Just in time for the autumn yard cleanup, and the planting of perennials, a new start-up company is working to bring American-made yard tools to the market. Bosse Tools is the brainchild of young entrepreneur Steven Walden, a recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Being made in America is rare enough (try finding a U.S.-made Ames True Temper shovel anymore!), but Bosse Tools have another innovative feature: an ergonomic design with a rotatable center handle that makes it much easier to grasp the tool handle
To get his idea to market, Walden is launching a campaign on Kickstarter to raise money to begin manufacturing.
Below is a summary of my interview with Walden:
1) You say you got your idea for improved tools from your own experience using traditional shovels. How did you get from "idea" to design?
The short answer is that I’m no stranger to the shovel, and after working for my parents a few summers ago (with my mom in her community garden and with my dad at his properties in Phoenix) – I decided that I may have thought of a ‘better mousetrap.’ It shouldn’t be normal to wake up sore every day after using these tools, so why not come up with a way to make them easier to use. I was using other tools as well, with perpendicular handles, like hedge trimmers and weed whackers, when I realized that this handle configuration can be used on a simple shovel.
I took this idea to my entrepreneurship class at Loyola Marymount University – and as a senior, I ended up winning the school competition for “new venture creation.” What started as a class project grew into an idea for an entire line of tools, so I started Bosse Tools – the ergonomic tool company.
2) Where are your products manufactured and what was important to you in making that choice?
The best part about Bosse Tools is that we are 100% American born and 100% American made. For me, the choice was obvious. We have redesigned a tool for the American worker and we want it built here too. I have faced a lot of scrutiny from potential investors and so-called 'business experts' about the strategic maneuver. They said it is just not possible to do it in America. I would usually tell them, "Just watch." Next time the price of a shovel comes into question, I ask you to flip the tool over and look where it's made. Be proud to buy American, and be proud to buy Bosse Tools.
3) What product lines are you currently manufacturing, and what ideas will you be working on in the days ahead?
Although we started with just one shovel, we realized that ergonomics can apply to all shovels, not just regular pointed ones. We are ready to move forward with the production of our entire shovel line which includes spade shovels, flat head shovels, and snow shovels. The plan is to be an all-encompassing tool company that manufactures all sorts of long shafted tools – anything from pitchforks to rakes and brooms.
4) How can consumers find your products?
Best of luck to Steven Walden and his innovative idea!