May 29, 2000
Duvall residents Judy and Andy Knebel demonstrate Andy's invention, the TUGS sheet retaining system.
by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor
DUVALL--Tired of rasslin' with those maverick bottom sheets that won't stay on the bed? Need something that will corral those critters for good?
Andy Knebel has the answer. He, too, got sick of his runaway sheets and decided to do something about it. And that was the beginning of the TUGS sheet retaining system--the latest of Andy's inventions.
Andy, after a night-long struggle with the bottom sheet about a year ago, came up with a way to rope and tie those varmints so they don't get away. He was so happy with his invention that he and his wife Judy are marketing it through their company, Great Solutions, Inc.
Judy says the device works well on any bed, but particularly so on odd-size mattresses such as those in motor homes. "TUGS will hold the sheet on tight on any size mattress," she said. "You don't have to lift the mattress ... you just attach it to each corner and pull tight."
Judy, a lifelong Duvall resident, said customers are liking the product. "People have said the product has kept them from having to purchase new sheets when they got a new bed or when the elastic on older sheets became loose," she said.
The item is currently on the couple's website, www.tugs.net. It comes in two sizes--one king and queen and the other full size and smaller. Both sizes sell for $21.95. It was also accepted on Camping World's website and will be listed in the June edition of Select Comfort's premier catalog.
"We made two sizes because if it is used on a smaller bed, there is too much cord left over," she said. "We made a cord holder so nothing is hanging out. That makes it safe for children."
Judy and Andy have two youngsters, Andrew, 13, and Ashley, 9, who help package orders and ship them off. "It's a family business that we run out of the home," she said.
Andy is also Vice President of Research & Development and New Product Development for Renton Coil Spring. He has worked there for 21 years. He previously developed a software package called the Machinist's Friend, marketed over the Internet by Industrial Press. On the market for the past four years, it is an aid to machinists and other users who need accurate calculations of measurements for making machined parts. It is available on the Web at www.machinistsfriend.com.
"He invented the software as well as writing his own program," Judy said. Both products are also available by calling the ordering desk at 425-844-2326.