Sept. 18 2013 12:00 AM

Indoor Grow Store

When Alex Manuel turned to medical marijuana to help him deal with the effects of his diabetes, he was intown frustrated by the amount of time it took him to trim his plants. He was also disappointed by the quality of electric bud trimmers on the market, so he did what any budding entrepreneur with a knowledge of small motors would do: He invented his own.

“The other trimmers were grinding up the buds, ruining the plant,” he said. “There was one for $700 that didn’t even work at all. So I started thinking.”

The result is The Magic Trimmer, the fruit of about 14 months of design and labor. Manuel, 68, sells the item exclusively at his sixweek-old south Lansing business, The Indoor Grow Store and online ( He buys the A/C motor premanufactured, but other than that they are made entirely in Lansing.

“We started selling them last Monday, and already we’ve sold over 200,” he said. “They’re safe, they don’t overheat and you can do in 45 minutes what it takes about six hours to by hand. And time is money.”

The Indoor Grow Store features a variety of products for home growers, including lights, ballasts, nutrients and potting soil. He said that he’s made sure that every item in his store has the lowest price around.

“I want to make a nice living, and I can do that with a lower level of profit,” he said. “I’m not losing money, but this kind of pricing makes me competitive not with other grow stores in town, but with the Internet.”

Manuel hopes that the 2,000-square-foot store will serve as a template for expansion; in November, he will open a second location in west Lansing that’s about three times the size, and more stores in other cities are planned.

“I want to have at least three in Lansing and then move on to other locations throughout Michigan,” he said. “We’ve had a great response so far.”

The Indoor Grow Store 4929 S. Cedar St., Lansing 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday- Saturday; closed Sunday (517) 203-5100