Ray Padula is founder, President & CEO of Ray Padula Holdings, LLC.
As a young child growing up on Long Island, Ray has always had an
interest in lawn and garden, and quickly named himself his home's
landscaper. Since the age of 13, Ray has been a natural
businessman, starting with the launch of a neighborhood landscaping
company, and two years later launching a full service underground
sprinkler installation company. "It was a lot of work, but a ton
of fun," commented Ray. "It started with very supportive family
and friends, who let me practically tear up their yards. We would
show up at jobs we booked with a contracted crew that had a pipe pulling
machine, and then we would take it from there," he said. "It's
funny looking back on it now, but I wasn't old enough to drive at the
time. My Mom would bring me and friends (the crew!) to each
jobsite we had in the morning with a car full or irrigation system
parts. It was even a laugh with the distributor that sold us all
of our parts at the time - they had a shirt made that said "Sprinkler
Mom," remembers Ray. "It was how the summers were spent all
throughout high school."
It was in the early part of Ray's senior
year of high school that after mowing the lawn and finding a sprinkler
not working, he came up with a fix that he thought would better the
product. "I had the broken product, sketched a redesign idea, and
out of curiosity if it would work, sent the drawing to the company that
made the product - now one of our biggest competitors," said Ray.
A few weeks later, a packet was sent back from this company with a
product catalog, as well as a note saying that they rely on their own
team for product development and were not interested in reviewing this.
"They had even sent my drawings back," remembered Ray.
continued curiosity about whether the design would work, and an internet search of
"how to make a prototype," launched the spark of what today has become
the Ray Padula brand. "I was genuinely curious if what I had come
up with would work," commented Ray.
One of the search
results turned out to be a factory that had experience manufacturing
lawn and garden products. "It was a very simple website with an
email address. I sent them an email, and after a few responses
back and forth, without much thinking, sent them my drawings.
About a month or two later, a box showed up at the door and inside was a
prototype of the product I designed," he said.
After many weeks of speaking with, and learning from this supplier, a
passion was sparked to create even more products. "My head started
spinning with all the different things that could be done," said Ray.
"After quite a bit of time - boxes and boxes of product samples started
showing up at the front door of my house."
The idea was
ignited to try and market, sell, and design a different, innovative line
of watering products.
"I've used a lot of the product that
was on the market then, and there wasn't anything available that was
Ray then started creating packaging ideas,
brochures, product designs, researching everything that he possibly
could on how to sell products to retailers - what was needed, how others
have done it and more. After about a year of working on creating
what would become Ray Padula Holdings, and months of sending as many
emails as possible to retailers who sell garden products, a response
finally came back from one of the largest national retailers. "It
was from the buyer, with an invitation to come in for a meeting and
present the product line to them," commented Ray. "When the day
came, it was one of the most nerve wracking experiences I've had at the
time. I remember walking into a large conference room with about 8
people inside, unpacked a large box of samples, and without any real
idea of how these meetings went, just started pitching," he said.
A few weeks later, Ray received an email saying that they would
like to test some of the products at the start of the next season in
their stores. "It was one of the most exciting days - until the
next morning, when the reality of it set in, and the real work was about
to begin to make it all happen!," laughed Ray. "I was fortunate to
be able to then surround myself with people who had the experience
needed to execute early on in our growth."
Several years later,
Ray Padula Holdings has grown to become a leading brand and supplier of
Lawn and Garden products around the world. The brand has become
synonymous with exciting, innovative, quality products all designed to
provide meaningful solutions for the Lawn and Garden. The Ray
and products can be found at leading retailers and garden centers around
the world. Today, the company manufacturers and markets over 2,000
lawn and garden items across many product categories including watering,
garden hose, pruning, tools, garden carts, kid's gardening, tank
sprayers, spreaders, mist cooling, and more.
extremely fortunate to experience the growth and reception to our
product lines that we have," said Ray. "We are exceptionally
grateful for the opportunities and trust that both our customers who use
our products each season, as well as our retail partners have placed in
us," he continued. The company prides itself on having a creative,
innovative, entrepreneurial culture, with the ability to adapt and
remain truly flexible to the evolving needs of the market and its
customers. "We're just beginning to scratch the surface of our
potential, and we're all passionately excited about what's to come," said