Business grows by helping customers get organized

Dave Hall
Dave Hall

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Dave Hall has great expectations for 2016 as his Grand Junction company builds on its success as a growing supplier of products that help customers get organized.

“We think this year is going to be a breakout year for us. We are just set up to go,” said Hall, who operates Glideware along with his wife, Jenny.

Glideware continues to refine its unique storage systems not only for  kitchens, but also pantries, closets, garages and outdoor entertainment areas. Moreover, the company is working on new products, including a rotating storage system dubbed the Not-So-Lazy Susan.

The goal, Hall said, is to increase the number of products Glideware manufactures while building a reputation as experts in organizing. “We have a lot of opportunity to grow the products and the brand.”

The rapid evolution of Glideware comes only two years after the company made its very first sale.

The Halls invented Glideware as a solution to a problem: organizing pots and pans piled up inside kitchen cabinets. Jenny believed there had to be a better way to store cookware without all the hassle, so she drew a crude sketch of an extendable rail with hooks from which pots and pans could hang. Dave surprised her one day by actually constructing and installing the device. Dave used cabinet glides and wood to fashion an extendable rail with a gap in the center through which metal hooks could be suspended.

The Halls soon realized they’d created a product with potential for commercial production for organizing not only cookware, but also brooms and mops, purses and  a variety of other items. The Halls filed for patent protection, found a manufacturer and launched Glideware.

The Halls received validation they were on to something in winning one of the four top awards presented at the 2014 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, an event billed as the largest kitchen and bath trade show in the nation. Glideware subsequently grabbed the attention of everyone from cabinet dealers and manufacturers to magazine editors and cable television producers.

Glideware was included among the hottest kitchen accessories and interior fittings featured in Kitchen Bath Design News and ranked among the top 100 new home products in an annual list compiled for This Old House, a popular home improvement magazine, television show and Web site. Glideware also was featured on an episode of “I Want That” on the DIY cable television network.

While the Halls initially sold Glideware storage systems directly to customers online, they’ve subsequently developed a network of dealers and distributors to sell their products.

The Halls reached an agreement with Richelieu, a leading distributor of cabinet fixtures, specialty hardware and related products. The company distributes products from distribution centers across Canada and also operates locations in the United States. Dave Hall said he expects to secure distribution of Glideware products across the United States by the middle of 2016.

Meanwhile, the Halls have refined their storage systems while also developing new products.

One version of their storage system features stainless steel glides from Blum, a leading manufacturer of cabinetry hardware. The glides offer the soft closing feature.

Another version offers a slimmer profile that fits in cabinets beneath shelves.

Still other versions of the systems feature steel glides and plastic construction to store cooking utensils in an outdoor kitchen or tools in a garage.

Hall said Glideware will introduce a new product at the 2016 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in January in the Not So Lazy Susan. The rotating system will feature a slot from which to hang cookware as well as a shelf for pots. The product positions Glideware to compete in a big market for lazy Susans, Hall said.

Still other products under development will bolster the Glideware brand for organizational systems, Hall said “Everyone wants to be organized now, so we want to be in that market.”

Sales of Glideware products grew 10-fold in 2015 over 2014. Hall expects sales to top six figures in 2016. “That’s a huge milestone.”

While Glideware sells products to overseas markets on a limited basis, the Halls are pursuing international patent productions as they consider opportunities for exports to Europe.

The couple has positioned Glideware to keep pace with the increasing sales by expanded the manufacturing capacity for its products at two facilities in Indiana.

In Grand Junction, Dave Hall quit his job as a construction manager to run Glideware on a full-time basis. Jenny Hall continues to work as a real estate agent.

Dave Hall said many of the skills he honed in a 21-year career in the construction industry apply to Glideware, including procuring materials, overseeing the completion of products, assuring quality control and budgeting. That’s not to mention business development and salesmanship.

“It’s probably more alike than I initially thought,” Hall said.

But there’s a special reward, he said, in developing new products and a new business from scratch. “Creating something out of nothing and having somebody benefit from it, that’s a cool feeling.”

But now Hall hopes to progress from building a product to building a business and ultimately building a brand. “That’s even more exciting.”

For more information about Glideware, visit the Web site at www.glidewaare.com.