Tuesday, April 30, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Slice, Inc.

At this year’s National Hardware Show, the Slice PEN CUTTER will be joining an award-winning collection of cutting tools for industrial and home applications by Slice, Inc. Featuring a safer, more cost-effective cutting solution for professionals and consumers, the company’s latest addition has a ceramic blade that lasts up to ten times longer than traditional steel blades; it never rusts, is non-magnetic, non-conductive, and oil-free.

Safety is number one for Slice Inc. Their teams of experts continue to strive for safer cutting alternatives, replacing older metal-blades with Slice ceramic-blades and handles in their warehouses, retail floor operations and manufacturing facilities. The design of the PEN CUTTER is no exception. It bears an auto-retractable handle and rounded ceramic-blade tips with a unique thick-blade design to further increase safety among users.

With more than half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies already using the company’s ceramic-blade cutters to reduce on-site work injuries, ECPR expects this product to be a must-see item at NHS 2013.

In addition to promoting safer cutting solutions, Slice, Inc. gives back to the community by donating a minimum of 1 % of all sales to aid funding for Autism research. The company was originally founded in 2008 by TJ Scimone as a way to help fund long-term care for his Autistic son. To learn more about Slice Inc., the Slice PEN CUTTER and other products visit the company’s website at www.sliceproducts.com.

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Life Cycle Gardens

After cracking his vertebra and left temporarily immobile, young entrepreneur Justin Connell came up with an idea for a mobile garden. Putting his thoughts into action, Connell’s company, Life Cycle Gardens, will be introducing Garden on Wheelz™ at this year’s National Hardware Show. Elevated 38 inches from the ground, with a wheelbarrow-like construction, this home and garden product features adjustable legs that allow the physically disabled to sit or stand while gardening.

With 6 square feet of gardening space, consumers can enjoy 36 pounds of fresh produce each year. Garden on Wheelz is made of UV-resistant and food grade plastic, also bearing a run-off water recycling system. In addition to providing consumers with physical limitations a home and garden product, the mobility of Garden on Wheelz allows for maximization of sunlight and space in homes limited to small balconies or patios.

Click here to read more about Justin Connell and how he went from student to CEO.

Monday, April 29, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Redhed® Tools, LLC

Redhed Tools, manufacturer of quality garden tools, was first founded in the spring of 2012 by professional landscaper Rick Meinzer. Since its inception, the company has devoted itself to concepting and manufacturing garden tools for avid home gardeners to cherish. Now, after a year of research and testing, RedHed Tools has created the Essential Kit, a revolutionary garden tool with patented handle system and interchangeable tool heads.

Compact, versatile and reliable, the Essential Kit offers 32 different tool variations, including shovels, rakes and brooms. The kit comes with 4 hickory handles plus an extender, 4 tool heads and a water-resistant storage bag. The tool heads are made from a corrosion-resistant stainless steel and are powder-coated for an extra layer of rust protection. Conversely, the ergonomic handles are constructed from oil-rubbed, premium hickory wood, creating a smooth finish. Connecting the heads and handles is RedHed Tools’ patented Quick Connect system, which ensures a seamless fit. To use, home gardeners simply need to press and hold the die-cast slider to quickly attach or detach all heads and handles.

Members of the media, be sure to stop by RedHed Tools’ NHS booth (12830) to see the Essential Kit in person. We guarantee your readers will want to learn more about this new set of gardening tools! For more information about RedHed Tools or the Essential Kit, visit www.redhedtools.com.

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Assa Design

Making its debut at the 2013 National Hardware Show, Assa Design’s new collection of Bamboo shelving kits are poised to create a buzz among show-goers. The company’s new shelving kits provide an innovative solution for additional storage space in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and more. Taking on a contemporary flair, this collection of storage units are easy to install; eco-friendly; and come with decorative, modular connections that add color and style. The collection includes a 6-bottle wine rack, 5-hook hanger kit, spice rack, 2-bamboo shelf kit, and much more. In addition, each product comes with a free level to ensure hanging accuracy.

