Celebrate National Inventors’ Day With Affordable Gadgets

Watching all those episodes of Shark Tank and even Dragons’ Den from the U.K. sometimes makes you think that you could be an inventor too. But what if you didn't have to wait for all those cool concepts to get funded and come through the pipeline? There are ways to hunt down inventions and innovations on existing gear without the insane waiting list.

We've found a great solution, and for anyone who feels like celebrating National Inventors’ Day on February 11th along with us, we invite you to discover the best places to source all things invented, unusual, unique, and more.

Start your search by looking in surprise locations

Sometimes, cool stuff finds its way onto the shelves of stores like TJ Maxx; other times, you can find "As Seen On TV" things at unexpected shops like CVS (and at a significant discount as well!).

Go to sites that attract crafters

Some artists aren’t the best self-promoters (it sometimes comes with the territory when you’re wildly creative, but working for yourself), but many of their items could get a design patent in a flash. We recommend checking out Etsy, for a start, which started as a place to buy handmade everything and now offers vintage as well. While a lot of the artists wouldn't necessarily call themselves "inventors," that's exactly what they are... and we think it's the perfect time to find out what they have to offer.

Look for websites that highlight unusual inventions and innovative designs

One example is Betabrand, which is a treasure trove of convertible clothing, workwear hacks, and even 30-day dresses (a dress that, in theory, you could wear every day). Now, this site is so good that it’s what inspired the article, and you will see straight away why we’ve gone gaga over it.

Start looking at Instagram differently

Instead of just checking out pictures of your friends (and maybe celebrities and a cute animal or two), check comments when someone is wearing something particularly special or unusual. Chances are, you’ll end up discovering a brand-new designer who doesn’t do things by the book. That’s how we ran into a fantastic designer, for example, who lives in Goa and hails from Germany, and who refashions saris into bomber jackets.

Dig

When you’ve been shopping online forever, it’s easy to get lazy. Try looking for coupon codes first, and then hunting down shops that cater to the unexpected, like CB2 and Uncommon Goods.