(LOS ANGELES) A new line of ergonomic shovels from Bosse Tools is getting rave reviews from early testers. The lawn, garden and construction tools were created by Loyola Marymount University graduate student Stephen Walden, after several days of backbreaking labor convinced him that “there had to be a better way to move material from Point A to Point B that didn’t leave your back, wrists and shoulders sore the next day.”
Walden’s patent-pending ergonomic shovel concepts include a snow shovel, spade and flathead shovel with a rotating center grip incorporated into the handle. The spade and flathead models also feature an ergonomic center foot stomp, allowing the user to apply downward digging force in the center of the blade, rather than on the right or left as with a standard shovel.
The Bosse Tools team has launched a campaign on Kickstarter.com—a crowd funding website that only delivers donations for projects that are fully pledged during their fundraising term—and has so far received pledges of nearly $40,000 at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/619738984/the-ergonomic-shovel-by-bosse-tools-made-in-americ. The campaign officially ends on October 23, 2013.
“If the Bosse Tools team doesn’t reach our $60,000 goal, we will get nothing except an educational experience,” joked Walden, Bosse Tools’ 24-year-old founder. “But Kickstarter is great because it allows you to find your first group of enthusiastic supporters…in our case, the Kickstarter supporters are the first strangers who are willing to trade their capital for the first order run of my product. They are my first customers.” Bosse Tools’ ergonomic shovels can be pre-ordered with a pledge of support at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/619738984/the-ergonomic-shovel-by-bosse-tools-made-in-americ.
One Kickstarter supporter, Thomas Boehnlein, noted that he was “Looking forward to getting my shovel. I’ve had back problems for the past 10 years so I can use any ergonomic advantage I can get.”
Will Terry, a fifth generation Southern California farmer, grows fruits and vegetables in Ventura County. He and several of his employees tested a prototype of Bosse Tools’ spade shovel. “I don’t want someone’s mom, someone’s dad, brother, sister coming home to their family sore and worn out from work,” says Terry. “The idea would be for them to hopefully go home without any aches or pains from having to do some hard work with a shovel during the day.…What I really like about this [Bosse Tools ergonomic shovel] is whether you’re doing it right or left handed it’s fully adjustable, and allows you to get the right angle on the shovel to reduce fatigue on your back.”
Terry also likes the Bosse Tools innovative U-shaped foot hole. Says Terry, “With ordinary shovels you really have to push down on the spade of the shovel on the right or left of the handle, hich kind of pushes the shovel on way or the other. By pushing right down the middle, I think you can get a better dig on it. I know that’s certainly going to be a lot easier on your back, and do a better job out here in the field.”
Walden founded Bosse Tools to manufacture his line of ergonomic shovels, and hopes to find potential customers and distributors for his company’s ergonomic landscaping, construction and gardening tools through the Kickstarter campaign. “We have been receiving interest from all angles—from television shows to retail outlets,” Walden said in a recent update. “Just today, two print articles came out about Bosse Tools— one in the Manhattan Beach Reporter and the other in the LMU Newspaper.”
Stephen Walden was inspired to re-invent the shovel after waking up sore and tired from using an old-fashioned standard spade when helping his parents with yardwork. After taking the idea to his Loyola business school’s startup incubator, Walden’s idea was selected for further development in the classroom. He and his team went on to win and place in several startup competitions in California.