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Who Doesn’t Need A Hug To Remember ?

You won’t forget these hugs!

By: Kris Hazelton

Have you ever dreamed about getting your greatest idea or invention on the shelves of the world’s largest retailer? Local entrepreneur Jean Welch sure has.

She learned last month that Walmart announced that they were holding an “American Idol”-style contest to give shelf space to new products. Contestants were to create online videos of their inventions, and the public votes on which of those products make it to the Superstore.

Jean Welch invented “A Hug To Remember” and is now competing in the Get on the Shelf Contest.

When asked how she got the idea for her “Hugs to Remember,” Jean said, “In April 1986, my son & daughter-in-law lost their first child, our first grandchild. They lived in Nederland, CO and we lived far away in Texas. We were not able to go the 1,000 miles to be with them and the phone calls seemed inadequate to comfort them. I needed to ‘hug’ them; I needed to be there with them, but I couldn’t. I was determined to somehow send them a message of love so I cut open a grocery bag and laid on the floor with my hands opened wide and my husband drew my 5’4” hug. It’s a scientific fact that we need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs for maintenance, 12 hugs for growth. With this homemade hug, I then kissed it all over with red lipstick, sprayed my perfume on it and wrote words from my heart on it, encouraging them to embrace each other with my ‘hug’ and face this life crisis with grace & hope for better tomorrows. I rolled up the long crude paper hug intertwining the fingers and placed a bouquet of Texas bluebonnets in the hands and mailed it, sealing with a kiss.”

Low and behold, it worked! Jean’s whimsical creation broke the cycle and helped them to heal. Little did she know that her son ad family had told others about their special hug and suddenly, Jean had requests pouring in to make more and to market her hug idea.Jean said, “ I immediately started revising it a bit, if someone could feel my emotions by way of a brown paper bag, how much more could be felt if the hug was more life like?” Through many trials and errors Jean’s family of hugs was born. She tied a ribbon on the forefinger of each left hand much like they did in earlier days to remind them to remember something. “A Hug To Remember” seemed the perfect name to remind us all to embrace each other and life for every reason and every season.

According to Jean, “Hugs sends the right message, I make HEhugs, SHEhugs, politician hugs, even baby Weehugs, I can put powder or perfume in them to personalize them as well. I’ve made welcome home hero hugs, overseas baby hugs to soldiers, birthday hugs, congrats hugs, over the hill hugs, there’s just no end to the possibilities of messages for a special hug, I’ve even made a Tim Tebow hug!”

Said Jean, “I continue to make a hug for anyone who needs one. One of my most treasured hugs is my hug that I gave to a woman the I called, “The courage to die” and her son tucked it around her neck in her casket. And I also gave one to a homeless woman I met in San Antonio and one a woman who is dying with pancreatic cancer, a purple hug to help her remember someone cares. There are many happy stories of hugs given as well!

About the competition, Jean stated, “This competition with Wal-Mart is a great opportunity for who ever wins (I consider it a long shot) but I am already a winner because of the tremendous interest people have in my idea and the encouragement they give me to get them on the market. So much so, I have applied for a patent pending that protects it for one year. It’s exciting to think I may just pull this off but if I don’t, there is always Plan B & C etc.”

Jean smiles and says, “The bottom line is that the only way I can win is by public vote online.” This spry, almost 80 year old woman smiles and continued, “This leaves out most of my peers who do not social network!”

Jean urges us all to vote, every day from March 7-April 3. Go to the website at click on “Personalized/Customized Products” and scroll down and find “A Hug To Remember.” Vote early and you can vote once every day! Jean ended with, “Wish me luck!”

We do wish you luck Jean and we all send you a hug hoping your wonderful idea makes it to the shelves of Walmart and everyone gets the chance to enjoy one of your special Hugs to Remember!


© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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