes rack and hopes it will find success at INPEX.
“It’s been a good hobby for me,” he said. “I believe if it’s marketed right, it could be a big hit.”