After about a dozen flights around the U.S., Jill Ehlers was tired of drooling in her airplane seat and having a sore neck from sleeping in awkward positions.
Ehlers' solution is the Nodstop — a stretchable band large enough to hold a person's head snugly against the headrest of an airplane seat.
She hand-sewed the prototype at her home in Central Point and then tested it on the seat of her car before patenting it. She says the band is also useful for other seats that have headrests, such as passenger cars.
Ehlers was flying regularly around the U.S. for about eight months in 2007, while completing her education in animal healing.
"Every time I flew I couldn't sleep, so when I thought of it (Nodstop) on my last flight, I built it the next day," she recalled. "I knew exactly how to put it together."
Like many entrepreneurs these days, Ehlers is struggling to get her product some attention in the marketplace.
"It's hard in this economy," she said.
Ehlers said at first she was tied to the notion that the Nodstop was her invention, and she was determined to make it work herself. Now she's willing to sell the licensing rights and/or the patent.
She's sold about 100 Nodstops since she began manufacturing them with Rockwest Training of Salem in 2008.
"I love keeping it local, but what works best for me is the priority now," Ehlers said.
The Nodstop is available at Travel Essentials in Ashland, Amazon.com and through the product's official Web site, nodstop.com.