Assa Design, founded by Assa Mandl, is comprised of a team of industrial designers and engineers focused on creating simple storage solutions for homeowners. In 2012, Assa Design expanded its operations to the U.S., and is now selling its products in North America, Israel and globally through its online e-commerce capabilities. For more information about Assa Design, visit the company’s website at www.assa-design.com.

Friday, April 26, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: JRM Chemical

Garden center retailers, JRM Chemical’s Soil Moist Transplant Tree & Shrub Formula is must-have item this year. This new product, which will be on display at this year’s National Hardware Show, is formulated to inoculate trees, plants and shrubs during planting time. It contains a diverse blend of five species of ectomycorrhizal propagules and seven species of endomycorrhizal propagules. This combination of elements promotes plant growth; improves soil conditions and strengthens plant ecosystems.

Available in a one-pound jar, Soil Moist Transplant Tree & Shrub Formula can treat two, one-inch caliper trees. For retailers, cases of six jars are available. Each jar contains over 4.8 billion colony forming units of bacteria, 3300 propagules of endomycorrhizal fungi and 218 million propagules of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Soil Moist water storing polymers are also incorporated in the mix to reduce waterings by 50%.

Stop by JRM Chemicals booth (10431) at the National Hardware Show. And, for more information about the company’s Soil Moist Transplant Tree & Shrub Formula, visit www.soilmoist.com.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Elgo Irrigation Ltd.

A true pioneer of the irrigation market, Elgo Irrigation Ltd. introduced the world to the sprinkler and is now presenting us with a new concept for lawn watering: QuickUp – Portable Spray Watering System. Combining nearly a century of experience with the latest irrigation innovations, Elgo’s QuickUp offers homeowners a low cost, water-saving irrigation system similar to underground pop-up systems, but without complicated installations.

Technologically advanced and user-friendly, QuickUp connects to the simple garden hose and quick connector system. It uses advanced micro sprinklers for gentle and accurate watering, enabling consumers to water lawns without turf disturbance. Featuring a simple plug-and-play concept, QuickUp allows homeowners to cultivate vegetable rows freely, taking only a few minutes to install or move between different vegetable or lawn areas. The basic kit includes six full-circle micro sprinkler stands with six QuickUp connectors; six flow control valves; an additional six half-circle nozzles; and four quarter-circle nozzles.

Elgo’s latest irrigation innovation is sure to be a popular product at this year’s National Hardware Show. With its simple installation process, easy storage ability and automatic controls, it presents retailers with a great marketing opportunity for consumers.

For more information about Elgo Irrigation Ltd. and its products visit the company’s website at http://www.elgo.co.il/.

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Radians

Radians, manufacturer of quality safety glasses, hearing protection, performance gloves, high visibility clothing, and footwear products, has partnered with Black and Decker to create the Garden Pro™ Hybrid 2- in-1 Rose Tender Glove. This high-performance glove is the first of its kind with a removable gauntlet-style cuff. The new design enables avid home gardeners and landscapers to tend to gardens without having to deal with painful thorns that can result in cuts and scrapes. In addition, the glove acts as a barrier for sensitive skin, aiding in the protection from allergens. The Garden Pro™ Hybrid 2- in-1 Rose Tender Glove is perfect for pruning, landscaping, planting, and using with garden hand tools.

This new gardening glove is washable, form-fitting, breathable, and is reinforced in all the key stress areas. It is available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Retailers, the Garden Pro™ Hybrid 2- in-1 Rose Tender Glove will definitely be a hot product at the National Hardware Show this year.

For more information about this great new gardening glove from Black and Decker, visit Radian’s website at www.radians.com.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: DesignMod, LLC

The National Hardware Show is just around the corner. From May 7-9, 2013, in Las Vegas, retailers, designers, builders, trade professionals, and media members will have the opportunity to view new products in a variety of categories. The event is the industry’s largest trade exhibition show, offering the latest inventions and products from companies in hardware & tools; homewares; pet products; lawn & garden/outdoor living; paint & accessories; plumbing & electrical; storage & organization; and tailgating, camping & picnicking.

