David Kimble, inventor of the Grabby, shows the evolution of the product — with the earliest iterations beginning from left to right. (Photo: Frank Reddy).
HOSCHTON — Every inventor has the “aha” moment.
For David Kimble, it happened one day after a routine trip to the supermarket.
On that particular day, Kimble walked to the store, and after making his way through the checkout line he picked up his grocery bags and headed for the door.
His walk home, however, was made difficult by the heavy load. After he got home, Kimble thought long and hard about how he could make the bags easier to carry. The result? The Grabby.
Having sold nearly one million of the contraptions to date, others obviously saw the need too.
The device looks like a handle, which can attach to many different objects.
“The way our fingers work is fairly complicated, but when we close our hand it’s very strong, there’s a lot of capability there,” the Hoschton resident said.
He calls his gadget “an extension to the human hand.”
At the rate of $5 for 3 Grabbys, Kimble has sold nearly one million of the gadgets over the past several years. “I’ve done very well with Kroger, Ace Hardware, Big Lots … but it’s mostly still pilot programs. To sell big orders of Grabbys I have to pay for them in advance.”
Kimble called the Grabby a “cheap thrill” for its price, but said he’s invented dozens of other additional products which use the Grabby as part of their functionality, such as the Tortilla (a circular disc of material and string that turns into a bag when used with the Grabby), or the Scout, a tool that hooks on to the Grabby, which helps outdoorsmen carry heavy objects such as logs.
Kimble said those who buy a Grabby will have it forever: “they’re never going to break. There’s a lot of engineering in the Grabby. I’ve never had one to break, and that’s pretty remarkable considering how many are out there.”
Made out of polypropylene (what Kimble calls a “miracle plastic”), the objects are currently being manufactured in Shanghai, but the local inventor hopes to bring his manufacturing plant to Georgia sometime soon.
The man hopes to continue selling the gadget — the idea that came to him in that moment of clarity as he walked home from the grocery store, fingers aching from the handfuls of grocery bags.
To learn more, visit www.grabby.com.