Over the past years many people have asked me: “How did you get involved in the merchandising display business?” Well, like any business there is always a spark that lights the fire of success. In high school I started a house painting business. One of my biggest frustrations with the job was removing paint from glass. To help with this task I invented a small holder for a single edge razor blade that was not only great for window scraping but other cutter/scraper chores as well. I then patented and trademarked the Blade Ade®. When I was 20 years old I began selling the Blade Ade® to many national and regional chains across the country. To this date over 30 million have been sold. We also designed, developed and produced other painting tools and sourced other cutting knives from overseas. We were the first tool company to produce with neon colors for high visibility.
Finding out retail space was hard to come by, we designed and patented many POP displays for our hand tools. As many CPG companies know, it can be extremely difficult to get placement in a retailer's P.O.G. so I started to focus on how I could merchandise my products by utilizing unused air space on plan-o-grams for permanent merchandising whether it be in-line or crossed over to another area/department. I wanted something that would hold more products and be more durable than the standard clip strips or cardboard floor displays. I went on to develop what I call the AMMO Bar Display (Adjustable Mounting Merchandising Outrigger). When I presented my line of blade products to buyers and retailers they said; “Tom, we like your hand tools but we love your display fixture...can we buy those separately?” The three questions that immediately came out of my mouth were; how many? What color? And when do you want them shipped?
From that point on I realized that there was a need in the marketplace for merchandising displays that captured dead air space for promotional in-line sales and permanent secondary opportunities. I began developing and patenting cutting edge displays that attach to gondolas, floor spinners, and creative store décor sign systems.
Back in March of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit we knew we could and should help out with PPE supplies to combat and help slow down the Corona Virus spread. Fortunately we were deemed an essential business making and supplying POP displays /sign holders to retail chains for their infrastructure and support. TM Shea quickly jumped in head first working 7 days a week designing and producing creative, cost effective and highly functional Flip up face shields, counter/hanging Sneeze guards, Social distancing sign/stickers and the new PlexiPrint PPE floor barrier systems. We are now working closely with the medical industry and the retail world with these PPE products dubbed “SheaShields “ under the brand name we created called “ CoronaCare” . TM Shea Products was the recipient and awarded a “Saving Businesses, Saving Lives “ PPE grant fund from Oakland County Mi to help with PPE production. We donate back to the communities free or discounted products to help combat and reduce the spread of the Corona virus and other contagious viruses/germs.
We look forward to our continued efforts and helping reduce the spread of viruses, creating a safer environment, protecting our communities and saving lives.
Be Safe. Stay Protected. Get CoronaCare.
Thomas M. Shea, President