Housewares Design Awards

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2009 Best in Category: Personal Care/Health Care and Garment Care Electrics

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VIOlight Inc.

ZAPI UV Toothbrush Sanitizer

When Jonathan and Joel Pinsky from VIOlight designed the Zapi UV Toothbrush Sanitizer, not only did they create a product with an original function— toothbrush sanitizing— they bestowed it with an original look and feel, and for that they were awarded the 2009 Housewares Design Award in Health & Personal Care.

The egg-shaped ZAPI stores and sanitizes a single toothbrush and is designed to “rock” when touched via a non-slip weighted bottom. Meanwhile, the company claims proven germicidal ultraviolet technology destroys 99.9%of germs it comes into contact with on toothbrush heads.

“From our point of view, we wanted to create an item that besides being as functional as a sanitizer, was also fashionable, fun to use and could serve as an object of décor, as opposed to just being something that was technical,” said Joel.

After going through several concepts, the father/son team came up with a design that seemed to fit all of their parameters. Only after finding the perfect balance of fashion and function with the Zapi, they found themselves struggling to perfect its actual balance.

Joel explained that the wobbling design posed an unexpected challenge. “The big thing with the Zapi was working out the weight and balance to see that it wobbled correctly; that it was symmetrically perfect. That was our big issue, and we had to go through five or six prototypes before we got the balance right,” he said.

With the design kinks worked out and the colors selected, the Zapi hit the ground wobbling. After picking up a good deal of press for its novelty, the product landed on “O” The Oprah Magazine’s Best Holiday Gift Guide, which Joel said was the best exposure the company’s had for any product to date.

“The one thing we noticed more than any other product we’ve ever had was that people were ordering the Zapi in multiples of four to six pieces, so that told us the giftability of this item,” said Joel. “When you think about it, it’s not only a gift that’s pretty, but it’s something that’s under $30 and that the recipient probably won’t have already.”

In addition to winning the Housewares Design Award, the Zapi was selected for gift bags handed out at the Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball for United States President Barack Obama in Washington D.C., and was featured at a pre-academy-award-event gifting lounge for celebrities and personalities in Hollywood, CA.

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