And, for the fourth year in a row, the ECPR team has an alliance with the show, showcasing exhibitor’s products in our “Sneak Peek” article series on our company blog. Our “Sneak Peek” series is a great way to preview the show and allows media members to easily learn more, whether they plan to attend or allow us to serve as their “eyes and ears.”

DesignMod’s new Smoothline Flush-Mount Wall Plate System offers a sophisticated option for mounting outlets and switches to walls. Blending seamlessly, the Smoothline system installs easily during construction using standard drywall finishing techniques, making it an affordable option for both builders and homeowners.

First introduced to architects and builders in February, this new product will be taking center stage at DesignMod’s booth (IS309) at this year’s National Hardware Show. With its sleek design, the Smoothline system is the perfect way to achieve an uninterrupted, modern aesthetic for about the same cost as a common hidden-screw wall plate. Moreover, these innovative wall plates can not only be used on painted walls, but can also be used with patterned wallpaper.

DesignMod’s Smoothline system is available for one- to four-gang installations. For more information, visit www.designmod.com.

Friday, April 19, 2013

New Facebook Feature Improves Fan Engagement with Businesses

Last month, Facebook introduced a new “Replies” feature on Pages and popular Profiles to help boost interactions with fans and readers. Up until the launch, Facebook users could comment on a post, but others, including the Page owners themselves, were unable to respond directly to them.

According to an article on TechCrunch.com, a Facebook spokesperson said the feature is intended to increase engagement and allow Page administrators to easily manage conversations. “We think this update will allow for easier management of conversations around posts, which is a better experience for people interacting with Pages and public figure profiles.”

After doing some research and activating the new feature on Pages managed by our team, ECPR is able to weigh in on the benefits and bring our fans up to speed on how it works and what it means for business.

Understanding the Replies feature 

Simply put, the Replies feature grants readers and Page managers the ability to respond directly to comments left on a businesses’ Facebook page. With this feature, companies can create personal conversation threads with several fans, but still allow other users to join in, too.

With the March 25th roll out, Facebook provided a few examples of Replies-conversation threads from companies that have been involved in the features’ running tests since November 2012.

Below is an example of an open Q&A-post created by Sports Center to heighten fan interaction, and thanks to the reply feature, allowed the page administrator to answer each user directly. 

Photo courtesy of Facebook. Click to enlarge.
Additional features – Active-thread sifting

With regard to the new Replies feature, Facebook has also launched what is called active-thread sifting. This attribute orders the most active and engaging conversations to appear at the top using an algorithm to appear higher in the posts. Now, companies can be ensured that fans who visit their pages will see the best or most popular conversations. Facebook officials have revealed that conversation threads are also re-ordered by relevance to viewers, and may appear differently to each person based on their connections, specifically:
  • Positive Feedback: the amount of positive feedback based on the total number of Likes and Replies in a conversation thread, which includes Likes or Replies by the Page owner. 
  • Connections: connections to participants in a thread may move the conversation higher. For example, conversations with Comments left by friends may appear at the top. 
  • Negative Feedback: the total number of spam reports in a thread, as well as marks-as-spam made by the Page owner. We also may down-rank comments made by frequent spammers. 
What this means for your business

Fans and friends, our team can’t encourage you and your company enough to take the plunge and activate this new feature. By taking advantage of the Replies feature, you’ll be able to start meaningful, open dialogues with your fan base, while building crucial business relationships and branding the social media persona of your business.

Acknowledging consumers and showing them you care enough to answer their comments and questions has the possibility to improve sales, but, most importantly, it’s likely to strengthen your fan loyalty.

Note, Replies and the algorithmic sorting will not work everywhere. Right now, Facebook users with personal accounts are unable to activate this feature. Businesses with Facebook Pages and Profiles of public figures with more than 10,000 followers are the only users with the ability to activate Replies. Also, users can only expect to see the option on the desktop; it will not work on mobile devices. However, Facebook’s intention is to make Replies part of the Graph API and mobile in the future.

