Kenny Finley hasn’t even held the grand opening at his company’s new headquarters, but SawHaul has already been named a Top 16 finalist in the Kansas Manufacturing Council 2020 “Coolest Thing Made in Kansas” competition.
SawHaul makes devices for holding chainsaws that attach to tractors and pretty much anything that moves, and has seen incredible growth in the last year.
From shooting a commercial with Kevin Harrington (Shark Tank and owner of As Seen on TV) that is projected to air in the next month, to the completion of their new workshop where they send out several units per day, Finley has been busy.
While Finley and his wife Shannon expected to have success, being nominated for the competition took them by surprise.
“When you think about everything that is manufactured here in Kansas, from electronics to pretty much everything in the aviation field, it’s a pretty humbling experience,” Finley said. “There are so many manufacturers around the state and to be considered one of the coolest ones is pretty exciting.”
The contest is set up like the NCAA Basketball tournament, beginning with the ‘Sweet 16,’ where SawHaul enters as the No. 3 seed. Voting began yesterday and runs through Sept. 21 for the first round. The ‘Elite 8’ will be announced on Sept. 8.
“I encourage everyone to vote once a day. It’s about like the time when all the Kansas City Royals fans voted the whole team into the All-Star Game. You can vote once every single day,” he said. “The way I look at it, it’s a David versus Goliath kind of matchup, but we have good supporters and I think we can pull this off.”
In more exciting news, Finley said they were supposed to meet with Harrington on Wednesday to figure out what stations will air their new commercial and when.
“We’re kind of torn on when we want it to run. We feel like a lot of people could use this product with the horrible wildfires that are going on out west, and the devastating hurricanes that have hit the South,” Finley said. “We initially wanted it to air when it got cooler, when people were out cutting wood, and we wanted it to be as close as we could get it to Black Friday. But right now it’s looking like about a month out. We have seen the commercial and it is awesome. They did a great job.”
Regardless of how the vote goes, the Finley’s will be celebrating this weekend.
“We’re having our grand opening/retirement party (from insurance adjustor) on Saturday. I just have to finish a few small things in the workshop. It’s an exciting time for us,” he said. “It’s kind of funny, but the other day a TV station asked if we could write them a press release about our product. My IT guy looked at me and wanted me to do it. I said, ‘Look buddy, you’re looking at a guy that just got off a tractor moving gravel. I think you are more qualified than me to write the press release.’ But we’re ready to really start selling our products.”