Saginaw entrepreneur invited to nationwide Open Call event to pitch product to Walmart
(05/17/19) - The next big product on Walmart store shelves could be the brain child of a mid-Michigan man.
He thought he was pitching his product idea to store personnel in Flint, but was surprised to learn he was in store for much more!
Saginaw native Berry Young learned he will get to pitch his homegrown baby teething mitten during Walmart's Open Call event at the retailer's headquarters in June. He thought he was just making the pitch to store management at the Corunna Road store in Flint.
The grandfather of nine was overcome with emotion.
"I'm from Saginaw and we get bad raps. We've got some beautiful wonderful people and some supportive people and I just thank God that I grew up there and I was raised there," Young said.
Young nervously waited to wow the judges about the product he came up with while caring for his grandchildren. He had only told his wife about the idea and shared it with moms at trade shows.
"So when they move their hands it's like a rattle so when they bite it it's like a squeak, squeak sound," Young said while explaining how the teether works.
JHeirs is the name of his company. He develops and makes the teething mitten right here, and now he has the chance to have it on U.S. store shelves.
"Open Call is part of our commitment to add an additional 250 billion in products made, sourced and grown in the United States," said store manager Beth Harris.
Harris says Walmart hopes to do that by the year 2023. Meanwhile, Young will make his pitch June 18-19 in Arkansas. This store and his hometown will be rooting for him.