Created: 06/26/2014 8:45 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It's an example of what can happen when you take a leap of faith.
23-year-old Harold Stewart quit his job and moved all the way to Albuquerque from Maryland to make an idea he had a reality.
Now, that idea could literally change an entire industry, and Stewart wants to use it to change Albuquerque's struggling economy.
"I wanted to make a solution because I knew I couldn't be the only one who wanted this in my every day life," he said.
Stewart was babysitting his niece and noticed that she kept spilling on her clothes.
He set out to find a stain repellent.
"Everything was toxic," Stewart said. "There wasn't really one for a consumer who wanted to put it on their shirt or their shoes."
Fresh out of college and working as an engineer for the Department of Defense, Stewart got this overwhelming feeling he could make something safe, without dangerous chemicals.
After months of work, he did.
"Liquid Off is a super hydrophobic treatment," Stewart explains in a promotional video for the product he calls "Liquid Off."
KOB got a first-hand demo on Thursday.
Water poured onto a canvas shoe treated with Liquid Off simply rolled off the shoe, and onto a table. The shoe stayed perfectly dry.
"It's now that I'm here and I'm really seeing the potential of you know, where it can actually go, that it's really hitting me," he said.
In four days, a Kickstarter campaign for Liquid Off raised $75,000, and Stewart moved to Albuquerque to work with investor and mentor Dale Hensel.
Hensel is helping with the business logistics.
"We're actually planning on bringing the manufacturing to Albuquerque," Stewart said.
He says a product like this could change a lot of lives, and with big companies like LG already calling about liscencing it for use on electronics, the profits could be huge.
So could the impact for the city.
"I'm 23 years old so, I'm trying to do something not just for now, but for the future itself and for the actual city of Albuquerque," he said.
Stewart said he'd like to see more entrepruenerial opportunities for young people in New Mexico -- that's another part of why he wants to stick around.
Stewart's Kickstarter campaign for Liquid Off, and a video explaining the project are at this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/196784169/liquidoff-the-magical-self-cleaning-water-repellin