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Color Savvy: on watch to bury the swatch

If you've ever come home from the hardware store with hundreds of little stamp-sized paint color swatches and tried to match them to your couch or carpet then you'll appreciate a new product that Miamisburg-based Color Savvy Systems Limited is introducing next year.

Founded in 1993, Miamisburg-based Color Savvy has been seeing tremendous success with its original product, Color-Helper, that uses digital technology to find a matching color for any item in a room.

It works by taking a picture of the item, and then, using mathematical equations, precisely identifying the color and also colors that closely match it from a data base of more than 18,000 possibilities.

Color-Helper has primarily been sold to the commercial contractor market and has been a sales success around the world, causing Color Savvy's revenues to double each year since 1999, except for 2009 due to the economy, says CEO Gary Bodnar.

With the launch of a new, less expensive version of Color-Helper aimed at the retail market in the first quarter of next year, Bodnar says he expects to see even greater sales growth.

"The consumer market is 100 times bigger than the commercial contractor market," says Bodnar of the potential sales.

The development of the new consumer tool was made possible in large part by a nearly $1-million grant from the Innovation Ohio Loan Fund.

Without that Ohio Third Frontier loan, Bodnar says the research and launch efforts would have been impossible during the slow economy of this year.

As revenues increase after the roll-out next year, Bodnar says he expects to hire a few more employees, but he is still cautious about adding staff too quickly from his current employee base of six.

"If the economy improves then we will be adding a few select positions," he says.

Source: Gary Bodner, Color Savvy
Writer: Val Prevish

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