The LiveOakHardware.com Story
Welcome to LiveOakHardware.com!
We are excited to have you on our site and see all the great products we have available. My name is Gus and LiveOakHardware.com is my baby.
I have been in manufacturing and retail sales my entire career. I worked for a large publicly traded garden and pet products manufacturer and distributor for ten years(That supplied Home Depot, Lowe's and Wal-Mart to name a few), sold lumber and molding for ten years, and have been involved with product development, manufacturing, and sales(Directly to Home Depot, Lowe's, and Wal-Mart), in one fashion or another for a combined total of 32 years. I have been at these retailer's corporate offices many times, and have been successful in getting items actually in the store many times so what I share is from direct experience.
I will include info on the rest of the organization with y'all down the road, but for now I'd like to tell you a bit about LiveOakHardware.com.
Live Oak Hardware is a way for us to promote and sell a growing number of exciting and innovative products. There is a gigantic pool of great innovations just waiting to hit retail, but getting into a Home Depot or Lowe's or other large chain is more difficult than most can ever imagine - I'll explain some.......
The incumbents (Existing vendors at those stores), fight hard to keep their ground. Some of the biggest public corporations have agreements that lock up complete categories! Plus, they give the chains very large margins. Most would be amazed to know that a lot of $20.00 items are bought by these companies for as little as $5.00! They will defend those margins with it being expensive to run a large company but that's a hard sell when they post new record profits quarter after quarter.
These corporations can sell that low because they have great economies of scale. More importantly, they have been making a lot of these products for years so they don't have any development costs or tooling costs. Their facilities are paid for and they have access to funding at super low rates. There are tons of other advantages and in the end their business risk is next to zero.
Now counter that with an inventor, or startup company. They have funded their dream with a second mortgage or 401K. These folks risk EVERYTHING! The American dream where a person has a great idea and builds it! Gives me chills to say it and think of the power behind the opportunity. If one can just get that great idea to market, the dream could be realized and their family taken care of forever right?
Well its very, very, very, seldom the case. There are many reasons and I'm not saying it’s impossible, but 100% of the folks with an invention will spend more time and money and heartache developing and getting an innovation to market than they ever expected. I guarantee you this is an absolute fact! A fast overnight sensation is 5-7 years of work-if they last that long.
I've already left some clues to why it is so incredibly hard to be a successful inventor and will elaborate on that more down the road-I promise. But the point I'm trying to make is that it’s almost impossible to be successful with new products and innovations and that is now where Live Oak Hardware.com enters.
We have agreements with a selected group of inventors and small business who have wonderful products. They are all small companies and I can think of several that literally started in their garages! They don't have 70% margins to give away and compete with the large corporations, and they have very little to no marketing budgets to advertise, but they do have some very impressive innovation that beats what those corporations offer by miles and we can sell to you on LiveOakHardware.com.
So what you see on LiveOakHardware.com is a manifestation of the American Dream in the works. I just love being able to share these great innovations with y'all and hope you find them interesting and will support them. They will all save you time or money or both, and maybe one day they are enjoyed enough and requested enough that they become an overnight success in 5 or 7 years.