You, like a lot of people, probably have had ideas--wacky inventions and quirky solutions that sporadically pop into your head--a colorful grip that will stop your headphones from getting tangled, a rubber ring to rival the rigid wedding band, a sock subscription service. Instead of shaking these creative moments away, the entrepreneurs gracing this year's list of fast-growing companies built them. Here are 27 of the coolest products featured on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list:
1. Popsockets: Getting a Grip
2018 Rank No. 2 Growth 71,423.8% Revenue $168.8M
Popsockets founder David Barnett wanted to design a contraption that would stop his earbuds from getting tangled. Instead, his multi-functional buttons became a cultural phenomenon. Last year, the colorful grips accumulated $169 million in revenue, flying off shelves and securing a growth of 71,424 percent from when Barnett launched the company out of his garage in 2014.
2. Brooklinen: Sweet Dreams
2018 Rank No. 25 Growth 9,154.2% Revenue $47.8M
When Rich and Vicki Fulop splurged on a luxury hotel before Rich started business school in 2012, they were immediately smitten by the bedsheets, But their love was lost when they discovered the price tag: $800. As Rich put it, he says he tried "to backchannel my way into figuring out where the sheets are made," realizing he was hardly the only one. By winter break, the couple was reading books on milling and weaving, followed by factory visits. Out of more than 100 prototypes, one $100 bedsheet made the cut, and it starred in Brooklinen's successful 2014 Kickstarter campaign. "We're taking over the bedroom," says Rich of the company's product line. Up next? The bathroom.
3. Affordable Luxury Group: A Growth Accessory
2018 Rank No. 55 Growth 4,796.9% Revenue $16.5M
Australian-born Aimee Kestenberg started her first company at age 12, during recess. "I set up a table and sold handmade beaded bracelets to the kids," says Kestenberg, who later attended Parsons School of Design. The handbag designer has since built a small fashion empire, designing, manufacturing, and selling small leather goods under the American Leather Co., C. Wonder, and Halston labels, along with her own brand. "What sets us apart," she says, "is that everything I design has ergonomics in mind."
4. Chomps: Meat This Healthy Jerky
2018 Rank No. 124 Growth 3,141.3% Revenue $8.8M
When you think of healthy snacks, you probably don't think of jerky. Chomps founder and CEO Pete Maldonado certainly didn't---he spent his childhood chowing down on gas station Slim Jims--until 2012, when he decided to recreate the classic snack with all-natural, sustainably sourced ingredients.
5. Vibe Kayaks: Explore the Outdoors
2018 Rank No. 137 Growth 2,918.3% Revenue $7.0M
Founded in 2013 by kayak addict Joshua Thomas, Vibe Kayaks is a supplier of fishing gear, coolers--and, of course, kayaks. Catering to all experience levels, the Georgia-based adventurer haven is thriving in its mission of connecting customers with the great outdoors.
6. Qalo: Put a Ring on It
2018 Rank No. 151 Growth 2,791.7% Revenue $29.4M
Ted Baker and KC Holiday--both aspiring Hollywood types working at an L.A. restaurant--were married within two months of each other. Ted hated how his metal wedding band felt, and KC often removed his before going to the gym. When KC's got stolen from his car, Ted showed him the silicone band he'd started wearing, and the friends decided to hatch a business. Then, in 2015, when Jimmy Fallon's wedding ring got caught on a table during a fall and nearly ripped his finger off, Qalo seized the cultural moment with an aggressive social-media marketing campaign: "We rode that wave as best we could," laughs Ted. "I'd like to send Jimmy a bottle of wine and a note: Thank you for nearly ripping your finger off. That really helped."
7. SheFit: The Ultimate Sports Bra
2018 Rank No. 154 Growth 2,769.7% Revenue $3.0M
Ever since they won a $250,000 investment on Shark Tank in 2016, husband-wife duo Bob and Sara Moylan have been scaling their sports bra company, SheFit. Offering a fully adjustable revamp of an age-old product, the Moylans have seen their company grow 2,770 percent since the year after their launch in 2013.
8. Acuity Surgical: Filling a Gap
2018 Rank No. 201 Growth 2,232.8% Revenue $6.2M
After years of selling medical devices in an industry dominated by established titans and well-capitalized startups, old friends Bryan Cowan and John Davidson decided to purchase a 3-D printer and start experimenting. "We're big believers in destiny control," says Cowan. "In conversations with our surgeon friends, we'd pull prototypes out of pockets and say, 'What do you think of this?' " The result: The duo designed a titanium spinal-fusion device that eventually became A-Link Z, which has since been used in 500 surgeries. More recently, they developed AcuPac alllograft tissue, a filler harvested from cadavers for damaged bones.
