Almost everybody has dreamed of inventing something sexy like a fusion-powered engine — or even something funky like the next hula hoop. But it’s safe to say not many have dreamed of inventing something so, well, personal, as a disposable suppository applicator. Yet that’s exactly what Jennifer Davagian Ensign did a few years ago. In her kitchen, no less.
Afflicted with irritable bowel syndrome, Ensign was prescribed suppositories but inserting them was difficult and messy. She began dreaming of a quick, clean, painless way to insert the suppositories. After watching some YouTube videos, she began molding silcone applicators in her kitchen oven. Eventually she began collaborating with an engineer to design a full-scale prototype plastic injection mold for mass -production. She decided to switch from silicone to low-density polyethylene because of its long history of use in medical devices.
A few weeks ago her new company, Cristcot, Inc., began full-scale production of the new applicator. Ensign, the newly-minted CEO, believes strongly that her invention will achieve commercial success, simply because it responds to a massive, unmet need that people are embarrassed to talk about. How massive? Each year 11 billion suppositories are sold worldwide, providing a huge customer base, says Ensign.
So while her applicator may not be the stuff of dreams for many budding entrepreneurs, it was for one. And she may just realize another dream those other guys always have: commercial and financial success.