My kitchen floor is an unforgiving surface. It consists of 42-year-old vinyl tiles over hard, unyielding concrete. For years, if I was planning on spending any serious time in the kitchen, I'd have to lace up my running shoes to prevent my feet and lower back from the ache of standing on that floor. So when I got an opportunity to test out the GelPro® Mat, I jumped at the chance.
Having now had this mat for a couple months, I can say without hesitation that it has changed my way of being in the kitchen. I spent hours last weekend peeling and chopping a bushel of apples and pears to make fruit butters. I was barefoot the entire time and felt no pain during or after the work was done. My only wish is that my entire floor could be made up of this same, supportive gel material.
GelPro founder Robb McMahan took some time recently to answer a few of my questions about his mats and the events that prompted him to start the company. Check out our Q & A after the jump.
1. When you first started developing the Gel Pro Mat, what was your goal?
My goal was to create a product that could help ease the back and leg pain my wife experienced from standing in our kitchen cooking for long periods of time. My wife is an enthusiastic cook and during Thanksgiving several years ago she spent so much time standing on our hard tile flooring that by the time the meal was ready to be served she was in so much pain in her back and legs that she couldn't enjoy the meal. We searched all over town for a durable, stylish kitchen mat and could not find one. I'm an engineer so I decided to try to develop the product on my own, and the result, after countless hours and hundreds of prototypes, is the GelPro® Mat.
2. How long did it take you to be satisfied that you'd created the best possible product?
You would think that it would be relatively easy to create a durable, stylish floor mat, but trust me it is much more difficult than you think. I went through hundreds of prototypes until I found a product that I was happy with. I'm happy with where the product is today, but we are continuously making small changes to improve upon the mats. That process may never stop because, based on customer feedback, you can always create a better product.
3. How have people reacted to the GelPro?
The response has been tremendous. If you look on our website, gelpro.com, you will see some of the emails and letters we have received from customers. It is nice to hear that the GelPro® Mat product has relieved back, foot, and leg pain for numerous people, and that it has allowed individuals with arthritis and plantar fascitis to once again enjoy the time they spend in their kitchen.
4. Do you cook yourself?
My wife and I both cook, and our entire family enjoys spending time in the kitchen. It seems as though the kitchen has once again become one of the primary gathering places for people in their homes. That is certainly the case with our family, whether it is just our family or a group of friends that we are entertaining, we always seem to end-up in the kitchen.
5. In addition to the kitchen and bathroom, where else have people used the Gel Pro? Have you been surprised by any of the applications?
You know, you bring up an interesting point. Maybe I should ask our customers to email us the various locations where they have used the GelPro® Mat. I have heard of people using their mats in the laundry room and the garage, in addition to the kitchen and bathroom. I would think that using the GelPro® Mat makes perfect sense anywhere someone has hard flooring.
Filed Under: Raves & Reviews
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