Take a trip to your local Lowe’s or head to the home improvement retailer’s e-commerce site and one of the many products you’ll find is SoilKit, which aims to provide users with an easy way to test and diagnose soil problems.
Unlike the Craftsman power tools (a Stanley Back & Decker Inc.
product) or Sherwin-Williams
paint on the home retailer’s vast shelves, SoilKit is the flagship product of a small business run by a mom of four. Christina Woerner-McInnis, who is chief executive officer of AgriTech Corp. and also a fifth-generation Alabama farmer, was one of three suppliers selected as part of “Making It … With Lowe’s.”
Launched in 2020, “Making It … With Lowe’s” is one of many programs designed to help entrepreneurs take the ideas they’re passionate about and turn them into moneymaking businesses.
As one of the selected entrepreneurs, Woerner-McInnis received a $5,000 grant as well as mentoring from Daymond John, “Shark Tank” star, investor and founder of the fashion label Fubu. She also got advice about packaging, business practices and other topics to help grow her business.
“I needed a lot of mentorship in a time when we were going through shelter in place with Covid — also had Hurricane Sally, home schooling and other challenges,” she told MarketWatch.
“I know grass and garden. I didn’t know how to put the perfect packaging on the shelves for a national retailer.”
When she was younger, Woerner-McInnis said she was surrounded by male farmers who “to a degree tried to kick me out of the decision making.” She always thought her company would be a small operation, but now she looks forward to listening to customers to see what more lies ahead.
The “Making it … with Lowe’s”
program is part of the company’s commitment to small, diverse businesses. Many large businesses across the retail and consumer space have their own initiatives with similar goals of helping entrepreneurs grow their companies.
for example, offers a retail incubator for women and diverse-owned small businesses, The Workshop at Macy’s. Launched in 2011, 170 companies have gone through the program, and applications for the latest round are being accepted through Nov. 15.
In addition to the Target Accelerators, a Target Corp.
program that helps startups “learn the ins and outs of retail,” …….