How Sharon Reynolds and DevMar Products Are Cleaning Up | NAWBO

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How Sharon Reynolds and DevMar Products Are Cleaning Up

Growing a business can be a lot like walking from one stepping-stone to the next. In other words, one opportunity leads to another for those willing to continue to learn and grow. Sharon Reynolds is one such leader. As the owner of DevMar Products LLC in Nashville, Tennessee, she is quickly growing her brand as a leader in environmentally friendly cleaning and safety products.

As a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur and a minority shareholder in a facilities management company, Sharon was inspired to fill a need for high-quality janitorial and sanitation products. She launched DevMar Products (named after her two sons, Devin and DeMarco) in 2007. But wanting the business to be different, she kept asking herself, “How can we improve sustainability efforts for companies? How do we preserve our planet, and how can each of us make a difference?”

While it was a tall order, she stuck to her commitments and developed cutting-edge products to address sanitation issues across all industries. In fact, DevMar Products became the prime contractor for the Nashville International Airport Authority and Sharon became the first woman to hold that position in the airport’s 75-year history.

Fast-forward to today, and DevMar’s products can be found in all 50 states. As a result of a recent partnership with EXIM Bank, the business has now expanded to global markets, including Mexico and Canada, and hopes to expand to China and the Philippines in the future. She has also developed a patent-pending product called Clean Up designed to sanitize and kill Norovirus within healthcare and restaurant environments. It is even hoped to be used on biohazard areas of cruise ships to mitigate virus outbreaks among staff and guests.

Throughout her 10 years with DevMar Products, Sharon notes that NAWBO has been a huge asset in helping break down barriers as a business owner. A member of NAWBO-Nashville, she has found the support and resources she’s needed to open doors and opportunities with the right partners. “The overall recognition that goes along with NAWBO and having that connection as a small business is incredible—they have a tremendous reputation and having that benefit to coincide with my company gives me instant credibility,” she says.

As her company continues to grow, Sharon is keenly focused on making products that make a positive impact. “That’s what I’m always thinking about: How can we make a positive impact in the lives of the people we serve? It’s not just running a business. How is it making a difference? I want to change the world. I want to be a change maker. What makes us so unique and different? Let corporations see who you are and say, ‘That’s someone I’d like to do business with,’” she says.

Find out more about DevMar Products at devmarproducts.com.

Sharon Speaks “Government Contracting”

Q: In what ways have you ventured into the government contracting arena?

A: I am 49 percent owner of a SBA 8(a) Firm—a federal program that helps minority businesses get to the $100 million level.

DevMar is an ED Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) through the SBA program. The things we’re looking at right now in the federal world are opportunities in GSA schedules where federal entities can buy our products on a schedule, and set-aside contracts that will open more doors to business opportunities.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is also something that we’re deeply entrenched in. We work with the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. It’s extremely valuable and important to participate in opportunities to be able to serve the federal government. It helps to diversify our business portfolio. We serve our customers in the DoD and have commercial, state/local and industrial contracts.

Q: What’s your #1 piece of advice for business owners seeking to break into the government contracting market?

A: All of that paperwork can be very arduous. Any business owner should consider contacting their Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) or SBA office. They are there to help you navigate the federal contracting opportunities. It’s a how-to guide to get you in touch with the opportunities with the federal government. We just so happen to be very fortunate. Our PTAC office has had some of the most helpful individuals. We don’t pay a dime because they are paid by the federal government. Matchmaker sessions and face-to-face meetings are constant. They’re funded by our taxpayer dollars so that’s a huge place to start.”

Congrats to Sharon & DevMar LLC for their recent 2017 Women’s Business Enterprise Council South Tier 1 Supplier of the Year award (a Regional Partner Organization of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – WBENC)!