Innovelis CEO Eric Wengreen graduated from Brigham Young University in 2002 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

He continued his studies at Stanford University and eventually found himself in Minneapolis. While there, he was jogging and was becoming frustrated with his iPod earbud earphones.

"They kept falling out of my ears," said Wengreen during a phone call from his office in Minneapolis. "So I started thinking of creating a device that would solve that problem."

Wengreen came up with the idea for the soft, rubber BudFits, which he says are a most secure and comfortable way to wear your iPod earbuds.

"I did some research and found that it was common for iPod owners to have problems keeping their earbuds in their ears," Wengreen said. "So, I started coming up with designs of what would work."

After a lot of trial and error, Wengreen emerged with the BudFits design.

"There aren't any accessories for the earbuds like BudFits," he said. "They clip on to the earbud and then the earbud wire runs through a little trough around the BudFits edge. Then you wrap the BudFits around the top of the ear, and the earbud is comfortably and securely inserted into the ear."

Wengreen — whose brother Brian and sister-in-law Sandy, also BYU graduates, helped found Innovelis along with Wes Schwie — said because the device wraps around the ear, it will not fall off until you take it off.

"You can ride a mountain trail on a bike, run, snowboard, ski — basically do any strenuous physical activity and still hear your music," he said.

After Innovelis released the product recently, BudFits has gained rave reviews from the likes of USA Today, Mac Observer, MacWorld and Apple News.

"It was rewarding for us to get that kind of response," said Wengreen. "It took quite a bit of experimenting and quite a bit of money to get what we had on the drawing board to reality. In fact, throughout the process, I kept thinking about how I could have paid off a few cars or even paid a bunch of installments on my mortgage."

BudFits, which fit all iPod and iPhone earbuds, are available for $9.99 at www.amazon.com, jr.com, Penn Cycles & Fitness, the Mac Store, FootZone and locally at Urban Downfall Cycles in Orem, Pedersen's Ski & Sports, also in Orem, and Trek Bicycle Store in American Fork, to name a few.

They can also be purchased at www.budfits.com


E-mail: scott@desnews.com