Retirement Life

Tue, 12 Apr, 2016Melody Teh

My wife’s nagging landed me on TV with a hit invention

My wife’s nagging landed me on TV with a hit invention

Keith McArthur, 70, was challenged by his wife Heather, 68, to design a trolley that helped her with her shopping but didn’t make her look like an “old lady”. So he did, and landed himself on TV with a hit new invention. 

My wife Heather would constantly groan about loading the shopping bags onto her arms as she walked over to the lift. In February 2007, we were living in a high rise on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She always complained as she stumbled through the front door, that there must be an easier way to get the groceries to the apartment.

I would say to her “why don’t you use one of those old lady trolleys?” to which Heather replied that she did not want to look like an “old lady”!

We were retired and enjoying ourselves but carrying bags from the carpark was a struggle. Multiple loads took too long and one big load in particular left Heather’s arms shaking with pain.

Heather screamed out to me to design a “funky grocery trolley”.  So I took the challenge up immediately. I called my mate Vic Taranto and we worked on the design day and night. This became my new project.


After all the hard work and years of designing and planning on a product we had so much belief in – and of course the complaining from our wives – we rung the ABC and told them of our invention hoping to get on.  They promptly rang us back to say come to Sydney the following week (completely at their expense), which we did, although we were not fully ready. 

We went on ABC’s New Inventors show excited and hopeful that the audience would see in our invention, what we did.  We held our breaths while the judges debated on a winner from the three inventions presented and were pleasantly surprised at the audience’s response when the final decision was announced. It was clear they loved our invention, which was confirmed by CarryMaster (the name we gave it) being announced as the People's Choice Award winner. It was a very proud moment for us and gave us the validation that our product was a great one. We looked at our wives and simply said, “I told you so”.  We had won the challenge.

Straight away, we had people write and email us saying they wanted our trolley, suffering from the same bad shopping experiences as we had. Now I was determined to bring the CarryMaster trolley to reality.

We spent years refining the design until we had the perfect combination of practicality and style. And look at it now – very stylish. 

After lots of hard work, we are ready to share our CarryMaster trolley with Australia and hopefully the world. As you can see, the CarryMaster stops groceries from being squashed; it is easy to manoeuvre and is compact so it fits in lifts allowing you to go straight into your home. It’s also environmentally friendly and reduces the use of plastic bags. Simple, practical and stylish.

Heather, I have done what you had asked and it will not make you look like an “old lady”!

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