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Makes hanging pictures easy

NL inventor makes A product to hang his hat on
Roger Miller of North Liberty shows off his product, PicGenie123, a new hardware that simplifies hanging frames and other items. Miller’s invention, which is available in 10-pound, 30-pound and 50-pound variations, has recently become available at Home Depot stores across the country. (photo by Cale Stelken)

NORTH LIBERTY– For those of us who struggle getting photos to hang on the wall straight (and who doesn’t?) a North Liberty inventor has the solution.
“Everybody is frustrated with hanging pictures; I don’t care who you talk to,” said Roger Miller, creator of PicGenie123. “I created the product out of my own frustration– bottom line.”
The Iowan developed a unique new approach to hanging wall objects using a simple set of hardware. His invention even gained the approval of The Home Depot, which recently started selling the product in over 2,000 stores across the U.S. and its territories.
“What makes PicGenie123 so unique is the accu-hanger brackets,” explained Miller. “You can attach them randomly– meaning, one bracket can be an inch lower or higher than the other; they can be slightly twisted– it makes no difference.”
These unique brackets, he says, overcome the alignment issues associated with sawtooth hangers, triangle hooks and wires, as well as wall vibrations that lead to crooked frames.
“I’ve solved all those nightmares,” he quipped.
Here’s how it works: The small metal brackets are attached to the back of a picture frame with little regard for alignment. Using a small level, the frame is positioned and then pressed firmly against the wall. Two indentations are formed in the wall by small, pointed extrusions on the brackets. These indentations mark the nail or fastener locations. The extrusions are then removed so the frame can be hung on nails or fasteners.
“It is 100 percent goof-proof,” Miller insisted. “Your picture will always hang perfectly level with pinpoint accuracy, with no measuring.”
“It’s fun; it’s fast; it’s easy to use; it’s a no-brainer,” he summarized.
Miller noted the hardware also works well for putting together photo collages or other harmonious items. “If you want them to be beautifully spaced and you want them to be positioned just right, you don’t have to go through all the measuring and guessing,” he said. “You can literally position along the wall where you want them, push to make the marks, and hang them in the exact location every time.”
Miller has also received permission from 3M to use their Command strips in his next video, which in combination with PicGenie123, allow customers to lock their frames or other heavy objects to the wall. He went on to cite its versatility for a variety of objects varying in weight and size, including flat-screen TVs, framed mirrors, canvas prints or even a mounted deer head.
“There’s a lot of different applications that customers email me and tell me about, and it’s just incredible,” he said.
The innovative wall-hanging kit isn’t the first foray in product development for Miller, who’s previously sold products to various national big box stores over the years. A member of the Iowa City community since 1973, Miller cited his humble upbringing as a source for his inventiveness.
“My parents had nine kids. We were raised up on a dairy farm in Minnesota,” he recalled. “We were relatively poor, but when you’re growing up, you don’t realize you’re poor; it’s just a way of life.”
Such trying circumstances helped mold a do-it-yourself mentality and creative problem-solving skills in the young Midwesterner.
“We learned to work at a very early age, and in many cases, if you needed something, you’d invent it or you created it,” Miller said. “I think that’s probably where my creative imagination came from.”
Remarkably, Miller has no formal college education and instead developed his craft through a career in sales. Having always been looking for ways to improve everyday life, Miller claims to have conceived inline roller blades and a burp-less bottle early in his career but lacked the ability to capitalize on such ideas. “When you’re younger and have great ideas, you don’t have the money to get a patent,” he lamented. “For entrepreneurs starting out, there are a lot of challenges to getting your product into the marketplace, especially if you’ve developed a product for the masses,” he added. “And that’s generally where my focus is; I wanna develop products for the masses.”
With PicGenie123 in its early promotional phase, Miller has also kept an eye on the future by continuing to develop product ideas.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to get a couple of patents, and I still have many more products on the drawing board that I want to bring to the marketplace,” he said.
“The challenge that any entrepreneur has in inventing a new product,” he explained, “is creating customer and consumer awareness. You can create the greatest mousetrap in the world, but if nobody knows how to set it, they catch no mice.”
Promotional hurdles aside, while the road to getting PicGenie123 into Home Depot stores may have been arduous, Miller feels validated by the feedback he’s received.
“This is the first major reset The Home Depot has done in four years for this category, and the team of 10 people that reviewed all the products for this reset season voted PicGenie123 the most innovative product,” he said. “So we were pretty excited about that.”
Miller also reported he’s currently in talks with other big box retailers, and therefore, his products can be expected to make their way to more stores soon.
Having been self-employed for nearly 20 years, the veteran entrepreneur insists that honesty, and putting the best interest of the customer first, has always proven to be the answer to his success.
“If I can’t believe in a product, I can’t sell it,” Miller remarked.
He also made a point of acknowledging the good fortunate he’s had in his career, and with a foothold in the market, Miller plans to pay forward his success.
“Our goal is to always commit to charity, support the community,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of wonderful people that have helped me along this journey, and I am 100 percent committed to returning that favor in anyway that I can.”
For more information on PicGenie123, including instructional videos and links to purchase from The Home Depot, visit picgenie123.com and homedepot.com.