Dave and Jenny Hall first appeared on the cover of the Business Times on an issue published March 20, 2014. The Grand Junction couple once again grace the cover of the very issue you’re now reading. Call it journalistic bookends to the remarkable entrepreneurial story that began with innovation and ended with acquisition — a story the Business Times has been fortunate to chronicle as it developed.
Just four years after launching Glideware and developing unique storage systems to help their customers organize everything from pots and pans in kitchen cabinets to brooms and mops in hallway closets, the Halls have sold their company to Rev-A-Shelf. The Halls believe Rev-A-Shelf, a leading manufacturer of cabinet accessories, offers the resources required to continue what they started. That’s making Glideware a household brand.
The Halls weren’t necessarily looking to sell. But they faced the same risk-and-reward decision as other entrepreneurs overseeing fast-growing ventures: whether or not to take on the debt or investors needed to push their operations to the next level and assume the substantial risk that entails. The Halls determined they weren’t willing to face that kind of risk — not only financial, but also the potential Glideware could grow into failure.
Most people have heard or read about the entrepreneurial dream. Some have aspired to pursue that dream themselves. An idea for a better product or service serves as the genesis for a business that becomes a big success. It’s like the
well-worn adage advices: Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door. The Halls offer a real-life example of that entrepreneurial dream come true — not in Silicon Valley or some other distant locale, but right here in the Grand Valley.
Like so many entrepreneurs, the Halls invented their first device to solve a problem. In their case, it was what to do with pots and pans stacked up in kitchen cabinets. Their solution was an extendable rail with hooks from which pots and pans could neatly hang.
It wasn’t long before the Halls realized they had a commercially viable product on their hands — a belief confirmed when Glideware won one of four awards presented at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, beating out far larger corporate competitors at one of the biggest trade show of its kind.
As the Halls subsequently discovered, the execution part of new product development is far more difficult than the invention part. The process requires hard work and plenty of it. There’s a steep learning curve to overcome, too, in quickly acquiring needed expertise in manufacturing, marketing and distribution. The Halls were willing to put in that effort.
It’s not yet clear what’s next for the Halls. At the least, it would make considerable sense in one fashion or another to tap their been-there-and-done-that experiences in helping other entrepreneurs. There’s the possibility, too, the Halls will come up with another idea they’ll want to develop into a business.
Whatever happens, the Halls offer inspiration a good idea combined with hard work equals business success. It’s been a genuine pleasure telling that story.