Tomboy Tools

Tomboy Tools sells more than pink tools aimed at a female marketplace. They sell confidence and empowerment for women to take matters into their own hands and get handy around the house!

There is nothing worse than waiting on somebody else to fix your problem.

-Tomboy Tools ad copy

The products, the income opportunity…the whole package is neatly wrapped up in confidence-boosting quips aimed to get women involved.  Does it work?  Are the products really going to empower women?  Is the business opportunity going to do the same?  Take a look…

The Company

Tomboy Tools Inc. is actually now officially called “Project Home”.  They are a member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) and have been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as a “Top 100 Brilliant Company”.

They bill themselves as an educational company: women don't just sell these tools: they teach each other how to use them, too.  Women also empower themselves by learning about the business opportunity, details below.

The marketing package is neat and tidy: women empowering themselves with DIY education, pink tools, and business opportunities.

Project Home is a member of the CVSL group of companies (CVSL is traded publicly on the stock market with ticker symbol “CVSL”).  Other CVSL companies include Kleeneze, Longaberger, Your Inspiration at Home, Ogel, Paperly, My Secret Kitchen, and Uppercase Living.

You won't be surprised to hear that Project Home (Tomboy Tools) was started by 3 women who own homes.  Each attended a kitchen home party in 2000 and realized that direct selling some pink tools for women could really be a great business.

CEO and co-founder Janet Rickstrew learned her trade in the heyday of “fix and flip” real estate in the early 2000's.  The company has grown steadily ever since, and is  based in Frazeysburg, Ohio.

The Products

The products are quite literally: tools for women.  They're all pink, and based on the fascinating fact that women buy homes at twice the rate of men, they're sold to women homeowners interested in DIY.

The tools are ergonomically designed for women's smaller hands.  They're also designed to be lightweight, and they feature soft, comfortable rubber grips where applicable.

The signature product is a pink hammer.  The head is magnetic with a slot in the head to hold a nail.  It allows for one-handed hammering..which apparently women need when they use tools, since that must mean no man is around!

Joking aside, tools are described in friendly, easy, non-intimidating language in spotlight videos on product pages.  “Just go for it!” says one helpful woman describing the pink hammer.  Tools are also described in conjunction with the things a woman might use them for.  In the hammer's case, it's:

  1. hang pictures
  2. remove nails
  3. repair fencing
  4. build planter box.

Whoa, that's quite a jump from “remove nails” to repair fencing!  Like the narrator says, just go for it!

Prices are reasonable (pink hammer = $15).  There are, however, some larger ticket items like the tool kits.  These still won't break the bank, however: $189 for the 6-in-1 7.2v Power Tool Set, or the $159 Pink Power Pack.

The Opportunity

Host a Tomboy Tool Party and earn free and discounted products and free shipping.  A Tomboy Tool Consultant will help you throw the party: she'll give a DIY lesson on any number of household tasks: caulking, tiling, drywall repair, gardening, painting tips, and even auto maintenance.

Sell $200 worth of product and get an item for half price.  Sell $500 worth and get free stuff and 10% off for a year plus more.

Consultants join by purchasing either the Premier ($289) or the Standard ($139) Business Starter Kit.  The Standard personal website is $12.95 per month and there are other starter kits which are considered optional.

The Verdict

This is a great idea: the need/demand is there, and home parties are the perfect vehicle for facilitating tool purchases by women who might be intimidated by tools.  The message is uplifting and the products exemplify the message: what a wonderful little circle of marketing life.

Now if we could only find out what the Tomboy Tool Consultants actually make, everything would be a thumbs up.  Alas, this information is lacking, what a shame!

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