Inspiration from a Landscape and Nursery Trade Show

I recently returned from a regional trade show.  Between the equipment, new products and lectures, these large shows are very inspirational.  I always love walking the trade show floor to see what’s new.  I get a kick out of the entrepreneurs who have risked a lot of time and money for a chance to live the American dream.  Most inventors are contractors trying to make their own life as a landscape contractor easier.  Along the way they solve their problem, get a patent and start selling the product to others.  I will never forget the guy I met at a trade show in Kentucky a couple of years ago.  He developed the Husky Grip, a comfortable grip for chainsaw files.  After many attempts with plastic molds and over$100,000 invested, he was able to bring his idea to market.  At the time, I remember thinking the Husky Grip was a good product but could he possibly sell tens of thousands of these things to recoup his money, never mind make a profit.  Well, within a couple of years, I was walking down an isle in Home Depot and there it was for all to see and purchase. The Husky Grip made it onto the shelves.  Success!  Two products caught my eye this year not only because the ideas were ingenious but also because the products were brought to market by a single person or family. Who would ever think of a modular stone wall system?  Well some one did and here it is. 

An interlocking concrete wall veneered with any type of stone or style you would like.  It’s now possible to have a stonewall in a day after site prep.  How about a tool that would allow you to pick up and place a paving stone without bending down? 

Not only was the family their selling the product they designed, prototyped and patented but they were letting all the landscape contractors use it.  I felt the urge to buy one right there just like a candy bar in the checkout line. I’ll admit, these things were real slick.  The tool in the picture picked up a 90 pound stone with ease.  I’m sure this will be a big hit with anyone installing stone or pavers because it was cost effective, more efficient than current installation methods and most importantly a back and knee saver.  Check out this video.

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Richard Schipul
Richard Schipul

For the last 30 years, I have owned the landscape company Designing Eden LLC based in New Milford, CT. We offer landscape designs, landscape installations and garden maintenance services in Fairfield and Litchfield County Connecticut. I am currently the only Nationally Certified Landscape Designer in Litchfield County and sit on the board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Mad Gardeners.

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