Are you looking for a unique approach to garage organization? Lou Ann Schafer from Gladiator GarageWorks discusses a line of innovative products designed to turn an ordinary space into something spectacular in this exclusive interview.
Interview with Lou Ann Schafer, Senior Marketing Manager
LoveToKnow (LTK): Can you give us a brief background on Gladiator GarageWorks?
Lou Ann Schafer (LS): Gladiator is a great example of innovation driving solutions consumers are looking for. Because our parent company, Whirlpool, is an appliance company, they were looking at refrigeration to determine what they could do to increase the refrigeration business. The garage is the second most common place in the home for refrigerators. Unfortunately, home refrigerators were not designed to work efficiently in the harsh garage environment where it's subject to extreme cold and extreme heat. The idea was to create a refrigerator specifically designed for the garage. As they did research on garage refrigeration, they identified a huge unmet need in the space. Most consumers' garages were full of clutter. Thus the brand was born to solve not only customer's secondary refrigeration needs but to help them reclaim this valuable real estate so they could either use the garage as it was intended or as additional space for the home.
Trends in Organization
LTK: What are some of the trends in garage organization?
LS: As more people become aware of the alternative uses of the garage, they are more excited than ever to get stuff off the floor and take advantage of wall space. We are seeing people drywall and finish their garages and then add a coordinated look of products to cut down the appearance of clutter.
LTK: What are some of the most popular products from the line?
LS: Our larger cabinets to handle bulky items like seasonal storage items, camping equipment such as lanterns and sleeping bags or even those that need bulk food storage to manage their shopping trip from the clubs. Our ball caddy is also a very popular item as it hangs from our wall system and has easy access to all the balls in the basket.
LTK: Can you discuss some unique features of the products?
LS: Gladiator was designed for the harsh garage environment. It wasn't adapted from an in-home solution to work in the garage. It is designed to handle heavy loads with the steel construction of our cabinets and hooks.
The treadplate pattern on the doors and the textured painted sides help hide dirt and dust that is inevitable in this environment. We are the only storage solution that also offers coordinated appliances for the garage environment. The Chillerator garage refrigerator has features built in to the product to help it operate efficiently in those extreme temperatures and is ENERGY STAR® qualified.
LTK: What tips on organization can you share?
LS: Sort out stuff you don't need and use items from the stuff you need to keep. And then get rid of or donate things you don’t use. If you skip this step in organization, you will never manage to keep the space organized.
Think about how and where you use the items stored in your garage. If you keep the kids toys toward the back of the garage, they will never be put away because they want to drop them at the first place they find and since they play outside, you should store these items near the external garage door.
Think about a fresh coat of paint out there. If you have a finished garage but have never painted the drywall or have dingy white walls, a color on the wall makes you think about this space differently and makes you want to keep it tidy.
Finding The Products
LTK: Where can consumers purchase the products?
LS: For those that are handy and want to tackle a project themselves, purchase our products at retailers such as Lowe's or Sears. They can also be purchased at regional hardware stores or online directly from GladiatorGarageWorks.com.
For those who want someone to come in and do the project for them, we have a network of garage dealers and professional organizers across the U.S. that can provide this service. To find the right solution for you - visit the Gladiator GarageWorks website and select the option to locate a dealer.
As Seen On
LTK: Has Gladiator GarageWorks been featured on any television shows?
LS: We are frequently used on shows from Extreme Home Makeover to DIY Network and HGTV. Our own brand spokesperson, Karl Champley, worked with Gladiator many times on his show Wasted Spaces and DIY To The Rescue. We were used on Garage Mahal to overhaul the Car and Driver test garage. We outfitted the garage at Orange County Choppers while they built us a custom chopper on an episode of American Chopper. We've been featured on a garage makeover for a personal trainer, a pilot and a family trying to increase their home value on DIY's Sweat Equity. Additionally, the folks at NBC's Chuck have some Gladiator products and the set of Big Brother used Gladiator in their food room.
Garage Uses and More
LTK: What else would you like to share with our readers?
LS: They should really look at the value and versatility of their garage. It's typically one of the largest square footage rooms in the home and using it for more than just stuffing unwanted, unneeded or stuff you don't know what to do with brings a huge opportunity to reclaim this space. Also think about other areas of the home that Gladiator can help them get organized. Adding our wall solutions to storage space in the basement or attic can give you more space to store stuff. Creating a cool kids’ bedroom using our modular gearbox as a night stand or using our workbench as a desk can add a "cool" factor.
Thanks to Gladiator GarageWorks
LoveToKnow thanks Lou Ann Schafer for this informative interview and wishes her and Gladiator GarageWorks continued success.