Brothers bet big on their handyman products business

P.E.I. brothers Robbie and Gerard Chisholm have launched a company together to sell their vinyl siding restoration product, among other inventions.

Robbie Chisholm has left his job to manage the fledgling company

Robbie Chisholm shows off the product he and his brother Gerard invented for their new company, Handyman Labs. (CBC)

Two P.E.I. brothers have gone all in on their new business, Handyman Labs.

Robbie and Gerard Chisholm have been conducting research and development over the past two years on a product designed to restore vinyl siding. They're hoping now to use that as a launch pad for their business with other products.

Robbie Chisholm has left his job to devote time to the business — a process he called nerve-racking, but exciting. 

"There are some uncertainties that are scary because I have a family," Robbie said. "It's different, it's unknown. It was a bittersweet day where I left."

Exclusive — for now

The brothers have launched an online store in which P.E.I. residents exclusively can buy their flagship product, called Vinyl Boost.

The product garnered a $25,000 ignition grant from Innovation PEI in 2015. It is designed to restore vinyl siding to its original colour via a chemical process, as opposed to simply painting over old siding. 

Vinyl Boost is the first product available from P.E.I.-owned company Handyman Labs. (CBC)

"For the past few years we've been in R&D getting the final formula down pat," Robbie Chisholm told Island Morning on Wednesday. "This year we went ahead and we spent money on marketing and our marketing company is finishing up this Friday." 

He said the product will be widely distributed and have a retail outlet by spring.

We're calling it "Do Incredible Yourself."- Robbie Chisholm

He said keeping the brand loyal to the Island is a must going forward.

"This company will always stay on Prince Edward Island," he said. "Some of the manufacturing may have to happen off-island to keep costs down, but the majority will have to stay on Prince Edward Island."

He said he hopes homeowners have as much faith in his product as he does.

"We're hacking the DIY market," he said. "We're calling it 'Do Incredible Yourself.' That's how confident we are. We have other products, a house wash, a deck cleaner, our own line of sponges to apply the stuff, so this is only the beginning."