Innovator of the month: Leif Nygren
Innovation: Flagpole mop

"Not everyone will pass on something with a patent to future generations"

Not all pensioners can say that they have a patented product on the market that is appreciated and used. But Leif Nygren can. He describes his innovation as a simple product that works and solves an everyday problem. From being a decorator and store communicator at large established companies, Leif also became the innovator of the flagpole mop product.

Leif Nygren is now a quiet retiree, but has a whole professional life behind him as a store communicator and decorator at IKEA and Åhléns, among others. A large part of his career has involved the development and purchase of shop fittings, such as displaying goods in the most customer-friendly way. However, the idea for the flagpole mop has no clear connection to Leif's profession. The original plan was to become a travelling flagpole washer, but that idea died relatively quickly. Instead, an idea began to take shape for a product that could be used by individuals and businesses, without his assistance.

- "A friend of mine had a wooden flagpole that was very difficult to take down. This got me thinking about how to go about cleaning a flagpole without having to take it down. Something that simplifies the process and still cleans the flagpole.

An idea began to take shape in Leif's head. A flagpole mop that hoists up the flagpole and does the cleaning job for you. He started looking for a similar product on the market and quickly realised that nothing like it existed. His idea was unique. Considering how many individuals have a flagpole on their property, Leif realised that there should be a market as well as a demand.

Choice of materials

When it comes to material selection, Leif needed a textile that was elastic. He decided to use microfibre cloth, which is also the most common material used for floor mops. To put his idea to the test, Leif cleaned some flagpoles with microfibre cloth, without chemicals, to see if the pole got clean and with good results. Leif then added elasticated bands and contacted a seamstress who sewed up the first reference sample. There was a choice to be made here. Should Leif run the project himself or should he contact someone and ask for help? The latter had to be the way forward, so Leif contacted Klimabolaget who helped him with the distribution. After some adjustments, where two more loops were added, the flagpole mop was finally completed. 

- The biggest challenge during the process was the patent application. All those design drawings required. But it was still worth it," Leif says.

Leif's appeal to the user

Reactions from those around him have been mostly positive, although there is a small group of people who are unable to hoist the flagpole mop up or down. Leif's main tip for these users is to use soapy water.

- It is, of course, unfortunate that they can't get the product to work. Maybe it's because the flagpole is too thick or the pole is made of wood. In some cases, you may need to use soapy water on the mop to prevent it from sticking," says Leif.

The flagpole mop is not the only idea Leif has come up with. During his working years, he had an idea about the shelf at the bottom of the floor in grocery stores, which is often the most difficult to fill with products. The idea was to create a retractable bottom shelf. Unfortunately, the product would prove to be expensive to produce and therefore too costly for the retailer to bring in. Leif notes that ideas for new products come up from time to time, but that his main work is still the flagpole mop and that innovation is close to his heart.

- "I'm particularly pleased that our patent application was successful. To have left something for posterity that has a patent, not everyone can say that.

Leif's tips for other innovators:

  Believe in your idea from the start.
  Go as far as you can with the idea.
  Dare to be stubborn.

"Not everyone will pass on something with a patent to future generations"

Not all pensioners can say that they have a patented product on the market that is appreciated and used. But Leif Nygren can. He describes his innovation as a simple product that works and solves an everyday problem. From being a decorator and store communicator at large established companies, Leif also became the innovator of the flagpole mop product.

Leif Nygren is now a quiet retiree, but has a whole professional life behind him as a store communicator and decorator at IKEA and Åhléns, among others. A large part of his career has involved the development and purchase of shop fittings, such as displaying goods in the most customer-friendly way. However, the idea for the flagpole mop has no clear connection to Leif's profession. The original plan was to become a travelling flagpole washer, but that idea died relatively quickly. Instead, an idea began to take shape for a product that could be used by individuals and businesses, without his assistance.

- "A friend of mine had a wooden flagpole that was very difficult to take down. This got me thinking about how to go about cleaning a flagpole without having to take it down. Something that simplifies the process and still cleans the flagpole.

An idea began to take shape in Leif's head. A flagpole mop that hoists up the flagpole and does the cleaning job for you. He started looking for a similar product on the market and quickly realised that nothing like it existed. His idea was unique. Considering how many individuals have a flagpole on their property, Leif realised that there should be a market as well as a demand.

Choice of materials

When it comes to material selection, Leif needed a textile that was elastic. He decided to use microfibre cloth, which is also the most common material used for floor mops. To put his idea to the test, Leif cleaned some flagpoles with microfibre cloth, without chemicals, to see if the pole got clean and with good results. Leif then added elasticated bands and contacted a seamstress who sewed up the first reference sample. There was a choice to be made here. Should Leif run the project himself or should he contact someone and ask for help? The latter had to be the way forward, so Leif contacted Klimabolaget who helped him with the distribution. After some adjustments, where two more loops were added, the flagpole mop was finally completed. 

- The biggest challenge during the process was the patent application. All those design drawings required. But it was still worth it," Leif says.

Leif's appeal to the user

Reactions from those around him have been mostly positive, although there is a small group of people who are unable to hoist the flagpole mop up or down. Leif's main tip for these users is to use soapy water.

- It is, of course, unfortunate that they can't get the product to work. Maybe it's because the flagpole is too thick or the pole is made of wood. In some cases, you may need to use soapy water on the mop to prevent it from sticking," says Leif.

The flagpole mop is not the only idea Leif has come up with. During his working years, he had an idea about the shelf at the bottom of the floor in grocery stores, which is often the most difficult to fill with products. The idea was to create a retractable bottom shelf. Unfortunately, the product would prove to be expensive to produce and therefore too costly for the retailer to bring in. Leif notes that ideas for new products come up from time to time, but that his main work is still the flagpole mop and that innovation is close to his heart.

- "I'm particularly pleased that our patent application was successful. To have left something for posterity that has a patent, not everyone can say that.

Leif's tips for other innovators:

  Believe in your idea from the start.
  Go as far as you can with the idea.
  Dare to be stubborn.


Mentioned products

Leif Nygren Leif Nygren
Flagpole mop Flagpole mop
Goes up and down the pole to clean it
11.70 €
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