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outofstep.com would like to introduce you to some of our members from talented artists,
expert product designs and helpful services. Out of Step member's offer something unique
for you. Let's step in to the marketplace of possibilities
with your host, Jerry Pattee. Jerry: Our guest today is Out of Step member,
Jaimie Gordon, owner of Vortabrush. Welcome, Jaimie.
Jaimie: Thank you. Jerry: Tell us a little bit about your disability.
Jaimie: I injured myself at work. It's a low back injury and I crushed some
discs at the bottom of my spine and so it has not allowed me to continue the type of
work I was doing as a construction building inspector.
Job sites are like big obstacle courses, so I can't maneuver around them anymore to do
the work. Jerry: Do you use some assistance in walking?
Jaimie: I usually use a walking stick or a cane and I have a mobility scooter for when
I have to walk long distances. Jerry: So I bet that would create an obstacle
course! Jaimie: It does.
Jerry: Well, what is Vortabrush? Jaimie: Vortabrush is a tool that is used
by contractors to clean out holes built in concrete in preparation of placement of anchors
and the type of anchors are either threaded anchors for connecting the steel posts or
columns or rebar anchors which are used to connect existing concrete to new concrete
placement. Jerry: And why is it so important that these
holes be cleaned? Jaimie: Well, actually the international code
council requires that a special inspector be present during the placement and cleaning
of these concrete holes because if they aren't cleaned properly per the manufacturer's instructions,
you lose more than 50% of the pullout value which can be very critical.
Jerry: And these type of holes, are they used by bridges , buildings, what type of constructions?
Jaimie: It's used for all kind of concrete construction.
It can be for high rise concrete buildings, it can be where highway pieces are connected
together, the sections, it can be used in bridges.
So, it has a pretty universal application wherever concrete is used.
Jerry: And so if I'm envisioning this correctly, it's not just a whole that's going in the
ground? These could be side vertical holes that are
holding pieces together? Jaimie: They can be vertical or horizontal
and usually they do end up going both ways. Jerry: Do they vary in size?
Jaimie: Yes, they usually vary from #4 rebar and up, which is 1/4 inch and, or 1/2 inch
and up in size. Jerry: So, in your business, are you involved
in the manufacturing of the Vortabrush? Jaimie: I actually have the tool manufactured
here in the United States and then shipped to me and we do all the packaging and distribution
from our location here in Washington. Jerry: And so, you no longer need to basically
go onsite to distribute any of your product? Jaimie: No, I don't.
We have a website where they are ordered right directly off the website and we ship directly
to the end user. And also, I'm now associated with a company
who is going to start a national distribution along with those, so that will make it more
available all across the country. Jerry: And how do construction companies find
out about Vortabrush? Jaimie: Well, through advertising on the internet
and through mail advertising. We also had a booth last year and this year
at the world of concrete exhibit in Las Vegas. Jerry: So, that's a national conference then,
huh? Jaimie: Yes, it is.
It's the largest concrete conference in the world every year.
Jerry: Oh, wow! Always in the U.S.?
Jaimie: It's in Las Vegas each year. Jerry: So, what inspired you to start your
business? Jaimie: Well, as a special inspector, I witnessed
tens of thousands of these holes being drilled and anchors being placed over the years and
I could see that the method being used did work, but it was very inefficient in that
it was inconsistent and very timeconsuming. And so, I thought there had to be a better
way of doing it and Vortabrush, what it does, is it very consistently cleans every hole
exactly the same and it does it in about 1/4 of the time that's necessary otherwise.
So, instead of taking about a minute per hole, you can do 4 holes per minutes with the Vortabrush
which contractors love that. After they've used the tool, they never want
to go back to the old method. Jerry: And what powers it?
Jaimie: It is attached to a pneumatic air compressor, uses between 80 and 120 PSI, to
blow out the hole and the brush is designed so that it has a channel that allows the bits
of dust to exit the hole from the air pressure. If the holes have gotten wet after drilling,
it also has a water attachment for flushing and brushing the hole at the same time.
Jerry: On a personal notice, you were thinking about starting your business, how important
is it, do you have a support system? Family, friends, that sort of thing?
Jaimie: Well, my family has been very supportive in the entire process, my wife and my son,
actually they're the ones that do most of the packaging and shipping.
I'm just the idea behind the entire thing. Jerry: The brains of the operation, huh?
Jaimie: I try to be! Jerry: What advise do you have for other aspiring
inventors or entrepreneurs in starting a business? Jaimie: If you have a great idea, go ahead
and do it. Take the risk.
It's worth it to follow through on your great ideas.
If there's a need out there, someone will recognize it and pick it up and you'll be
successful. Jerry: Great, well thanks Jaimie for being
our guest today on Step Into My Life. Jaimie: Your welcome.
Thanks for stepping into the marketplace of possibilities with TOOST Radio.
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