Behind every new product is a person who’s looking for a better way. For Harry Harshaw, it was a contracting job with chemicals in a non-ventilated area. The exposure to the toxic chemicals and fumes got him thinking and eventually changed the course of his life.
Looking for a better way changed the course of Harry’s life. While this experience proved to be pivotal, Harry’s high school years prepared him for that moment. That’s when he worked in construction as a 15-year-old, eager to leave his New Jersey high school by 11 a.m. every day to participate in the school’s vocational program. His construction job allowed him to work on everything from swinging a hammer to reading blueprints.
As he remembered his early experiences, Harry admitted that it was a brutal education. “Sometimes you got lucky if your boss answered your question.” His construction experience led to a homegrown business that took Harry into many homes and commercial spaces. He quickly learned how to adapt to challenges in perpetually changing environments.
Finding a better way. That brings us to the day when he found himself years later in a small oxygen-deprived space sealing grout. By consulting with a chemist who had a formula with the capability to change permeability parameters, he started to tinker. When he was pleased with the results, he gave samples to local contractors and even one retailer.
Charlie Cobb of the Tile House of Marietta invited Harry to conduct market testing from his store. According to Harry, Charlie “…had faith in the product. He suggested more research, and that’s how it branched out.”
A good entrepreneur listens. Today, Harry always wants to maintain conversations with retailers, DIY enthusiasts and contractors. “I love hearing good or bad. I want to know details – what’s working or not. I’ll fly or drive to meet homeowners on contractors.”
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