The most successful product ever featured on Shark Tank is the Scrub Daddy, basically a glorified slice of pool noodle with a happy face cut into it, which turns out to be an incredibly useful sponge-type of tool around the kitchen sink. (Yes, I am one of the 10 million people who have one.) Sometimes the simplest products are the ones that seem the most inspired—just ask Houstonian Mike Watts.
Watts is the serial entrepreneur behind the LoveHandle, a simple, bow tie-shaped piece of elastic, plastic and adhesive that you never knew you needed. Stick it to the back of your smartphone and voila, your phone has an elastic handle that makes it easy to grip with just a finger or two.
It sounds silly—I blame the name—but this little invention is useful in ways you'd never imagine. It makes holding your phone in front of you for selfies, FaceTime and reading in bed require a fraction of the effort. Are you that person who's always juggling her keys, phone and Starbucks latte? Your life just got easier. Are you a Real Housewife who has to put your calls on speakerphone so you can fight with fellow castmembers while you drive? This was invented for you. Do you love looking at your case-free phone while in the bath or the pool? Using a LoveHandle will do nothing to wreck your devil-may-care, risk-taker image.
I struggle to describe the LoveHandle's surprising utility without gushing. And it is, again, just a strip of elastic attached to a 3M adhesive via some plastic. There is a downside: this little work of genius will run you $9.99 — or $12.99 for one big enough to hold a tablet, which is fairly steep for a product that surely costs pennies to make. It also has problems sticking to the waterproof iPhone 7 unless the phone is in a case. Nevertheless it's become so successful that Watts built a 10,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Rosharon to produce half a million LoveHandles per year.
Frankly, if there's a more universally perfect stocking stuffer this year, I haven't seen it.