Martin Chard, the inventor of MarXman, was a self-employed building maintenance man and qualified engineer. He invented the MarXman after struggling to mark a fixing point whilst fitting a sink. Desperately trying to hold the sink in position and mark the wall with a pencil at the same time he found it really difficult to see the marks.
After a few time wasting attempts, in desperation, he reached for a can of black spray paint and marked it with that. He had experienced many similar frustrating incidents and lots of wasted trips up and down ladders with broken pencils and felt tips not marking different surfaces. He realised he needed a simple solution and in 2010 Martin started the process of developing the accurate and user friendly MarXman so that fellow tradesmen and DIY’ers could benefit from this time and frustration saving tool which clearly marks many different surfaces straight through the fittings.
During its development stage MarXman had an interesting journey winning several awards from the British Invention Show, including The Diamond Award for The British Invention of the year in 2013 and The Double Gold Consumer Product of the Year in 2014. At the Totally Tools show in February 2015 MarXman won Best DIY Product.
Following these endorsements by the trade and the public, Martin and his wife Jenny started to sell MarXman into small independent hardware shops, Qwerkity – M&G Presents, Amazon, and on eBay. A turning point was attending “Meet the Buyers” days organised by BHETA. Here, Martin met with key buyers from Wickes who decided that MarXman was a unique product that they would like to place on the check out counters in their stores across the UK. Similarly a meeting with Screwfix resulted in an online listing for MarXman.
To gain business guidance and help grow awareness of this unique product Martin and Jenny decided to go to the Dragons’ Den. The thrilling experience of pitching to the Dragons culminated with all of the Dragons making an offer for Marxman, a very rare occurrence. Martin and Jenny shook hands with Deborah Meaden, their Dragon of choice gaining an investment of £50,000 for 30% of their business.
Shortly after the programme aired Deborah introduced Martin and Jenny to Jordan Daykin of Gripit Fixings, another well-known success story from the ‘Den’. Jordan was keen to help with the business growth and Gripit has since been appointed as Sales and Distribution Partner for MarXman.