By Tanya Constantine/Blend Images | Adobe Stock
If you religiously watch Shark Tank and shop at Lowe’s, then Making It...With Lowe’s is the crossover you’ve been waiting for. Shark Tank’s Daymond John and Lowe’s have teamed up to find diverse small businesses with innovative products for remodelers, home improvement pros, and DIYers.
Throughout the contest, home improvement professionals and remodelers keeping up with the results might find a new product from a local small business.
“Making It With Lowe’s is giving these minority-owned businesses a much-deserved chance to shine while uncovering unique, smart products that will make Lowe’s shelves even more appealing to customers,” John says. “The pandemic has created a situation where business owners are constantly pivoting and deepening their creativity and problem-solving abilities, especially minority-owned businesses who have more at stake, more to lose. I can’t wait to get started.”
Highlighting products made by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+, and those living with disabilities
The program will conduct a nationwide, virtual search to bring new products online and in store. Lowe’s is seeking products made by minorities, women, veterans, those in the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities. Applicants are encouraged to apply if they fit in one of those categories, have never worked with Lowe’s before, and fit the definition of a small business based on NAICS guidelines.
Preference will be given to products in the following categories: farm and ranch equipment; microban and antimicrobial; accessible home; touchless products; home gardening; home office; bath safety; home cleaning; and home décor.
“Offering our customers greater access to products being created by diverse small business owners allows Lowe’s digital and physical shelves nationwide to better reflect the diverse communities we serve and ensures our customers have access to the most innovative and valued home improvement products in the marketplace,” Lowe’s President and CEO Marvin R. Ellison says.
According to Lowe’s, finalists will participate in a one-day virtual pitch challenge. Hosted by John, the challenge is an opportunity for the finalists to directly pitch their product to Lowe’s CEO and other executives. If successful, the companies could become a Making It...With Lowe’s small business partner.
The Making It...With Lowe's contest will run in three phases:
- Phase 1: Hopefuls can complete the online application. Lowe’s will identify up to 375 diverse small business owners who may sell their product on Lowes.com.
- Phase 2: 75 diverse small business owners will then be invited to submit a 5-minute pitch video for consideration of even more promotion and support.
- Phase 3: Five finalists will be invited to participate in a group mentoring session with Daymond John to prepare for the ultimate live pitch to Lowe's executives. From that pitch, businesses may have the opportunity for additional support from Lowe’s.
Applications are due by September 25, and the finalists will be announced on Lowes.com later this year. Results will be revealed in early 2021.