Phil Castle, The Business Times
Barely a year after its very first sale, a fast-growing Grand Junction company is well on its way to expanding distribution of its unique storage system across North America. A new product is under development as well, along with potential new markets.
But Dave and Jenny Hall, the inventive couple who launched Glideware, aren’t about to rest on any laurels, however hard-earned.
Dave said he tries to balance his expectations for a successful product and operation with a cautious approach. “I worry about all the things that could go wrong,” he said during a wide-ranging interview with the Business Times.
So far, though, just about everything has gone right for the Halls and Glideware.
The couple 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 a company they called Glideware.
In February, the Halls received further confirmation they were on to something in winning one of the four top awards presented at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, an event billed as the largest kitchen and bath trade show in the nation. Glideware won the Best of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show silver medal in the kitchen category, beating out such large corporate competitors as Dacor, Delta and Toto.
Glideware since has 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 the July issue of Kitchen Bath Design News. Earlier in September, Glideware was featured on an episode of “I Want That” on the DIY cable television network.
At the Parade of Homes scheduled for Oct. 3 to 5 and 10 to 12 in the Grand Valley, the Halls will display Glideware at the Zag Built home at 357 W. Ridges Blvd. in Grand Junction.
While the Halls have sold their Glideware storage system directly to customers online from the very beginning, they’ve also worked to develop a network of dealers and distributors to sell their product for them.
They’ve had success in developing partnerships not only with such local dealers as the Kitchen Center, Osburn Cabinets & Design, ProBuild and Triple R Cabinets, but also dealers across the country.
The Halls recently 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.
The deal takes care of distribution across Canada, Dave said, while he hopes to fill in distribution across the United States within six months.
Meanwhile, the Halls are working on a new version of their storage system that will feature stainless steel glides from Blum, a leading manufacturer of cabinetry hardware. The glides offer the soft closing feature. The new version also will feature plastic construction with an anti-bacterial additive, he said.
The combination of stainless steel glides and plastic construction will position Glideware for several new markets, he said, including the those for outdoor cooking as and medical and health care settings. “We’re going beyond the kitchen.”
Glideware has become a tenant at the Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction to take advantage of the low-cost space offered there to stage its booth for upcoming shows and store products for distribution in Colorado. Hall said he also plans to use the three-dimensional printing offered at the center to create inexpensive prototypes of a new type of hook.
While there’s a possibility a larger company eventually could purchase Glideware, the Halls are working to increase the value of their venture regardless of what happens.
It’s been a busy year since the Halls continue to work in their day jobs — Dave as a construction manager and Jenny as a real estate agent.
But that work is what turns a good idea into a good business venture, Dave said. “Everybody’s got an idea. It’s not the idea. It’s what you do with it.”
For more information about Glideware, visit www.glideware.com.