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Disabled traveler? NFL Tennessee Titans' Bernard Pollard has help + interview!

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NFL Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard wants you to be safe while traveling and has invented a special tray to help you. It's perfect for disabled travelers! The Smart Tray is being sold by Pollard's company, Style Pro 31. I have a disabled family member and we were happy to be hosted to experience it. The tray makes it so that people in a wheelchair don't have to reach so far to get to their grooming products. Here's more information about it:

New to the beauty and travel scene is the Smart Tray®--a one-of-a-kind lifestyle-enhancing, safety-promoting, portable personal care product that turns a bathroom sink into expanded counter space! This invention, which is useful for adults and kids in bathrooms at home, in condos/apartments, in hotel rooms, in dorms room, etc., directly benefits home users as well as business and leisure travelers and college students.

The Product
The ingenious Smart Tray, the first of many product innovations to come from Style Pro 31, is a convenient, portable lightweight and affordable foldout tray that fits over most pedestal and traditional sinks to provide additional surface area and counter space (up to 288 square inches). The Smart Tray, alleviates and organizes the typical clutter that surrounds sinks. It expands usable space by allowing objects to be placed directly on it—even with the water running. The device also promotes safety by keeping electric appliances like blow dryers, curling and flat irons and shavers—and their cords—out of the sink and away from water hazards.

Similar to a food tray, the Smart Tray even allows users to carry their items all together to and from the bathroom, making it easier to store and pack their essentials and make room for others to use the sink. When not in use the Smart Tray’s collapsible design and drawstring bag allows it to be easily stored and transported. Also, it’s heat resistant and dishwasher safe, so standard personal care appliances will not burn the Smart Tray and it can be easily cleaned. The exceptional Smart Tray is designed for use in homes, apartments, dorm rooms, hospitals, assisted living facilities, hotels, cruise ships and other travel applications.

“Multi-purpose and multi-functional, the Smart Tray makes everyone happy,” notes product inventor and current NFL Pro/Tennessee Titan Bernard Pollard. “Women love that they can keep more of their hair accessories, makeup and appliances at-hand and men love coming into a more organized, clutter-free bathroom where they can easily conduct their hygiene routine. College students who share sink space love the added surface area, and hospital in-patients can keep more of their critical items at hand and well within reach. Parents love that it helps keep kids safe from the many electric shock hazards in the bathroom. That kind of peace-of-mind is priceless.”

The Pursuit
The Smart Tray was conceived in 2012 when Pollard saw a problem in need of a solution: more space and organization while getting ready in the bathroom. Like many travelers, Pollard felt hotel sinks simply didn’t provide nearly enough space to accommodate all of the items he needed to get ready. So, just as he does on the field, he tackled the problem head on by creating the Smart Tray. This cleverly designed device allows users to get ready and conduct their hygiene routine without the usual mess, stress and safety risks. So novel and effective is the Smart Tray, Pollard executed an agreement with the Hospital Corporation of America allowing the product to be used in over 175 hospitals nationwide.

What inspired you to develop this product?

There is always a need for space in the bathroom, and when I travel with my family, sharing the bathroom space is never easy. From my wife's make-up, hair care appliances and all of my children's gear, the sink and the area around it can get pretty cluttered, pretty quickly. I certainly never have space to use any of my items, so I created a way that we all can use the space safely and in an organized manner, and I call it the “Smart Tray”. We have a Smart Tray in every bathroom in our home, and we don’t leave home without one.

Who is your target audience? 


The Style Pro 31 Smart Tray is designed for household and travel usage, and it's quite popular for men and women alike. We are mainly targeting woman who wants to look good, who use a variety of beauty products, and who typically share a bathroom with children, a spouse or a roommate. The Smart Tray creates additional and much-needed space for her when it’s time to apply makeup, style her hair, or simply when she needs more free space. My wife uses the Smart Tray constantly, and says she feels like she has a professional vanity all to her own.

How do you plan on marketing this product?

So far, a variety of sports media outlets , women’s interest publications and major business networks, like Fox and Bloomberg News, have featured my product . Additionally, several celebrities are using the product and plugging it on social media. The product sells itself, and the “word-of-mouth” phenomenon creates a lot of marketing buzz. The Smart Tray can be purchased online at http://stylepro31.com/shop/.

What lessons did you learn in your football career that has been helpful in your business career? 


The hard work and heart that I put into football is what I transfer into my business. I want to be the best. I believe in hard work and you have to have your heart in it. I work hard to posture my business in the right way so that it is successful. I truly believe in my product because it serves a purpose, it helps those with tiny bathroom real estate, and my family and friends highly endorse its benefits.

What was the biggest surprise you’ve encountered in the business world?

I knew my product was a great idea that could help so many people, but I knew bringing it to market is tremendously easier said than done. Throughout this process, I've struggled to learn product marketing, product design and testing, hiring and managing my resources, quality control, pricing and everything else involved in creating and running a business. Quite challenging to say the least, but I believe I've come out on the other side with a great product and a great business and marketing plan. Setting aside the huge learning curve involved in developing this product and running a business outside of my NFL career, I feel good about the fact that the Smart Tray enhances safety and functionality for everyone... at home as well as on the road. It's also ideal for the dorm room, condo and apartment dwellers, and the healthcare industry is beginning to look at it for their in-patients requirements. Seeing that the product helps people is enough reward for me. .

Are you developing any other products at this time?

As a kid, I remember I would add things to my Huffy bike and tinker with just about everything. I even had my own radio show, complete with a boom-box, microphone in hand, and fans everywhere. (My mother still has the cassette tapes by the way.) I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to create . I currently enjoy building cars and model airplanes, so I’m always putting something together and something is always in the works. I like solving problems and creating as well. Because of my personality and drive, I have no doubt Style Pro 31 will develop into a whole line of products.

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