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Retail Industry Updates

Lowe’s Has 3 Innovative New Products, Thanks to 3 Inventive Entrepreneurs

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Joe Porche developed Multus Handle and Haul to help people more easily and safely grab and move bulk items.

An invention sparked by a life-changing crash.

A product that transforms a bag of dirt into a fruitful plan forward.

A matriarch’s family recipe passed down through generations of meals.

These are products that can now be found on Lowe’s store shelves.

The Mooresville, N.C.-based home improvement company recently unveiled the top entrepreneurs and their products its first virtual pitch program, “Making It … with Lowe’s,” hosted by Daymond John, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and a “New York Times” best-selling author. The program, which invited diverse entrepreneurs to pitch their products, resulted in Lowe’s evaluating more than 400 new products for sale on Lowes.com or on Lowe’s store shelves.

“I trusted this program would unearth great products, but our whole team was thrilled by the level of innovation the ‘Making It … with Lowe’s‘ participants brought us,” said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO. “Lowe’s began nearly a century ago as a small-town hardware store, and we know small business is the backbone of our economy. These products reflect the diverse needs of our customers and the communities we serve, and our ‘Making It … with Lowe’s’ program attempts to give these diverse small business owners a shot at the American Dream — and inspire others through their stories.”

Based on the success of its first season, Lowe’s said “Making It … with Lowe’s”  will return for a second season this fall.

The top three “Making It … with Lowe’s: Season One”entrepreneurs include:

• Joe Porche, Multus Handle and Haul (Metairie, La.): When a drunk driver struck Porche ‘s vehicle, his life changed instantly. Before the crash, Porche loved his job as a physician assistant helping others. He also loved a good DIY project. When the crash injured Porche’s back, neck and wrists, he used that challenge to create solutions for others. Porche developed Multus Handle and Haul to help people more easily and safely grab and move bulk items. His effective, easy-to-use, tie-down strap comes with an adjustable handle to help move awkward or heavy items. Lowe’s said Porche ‘s unwavering commitment to focusing on opportunities instead of challenges earned Handle and Haul the unique position of top product during its virtual pitch program.

In addition to earning space on Lowes.com and in Lowe’s stores, Porche received a mentoring support package, a marketing support package, a business development package and a $50,000 Lowe’s small business grant.

• Christina Woerner McInnis, SoilKit (Foley, Ala.): Woerner McInnis is a fifth-generation farmer who understands the importance and challenges of soil testing and wanted to bring its benefits to the everyday homeowner, according to Lowe’s. SoilKit provides consumers with the tools to take a soil sample and receive expert lab reports to better understand how to keep their lawn and garden healthy.

In addition to earning space on Lowes.com and in Lowe’s stores, Woerner McInnis received a marketing support package, a mentoring package and a $5,000 Lowe’s small business grant.

• Taufeek Shah, Lola’s Fine Hot Sauce (Des Moines, Iowa): Lola’s is a minority-owned hot sauce company made in America that uses each of the world’s hottest peppers for great flavor. Born from a generational family recipe from Shah’s mother, Lola’s is an Asian-American inspired hot sauce that brings consumers a universal, gluten-free, vegan, 100% all-natural and non-GMO project-verified accoutrement to their grill stations, according to Lowe’s.

In addition to earning coveted space on Lowes.com and in Lowe’s stores, Taufeek received a marketing support package and a $5,000 Lowe’s small business grant.

“These entrepreneurs exceeded our highest expectations,” said Bill Boltz, Lowe’s executive vice president of merchandising. “With their creative solutions, business prowess and powerful stories, we identified some of the most innovative and valued home improvement products in the marketplace, which we’re excited to offer our customers.”

Lowe’s operates or services more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S.

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