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Star Valley grad’s invention aims to solve your shoe problems

For those who have vintage or expensive basketball shoes and have hand-washed them in the past, the Shoo-Noise can solve that problem.

◆ “Shoo-Noise” saves wear and tear on shoes, machines and helps you wash and dry awkward items.

Barry Erickson is a graduate of Star Valley High School in 1995. He’s been in nursing for 25 years and is currently a nurse practitioner in Hurricane, Utah.

He comes in contact with a lot of undesirable stuff in his job but it came down to his shoes that made him want to solve a problem he didn’t know he had.

“I went to throw some Crocs in the washer because they had a lining in them that was starting to stink,” he said. I just hated the sound of the banging.”

So, Erickson designed a solution for both the washer and the dryer as it pertains to footwear, called the “Shoo-Noise”. The invention utilizes plastic forms with six magnets each that hold the shoes to the sides of the cylinder as they spin.

“I had the opportunity to go to the Small Business Administration and they were able to get me in contact with those who helped me refine the idea,” he said. I went from an idea in my head to a product in my hand.”

The Shoo-Noise package comes with a pair of mesh bags that can be used to wash kids toys or pet toys that need attention but you don’t want rattling around.

According to Erickson, the shoes not only get clean, but they spin out with the washer as well and require less time to dry once they are done.

The process of getting from that day to now, where a product is now on the market for sale, has been a long one.

“This has been about a five year process,” he said. “I tried to find the right people to help and that took while to do it. But I was able to find the correct people to help me do it.”

The process included a lot of testing and 3-D modeling. Some of that testing was very beneficial. Such as the time he witnessed errant shoes knocking open the dryer door and another time that a shoe was wedged in the machine and burned out the motor. These turned into product benefits.

But not all testing came with good news.

“Three years ago I thought it was done and it broke in the washer so we went back to the design board and had to bulk them up,” he said. “I had already purchased one-thousand of them and I had to throw them away but you can’t sell them if they’re not going to work.”

Along the line, Erickson has developed skills such as persistence.

“You have to be tenacious and stick with it,” he said. “I’ve tried to make it so it’s not just a one-trick pony. There is a mesh bag for bras and other clothing and toys and things like that. I have a full-time job and then trying to come home and I have three kids and be a business; my life is not boring.”

He also found that over the past 18 months of COVID-19 that there are a lot of people looking to keep clean.

“Being a nurse we were wearing all of our masks and gloves and using social distancing but there is that threat of picking something up,” he added. “ I’ve talked to a lot of different people who accumulate things and want to disinfect them. I talked with a dental hygienist who washes her shoes every week.”

In addition, the Shoo-Noise can help keep shoes in good shape.

“They can be a two-hundred dollar investment,” he said. “This is quiet, it’s quick and you don’t have to worry about damage to your shoes. It also helps out with the wear and tear on your washer and dryer as well.”

Erickson and Shoo-Noise was one of the sponsors of the recent Star Valley Half-Marathon.

You can order at shoo-noise.com. The purchase of the base comes with a pair of mesh bags as well for kids toys and pet toys.

For the full interview listen at svinews.com/radio.

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