Invent@NMU Helps with New Cheese Lights

Thursday 19, 2017

Some Packer fans may be decorating with a new product for their playoff viewing parties this weekend. One of the Invent@NMU's latest projects was assisting two local entrepreneurs in developing their idea of The Original Cheese Lights, a string of cheese wedge novelty lights for indoor and outdoor use.

Nicole Lackey and Lorri Smith are two "cheezy chicks" who had an idea for novelty cheese wedge lights. Not sure where to begin, they went to Invent@NMU for the first time in April 2016. Invent@NMU alumni and project manager, Charlie Tyson, helped the duo validate their idea by researching competition and patents. 

“We couldn’t find anything like this on the market,” said Smith, “so we took it as an opportunity to do something fun and out of the ordinary. We love cheese and all that it represents.”

Ready to move forward, the duo worked with Invent@NMU mechanical engineering tech, Austin Morris, who drew CAD and 3D printed prototypes for the two cheezy chicks.

“It was a great experience to use the skills I learned in my engineering classes,” said Morris. “Being able to 3D model the client’s idea and follow up with prototypes on the 3D printer we have at Invent@NMU gave me the opportunity to enhance my project portfolio.”

With continued help from Invent@NMU, Alex Kofsky (Accelerate UP) and Lance Wolfe (SBDC), the two cheezy chicks were able to order an initial product run, make local business connections, and create a business plan. 

Lackey said, "The challenges we have faced through this process are what made this experience worth it and fun.”

The initial product run is in stock and available for purchase at a cost of $25 per set at and locally at the Invent@NMU office. For more information, visit

Provided by Invent@NMU

Kristi Evans
News Director

The Original Cheese Lights