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Meet the Maker: Lee Mallahan III of Tadpole

In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

We recently caught up with Lee Mallahan III, the inventor of Tadpole tape cutter. He's sharing some advice he's learned along his entrepreneurial journey and giving us a glimpse at his next invention.

Meet the Maker of Tadpole Tape Cutter

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I grew up on an island so I spent tons of time as a little boy building cities in the sand! I wanted to be an architect.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Don't wait for the perfect time, just make sure things are right and go for your dreams. We are only here for a little while!

Meet the Maker of Tadpole Tape Cutter

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
If it is to be, it is up to me!  Meaning when you decide to jump all in on a project, from inception to making your first sale, you should be 100% the driving force to see it through at every level.

What has surprised you most about starting a business? Or this biggest challenge?

Big retail may want and like your product, BUT most are making decisions today for what will be on their shelves 8 months from now.  I say: See It, Buy It, and Sell It today!! They move a little slower.

What has been the most rewarding part of starting a business?
Creating jobs in America and in our community. 

Meet the Maker of Tadpole Tape Cutter

How has The Grommet community helped your business since your feature?
We have been contacted by many major companies, decision makers, and overseas interest from day one.  It amazes me how many companies are scanning the site looking for the next cool product. I always ask: Where did you see our product? The Grommet!

Meet the Maker of Tadpole

Anything coming up that you're excited about?
We are launching a new product called Paint Rings!  Fits on all gallon, liter, and quart cans and can be placed at any level. Just stretch it on a can and let go! No mess. You can now pour, paint, clean the rim, and mix without any paint going down the side of the can and onto your surface.

To learn more about Tadpole, watch our video and shop here.


  • richard Says:

    if you were to increase the tab that you secure your tape too
    this would make it a better product. otherwise i really love your
    TADPOLE product. ps. do you make one for transparent tape ? Scotch brand. if you do i'd sure like to get some. ( A really large family) thanks again . richard

  • Deborah Says:

    Bought the Tadpole tape cutter on two different occasions and gave for Christmas presents. All the receipents thought they were the best presents. Sent a email to Mr. Lee with a question and he actually called me back. He is the most sincere person and I would recommend you try this tape cutter. Can't wait to try his latest idea, the Paint Rings. Thanks Mr. Lee & keep up the Made in the USA products.

  • Lori Says:

    I LOVE my Tadpoles!

  • Mike Says:

    Love to hear that, Lori!

    Deborah, Lee is an absolute delight and a true innovator. I'm glad you got the chance to talk to him. I'm also glad his products were such a hit!

  • Ronald Frazier Says:

    It is so cool

  • Donna Says:

    Would love to know your answer to RICHARD asking about TADPOLE for Scotch tape

  • Tori Says:

    Hi Donna, The small size work with standard scotch tape rolls. Just make sure the tape you are using is no more than 1 inch wide.

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