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Select member turns inventor

Louie Martin, Dulux Select member with the help of fellow local decorator Tony Gerrard, are the proud inventors of the 'Gripper Buddy' .

Working back in early 2015, the two decorators were busy starting preparation on the woodwork, mainly rubbing down with glass paper. That was until both simultaneously let out a few loud yelps and shall we say choice words!

The culprit of this all too familiar incident was carpet gripper rods and the victims unfortunately their fingers. After evaluating each other's wounds one too many times, it was decided the blood and pain must stop. Many clients understandably don't want their gripper rods pulled up, so another solution had to be found.

Experimenting with the use of cardboard and cutting tools, Louie and Tony looked at different shapes to protect their most invaluable tools - their hands. Moving on to the unofficial prototype - sheet plastic, boiling water, strength and skill was used to a form a shape which bent over the gripper rods. Successfully eliminating danger from sanding the bottom of skirting boards, the area usually most missed due the nasty spikes which lie by the side!

Realising they were on to something, the two turned their attention to the legalities and business side. With the help of consultants and after an anxious wait, the news arrived that they could label the product 'patent pending' and go into production. Then through hard research and persistence, a suitable and affordable method was secured to produce the Gripper Buddy.

Not content with one decorating invention, Louie and Tony have proudly set up their own business - 'Buddy Tools UK' - expect further tools in the future! You can see the Gripper Buddy in action for yourself at the National Painting and Decorating Show in December. Visit stand 47 to meet inventors Louie and Tony to view a demonstration of the Gripper Buddy in action.