BYU inventor inspired by father’s legacy

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The idea for the product was born out of necessity. Matt Hulme wanted something to prop his feet up on while sitting at a desk, but a printer wouldn’t work. Driven by his imagination and the inspiration he takes from the memory of his father, Hulme created a solution.

“I was looking for other options, and none of them were what I wanted so I made one,” Hulme said.

Hulme, BYU student, is the founder of The Foot Hammock. The product provides a comfortable way to sit by using a small hammock to prop up feet. Two adhesive attachments secure the hammock underneath a desk.  It can support up to 110 pounds and is adjustable.

“It’s like a sleeping bag for your feet,” Hulme described.

Hulme didn’t start this journey in order to make money, be interviewed on live television or add experience to his resume, although he’s done all those things. He was inspired by his dad, an inventor at heart. Hulme had ups and downs creating and launching the product, but his hopes and dreams of becoming an inventor are now a reality.

The dream extends back to when Hulme visited Disneyland with his dad for the first time.

“I just picked his brain the entire trip. His mind fascinated me,” Hulme said.  At age seven, Hulme was more interested in listening to his dad explain the mechanics and ideas behind the rides than in riding anything.

“He would explain the physics behind the rides, why and how they work; how he thought fascinated me,” Hulme recalled.

This is one of the many memories that inspired Hulme to be an entrepreneur and inventor. Hulme’s dad passed away when Hulme was only 12 years old.

The Foot Hammock launched after Hulme and company co-founder Brent Murray decided to create a Kickstarter campaign. The funding started on Jan. 6, 2015, with a goal of $15,000. Within 24 hours the goal was surpassed, and enthusiasm was high. After one week the campaign had raised more than $50,000.

While funding was steadily increasing, Hulme and Murray attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. During the event, Hulme was asked to appear on the Australian talk show “Sunrise.” He entertained various questions from the hosts, and The Foot Hammock raised $5,000 in less than 10 minutes.

The Kickstarter campaign ended on Feb. 8 with a total of $113,200 from 2,780 backers. The manufacturing process is underway, and customers can pre-order the mesh, fleece or heated fleece hammock. The product ranges from $30 to $60 with a large selection of colors.

With his recent success, Hulme chooses to focus on how he can improve the product and satisfy every customer. Instead of feeling stressed because of the demands that are now in place because of the recent funding, Hulme remembers what he learned from his dad.

“He was a genius: he got all the brains that I didn’t. He inspired in me a love of learning and exploration when I was young. I remember the first job I wanted to be when I was 4 years old was an inventor, because of my dad,” Hulme said. “I was inspired by my dad … some of this has been for him. I feel like he is smiling down on me, and I feel like I’ve impressed him, hopefully.”

The Foot Hammock came from an inventor’s mind, but the drive to press forward came from his heart — motivated by a loving father’s imagination.

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