Nine years after Sean Dube's SmartCap debuted on hardware store shelves across the country, the Sudbury entrepreneur is ready to launch his newest product, the SmartCap Pro, just in time for the spring renovation season.
The original product offers homeowners and contractors a solution to a long-standing conundrum. Inserted into the applicator on an open tube of caulking, the plastic cap creates an airtight seal, preventing the product from prematurely drying out and preserving the caulking for more than two years.
Support for the SmartCap remains strong--Dube estimates between 100,000 and 150,000 are sold annually--and he believes his newest product, designed to be used for tubes of adhesive, could be an even bigger seller.
"Homeowners will only use a little bit of adhesive and then they'll put it on their shelf, and by the time they even think about whether they have it again, or they want to use it again, it's rock solid," Dube said. "It's a waste of money and time."
The new product includes a small cap and two spouts, to be used in conjunction with the original SmartCap.
If a user is going to continue to use an open tube of adhesive again in the near future, they can put a SmartCap in the tube to preserve it over the short term, Dube said.
But for long-term storage, users can cut off the tube's applicator and screw in the red cap--that will keep the adhesive for two and a half years.
Once the user is ready to use the adhesive again, they can remove the cap, screw in one of the SmartCap Pro spouts and the tube is ready to go.
Because most tubes are standardized, Dube said the cap and spouts fit about 99 per cent of the adhesive tubes on the market, noting, "I haven't found a product that it won't fit on, yet."
It's a simple solution, but one Dube said came to him from personal experience as a homeowner with a do-it-yourself approach to renovations. If he had this issue with adhesives, he reasoned, then someone else might, too, and the idea materialized from there.
"I've been in business for almost 27 years with my other companies, and I think I've always been destined to be an entrepreneur for myself," said Dube, who also runs Five Star Janitorial Service full time. "I think it just comes naturally."
Like the SmartCap, its new cousin is manufactured in Canada - a point of pride for Dube that's evident in the small maple leaf adorning every package.
"I did check out pricing, packaging and manufacturing overseas," said Dube, who considered...