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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Woman creates 'katchy' invention

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WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- Inside a Whiteville home, one woman spends her days brainstorming and testing ideas for her latest inventions.

Anne Wheeler has been an innovator of baby products and now she's hoping to succeed in other markets. Today, two-year-olds Ellie and Chloe are using Wheeler's invention, the Katchit Tray, designed to cut down on kids' messes.

Wheeler says her ideas come from practical need. While raising young kids years ago, she says playdough ended up everywhere. So, she designed and created the Katchit Tray. "It's got the catch-all basin and the raised edges and on the underside, you have two suction cups so it helps stay suctioned to your counter,” Wheeler said

The inventor is now hoping to break into the kitchenware market with the product after her sister pointed out the tray made a great cutting board and catch-all for leftover chopped fruits and veggies. "I tested it in my kitchen," Wheeler said. "I gave it to some commercial kitchens, gave it to people to give me their feedback and everyone was saying wow that's a really great cutting board."

The Katchit Tray is just one in a series of baby and children products wheeler has spun up in her mind. She says she also invented the first patented baby wipes warmer, an invention that has since been duplicated by other companies. "The first time I created the wipe warmer and launched it, I actually took out a loan against my house so it was a big risk but it turned out to be a great risk."

So just how does one noodle up such genius ideas? Wheeler didn't graduate from college. But her dad was constantly teaching her to fix and create things, at-home lessons that continue to pay off. "When it's a need, it's always a reason for me to create," Wheeler said.

To learn more about Wheeler's Katchit Tray you can go to www.katchittray.com.

If you know of any extraordinary person in the community, email Cacky at ccatlett@wwaytv3.com

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