Lowe's is teaming with Daymond John to provide opportunities for suppliers in underrepresented communities to pitch their products to the No. 9 retailer.
Making it… With Lowe's invites hundreds of small business owners to get their products in front of the company for a chance to be sold on its website and in stores. The program builds on Lowe’s commitment to increase diversity and inclusion.
From Sept. 15 through Sept. 25, diverse small business owners can apply on Lowes.com/MakingItWithLowes. After Lowe's identifies an initial 375 small businesses, the pool will narrow to 75, who will be invited to submit more in-depth videos.
Along the way, the program also offers an opportunity to receive gleaning mentoring, advice and support Lowe’s.
The search will culminate in a one-day virtual pitch challenge hosted by Shark Tank star and New York Times bestselling author John, where five diverse small business owners will pitch their product "live" to Lowe's CEO and other executives for the chance to become a partner. John will mentor the group as they lead up to their pitch.
"Making It With Lowe's is giving these minority-owned businesses a much-deserved chance to shine while uncovering unique, smart products that will make Lowe's shelves even more appealing to customers," said John. "The pandemic has created a situation where business owners are constantly pivoting and deepening their creativity and problem-solving abilities, especially minority-owned businesses who have more at stake, more to lose. I can't wait to get started."
"When Lowe's introduced our grant program for minority-, women- and rural-owned small businesses impacted by the pandemic earlier this year, we were humbled by the overwhelming response for the grants and we were impressed by the creativity, passion and vision from hundreds of thousands of applicants — and we instantly knew we wanted to do more," said Lowe's president and CEO Marvin R. Ellison. "Offering our customers greater access to products being created by diverse small business owners allows Lowe's digital and physical shelves nationwide to better reflect the diverse communities we serve and ensures our customers have access to the most innovative and valued home improvement products in the marketplace."
Startup suppliers offering retail products in both home improvement and non-traditional home improvement product categories are encouraged to apply. Categories under consideration include farm and ranch equipment, microban or antimicrobial products, accessible home, touchless products, home gardening, home décor product and more.
Finalists will be announced and featured on Lowes.com later this year, and results will be revealed on Lowe's social channels in early 2021.