9. REBBL: Superfood With a Super Mission
2018 Rank No. 228 Growth 2,076.4% Revenue $16.2M
Built as a market-based solution for exploitation in the Peruvian Amazon, this 6-year-old company has continued working toward social impact ever since. Today, a percentage of the proceeds from REBBL's bottled matcha lattes, maca cold brews, and other elixir and protein drinks go toward combating human trafficking.
10. Amazing Lash Studio: The Eyes Have It
2018 Rank No. 260 Growth 1,887.5% Revenue $8.8M
How do you make eyelash extensions as mainstream as manicures or massages? That's the question Jessica and Edward Le faced after Jessica dropped more than $100 on a three-hour application session. "I wanted to bring this to everyone, but I had to make it affordable and a lot faster," she says. First came rethinking the lengthy application process ("No busy woman can lie for three hours in the middle of the day," says Edward). After that, they made an eyelash menu, so people could decide at a glance if they want lashes that look like genetic gifts or full-on fabulous. (Jessica has patents on both improvements.) "When people talk to you, they look at your eyes," says Edward. "The confidence it gives you is addicting."
11. Driftless Glen Distillery: A Shot in the Dark
2018 Rank No. 316 Growth 1,561% Revenue $2M
When Renee and Brian Bemis--a sculptor and the owner of a car dealership chain, respectively--bought land for their future high-end bourbon distillery in 2012, they encountered a speed-to-market issue: Bourbon takes two to five years to mature to its fullest. To buy themselves time, the couple hired two master distillers and developed high-end vodkas and gins that didn't need aging, and then bought French brandy and aged it an extra year in their own oak barrels. Six years later, the Bemises now also sell hand-numbered bottles of their Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel. "It's like babysitting children," says Brian. "You've got to commit to the long-term."
12. Bioluz LED: Let There Be Light
2018 Rank No. 360 Growth 1,400.5% Revenue $3.4M
Sick of nagging his children to turn off the lights every time they left a room, Bioluz LED founder Larry Tchamkertenian had a light bulb moment (literally). Using minimal packaging and the most efficient LED bulbs he could find, he designed a product that was both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing--to brighten any office or home space.
13. Chairish: Blast From the Past
2018 Rank No. 388 Growth 1,265.1% Revenue $6M
Gregg Brockway remembers one of the biggest fights he had early on with his co-founder and wife, Anna--Levi Strauss & Co.'s former vice president of worldwide marketing--about their home-decor online marketplace. "People are pressed for time, and Anna said what was missing was a place to go and find only the better stuff," says Gregg, who had previously co-founded Hotwire and TripIt. "And I kept arguing: No, we just need more stuff." Fast-forward five years, and Anna's drive for ruthless curation has paid off. Everyday sellers who want to offload one-of-a-kind and vintage pieces--and have Chairish handle end-to-end delivery logistics--flock to the site, but they're now outnumbered by interior designers, stagers, and consignment stores. "I have to say, Anna was totally right," says Gregg.
14. Monster Grass and Patio: The Grass Is Always Greener
2018 Rank No. 434 Growth 1,157.2% Revenue $2.2M
Hailing from Miami, this 6-year-old artificial grass installer and supplier has been turning heads and tricking eyes all around South Florida. Golf turf, pet turf--Monster Grass and Patio lays and maintains various forms of rubberized mulch for clients nationwide.
15. ZippyPaws: Pamper a Pooch
2018 Rank No. 827 Growth 604.8% Revenue $10.3M
If the $10.3 million that ZippyPaws raked in last year tells us anything, it's that a lot of puppies were pampered in 2017. Based out of San Bernardino, California, this high-quality dog toy and accessory manufacturer sells cute, carefully designed playthings for puppies. The site's best-sellers include plush tacos, soft pineapples, and stuffed donut toys.
16. Passion Planner: Get Behind Planning Ahead
2018 Rank No. 991 Growth 496.7% Revenue $8.1M
There's something utterly gratifying about keeping an organized planner. But Angelia Trinidad, the founder of Passion Planner, wanted her personal organizer to do more for its user. In designing the product, she shifted the focus toward long-term goals--prompting plans for the coming months and years--instead of just daily happenings.
17. Shop Miss A: The $1 Makeup Club
2018 Rank No. 1119 Growth 440.9% Revenue $10.3M
Shop Miss A's proposal sounds a little too good to be true: cruelty-free makeup for $1. And although some of the beauty products online don't exactly meet that criteria, most of this Texas-based company's products do fit the (single) bill. Mascara, primer, foundation--all are low cost because of the company's refusal to spend significant dollars on marketing and branding.
