Brian Johnson

1. How important is it for garden centers to offer a variety of options for mounting and hanging containers?
BJ: Homeowners, urban dwellers and empty nesters are finding that their wrought iron, aluminum, PVC or even wood railing systems don’t offer an easy way to hang garden items and accessories without drilling, screws or permanent brackets. Hold It Mate offers a near universal-fit system for all types of vertical railings — and best of all, it is mounted using just the included Allen wrench!

2. What advice do you have for retailers to better market and sell these products? 
BJ: Hold it Mate is terrific for retailers because it provides a reason for customers to buy more gardening supplies! Before, maybe a consumer didn’t have a way to connect a planter box, or hang a bird feeder. By offering Hold It Mate products in stores, retailers are offering a new option for new and existing customers who are looking for a heavy-duty system to hang plants and planter boxes on their railing, instead of taking up floor space on their deck.

3. How does Hold It Mate claim a near universal fit when there are so many different designs of deck railings?
BJ: Hold It Mate is indeed a first for gardening and accessorizing on a deck railing. We include three different length stainless steel bolts in every rail package, so our system will connect to any vertical spindle that is a .5-inch to 1.5-inch thick. Most wrought iron railings are a half-inch thick, so for those you would use the shortest bolt. Aluminum railings are typically about .75-inch thick, and would require the medium length bolt. Some types of PVC, recycled wood and wood spindles are usually 1.25-inch thick, so the longest bolt would work best for those.

4. What do you think is the appeal of these types of mounted containers?
BJ: A fast-growing section in the garden center business is home-grown edibles. Urban dwellers, apartment renters, and empty nesters in townhomes, who don’t have a yard or space for a large garden are still interested growing their own food — from salad, to herbs and vegetables — so the demand for options on a balcony, deck or porch are greater than ever.

5. Are there any new developments or designs your company has to offer this next season? 
BJ: Yes, there are! We have designed some terrific new products to connect to our patent pending mounting system. One is a basket hook set that will enable customers to hang a cocoa lined wire basket/planter box from their railing. These hooks are inexpensive yet very sturdy. They will also work to hold wreaths and other décor items throughout the year. The new shelf kit, complete with a composite weather-proof board offers customers the option to easily hang a shelf at any height on their railings to act as a desk, a side table for beverages and books or hold clay pots, grilling supplies, etc. We also have decided to introduce a wall-mounted system which uses the same Hold it Mate mounting rail, but screws into a wall. This system allows customers to use any of the Hold it Mate accessories on the outside wall of their home or under a window.