Sunny vision becomes reality for North Texas inventor

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by TINA FOSTER

WFAA

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 18 at 8:42 AM

DALLAS — Most everyone has at one time or another had an idea for a business or product that they think could make money.

The problem: How do you take that idea and turn it into reality?

One Frisco woman did just that. Cheri Garcia is just 25, but already has a patent under her belt for the Luminous Envy Tanning Bed.

The concept came to her as she was trying to get a tan while reclining on a flimsy flotation device.

"That's when I came up with the idea of Luminous Envy — the first-ever tanning bed you can inflate, deflate, and take anywhere with you," Garcia explained.

She sketched out her vision for the product — a clear, inflatable tanning bed with angled side panels and a reflective material on the bottom.

Garcia applied for a patent and then started the process of finding someone to manufacture her invention.

It took three years for Luminous Envy to become a reality.

"I ended up having to go overseas, and speaking to manufacturers overseas, because nobody here in America would talk to me for less than $100,000 up front," Garcia said.

So far, she's sold 300 of the tanning devices.

Garcia warns that being your own boss really isn't as easy as it sounds.

"What everybody doesn't want to do is work hard, and that's what comes with it," she said. "You have to work hard; it is not 9-to-5."

The 25-year-old says you have to be willing to take a chance, follow your dreams and not give up.

"One of the main things is, I want to inspire other people — especially young entrepreneurs — to reach their dreams," Garcia said.

Garcia's entrepreneurial acumen was recognized by the Collin County Business Press last month in its "40 under 40" list.

E-mail tfoster@wfaa.com

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