To learn how to activate this feature click here.

  • Facebook 
  • TechCrunch.com

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The 2013 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show Heads to New Orleans

It’s where the Kitchen and Bath Industries’ best and brightest assemble to spot trends, take in product introductions, build connections, and find practical solutions that lead to tomorrow’s innovative designs and techniques. The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will once again be the industry’s reliable annual resource for staying current, competitive and profitable. It is one of our favorite tradeshows of the year due to the high-level interfacing and relationships that are fostered on site.

Year after year, architects, builders, remodelers, designers, dealers, distributors, home centers, and others are presented with extensive show floors showcasing the latest products; offered an informative conference program; dynamic networking events; and the opportunity to learn from world-renowned industry speakers. Today, KBIS is where exhibitors come to reach the industry’s serious buyers, and where kitchen and bath professionals gain valuable insights needed to stay ahead of the curve.

Up for a Best of KBIS 2013 award, Shaws 30" Bowed Apron Front Fireclay Sink with Lavastone Countertop is authentically crafted in Lanchashire, England, and is hand poured, shaped and stamped with the name of the arisan who created it. Photo courtesy of KBIS and Shaws.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, so don’t miss out on celebrating the world’s largest international trade event dedicated to the kitchen and bath industry. In case you’re wondering if a trip to this year’s show pertains to you and your business, check out the list of applicable attendees provided by KBIS:
  • Architects 
  • Builders/Remodelers 
  • Cabinet Shops 
  • Consultants 
  • Dealers 
  • Designers 
  • Distributors 
  • Fabricators 
  • Home Centers 
  • Installers 
  • Independent Manufacturers’ Reps 
  • Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Professionals 
  • Students 
On top of meeting key decision makers from national and international markets and target industry professionals, attendees can enjoy some of the following opportunities by checking out the links below:
  • From appliances, hardware, faucets, fixtures and more, exhibitors will be displaying new products perfect for your next design / build project. For a full list of exhibitors, please click here
  • Attend a conference program to earn your CEU credits; simply click here to find what’s right for you.  
  • Audition for your own show at HGTV’s and DIY’s open auditions. For more information, please click here
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show will be held April 19-21, 2013, (Friday thru Sunday) at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. If you’re interested in learning more about KBIS, show floor hours and registration hours, or want to view a full schedule of events, visit the show’s website by clicking here.

This year at KBIS, KHOLER will be showcasing their Moxie showerhead, a first of its kind to combine the delivery of water and music, simultaneously soaking the user with music and a best-in-class spray experience. Photo courtesy of KBIS and KHOLER. 
Blog Readers, Media Members, and Clients, be sure to tell us what inspired you at the show- from trends and new products to education and engagement. We’ll feature a couple of high-interest topics based upon your feedback.

~ The ECPR Team

Monday, April 1, 2013

Haute New Fireplace Designs

Photo Credit: Builder Online
The International Builders’ Show (IBS) is known for showcasing innovative technologies in a variety of different categories, and this year’s show, which took place January 2013, was no exception. One notable standout was Heat & Glo’s brand new, ultra-slim Revo fireplace series. Available in square, linear and vertical styles, this new line of modern fireplaces is said to include the thinnest AFUE-rated fireplaces ever made. For those of you who don’t already know, AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, a thermal efficiency measure of combustion equipment such as furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, and water heaters.

This new series of slender fireplace models quickly fill their compact fireboxes to produce an impressive heat output into a living space—up to 24,000 BTUs—more quickly than other leading gas fireplaces on the market. The new Revo collection also uses direct vent technology to ensure 100% of exhaust gases are expelled outside of the home, and each fireplace features Heat & Glo’s patented, invisible razor burner.

Designed for ease of installation, the Revo fireplaces require no footprint or exterior chase. Once a hole is made in the wall and an SLP venting pipe is set, the lightweight units are hung on mounting brackets.

For more information about Heat & Glo’s Revo series, visit the company’s website at www.heatnglo.com.