It’s no secret that some of the best ideas are cooked up right in sunny Colorado. In this series, we’ll be exploring the latest products coming from Colorado makers, builders and innovators.
After graduating from the University of Colorado Law School, Colorado native Deanna Seery moved to California to practice law, eventually migrating to Las Vegas. She still comes back to her home state, though, to vacation at her house in Estes Park — and now to check up on her latest business venture: an innovative line of self-adhesive paint labels.
“It was literally a light-bulb moment,” says Seery, explaining how she came up with the idea for What’s That Paint?, the company she launched in 2013 and is now up for a big prize from Martha Stewart.
Seery and her husband had been touching up the paint in their home; several of the colors were so similar they were nearly indistinguishable, and the painters were having a hard time figuring out which color went in what room. “I sat up in the middle of the night and said, ‘I need to label my paint cans,’” Seery remembers. The next day, she went to her local paint store — and realized there weren’t any labeling mechanisms on the market at the time. “This was way too simple, and I decided to create it,” she says.
So she began manufacturing five-inch, fill-in-the-blank round labels that consumers can apply directly to their paint cans. “The labels prompt you to fill in what information you’d want to know when you’re ready to reuse the paint can,” Seery says, citing off important details: the date the paint was purchased, the paint’s color and finish, and the store where the paint originated. There’s also a spot on the label where users can dab paint; seeing the paint color on a white label – rather than a silver lid – makes it easier for the folks at paint stores to match the product later on.
Seery’s labels are made in America: They're printed in Las Vegas through a small, independent printer, and the packaging is made at All Packing Company in Aurora; Seery ships her stuff to a family-owned business in Minnesota for fulfillment. What’s That Paint? has gotten great feedback at national and international trade shows, Seery says, and last October the Container Store picked up Seery’s labels, which are now carried nationwide in pint and gallon sizes.
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This summer, Seery submitted her product in the 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Audience Choice Awards. “I nominated my product not even thinking I’d get to the finalist stage,” she says. But What’s That Paint? is now a design finalist with 510 other contenders. Online voting started early this month and closes on Monday, October 19. One winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to New York City for a chance to appear on The Martha Stewart Show.
Even if she doesn’t come out on top, Seery says the competition should help create brand awareness. But you can help label her a winner by voting for Seery now! For more information, check out What’s That Paint? online.