My name is Hipatia Lopez and I was born and raised in New Jersey. My parents are from Quito, Ecuador. I graduated from William Paterson University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I worked in public accounting for 6 years.
Currently, I have two part-time jobs and started my own company called H.L. Unico LLC. I opened up my business because I invented a kitchen utensil called “Empanada Fork” which is a pastry press used to make fork like impressions on dough. I have 2 design patents on my invention. I love being an entrepreneur and hope to inspire other women to invent.
Birth Story of my invention:
My husband Henry is Dominican and is the cook in our family, we have 3 children. I had an idea during the Thanksgiving holiday season while my family and I were preparing the holiday menu in my household. We were making 100 empanadas and naturally I was the “closer” which I did not like because it took forever and my hand started to hurt.
I stopped and thought, “I wonder if there is a utensil I can use to close them?” So I started to do some research and had the idea on my mind 24 hours a day. When I told my family what I wanted to do – they said “Go for it!” so I started to contact lawyers and realized I was on a road to something great.
This journey which started off with an idea that seemed crazy to me at first has helped me grow as an individual and I feel grateful for this opportunity. I realize now that it is okay to take chances in life. I hope to make my utensil known to others and tell the WORLD it exists: "Empanada Fork"