Coloring inside the lines

Posted on Oct 1, 2017 :: Made in the New North
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Painting the textured walls of his condo,

1017_MITNN_2without fail, Dave Gruenwald would pull up the tape he’d applied and discover the paint had bled beneath it. He purchased all the products that claim to address the problem, all to no avail. An engineer and problem-solver, Gruenwald decided he’d come up with his own product. “I thought, well, I’m not the only person who’s experiencing this problem,” he says. “I’ll figure out a solution.”Inspiration came for the mechanical engineer when he received a credit card mailer with “booger glue” attached to it. Still, a process he thought would take 60 days took four years. Finally hitting on an adhesive and paper that worked, the Oshkosh man launched SnotTape at the national hardware show in 2015. SnotTape is a double entendre for, well, you know, and “it’s not tape.” Rather, the product is a paper strip with a barrier of sticky gel that fills gaps. SnotTape, Gruenwald says, fills a hole in the market for a product that works for surfaces that aren’t smooth. Available in two varieties for different textures, the award-winning product recently landed its first major customer, Ace Hardware, and doubled in sales the past two years, a feat he expects to replicate this year.