- Tell us something about yourself, your background
My name is Ben Hildre. From Central Minnesota. Currently 38 years old. I have three wonderful children, Hannah, Haiden and Harrison. Been painting for 20 years now. Self-employed for 17 years. Created the bucket edge December 2014. Received my patent in 2016. I love the outdoors. Currently living on Forest Lake and whenever I have a chance I am always in the boat or the Fishhouse.
- Tell us about the product you invented with a brief explanation:
The product I invented is called the “The Bucket Edge“. We make them in three sizes; 12”, 20” and 40”. The bucket edge was designed to help painters and DIY Homeowners paint quicker and get more things done without the use of paper and tape. Afterwards we came up with dozens more uses.
- How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?
I started inventing to help my Painting Company make more money per job. I was painting for closed houses and wasn’t making very much money. We taped off an entire house and left it the next day for paint. I went home that night and watched shark tank. My oldest daughter at the time challenged me to create something to make a lot of money to pay for her college LOL. Next day I showed up on the job, all the tape fell off the trim because of the dust, the pet dander and all the oils. I quickly thought about what Hannah said the night before and sketched on a paper my first prototype.
- How did you get from idea to finished product?
I took the prototype that I sketched down on a piece of paper to one of my friend’s metal fabrication shops. He wasn’t sure what the item was exactly at first. I told him that I would tell him later lol. Once I used the bucket edge on my first job, I knew I had a winner on my hands and asked my current partner Sean if he would do the shipping and manufacturing side of the business. We went after tackling the US patent in 2015. It took three tries but I finally received it March 2016. The prototype has evolved over the years.
- Let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc
Most of my useful resources were from talking to other Inventors. Joined some Facebook groups about inventions and learned a lot. Did quite a few audiobooks, learning on how to sell my product by myself. Also talked to other painters and got their opinions on my product.
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