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Naturally San Diego Pitch Slam winner Gear Hugger recently won the National Pitch Slam for CPG brands at Expo East. Sergio “Checo” Diaz has now won two large shark tank style competitions in less than 6 months and this momentum is a reflection of the potential to upset a $120 billion dollar industry – petroleum based household products.
“I’m here to tell you we’re in a toxic relationship with petroleum,” said Checo. “We’re eating more sustainably. We’re driving electric cars, doing compost in our homes, but nobody’s wondering what’s lurking in our garage.”
Gear Hugger’s innovative, multi-use plant-based lubricant pitched against a group of 10 other pre-selected brands from Naturally Network with a 3-minute pitch to an expert panel of judges and a live studio audience. Pitch Slam’s are an exciting, fast-paced event featuring product pitches from standout emerging brands, Q&A with a rock star judging panel and interviews with past winners.
Diaz relied on petroleum-based chemicals to “tune up his gear” and keep it all conditioned. “Then I realized there was a disconnect between my love for nature and the amount of toxic chemicals I was putting into it,” Diaz said. “I set out to create a better, cleaner, plant-based way to keep up my gear and take petroleum out of the equation.”
With the help of brand development and business partner Purely Righteous Brands, Gear Hugger has big aspirations to build a leading natural lifestyle brand. “We’re excited to see people connecting with the Gear Hugger brand as much as we had hoped. Gear Hugger will be the go-to solution for everything non-toxic and planet-friendly in the garage, just like Method® is for inside the home,” Julie Sweet, Purely Righteous Brands.
In April 2022, Naturally San Diego hosted their first in person Pitch Slam and Gear Hugger faced off against local favorites like Noleo, Coyotas, Kove Brewing, and Chuza. The Naturally San Diego Pitch Slam prize package included $50,000 worth of prizes including distribution at local grocer Jimbo’s, marketing consulting services, and a booth at Expo East. The winnings from Expo East 2022 now include a free booth at Expo East 2023 and over $30,000 in New Hope Network services.
Based out of a start-up incubator in Solana Beach called Purely Righteous Brands, Gear Hugger’s fans can’t help but wonder how this local and now national publicity will propel themselves onto the global stage.
“Without the help of the wonderful Naturally San Diego community, of which I am extremely pleased to be a part, this would not have been possible. I’m hoping this is the first of many more victories.” Checo said.
We know it will be and we can’t wait to see you roll on, Checo!