KEMPTVILLE - Industrial designer Mike Adjeleian made a big discovery when he invented L'il Sucker - and later MagNeato.
The "Never Spill A Sip" neoprene drink holder launched what is now Mike's highly-successful design and manufacturing com-pany based in North Grenville. The L'il Sucker and other unique hold-in-place products are sold around the world and can be found stuck on everything from kayaks to yachts and all things in between.
"And it all happened by accident," says Mike, who has spent his career finding ways of creating quality, functional products. The drink holder was discovered when the Rhode Island School of Design graduate was prototyping with some neoprene for an un-related flashlight product for police and security personnel.
"The prototype sucked to the glass like a magnet. I literally had a chill go down my spine," Mike recalls of the moment in Ottawa back in 1999. He immediately grabbed a pop can to see if it would adhere in the same way. Soon he and a graphic designer friend came up with the name - L'il Sucker, and Mike dove into the non-spill drink holder market.
The product took off immediately. It sold out during its first ap-pearance on an American-based shopping channel in 2001. Suddenly, Mike was searching for a larger manufacturing outlet to keep up with demand. He would eventually set up his own manufacturing operation on the outskirts of Kemptville.
"There was a drive to succeed and continually trying to improve the process. " he says. Today, with millions of units sold, he is happy to say every item is Made in Canada with all production in North Grenville since 2004.
"I love what I do because I get to be creative on a daily basis, while continually evolving and learning along the way," Mike says
"I'm now looking to expand operations and my facility," says Mike. He has extended his product line over the years, holds close to 15 patents and continues to come up with new ideas, including the "superhero of drink holders - MagNeato," a power-ful magnetic sleeve that holds everything from drinks to spray cans in place.
The L'il Sucker line of products are currently available in both original and holster sizes. Everything produced at the Kemptville facility can be fully customized with your name and logo, or a picture of your favourite pet. The new mini size for nail polish bottles will be available this spring. This year will also see the introduction of JustMikeIt.com where all of his brands will find a home.
"Stay tuned for the launch and watch this L'il Kemptville compa-ny grow," Mike says.
You'll find his products on Amazon, the Duluth Trading Company, and countless retailers where Yeti Ramblers and other drinkware items are sold. Learn more about L'il Sucker Products Inc. via this video or shop online on their website and Facebook and Instagram pages.
Story courtesy of United Counties of Leeds Grenville Economic Development.