Toss Products LLC, a woman owned company, has developed Paint Plates™—100% recycled paper palettes designed to help artists, teachers, and paint party organizers save time on clean up and contribute to a cleaner planet by safely disposing of unused paint.
Felicia Gray, a lifelong commercial artist and teacher, had the idea for the business product. From decades of cleaning up after student painters and washing leftover paint from plastic palettes, she knew those plastic palettes would eventually end up in a landfill and take up to a thousand years to degrade into smaller bits of plastic, potentially harming birds and animals. She states, “I couldn’t stand the fact that I was polluting the water with paint and adding to the plastic mess our planet is in, so I had to do something about it.” She went to work and created a prototype palette made of 100% recycled paper pulp that was water resistant and safely disposable. Her next step was to get the product to market and she knew she would need help.
Felicia and her husband, Scott, a high school art teacher and potter, formed Toss Products LLC in early 2018. A few months later, the Grays were joined by Nicole Lundin and her husband, Rick. Nicole and Rick have decades of experience as entrepreneurs in product development, the patent process, national distribution, marketing and sales.
After months of planning and filing patents in the US, Canada and the European Union, the company was ready to move forward to marketing the product nationwide and approached the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) for financing to bring Paint Plates to market. “We’re all pretty upbeat. We laugh a lot even at our early morning meetings, and between all four of us, we’ve got the skill sets to make this company a success,” said Nicole. “MCEDD and the Small Business Development Center in The Dalles have been great to work with,” she said. MCEDD funded Toss Products LLC in early April of 2019.
Paint Plates are now available at www.paintplates.com, Amazon, Yakima Bindery in Yakima, WA, and the General Store in Goldendale, WA. The company welcomes wholesale inquiries. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 509.314.3040 Ext. 2 for more information.
The MCEDD Loan Program is available to entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and existing businesses doing business in the five county (Sherman, Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania) Mid-Columbia area. This loan program is part of MCEDD’s efforts to strengthen and support the region’s economy. For more information on MCEDD’s Loan Program, visit www.mcedd.org.