INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla. - All 12-year-old Marissa Streng wanted to do was keep her dog dry so he wouldn't stink up the house after a bath. Now her solution to that problem has turned into a small business.
Marissa was 9 years old in when she won the top prize at the University of South Florida's Young Innovator Contest in 2011. Her winning entry was the "Puff-N-Fluff," a device that helps dry a wet dog.
The product uses an air hose to connect to a household blow dryer and funnels air through the hose to a fabric jacket fitted around the dog's body.
Sharon Streng, Marissa's mother, said they were encouraged to patent and sell the product after the USF competition.
"We started thinking about it, and we were like, 'It would be a good learning experience for Marissa,'" she said.
The product is now being manufactured, packaged and marketed. The "Puff-N-Fluff" is available online and in two Clearwater pet stores with prices ranging from $30 to $45, Sharon Streng said.
Marissa received national attention recently when she and her product were featured on a network television late-night talk show during which she received a $5,000 check. Her mother said that money will go toward Marissa's college fund.
To learn more about the "Puff-N-Fluff," visit the company's website here .