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Panhandle Spirit: Amarillo inventors create "Trade 'em"

Amarillo entrepreneurs Kristopher Barnings and Adair Lion have invented an award-winning app, called Trade 'em.(ABC7 Amarillo)

A pair of Amarillo entrepreneurs are making waves in the tech world. They’ve invented an app, called “Trade ‘em”, which promises to turn the world of gift cards and the like, upside down.

Kristopher Barnings and Adair Lion see themselves as problem-solvers. For Kristopher, it started when he was just a kid at Lakeview Elementary in the Canyon Independent School District.

“My first invention was when I was 7. I made a male and female horizontal tap on top of your socks, so you could slide them together if they went into the washer, came out of the dryer, ready to go,” Barnings said.

He and Adair had partnered on a previous tech venture that was a big success, so when Kristopher shared his idea of digitizing and merging gift cards, loyalty cards, and rewards into a social media format, he was intrigued.

“There’s no reason that people should be walking around with bags full of gift cards, or their wallets being really thick because they’re saving all the one dollars, fifty cent balances on there, and so I thought, this has legs,” Lion said.

Their concept earned them a spot among the top 25 tech start ups at the National Retail Federation Big show this year, followed by the Attendee Choice Award at the NRF’s Shop.Org Convention.

“We knew that we were going to be able to be industry leaders. We knew that since we were picked as Top 25 Tech Startups that we were going to go into this thing with a chance,” Barnings said.

They’re cautiously optimistic that this could be a revolutionary idea with a huge payoff.

“Our motivation should be always in solving problems first, and everything else will fall into place after that,” Lion said.

“Trade ‘em is the app where free stuff’s at. You can use, gift, and trade any of your gift cards, punch cards, and promotional items, and you can have fun with friends,” said Barnings.

Trade ‘em will be in full production on all platforms by January of 2019, but if you have an Apple product you can find the app in the Apple app store now.

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