North Iowa Entrepreneur Billie Asmus Makes a Splash at Lowe’s Into the Blue: Product Pitch Event

Billie Asmus of Repaint Studios in Hampton, IA made a splash at the 2023 “Into the Blue: Lowe’s Product Pitch Event” held on December 5, 2023 in Charlotte, NC. Competitors traveled from around the world to compete in this global pitch competition after a rigorous application process. Asmus’s invention, the Repaint Tray, received the coveted Gold Ticket and the largest purchase order in the Paint Department category. The Repaint Tray will be available in Lowe’s stores across the nation and online in 2024.

Repaint Studios is forward-thinking, woman-owned startup focused on reducing the environmental impact of home improvement with reusable, recyclable, and eco-friendly painting supplies. The Repaint Tray is the first of its kind to offer a sustainable solution for painters and DIY enthusiasts. With its innovative design, entirely constructed in eco-friendly recyclable materials, the Repaint tray effectively reduces paint waste and simplifies the clean-up process. The design eliminates the need for single-use plastic paint tray liners, significantly reducing the environmental impact and landfill contribution.

In 2021, Asmus invented the Repaint Tray while running a small business refinishing and refurbishing furniture. Disappointed by the lack of sustainable products on the market, Asmus saw an opportunity to invent something entirely new. She filed a patent and enrolled in the Fall 2021 Venture School hosted by the NIACC Pappajohn Center in Mason City, an eight-week entrepreneurial training program. Asmus used this opportunity to perfect her product, market position, and business plan.

Along the course of her entrepreneurial journey, Asmus has racked up accolades, recognitions, and pitch competition wins. Asmus was a Top Ten Finalist in the 2023 InnoVenture Challenge; won Honorable Mention in the 2023 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition; and won 3rd Place at the 2022 EntreFest Venture School Launch Day competition where she was recognized as one of the Top 10 start-ups in the state. While building her business, Asmus also continues to give back to her community by lending her expertise as a Venture School coach and participation in the Venture Mentor Service program, a peer-to-peer entrepreneurial mentorship program hosted by the NIACC Pappajohn Center.

Asmus said, "When Lowe's announced the Repaint Tray as this year’s Into the Blue winner for the paint department, I didn't believe it was real. The win is not only an incredible achievement that I'm extremely proud of, but it is also a testament to the Pappajohn Center and how they support entrepreneurs. I wouldn't have the pitching skills and experience without them."

The Repaint Tray will officially launch in February 2024; pre-orders are currently available online. To learn more about the Repaint Tray and Repaint Studios, visit

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