Sadly, our founder and the inventor of the Buckle Boss Seat Belt Guard, Diana L. Powers, passed away suddenly in December 2017. As her son, I hope to continue the great work she was doing for the Special Needs community. Thank you for your continued support and condolences. — Peter Stagman
This is Diana’s story in her own words:
People have often asked me how I came up with the idea of the Buckle Boss®. It comes down to that old adage “necessity is the mother of invention.”
After having spent a number of years as a nurse I decided I needed to do something different with my life. While waiting for something to “click” someone suggested that I drive special needs students for the local school district. I tried it and I enjoyed it.
I transported special needs students for a number of years but was constantly stressed and distracted by those students who not only released their own seatbelts but also the seatbelts of the other students in the vehicle. Driving under these conditions was simply unacceptable to me. I looked around for a solution to this serious problem which plagued not only me but the parents, drivers and teachers of special needs students and could find none. So, I thought I had to come up with my own solution. Through trial and many errors and a few weeks worth of fiddling around with vinyl, metal and plastic covers for the seatbelt button, the Buckle Boss® was born.
What happened next is truly nothing short of amazing. I didn’t know where to go or what to do with my idea. All of a sudden the people and resources I needed seemed to come out of nowhere! It’s almost as if I was sitting back and watching the Buckle Boss® happen to me instead of the reverse. I was told that I needed to research the USPTO [United States Patent and Trademark Office]. The librarian at the Boston Public Library showed me how to use a computer as I had no idea even where the “On” button was. Once she saw what I was trying to research she just happened to have the business card of a young , stay at home dad/patent attorney whose rates were affordable. He, in turn, told me about a nice man who had worked in injectable plastics for about 50 years who was also associated with a manufacturer. I was also told that I needed to incorporate and get an accountant. Because of my husband’s business connections that was easily handled.
At this point, I was informed by the corporate attorney that I needed to select several possible names for my new corporation. Every name I gave him was already taken and he needed a name now. I have no idea where it came from but it just popped into my head that it would be GBY. He said it had recently become available and that I could have it. He then asked me what it stood for and I said God Bless You. He said “Thank you very much but what does it mean?” I replied that I wanted the Buckle Boss® to bless anyone who used it and that’s just exactly what it means.
Now I needed a website, pictures, etc. It just so happened that one of the other drivers built websites as a side business and another driver was an amateur photographer and yet another driver was a computer genius who helped me enormously! Can it get any better? It sure did. After about two years of work with the patent attorney I was finally granted a patent on Christmas day 2001. How’s that for a GBY?
Over the years I’ve had many offers from large corporations wanting to manufacture and market the Buckle Boss® for me. When I discovered that the manufacturing was done outside the USA I flatly rejected their lucrative offers as it never was about the money. It was all about helping people drive safely and hopefully saving lives in the process.
I dislike saying I invented it because it’s so ridiculously simple that it embarrasses me to call it an invention.
Judging from the overwhelming positive response by letter or email from parents, teachers and drivers I think I may have succeeded in my original intent to help people.
To all the people in the background, especially to my son who brought new life to me as well as to this website and all those who led my footsteps along the way I just want to say thank you. I appreciate you all so much because without you none of this would have happened.
When someone tells you “It can’t be done”, “You’re too old”, “It’ll never work” or any other negative statements like that, do it anyway. Wonders can happen!
Diana L. Powers