Many times, the most impactful inventions come from the inventor’s personal need.

That’s certainly the case with Boxtown’s Ladder Carrier. J.D. Davis has spent his working life carrying a ladder. He’s been a service technician for a number of different companies, and many times that’s meant moving a ladder from one place to another.

Usually, that’s not a big deal. J.D. is a strong man with hands toughened by working with tools. But one week in April 2017 he was doing some work at a hospital. He parked his truck at one end of the hospital, while the service need was on the other. After carrying his ladder the equivalent of 10 football fields over a couple of days, even J.D.’s hands were hurting. Surely someone must have a product out there to make carrying a ladder easier and less painful, but a quick online search failed to uncover anything practical.

Not to be deterred, J.D. sketched out a simple carrying handle, found a 3D designer to turn his sketches into a 3D printed prototype and tested it out. It worked! Next he did a patent search and had a couple of lawyers look into whether what he had might be patentable. Everything looked promising, so J.D. started gathering the funds to pursue this concept as a product and a company. Working with local intellectual property attorney Dennis Brown, he’s filed 6 patent applications and a trademark for the Boxtown Team logo.

The next step was to find a way to get his product made. J.D. told me “once you get an idea in your head and it becomes an invention, you’ve got to do something with it!” He started calling injection molding companies. Oklahoma Plastics was happy to work with a startup like Boxtown to get his idea off of the patent drawing and into customers’ hands. They coordinated getting a mold created, and by August his Ladder Carrier was a reality. At the Tulsa State Fair in September he sold 151 and generated a lot of interest. The Tulsa Fall Home Expo in November brought something even better than one off sales – it brought connections to larger companies with lots of ladder carrying workers.

Already, a number of alarm companies, churches, retail stores, and car dealers have bought Boxtown Ladder Carriers for their employees to make ladder use easier and safer. In addition to making ladder carrying less painful, the Ladder Carrier doubles as a tool holder or paint can holder once the ladder is set up. That eliminates the dangers inherent in balancing objects on a step or the top of the ladder. And now, multiple national companies are evaluating purchasing the Ladder Carrier for all of their field workers. The product is also carried in50 stores and online at Amazon and the company’s website https://boxtownproducts.com where the carrier can be purchased for $14.99.

J.D. looks forward to the day when Boxtown is generating enough money that he can quit his day job and become his own boss, but he’s thankful that he hasn’t been alone on this journey. His girlfriend Claudia has been incredibly supportive in getting the business to this point. He’s also grateful to partners like Oklahoma Plastics, Dennis Brown, and marketing partners All Ways Creative and Josh Wheeler, who’ve been willing to help this young startup get off the ground. Over the past few months, J.D. has also been a part of BetaBlox, a business incubator and accelerator, which is helping fill in the gaps in his business knowledge and make connections in the business and investor community.

As J.D. notes “It’s an honor to create something that is improving the everyday lives of so many people. I hope to build a business that I can proudly leave to my kids.”