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04/05/2022

Back in action at the NHS

Attendees, events and inventions return to the National Hardware Show in Vegas.
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NHS opening
Opening day of the National Hardware Show 2022.

Green things grow in the spring. So do hardware shows and the numbers of attendees, vendors, inventors, inventions and tools that show up.

And that describes the National Hardware Show going on now.

Back in person, and with visibly more attendees than last fall’s show, NHS rocked all sorts of new products, accessories and clever gadgets ­– and more speaker sessions as well – to entice those strolling the show floor aisles.

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NHS The Wilson Door
Inventors and their inventions seem at NHS 2022, like here at The Wilson Door.

Reggie Bolden is the inventor and founder of The Wilson Door. His booth is in a great spot right by the Habitat stage on the show floor and he’s getting a stream of people checking his booth out.

“The top panel of the garage door opens separately,” he said through the flow of traffic in the aisle – a much increased flow compared to last fall.

“It gives open air ventilation. I have the patent on the hinge,” he added excitedly.

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NHS Reed, Helen McDaniel
The owners of B&B Hardware are at the show to get ideas and join the crowd, enthusiastically.

Two attendees, three aisles over, stopped to chat about their experience at the show. “We’re looking for new ideas. But it’s great to just get out again and be with people. People need people, no kidding.”

They are husband-and-wife owners Reed and Helen McDaniel of B&B Hardware from Moline, Illinois.

When asked the big issues they faced today as retail owners, they answered: “Quality, and people, are the biggies. Dealing with product delays is next. We’re always looking for something new. We added firearms sales to our business a year ago and sales exploded, no pun intended.”

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NHS Grip-Free brush inventor Greg Freuler
He invented a new way to hold a paint brush; he's Greg Freuler, one of many inventors at NHS.

In the next aisle, a crowd is forming around a booth with funny-looking blue paint brushes.

“These are the Grip-Free brushes, my invention,” said Freeform company owner Greg Freuler of Las Vegas. The blue handle is contoured to fit nicely into your hand.

“I’m an industrial designer and I noticed whenever I painted my hand started killing me, so I started working to invent something better. It’s been on the market for a year.”

See a need, fill a need. That is the impetus of any true inventor, and there is no shortage of them at the 2022 event.

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NHS Habitat stage speakers.
Speakers and inventors took to the stage all day at NHS.

Both the Habitat stage near the show entrance and the National Hardware & Paint Association All-Conference stage have speaker sessions running continually throughout the day. Attendees fill the seats at both locations, reflective of a healthy return to a semblance of normalcy after the pandemic.

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NHS Vincent, Alexandria Treat's
Out in the NHS Backyard, grilling fills the air, and here the owners of Treat's General Store are planning to sample the eats.

Outside, too, NHS is busy with activity, with a steady flow of attendees and vendors heading to the Backyard Zone for grilling, tasting, and socializing in the desert sun.

Among the outdoor crowd in the zone are Vincent and Alexandria Lavaroni, the husband-and-wife sixth-generation owners of San Andreas, California-based Treat’s General Store, in business since 1852.

“Our uncles work there too, but we got to come here for the show. We are really liking the show. We’re here looking for new product lines and getting new ideas,” they said.

And what about being outside in the bright sunshine and the great outdoors?

“We are loving it. This Backyard area is great-great-great. We’re going to sample food and talk to everyone.”

The National Hardware Show 2022 runs through April 7. 

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