ALBUQUERQUE ― Walmart’s Fifth Annual Open Call was Wednesday and New Mexico was well-represented. Two New Mexico companies, a sustainable pencil box manufacturer and a hemp-based product line, were given deals to sell through Walmart.
Albuquerque’s Stride Inc. expects their 100 percent recycled, U.S. made pencil box to be on Walmart shelves by the 2019 school shopping season. The company has been women-owned since 1988, and nearly 50 percent of Stride’s workforce has some form of developmental delay. Not only does Stride create environmentally-friendly products, but they create a work environment for special needs adults to gain skills, confidence and self-esteem.
“At Stride, we’ve been changing the lives of adults with Special Needs through integrated employment,” Stride Inc. CEO Kerry Brennan Bertram said. “Now that Walmart is interested in adding more of our products we can look forward to increasing job opportunities for people with developmental delays.”
Stride also is a finalist in the American Small Business Championship, funded by Sam’s Club. The award honors small businesses nationwide.
SW Therapy and Rehab founder, Star Ridsdale created her first product, a pain-relieving hemp-oil cream, in order to help her mother cope with debilitating arthritis. Today, her company is proud to sell five hemp-based products. Ridsdale received a deal to sell her products on Walmart.com and the Walmart owned website, Jet.com. Star’s products will be available online in the next few weeks.
“I have to start focusing on upping the inventory and getting my products ready for distribution,” said Star Ridsdale, product creator and owner of SW Therapy and Rehab. “Walmart has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. I want to show them that my business and products are capable of going far.”
Walmart’s Annual Open Call is one way in which Walmart continues to invest in American jobs. Wednesday, over 450 small U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs participated in one-on-one meetings with buyers, hoping to get their product in the hands of millions of Walmart customers. The event, now in its fifth year, continues to empower and encourage all who attend while providing a great networking opportunity for local entrepreneurs.
“Walmart’s annual Open Call is a special opportunity to connect our buyers with companies that are manufacturing products in the U.S. and to identify new and unique product solutions,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart VP for U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing.
In January 2013, Walmart announced it intends to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products that support American jobs over 10 years. Based on data from Boston Consulting Group, it’s estimated that 1 million new U.S. jobs will be created through this initiative. Last year, Walmart spent $81.9 million with New Mexico suppliers, supporting 7,359 local jobs.
Businesses with U.S-made products are encouraged to apply for next year’s Walmart Open Call event. “We are thrilled that entrepreneurs from across the country, including many diverse-owned businesses, continue to respond so strongly to participate in Walmart’s annual Open Call,” said Marsiglio. New Mexico companies wishing to consider applying for next year should go to http://engage.walmart-jump.com/.
About Walmart in New Mexico
In New Mexico we serve customers at 53 retail units and online through Walmart Grocery Pickup, Walmart.com and Jet.com. We are proud to employ 14,201associates in New Mexico. Walmart supports local businesses, spending $81.9 million with New Mexico suppliers in FYE17, which supported 7,359 New Mexico supplier jobs. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are active in the communities where we live and work and invest in communities through local grants, customer engagement and associate volunteer efforts. In FYE17, we contributed $16.45 million in cash and in-kind donations to local nonprofits in New Mexico. Learn more at the Walmart Today blog, and our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram channels.