Southampton local Betty Birnbaum, a spirited idea-driven 80-year-old, has invented a multipurpose tool for cleaning, cooking, fixing and more that she calls "Ms. Wiggley," and now she is using YouTube to demonstrate how the all-in-one device can make life easier.
Betty B, as she refers to herself in her new online infomercial, said she has a hat full of ideas and plans, but currently dedicates her time to Ms. Wiggley. It's been a decade since she came up with the idea, she said, but she finally got through the patent and production process three years ago.
“It started out with a fingernail,” she said. Birnbaum wanted a tool to scratch off dirt and perform a multitude of tasks. She ended up with a small, wavy black tool made of nylon. In her infomercial she says, “This little tool looks like nothing and can do everything.” She shows it scraping carrots, coring apples, washing dishes, cleaning grout, taking plastic off bottles and performing other tasks.
East Hampton videographer , helped her produce a minute-long informational video about the product. It not only showcases Ms. Wiggley and all of its uses, but the bubbling personality of Betty B as well.
“It's not very often that I meet someone as vibrant as me,” Vespe said. “My thoughts were to sell her, not the product.”
Birnbaum let him know what she wanted and then he moved forward to make the final decisions on the script, her outfit, the filming and editing process.
The pair met through Birnbaum’s assistant who has used Vespe as a videographer in the past. He recently shot videos for , and a humorous .
Birnbaum and Vespe got together three different times to film and now have their final product.
“She has a hundred projects going on,” Vespe said. “Sometimes I have to rein her in because she extrapolates.”
Beyond Ms. Wiggley, Birnbaum is working on a book, a play and other inventions. She said she worked in theater in her past and been a business owner.
Ms. Wiggley is sold for $4.95 and availble by calling Birnbaum at 631-283-8163.