Entrepreneur can put ‘winner’ on his wrist

Tumi Oredein shows off his product.

Tumi Oredein shows off his product.

A VCU graduate student has scribbled his way into business with the world’s largest retailer.

Tumi Oredein and his Skribs customizable wristbands on Tuesday were named among the winners of Walmart’s “Get on the Shelf” competition. The victory, which came after several days of online voting, scores Skribs a spot in Wal-Mart’s online store.

“It means everything,” said Oredein, a 26-year-old University of Virginia alum. “This is the first effort I’ve done to get a customer, and I got Walmart.”

Oredein was among 20 entrepreneurs chosen to pitch his products in online videos to Walmart representatives and viewers from across the country. Skribs beat out three other entrepreneurs peddling products catered toward children.

Skribs allows users to doodle on the wristband and erase their creations with the swipe of a finger.

Oredein is waiting to find out how many units will need to be manufactured to fill the first order for Walmart. Oredein said Walmart would base the number of Skribs it orders on the number of pre-orders.

That number will also be a factor when Walmart considers which of the five category winners will win a grand prize that includes additional marketing support and the possibility of landing on shelves in Walmart’s physical stores. Oredein said Walmart has not made clear when it will announce the grand-prize winner.

“We’re definitely going to be making them now,” Oredein said. “The main concern now is we need to think of a way to get people to pre-order.”

The wristbands are available for pre-order on the Skribs website. Oredein said he wasn’t sure when they would be available on Walmart.com.

The victory also opens the door to attract other retailers, Oredein said.

“We can now say Walmart is behind [Skribs],” Oredein said. “And people always want to follow Walmart.”

Skribs are customizable, reusable wristbands. (Photos by Michael Thompson)

Skribs are customizable, reusable wristbands. (Photos by Michael Thompson)

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