‘89 Encores : On this last day of the year, and of the 1980s, the View staff pays a return visit to some of the people who made news in 1989. : Birth of a New Career

Judy Ryder, a Woodland Hills mother who was profiled in View’s Consumers column on July 5 after inventing a baby product inspired by the birth of her daughter, Jessica, has become a full-time consultant to other entrepreneurs who want to market their inventions.

Ryder, 29, spent 2 1/2 years trying to get her new product--Little Shirt Anchors, which keep a baby’s shirt tucked in--to the marketplace. So she started a baby products catalogue and sold her invention, and those of other parents, through that.

But in July, A-Plus Products, a Santa Monica marketing firm, bought the rights and now sells the Little Shirt Anchors, with Ryder receiving an advance and royalties for each shirt fastener sold. In the meantime, Ryder got more than 500 calls from parents wanting advice on how to market their own product ideas.

“They would say, ‘How do you do this?’ and I knew where they were coming from, because you’re helpless and don’t know where to start,” Ryder said.


For several months, Ryder shared her information for free, spending hours a day on the phone giving advice and letting her catalogue business slide. Then, in November, a Glenview, Ill. couple, Phyllis and Carroll Coulam, offered to buy her Ryder Products catalogue business. Ryder sold out and became a full-time business consultant.

She decided she would charge by the hour for what she did for people. “I called consultants, every kind from music to ones who help set up home computers. The cheapest I found was $75 an hour, the most expensive, $800 an hour. So I decided to charge $50 an hour. If somebody called and talked to me for 15 minutes and never called again, I still won’t charge anything. Too many people out there are getting ripped off.”