staff photo by phyllis zorn
Diane Stubblefield demonstrates making earrings from a kit she markets online.
Lend her an ear (or a lobe)
Woman’s ear hook idea becomes budding business
Diane Stubblefield didn’t set out to be an inventor, but her product, Lobes O’ Fun, is gaining popularity nonetheless.
The Marion resident invented an ear hook buyers can attach beads to, changing the beads at will to match their moods or outfits. Each kit contains 300 beads and two sets of earring studs and comes with a bonus necklace kit.
“We don’t actually make the earrings. They make their own earrings,” Stubblefield said.
She said the idea was so simple she doesn’t know why no one thought of it before. Not only was the idea simple, using the kit is simple, too.
“With our earrings, you don’t need any tools,” she said. “It’s a totally unique idea.”
After having the final product ready to market in October, Stubblefield was ready to launch sales. She enrolled in an entrepreneurship class sponsored by the city. The woman who directed the class connected her to As Seen on TV, Inc. Her earring kits have been featured on six television channels with commercials that ran for a week beginning July 5.
Although the TV advertising didn’t bring in as much sales as she hoped, the kits now have national exposure and are marketed from a company website, lobesofun.com.
The beads are purchased from a Rhode Island city about the same size as Marion, she said.
She said she hopes her product makes a lot of young women very happy as well as popular with their friends.
It would also be nice to be able to retire from working full-time and work out of her home instead of commuting daily to Wichita for her full-time job at T-Mobile.
Stubblefield was raised in Germany, where she attended a two-year program to become a social worker. Then she came to El Dorado to study at Butler Community College.
She married Terry Stubblefield, who owned an automotive repair shop in El Dorado. After having a son, she and Terry took in foster children from 2000 to 2013.
“The kids we took in always needed two parents,” Stubblefield said.
In other words, they were older children, not infants, who had been through rough times.
Along the way, the couple adopted six foster children. Brian, their oldest child, is 26. Their adopted children, Sean, Ryan, Mitch, Chester, Noah, and Ivy, have a mixture of last names.
“Not all of them took our last name,” she said.
After her husband developed health issues, the couple decided to downsize. What brought them to Marion was the community’s slower pace, friendly people, and two lakes. Avid golfers, they joined the country club and spend time on the links.
They bought a house made in 1900 and did renovation work on it.
Terry Stubblefield works part-time at the co-op in Hillsboro.
Terry’s parents also moved from El Dorado to Marion.