7-Year Old Invents Solution to Waterfront Storage Shortage

dockhous.JPG (24392 bytes)A few years back, Meredith Pearcy had a frustrating problem. The second-grader needed a place to store all the toys she wanted to bring down to the dock at her family’s cottage near Nisswa in central Minnesota. She was restricted to an armful, but when you’re only seven, an armful is hardly enough toys. Instead of pouting about it, Meredith persevered until finally she hit upon an innovative idea: a portable unit out by the dock.

Her concept led to the creation of a new product that she and her father, Tim Pearcy, are rolling out this spring after almost four years in development. Meredith named this unit, "Dock House," which is 8’ long, 4’ wide and 7’ high and offers almost 200 cubic feet of dockside storage.

Now 11 and a fifth-grader, Meredith says Dock House is a strong, lightweight "walk-in-closet" that can be mounted alongside the dock to store any and all items needed down by the water. A smaller version of the original, called the Docker, is more like a hallway closet.

The company now offers eight standard units ranging from 16-200 cubic feet. Custom sizes are also available to meet the needs of marinas. All these units are available through Lake Home Products, which Meredith owns jointly with her dad.

"I didn’t like it when my parents limited the number of toys I could bring down to the dock to whatever could be hauled back up to the house in one trip," said Meredith. "Having a Dock House means I can keep all of my toys, swimming gear and fishing equipment down at the water, so it’s there when I want it."

"I’m proud of her innovation and perseverance," said Tim Pearcy. "As a result of spending less time directing my daughter and more time listening to her, we have developed a new business venture together."

In her quest for a solution, Meredith first learned about Minnesota waterfront laws regulating boat house structures and lakeside access. She then figured out how to comply with them and still achieve her goal. A nature-lover (and two-year winner of Nisswa’s loon calling contest), Meredith says she wanted to protect the shoreline, while solving the age-old question: "Where can you put all that stuff?"

Tim Pearcy spent the past three-and-a-half years designing and developing the lightweight, yet durable, products, which can be mounted directly onto a standard dock section and leave a clear walking path on the dock. The exterior walls utilize rigid "sandwich core" construction of material which is proven to hold up in demanding marine environments.

Lake Home Products is the third company founded by Tim Pearcy. His other firms are in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields.

From Lake Home Products, 15255 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN 55345. Phone: 888-930-1200. Fax: 612-930-1234.E-mail: Lkhomeprod@aol.com

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