Thursday, July 24, 2014

Local family's invention wins honors

If businesses can have touchless paper towel dispensers, William “Bryant” Troutman II and his family wondered, then why can’t we have them in our homes?
“I wanted one for my kitchen,” said Troutman, 45, of south Charlotte. “When they didn’t have one, we decided to make one.”
The idea behind the under-cabinet-mounted Innovia Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser the Troutmans created is hands-free convenience and lower risk of cross contamination in home kitchens.
The dispenser has pulled in two awards and appearances on the ShopHQ TV network. It’s also available online for $99 from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco and
Skymall, the shopping magazine found aboard airliners, chose the dispenser as the best product of the 2014 INPEX invention and new products expo in June. The dispenser also won a gold medal from INPEX.
Still, Troutman and his partners, dad William Troutman and wife Johana Troutman, have kept their jobs at their printing business, Charlotte-based Graphics International.
“It’s been a challenge developing awareness of our product,” Troutman said. “It requires a lot of money and a lot of patience.”
The family is working to recoup its investment of about $300,000 on the first 12,000 dispensers. The next step is to create a portable version that doesn’t have to be mounted.

Karen’s blog:; on Twitter @sullivan_kms


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