Bucket Ape: Taking the Pain Out of Retiling

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business of the Day.

Small Business of the Day: Bucket Ape

Who: Rob Parker, 40, @bucketape

What: A continuous grout cart that streamlines the grouting and cleanup process for users

When: March 2010

How: Parker, who is a weapons designer for the U.S. Navy, said he stumbled upon his Bucket Ape invention accidentally. He made a prototype for his wife while the two were tiling their house, to ease some of her back pain.

"She said I should sit down and seriously design this thing, because it was cutting my cleanup time in half," Parker said.

Since launching his website and taking out some ads in magazines, Parker said his business has seen moderate growth, but remains a side-line project.

Where: Panama City, Fla.

In his own words: "In the past six months, we have had several customers contact us about different ways they are using the Bucket Ape. One of the most unique ways came from Canada—a guy uses it to winterize his boat; turns out, we have a larger market in the boating industry than in the tiling industry."

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