On the field, Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard is known as a ferocious competitor. The nine-year NFL veteran is notorious for his hard-hitting, no-holds-barred style. During his college years at Purdue the Fort Wayne, Indiana native was known as “The Bonecrusher.”
However, at home there were even fiercer opponents posing a seemingly insurmountable challenge; namely, his wife’s beauty and hair care products. Day after day, Pollard watched his allotted space on the bathroom counter shrink until finally his items were completely exiled. Although he had grown up with his mother and two sisters and was therefore accustomed to the vast and varied amount of supplies women often enjoy, Pollard decided it was time to take a stand.
“She pushed me out,” Pollard said laughing. “I wanted to get my space back.”
As the old English proverb states, “Necessity is the mother of all invention.” So, Pollard invented. Enter the Style Pro 31 Smart Tray.
The Style Pro 31 is a portable folding tray that creates additional counter space when placed on top of a sink. Pollard’s wife, Meghan, now has her things happily in front of her, while Pollard has regained his territory.
He acknowledged that he was fortunate in his ability to provide the seed money for the venture himself as one of the most difficult things in starting a business is getting the initial capital. But he encourages those who have ideas of their own to make sure they get everything in order and then take the leap.
“I tell so many people, you protect your idea, do your due diligence and find people who can help you. To see the product out there and now the website’s live, it’s exciting.
“I started drawing up things in November 2012,” he said. “[I had to deal with] the legal paperwork and had to get prototypes and a company that could help. Now I have a patent and another patent pending.”
The Style Pro 31 officially went on the market this past May.
In addition to helping co-habitants everywhere, the company is targeting other places like hospitals, school dormitories, cruise ships and rehabilitation clinics – locations where bathroom space is limited.
For Pollard, while he uses the product at home, it also comes in handy for him during road trips, giving him extra room for his things when he’s in hotel rooms.
One of the things Pollard enjoys most about his new business is that he’s helping people in a variety of ways, including creating jobs. “I’ve always been someone who’s thought out of the box,” he said. “I had my own radio show when I was nine or ten years old. I would record myself. And I always worked with my hands. I knew I was going to do something in addition to being an athlete.”
This new venture was just one more thing added to Pollard’s already busy schedule. He and Meghan have three children and they have also established the Pollard’s Helping Hands Foundation, which helps provides meals to families and children in need, especially during vacation periods when children can’t get the meals normally provided at school. They focus their efforts in urban areas; primarily in the cities in which Pollard has played, which in addition to Nashville include Kansas City, Houston and Baltimore.
Pollard explained their simple conviction, “These are our children, our next generation. If we can take advantage of our blessings and bless others, that’s what we want to do.”
For Pollard, it’s all about solving a problem wherever he sees one.
For more information on Pollard’s Style Pro 31 Smart Tray: www.stylepro31.com