Member Spotlight: Gerren DePoy, The Grip Jar Opener

September 11, 2019


Gerren DePoy is the CEO and co-founder of The Grip Jar Opener, a family-owned business with a nifty gadget to make opening jars a little bit easier. Their focus is helping people solve their common problem of struggling to open lids, with the intent of growing into other product areas of unmet needs, especially senior living.

How, where and when do you get your best ideas?
Collaborating and processing with others, for sure. But long runs are super helpful in bringing clarity and refining them.

What's a work tool or ritual that you couldn't live without?
Well with a finance background, I'm pretty obsessive about my financial models and forecasts - analyzing, and reanalyzing; making sure that the numbers make sense. But like I said in a previous question, running is crucial in the shaping and reshaping process for me. I kinda shutdown if I'm not active...

What skill would you like to master?
E-commerce and sales. Especially sales. It doesn't come natural at all.

What advice would you give to someone seeking to launch or grow a business?
As a recovering perfectionist, I would say that sometimes you just have to settle for "good enough"; it's okay if you later realize you would have done something differently. It's a tough line to draw sometimes between having high standards and being able to move on to the next thing, knowing that it will most likely change in some way in the future. Give yourself freedom to make "mistakes," and be able to laugh at yourself when you do. Don't be too hard on yourself.

What's a big "win" you experienced in the past year?
Nailed down financing (probably biggest), website completion, Amazon packaging, video, retail box, amazon launch, new injection mold/tool. Most exciting is our new and improved product coming out next month!

What are you most looking forward to in the year to come?
I would say the venture into retail space, beating our competition on Amazon, growing product and implementing growth plan in senior living, and hopefully some traction in expanding our product line.

Why 36 Degrees North?
I love it. The environment, the people, collaboration, spirit, comfortability, conference rooms, and 24-7 access for late nights. And I have a young, playful, and unwavering dog at home that still struggles to understand the concept of "working from home" ;)

Do you want to give any shoutouts?
Conner Snedden has been instrumental in helping to navigate our best step forward, while I'm juggling all the pieces and shifting strategies during winds of change. And the cleaning crew, well done! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