Creator of eco-friendly glove dryer up next in Entrepreneurship Forum

contact: Alyssa Benson
| WMU News
Photo of Karen Smoots.

Smoots

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The entrepreneur and Western Michigan University graduate behind an environmentally friendly home gadget will be the next speaker in the Entrepreneurship Forum speaker series at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business.

Karen Smoots, who earned a bachelor's in business and administration in 1999 and is now president and CEO of The Green Glove Dryer, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13, in 2150 Schneider Hall. The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at wmich.edu/business/e-rsvp. Free parking is available in Fetzer Center Lot 72F.

The Green Glove Dryer

Smoots, a self-dubbed "mompreneur," developed The Green Glove Dryer while trying to find an effective and efficient way to dry her family’' wet winter gear. The Green Glove Dryer sits over a floor heat register allowing warm air to flow up through the nozzles of the unit. The device requires no additional energy to dry gloves, mittens, hats and shoes. Since the company launched in 2014, it has sold more than 15,000 units and secured over 500 retail stores, all while remaining Michigan based.

The Green Glove Dryer has received numerous recognitions, including winning the Best of Michigan Award for Stellar Startup Companies, as well as an award for Best Overall Small Business. The company won the 2016 Go Green Advertising Silver Award in recognition of its sustainability report and has recently been featured on QVC, winning The Search for a Better Tomorrow product recognition in 2015. Placing an importance on green and sustainable business practices, The Green Glove Dryer is a Green America Certified Business.

The Entrepreneurship Forum

The Entrepreneurship Forum is a monthly series sponsored by BlueOx Credit Union and hosted by Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business. The forum brings stories of entrepreneurs and startup success to the greater Kalamazoo community. To learn more about the series, visit wmich.edu/business/entrepreneurship-forum.

Future Entrepreneurship Forum Speakers

  • Feb. 10: Maria Brennan, Victorian Bakery
  • March 17: Rich Daniels, RNS Packaging

For more information or to RSVP please call (269) 387-6059 or register at wmich.edu/business/e-rsvp. To suggest an entrepreneur who should be considered for the series, contact Alyssa Benson at alyssa.benson@wmich.edu.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.