KMN Home: From Truck Night To Creative Storage

KMN introduced the MagnetTowel, with two sewn-in magnets for easy attachment to most metal surfaces.

KMN introduced the MagnetTowel, with two sewn-in magnets for easy attachment to most metal surfaces.

What started as a fun school outing for two friends has evolved into a business that has set a standard in creative organization products.

The business is KMN Home, whose founders, Keith M. Nielson and Kevin M. Vann, met in the fourth grade. According to a company history, their teacher, Mrs. Beattie, would assemble her class late on Thursday nights to rebuild a 1946 Chevy truck.

“Truck Night” proved to be a laboratory in innovation and product development for Nielson and Vann, who co-founded KMN in 2005. Nielson, whose initials provided the company’s name, serves as CEO, while Vann is president.

In the eight years of its existence, the company has used its innovative bent to establish a niche in home organization. It made a strong statement in this category in 2011, with the introduction of the DrawerDecor system, which enables a homeowner to custom-organize his or her kitchen drawers “with modern styling and a splash of color,” according to the company.

KMN extended this program at the International Home + Housewares Show in March with a new color, “natural.” This shade joins red, sky blue, lime, orange and iris for DrawerDecor’s color lineup.

There is a purpose to the softer color, according to Vann. “We have been gaining traction in the marketplace, but wanted to offer our consumers a color where they could take advantage of the innovative customization and function of the system, but not have to be so bold with their color choice,” he said.

Also at the Housewares Show, KMN debuted its MagnetTowel. Vann described this product as “a dramatic improvement over other kitchen towels. The two sewn-in magnets allow it to be easily attached to most metal surfaces in your kitchen, or looped around handles without falling down.” The MagnetTowel will be released at retail later this summer.