Twenty years ago, Sharon Cummings was shopping with her young son, Cameron. Suddenly, she had the thought that has crossed every parent’s mind at one point or another: “Is this cart actually clean?”
This was the first time Sharon considered creating some sort of sanitary cover for shopping carts. Working as a nurse with a young child at home, however, Sharon had to put her idea on the back burner for a time.
Introducing the CartArmor
Fast forward to the eve of retirement after a 30-year nursing career, when Sharon remembered her idea from all those years ago. But she and her husband had just sold their house, about to move from Vermont to Florida to enjoy retirement together. Was this the time to start her own business?
The pandemic then shifted the way we look at hygiene. Suddenly, everyone wanted to wipe their shopping carts down before use. All of the excess waste created in the process didn’t sit right with Sharon, and she knew there would never be a better time to create a sanitary cart cover.
Sharon knew she needed her family on her team before taking a leap of faith, so she called a family meeting. Her husband and son were supportive as always. With Graig and Cameron by her side, Sharon was ready to create a low-waste way for people to keep clean while using a cart.
Sharon found a company that said they help entrepreneurs like her follow their dreams. They would create a prototype of her product and do some legwork to get it launched. Meticulous to the core, Sharon researched this company for ages before agreeing to trust them with her dream. She paid them $10 thousand, everything she had set aside for this endeavor.
The process started off smoothly, but as time went on, Sharon noticed it was harder and harder to get in contact with the company. When she learned that they had taken off with all of her savings, she felt like her future had just blown up in her face. Now in her 60s, she had taken a large chunk of the money she and Graig had saved for retirement. What could she possibly do to fix this?
Cameron inspired Sharon to create this cart cover more than 20 years ago. Now, he had to convince her not to give up.
Getting the Ball Rolling with GermArmor
When Cameron was at Bentley University a few years earlier, Sharon and Graig attended many of his football games. They became close friends with David and Karen Young at these games. David has a background in pharmaceuticals, but he also works to help entrepreneurs launch new businesses. Cameron suggested to his mom to reach out to David about CartArmor.
Sharon felt reluctant after the rocky start to this journey, and perhaps a little too proud, but she called David all the same. He was ecstatic to help, and GermArmor, Inc. was born. The duo became a trio when Wendy Guy joined the company. The three of them worked together to finalize the specs for the product, CartArmor; apply for a patent; and figure out production.
The process was grueling at times and it was little milestones that kept the team motivated. Creating a logo, getting trademarked, finalizing fabrics – all of the tiny wins. There were endless decisions to be made, but now Sharon didn’t have to make them alone. The trio of business partners became lifelong friends in the process.
More than a year after reaching out to David, Sharon was finally able to share CartArmor with the world.
Keeping the Public Safe with Sharon’s Invention CartArmor
Sharon first dreamed of CartArmor as a way to keep her young son safe. Now, she hopes people of all ages will consider it as an eco-friendly alternative to single-use wipes. CartArmor is designed specifically to be manageable to transport and easy to put on a cart, especially for parents in a hurry or those with limited dexterity.
Sharon is proud to have started a business in her 60s, and to be able to set an example of lifelong perseverance for her son.
It takes an village of people you can trust to take you where you need to be.
“I could not be where I am without the love and support of my family, David Young, and Wendy Guy. And a special shout out to Ladybugz for taking our Website to the next level. Thank you Morgan and Billie for making it so much fun for Wendy and I at our photo shoot. It was the best! And thank you Lysa for creating such an amazing team and being so incredibly patient with me. I am more than humbled by all the love and support and grateful to be given the opportunity to help in a small way, keeping you a bit more protected while shopping.” – Sharon Cummings, Founder and CEO of GermArmor
Let’s do our part as well to help with our environment and try to reduce the waste going into our landfills. We owe that to our children.