Neccessity: The Mother of Invention "Local neatnick has high hopes for Baggy Buddy"

Think intelligently the next time you throw away that freezer or refrigerator storage bag. That's what one woman wants people to do-and keep doing, to make her invention a success. "I never expected things to go this far," says Emma H. of the idea. "My main intention is to make things easier for homemakers." If you reuse storage bags, then you know how important it is to keep them clean. If you don't, it isn't sanitary and could lead to unhealthy conditions. Mrs. H, a retired speech therapist, reuses her bags but always has found it inconvenient to dry them afterward. That's what inspired her to create the "Baggie Buddy". The product saves user-time and makes for tidy environs, Mrs. H says during a recent interview in the kitchen of her home. Her idea provides a place for storage bags to drain after cleaning. It's compact, easy to use, and makes for a great addition to kitchens no matter what the size, she says. "Some people put bags on the floor. Some just toss them right in the trash can," she muses. "This just seemed to be the appropriate time for this kind of thing." Mrs. H retired in 1996. An elementary education graduate, she holds no prior patents on inventions. She is a self proclaimed environmentalist, the kind of person who frowns at the sight of litter. "I am a very clean-oriented type of person," she says, a fact which becomes evident upon walking through the immaculately kept home she shares with her husband, Raymond. "That's one thing I like about my product- it's environmentally friendly. It'll prevent litter."

Mrs. H. is no stranger to research. She's taken a variety of post-graduate classes. She says past polls conducted by various women's magazines have suggested that more than 50 percent of households reuse everything from aluminum foil to dishwashing detergent. Mrs. H's product is a 14-12 inch drainage board of sorts, a "holder," a device that fits right in with the rest of the stuff atop kitchen counters, she says. That's as far as she'll go with the description. "It is an invention," she says. "It has to go through a process. There's not a lot I'm supposed to say about the product and what it looks like." Invention Technologies Inc., a Coral Gables Fla. Based research and development firm, is handling the public relations side of the venture. The company involves itself in helping inventors with marketing strategies, in obtaining patents and applicable licenses. The process includes a market analysis, research on existing products and manufacturing. "We have nothing but high hopes that it takes off," says Erica Johnson, a spokeswoman for the company.

"We're in the process of seeking a manufacturer to license the product." Johnson said the product is being made available to manufacturers interested in new product development. She did not give an exact timeline on how things would unfold. Meanwhile, Mrs. H, a mother of two daughters, waits. She says she's hoping to have the "Baggie Buddy" in full production and ready for public use in the near future. "I cook everyday-so I know how useful this can be," she says. "And it's not just for the kitchen. Fishermen might find it helpful. You can probably find a whole lot of uses for it."