ATLANTA – First-time Medtrade exhibitor evakare LLC waded into the competitive bath safety category at last month’s show, garnering a lot of attention for its new take on familiar products. “A number of people at Medtrade were calling us a category disrupter as far as bath and shower safety,” says Paul Goldberg, CEO, evakare, Vernon Hills, Illinois. “Many of our competitors have just been presenting and distributing the same colors, the same finishes, the same basic bath safety seating that you can find at almost any retailer under any brand. We’re bringing something fresh.”
Originating in Australia, evakare is “just getting started” in North America. Despite its relatively small presence in the United States and Canada, the decade-old company has scaled up quickly with offices in Sydney, Shanghai, London, Istanbul, and now Illinois. The range of products includes grab rails, bath/shower aids, toileting aids, and tapware.
Right off the bat, booth visitors noticed evakare’s LED Night Light Grab Bar (sound activated) as a new take on the ubiquitous grab bar. “If you were to walk into a bathroom, the grab bar hears the door open or hears your feet shuffle—the lights will come on the grab bar and it’s a cool blue, so it’s not as disruptive to the eyes as it would be if it were a bright white,” Goldberg enthuses. “They will stay on for 20 to 30 seconds. These are powered by double A batteries and run about 6,000 cycles—three to ten years depending on use…It’s a product that has had a phenomenal response. It’s not inexpensive, but the function is much higher and the design is beautiful.”
Goldberg likes to say, “You can maintain your independence without compromising your style,” and that ethos resonates throughout the product line with high-end, functional finishes. Word spread quickly at Medtrade, with word getting back to Medtrade presenters who make it their business to watch the category.
“I had conversations with Jim Greatorex [vice president, VGM Live at Home and frequent Medtrade presenter] and he was excited about what we’re bringing to the table,” Goldberg adds. “One of the first people in our booth said that we have so many innovations that they are just not seeing from the general manufacturers. The big guys are focused on toilets and sinks. We believe we do the bath safety and assisted living category better.”