Remember when we were children and being bored wasn’t our mother’s problem? If I recall correctly, climbing trees and building forts with the branches we now send directly to the compost bin, was a normal summer-time activity. Our friend Susan has an adventurous son who loved to build when he was a kid, but the shovels were never up to the task of snow forts and BMX jumps. They’d break, they’d fail, they’d cause blisters, be back breakers, and she would buy multiple, cheaply-made shovels each year to keep him active outside, away from video games, and out of trouble. Eventually, she just decided to build her own, indestructible, last a lifetime, hand this down the generations type of shovel. So when Covid-19 had us sheltering in place in a forced and very unusual summer vacation, we told our kids they had to build.And we handed them shovels. But this isn’t just about a shovel, and if you dare tell us that “It’s just a shovel,” you’ve painted yourself into a corner confirming that you have no idea what a shovel should be. . . This is a story about the American Dream and a woman who took a chance in a male dominated field of tool design. It’s the story about American business on the threshold of economic doom. It’s the story about community coming together to help each other. I want to see this American, woman-owned business survive and thrive, so I need you to know about her reinvention of the shovel. The shovel company is called DMOS, which is an acronym for “Do My Own Sh*t,” and I’ll tell you right now that I’ve been digging Sh*t for thirty years as I shovel horse stall sand manage farmland, or move 24 cubic yards of sand in an average day to free my vehicle from a mess I cannot navigate out of. I’ve planted trees, moved gravel, made snow forts and rescued vehicles trapped in an avalanche. I’ve got over 10,000 hours of shovel use under this utility belt and that makes me an expert in the field of shoveling, and the DMOS shovel is a tool that I will ALWAYS have in hand because it is more than a shovel. It’s a reliable, ergonomically accurate, beautifully designed piece of equipment that may save your life or give you the chance to save someone else’s. In supporting this company, you support American Industry, and you can turn to your friends, your coworkers,your grand kids in due time, with your DMOS shovel in hand and tell them that THIS is the way things should have always been made. THIS is what America is capable of.
My team at Wunder Collective teamed up with Susan Pieper and DMOS Collective to bring you an awesome competition that drew brilliant ideas. The people who took those ideas and made them reality had a chance to win:
First place wins $1,000.00 dollars and a DMOS Collective shovel with a car mount.
Second Place wins $250.00 dollars and a DMOS shovel.
The winners were chosen based on four elements:
1. Creativity of what you choose to build or make with a shovel of your choice.
2. How well you follow the workbook provided, which was designed to help you plan and execute
3. The impact that your project has on the community
4. Compliance with lockdown measures in each community (We do not permit or encourage anyone to break social distancing rules)
Out of 52 submissions, we were impressed by the sense of community and enthusiasm that developed. As interest and questions rolled in, we saw that solutions “take a village” to secure. And within our ‘villages,’ the dreamers, more specifically the DOers, can change lives and perspectives by taking small-scale action.Sometimes, when you DMOS, you accept the opportunity to change the world.Congrats to our two winners, Sean Andrews and Amanda Brezina for their awesome creations in the “What Would You Create with a DMOS Shovel? Challenge.”
Life isn’t made for perfect people. It’s made for those who know how to turn an impossible situation into something beautiful. It’s made for fighters, dreamers, lovers, and people who won’t give up even when life feels impossible.