Three years ago, Tripp Phillips needed to solve a problem that many third grade students face: how to keep his Lego creations from falling apart when he played with them.
At the time, Phillips was a student at Westwood with an assignment to create an invention for the International Torrance Creativity Awards. With help from his dad, an employee at Professional Testing Laboratory, Inc., Le-Glue was created. It won the Toys and Games category of the 2014 competition.
Now, a sixth grader at Dalton Middle School, Phillips has seen his hard work pay off. He made the headlines in the Dalton Daily Citizen, and he was recently asked to speak at the Dalton Rotary Club meeting in front of approximately 100 business men and women from the community.
Phillips talked about the history behind the invention, skyrocketing sales and how he got the business to where it is now. "My dad's advice was to start with a problem and then find a solution," he said. "Business is hard, but it's rewarding. My message is that anything can happen from a simple idea and a big dream."
Le-Glue is strong but also water soluble, allowing for Legos to be pulled apart again and again without damaging them. Since its creation, Phillips said it has become a huge success.
Selling at a pace of about 30 packets a day, Phillips has seen a lot of changes over the past three years.
"We launched the product with new squeezable packaging that works a lot better. We also have a new powder form that people can mix with water to make themselves," he explained. "We also have better advertising. We had a commercial for a while on Cartoon Network in this area."
Phillips said his long-term goals for the company would be to partner with Lego or sell the product to them. He also applied to audition for the show "Shark Tank" to pitch the idea to a group of investors. He has made philanthropy a company priority, as well, donating his product to local non-profit The Greenhouse Children's Advocacy Group.
"It's really nice to be part of the success Le-Glue is having, and it makes me feel really good to see that accomplishment. It's also cool to see all the work my family has put in and to watch it take off," said Phillips. "Hard work pays off, and age doesn't really matter."