The Little Burro and Burro Buddy

the little burroThe Little Burro is one of those inventions that is born out of necessity and, when it comes to fruition, it really takes off. Bob Thorsen, a successful construction company operator, invented the Little Burro so his wife wouldn’t have to make a lot of trips to the gardening shed while gardening on their property. He took some duct tape and cardboard and fashioned a caddy that fit into her wheelbarrow. It had cup holders, toolholders, even a compartment for a phone.

Bob ran the idea by his children who were all actively involved in the family construction company. His oldest daughter Rebecca and younger sister Mollie ran with the product. They had a professional do a design and had several 3 D printed prototypes made. When they brought the Little Burros to the Las Vegas Hardware Show in 2014 where they won “Best new product.”  After that, they found a manufacturer and began taking orders, with Rebecca and Mollie eventually negotiating deals with WalMart, Target, ACE Hardware and more.

In October 2016, the business and the family faced a tragic loss. Rebecca died of a brain disease which left the family grieving and the business reeling. About six months later, the family made the choice to reinvigorate the business and use a portion of the profits to combat human trafficking, a cause Rebecca was passionate about.

New Design

The original Little Burro was a hit, but Bob and family redesigned it to be smaller to fit on store shelves better. The new design, called the Burro Buddy, was also $20 cheaper than the original. When they went back to the hardware show in Las Vegas, they won “best new product” again.

The Burro Buddy is available in Sam’s Club, Walmart and Home Depot’s online stores. They hope to have it on the shelves soon. You can also buy both products on Amazon. The Thorsens’ segment is sure to be emotional, but they’d love a Shark to join them on their journey to sell more Little Burros and to keep Rebecca’s legacy alive.

My Take on The Little Burro

My sister-in-law owns the original Little Burros caddy. We used to live next door to her and my brother and she was always in the garden. I remember the day she got it – she was thrilled. It is a very handy accessory and it keeps things well organized – a handy thing when working in a 1 acre garden!

I need to buy a new wheel barrow as mine broke earlier this year. When I do, I may pick up a Burro Buddy at the same time. It’s getting hot here in Florida though, so it probably won’t be until next fall! I think this is a great product and I wish the Thorsens well.

Will Sharks Dig This Product?

When the Thorsens tell their story, I am sure we’ll see some misty eyed Sharks. I also predict a bidding war for this one. The company shipped over 25,000 units in 2018, so sales are in the $1 million neighborhood. It’s also a very smart product.

I think we’ll see a Shark fight on this one with either Daymond or Lori doing a deal. Lori will come out with a Sharky offer and Daymond will undercut her. Both SHarks have products in the hardware space and would bring great value to the business and in carrying on Rebecca’s mission.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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