Spotlight

Heininger Holdings: Helping you hit the road

Heininger Holdings, LLC

http://www.heininger.biz

When Jeffrey Heininger was a teenager in Playa del Rey, California, he designed a bracket for his Schwinn Stingray to hold the bike seat differently. It worked, and he hit the road.

Decades later, the founder of Bellingham-based Heininger Holdings, LLC has more than 30 inventions to his name, and many of them are related to elevating the travel experience.

That’s not an aberration. Heininger’s pedigree practically guaranteed he’d make the most of motion. His father was a World War II submariner with the United States Navy who, when his service ended, founded a company called Webco that produced motorcycling products for both riders and racers. He was also a chairman of the Motorcycle Industry Council, and Jeffrey grew up meeting luminaries such as Soichiro Honda and infamous motorcycle stuntman Robert “Evel” Knievel.

The passion for motorcycles rubbed off on him. In 1970, Heininger was the first entrant to race a minibike in the Baja 1000, and a couple of years later he found himself in Czechoslovakia competing in the offroad motorcycle event then known as the International Six Days Trials.

The path from when Heininger managed public relations for Kawasaki Motors to arriving in Bellingham to accept a position as national sales manager for consumer electronics for Allsop, Inc. included a stint at Surfer Magazine—where he met his wife, Jayne. He was still riding and still inventing, and he was always thinking ahead.

By the time he founded Heininger Holdings, Inc. in 1999, Jeffrey had already created a marketing agency, spent years as Allsop’s vice president, and made connections that would serve him well when he started manufacturing and selling products specifically designed to enhance road travel.

The idea for one of his own inventions, the perennially popular CellCup®, came about on the way to his son’s graduation from Sehome High School. He made a sharp turn, and the cell phone he’d placed in one of the car’s cupholders flew out and landed on the floor.

Heininger played around with the idea of a device holder that would fit in a standard cupholder, and spent months using a pool noodle to carve prototypes. These days, the bestselling product not only fits cell phones, but can also accommodate pens, credit cards, spare change, glasses and more.

“Necessity really is the mother of invention,” Heininger says of the way his mind works when it comes to comes to finding new and better ways to be in motion.

Innovative bicycle racks (http://www.rackbiz.com); products designed for both car and bicycle commuting; destination gear such as portable fire pits and beach umbrellas; cargo bags and carriers; and portable pet products are among the many items sold by Heininger Holdings, LLC.

Another popular commodity, Twistep® (http://www.twistep.com) benefits both humans and animals. Designed by Dan Knodle, the multi-use step attaches to the hitches of SUVs and pickups. It provides a better way for dogs to access and exit the vehicles, and also helps people place or reach items on top of their conveyances.

“It’s a great product,” Heininger says, pointing out that, like all of the offerings Heininger Holdings brings to life from its home base in Bellingham, the focus is one responsible manufacturing, ethical production and innovation.

Although he stopped riding motorcycles about a year ago, Heininger remains involved in the sport, and is still convinced that no matter what your destination is, there’s always a better way to get there.

For more details about Heininger Holdings, LLC, go to http://www.heininger.biz

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