Ken Ahroni is a lucky man, and it could be because during the development of his product, Lucky Break Wishbone, he had
to keep breaking them.
Personal Profile: Ken Ahroni offers a lucky break (VIDEO)
If you've ever made a wish using a Turkey wishbone you probably regretted that there's only one per bird, but Ken Ahroni decided there had to be a way to make more wishes possible so he invented the Lucky Break Wishbone.
Ahroni is a born and raised West Seattlelite who spent the better part of his career as a product development consultant helping companies develop decorative lighting products.
Today, he lives in a beautiful home south of the Fauntleroy Ferry dock and works on marketing his invention.
In 1999, Thanksgiving just happened to coincide with his birthday.
"The idea just really came to me that with the abundance of the food and all that there was just this one lonely wishbone and I thought, 'Hey that's a clever idea' so I made note of it," said Ahroni.
When he began to develop the idea Ahroni realized there were a lot of questions to be answered and issues resolved. It had to be safe (no shards of plastic that could injure someone). It had to look like a real wishbone (or close enough). It had to break unpredictably (and remarkably enough they do), and it even had to sound right when it snapped.
He cleared all these hurdles and set up shop, built a Web site and began marketing. After some time and some success (he's been covered in a number of magazines) Ahroni got a call from a worldwide advertising agency. They wanted to use his idea, but modified to their specifications for a special holiday promotion for a major U.S. retailer. They wanted to order over a million units.
Things were proceeding nicely, until a short time into the deal, when communication broke down and Ahroni realized something had changed. They took his idea (and even the language he wrote for it) and had someone else make them. Ahroni took legal action and won the case, but it is now on appeal.
Lucky Break Wishbones are made in a factory in Auburn where Ahroni has overseen every phase of their production. They are sold across the country in party stores and other retail outlets in packages from four to 400.
Ahroni said he's exported to "about 10 countries now... but our best story is that we've exported twice to Turkey...Turkey wishbones to Turkey. We have no idea what they did with them but we think it's pretty funny."