18. Origaudio: Personal Sound
2018 Rank No. 1275 Growth 379.4% Revenue $18.9M
Another Shark Tank alumnus, Origaudio caught the attention of ABC's famous investors with its Rock-It 3.0, a gadget that can turn any hollow object into a speaker. But Origaudio's portfolio now extends beyond that watershed product. The Orange County, California-based company made $19 million last year selling its slew of portable speakers, headphones, and baggage items.
19. Corkcicle: Making Coolers Cooler
2018 Rank No. 1567 Growth 298.8% Revenue $39.4M
There's nothing fun about lugging around a heavy, boxy cooler, which is why Corkcicle founder Ben Hewitt designed a fashionable alternative. Disguised as a backpack, tote, or duffel bag, the Corkcicle wine cooler--the company's signature product--is just one of the many beverage accessories that contributed to the $39 million this beverage accessory supplier accrued in 2017.
20. Noke: No Key, No Problem
2018 Rank No. 1688 Growth 272.1% Revenue $2.8M
The Noke smart padlock made its debut on Kickstarter in 2014, raising $652,828 from the large subset of people who frequently lose keys and forget codes. The device's Bluetooth technology allows users to unlock doors and locks through a phone--and is supplemented by Noke software that allows you to remotely monitor the locks.
21. American Paper Optics: The 3-D Vision
2018 Rank No. 1876 Growth 238.5% Revenue $20.2M
Nobody was celebrating the 2017 solar eclipse like American Paper Optics, a Tennessee-based 3-D eyewear manufacturer that led the pack as a supplier of "eclipse glasses" for the special day, pulling in $20.2 million in revenue for 2017. The company was founded in 1990, and since then has produced two billion pairs of paper 3-D glasses.
22. 3 Daughters Brewing: A Family Recipe
2018 Rank No. 1934 Growth 231.6% Revenue $4.5M
When Mike Harting and Ty Weaver were transitioning from the restaurant industry to what became their Florida-based brewery, 3 Daughters Brewing, the duo kept asking themselves one question: "How many beers does it take to put three daughters through college?" Riding $4.5 million in revenue for 2017 and 232 percent growth for the past three years, the brewery's founders are likely a little closer to an answer to that question.
23. Akervall Technologies: Protecting Those Pearly Whites
2018 Rank No. 2318 Growth 188.4% Revenue $4.5M
This is Michigan-based mouth-guard supplier Akervall Technologies' second year on the Inc. 5000 list. Growing 188 percent since 2014 and booking $4.5 million in revenue, the fit-it-yourself mouth guards have proved a big hit on the field due to their lightweight feel.
24. Fun and Function: Soothing Growing Pains
2018 Rank No. 2528 Growth 169.5% Revenue $9.9M
Husband and wife Aviva and Haskel Weiss started Fun and Function in 2005 because they couldn't find any sensory tools for children that fitted their family's needs. Whether it's toys preventing chewing and biting or stuffed animals to facilitate sleep, Fun and Function's products are designed to provide therapeutic relief--and fun--for kids in any environment.
25. Cariloha: Plant Apparel
2018 Rank No. 3793 Growth 96% Revenue $48.7M
When it comes to workout gear, pajamas, and bed sheets: Cotton is out, bamboo is in. Cariloha is pioneering this plant-based movement, selling bed sheets, mattresses, and clothing for men and women all made from bamboo. Last year, this fascinating fabric made the Cariloha founders $48.7 million in revenue, earning them a place on the Inc. 5000 for the sixth time.
26. Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream: Mochi Love
2018 Rank No. 4191 Growth 81.8% Revenue $11.8M
In 1985, Bubbies founder Keith Robbins opened the chain's first ice cream shop in Honolulu, naming it after his grandma, "Bubbie." After an identify shift in 2000, a new focus on mochi ice cream spread the Bubbies name around the U.S., landing it in such grocery stores as Whole Foods, restaurants, and resorts.
27. Sock It to Me: Swagger From the Ground Up
2018 Rank No. 4922 Growth 59.9% Revenue $11.9M
Recent college graduate Carrie Atkinson was milling around Oregon, waiting for her dream job to fall into her lap. After two years, it still hadn't happened, so in 2004, Atkinson did what all unemployed people do: She started a sock subscription service. Sock It to Me sends monthly boxes of whimsical dinosaur, alien, and octopus socks, starting at $22.