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Dallas Morning News

Lakewood inventor picked up on dog walk opportunity

12:00 AM CST on Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lakewood resident Sylvia Carlson, 45, not only runs a busy household and holds a PTA board position, but is an inventor as well.

Recently, her business, Sly Innovations, has gone to the dogs. Sylvia's most recent invention, the Doody Duffle, is a no-touch, no-mess pet waste disposal product. She designed the Doody Duffle to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

"I am hoping that more people will pick up after their pets with this no-touch system." Sylvia added.

Inventing the product came from personal experience.

"I would walk our dog around Lakewood and see people holding plastic bags of pet waste. I knew how much I hated holding waste, and I began looking for a better way." Sylvia said.

She spent a significant amount of time looking for a product that would suit her needs, without any results. Sly Innovations was formed and the Doody Duffle became her first patent-pending product.

With a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry, she really sees herself as a problem solver.

"I love coming up with ideas and finding ways to market them." Sylvia said. In fact, many of her ideas come as she's carpooling her kids around town. "I keep a notepad in my purse, so when I think of a new idea, I jot it down."

The first product she developed was "press-on fake toenails" for her nanny, who wouldn't wear sandals because she didn't have toenails.

"I thought there must be several people like her, who due to medical reasons needed a solution to their problem." She spent countless hours researching materials that could be used for fake nails. "They really worked because our nanny still wears them."

Sylvia credits her success to her family – which includes her husband, Dr. David Carlson, and three children – and the support they provide her. She has enlisted the help of cousins who are graphic designers; her twin brothers, who own Platinum Litigation; and her immediate family.

"There were many times I wanted to give up, but David would always push me. He really kept me going when it was hard. The kids think it's great I have a 'real job' – in fact, whenever my third-grader has a report or paper to write, she always writes about the Doody Duffle!"

The Doody Duffle comes in three colors and is available for purchase locally at Dee's Doggie Den, The Yap, City Pets and Park Cities Pet Salon or at www.doodyduffle.com.

Chris Gresback is a freelance writer in Lakewood.

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