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Victoria man's invention in the running for space on Walmart shelves

March 15, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2012 at 10:15 p.m.

This clear bottle warmer was entered into Walmart's Get On The Shelf contest by Charles Colson, of Victoria.

One Victoria man is on the road to getting his product on Walmart shelves. All he needs is votes.

Charles Colson entered his Multipurpose Liquid Warmer into Walmart's Get On The Shelf contest, which offers inventors a chance to market their products to the general public.

His plastic warmer includes spaces to hold four 16-ounce bottles of lotions, oils, rubbing alcohol and more, he said, and can even warm sauces and syrups. An overturned lid sitting atop the box, along with a few drops of scented oil, turns it into an air freshener.

The invention is powered by candelabra bulbs and can remain on 24 hours a day, he said. It even works as a night light.

"It's really something," he said with a chuckle.

The invention is no new endeavor for Colson, who runs both hair cutting and massage therapy businesses.

It began 20 years ago when he and friend Greg Guenther set out to be the product's sole manufacturers. They soon realized they couldn't churn out mass quantities.

"I had to go out and get a manufacturer," he said, explaining he went with a company in China but broke off the relationship when costs threatened to rise by 35 percent. "Now I guess I'm looking for a miracle Walmart manufacturer."

Colson entered the contest via YouTube video and, in the first round, has through April 3 to garner enough votes to move forward.

He's up against about 4,000 other entries, according to an email Colson received from Walmart.

People can vote once a day through either text or Facebook, according to the contest page. Colson's six-minute video is also available for view.

The budding inventor said the thought of cinching a win was overwhelming.

"It would be - probably the simplest way to say it - a dream come true," he said. "It really would be. I've worked on it for so long."



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