How time flies when you're having fun, doing laundry. Just ask Rose Marie Pacheco from Colorado and the fans of her clever invention. A whole year has gone by since I first mentioned her Tibbe-Line, in my feature article on the resurgence of clotheslines in America, which appeared in both The News Tribune and The Olympian on August 1, 2009. It dealt with the fact that certain neighborhoods discourage, or even ban, the practice of drying clothes outdoors, and I reported on the national movement to encourage the "greening" of laundry methods. (Please see my article Clothesline Controversy and the web site Project Laundry List)
I also gave information on different types of clotheslines, and among those for indoor/outdoor use I listed the Tibbe-Line, a unique product using eyelets and hangers instead of clothespins. This invention uses units of flexible plastic that pop right onto any kind of line and have eyelet holes along the bottom. You simply hook the clothes hangers through the holes. It makes it easy to dry up to 21 garments in 39" while saving time, energy, money, and space. It also makes your clothes last longer by avoiding the wear dryers cause. This new approach came about because Rose, as she says, "always loved the smell of clothes hung outside to dry."
I've met a lot of interesting people through writing but never one quite like Rose Marie Pacheco. I'm glad we've kept in touch because now I get to share her wonder and excitement as she watches her dream come true, a dream nurtured for years, during which she always visualized success and found perseverance through her faith. At an age when many women start thinking about retiring, Rose is as energized as a freshly-washed shirt hung out in a breeze. It's all because her Tibbe-Line invention is about to change laundry day for lucky users all over the nation, and possibly the world. At $14.95 for a package of three, plus shipping and handling, they're a lot cheaper than a dryer, don't need electricity, are almost indestructible, and are flexible enough that even those with arthritic hands can install them in seconds.They can be used to hang clothes in cars or while camping, are perfect for college students and people in small apartments, and are affordable for just about anyone. The potential is unlimited. I'm thrilled for her, and as the old cliche' goes, "No one deserves it more."
You see, Rose is a "giver." A loving mother and grandmother, her heart is as big as the balloon bouquets she sells. That's one of her jobs. She's also a licensed cosmetologist, and when she doesn't have customers in the chair, she gets in the car and goes right to the folks that need haircuts and maybe can't afford them, or can't leave home to get them, donating her talents to lift their spirits and improve their self-esteem. "It just makes people feel better about themselves when they have a good haircut," she said.
My clothes dry under the roof of my sun-warmed backyard deck in Tacoma, Washington, on the Tibbe-Line I bought last year, and I'm probably the only person in the neighborhood who owns one. But now this ingenious product is about to be introduced to America in a big way. Rose's commercial will appear on TV on August 16, 2010, and will run for two weeks on HGTV, WE, and SOAP networks. It will also be on YouTube. Next you'll see the Tibbe Line on Home Shopping Network, QVC, and in catalogs. The La Junta Tribune-Democrat published an article about her on July 30, 2010.
Rose envisions her invention being used around the world, in urban or rural environments, even making life easier for people in villages without electricity, or for victims of natural disasters. "I'm excited," she told me. "This has been a long time coming."
Rose Marie Pacheco's Tibbe-Line business has been a one-woman operation so far. This whole thing could be called the story of a cottage industry with a fairy-tale ending, except that there's no end in sight. "The first thing I do when I get up in the morning," she told me on the phone this week, "is to turn on my computer to see if I have any orders." I hope she has a hearty breakfast and a comfortable desk chair, because Rose's little invention could give a whole new meaning to the "green" aspect of her laundry methods. Wouldn't that be nice?
Copyright Candace J. Brown 2010
Photos are courtesy of Rose Marie Pacheco and cannot be used without permission.