Woman Builds Niche Selling Tools

The Joplin Globe:

Cindi Dugger wears pink, loves jewelry and admits to being a bit “girlie,â€? but she’s not afraid to fix a broken toilet, repair damaged drywall or lay tile.

Dugger, a Joplin resident, insists she’s not different from other women; she just knows what’s she’s capable of doing. Now, Dugger is taking her “can-doâ€? attitude and her box of pink tools to other women in the area to help them realize they can do projects, too.

Dugger just celebrated her first year as a sales consultant for Tomboy Tools, which sells ergonomically designed tools marketed to women. Tomboy Tools was started in 2000 by three friends in Denver, Colo. The company has grown to more than 1,000 sales consultants across the United States and Canada.

The tools, made for a woman’s hands, are smaller than the standard varieties, Dugger said. The idea is to get tools in women’s hands that they will actually use and that make sense to them. Some of the company’s tools feature a tape measure with measurements of every one-eighth inch labeled, a lightweight compressor that can be picked up with one hand, and a utility knife with an easy-turning adjuster, so no screwdriver is needed to change the blade.

Tomboy Tools is based around home party sales that Dugger said allow her to not only get the tools into women’s hands, but also to teach some basic home repair lessons.

“I bring in a miniature toilet display, and I can teach them about basic plumbing,â€? Dugger said. “We can show basic drywall repair, and I’ve even done some simple upholstery. It’s very empowering for women to learn how to do that. They pick up the tools and say, ‘I can do this.’â€?

Photo by Roger Normer.

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