What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Don't procrastinate, developing ideas takes a long time and a lot of effort. Its never too early to start working on it. And never give up–persistence is very important. Also, have multiple options for suppliers in case something goes wrong.
What lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
I am still learning a lot myself so I am not sure I am qualified to give advice yet but some things I recently discovered: have backup suppliers, negotiate and shop for the best pricing on materials, know what you are good at and accept what you are not good at. Find help where you need it! I am still working on this, I have been trying to do everything myself and it is getting a bit overwhelming.
What has been the most rewarding part of business for you?
Definitely seeing people use and enjoy my product and getting positive feedback from those who have seen or used it! Now that a few Whirlies are out there, I'm excited to hear if people feel it has helped them improve their ability. I know it has helped me so I'm hoping it helps others too. I'm also excited to see some of the creative tricks that people will do with it. I think it has a lot of potential and some talented people out there, so it will be interesting how far they can take it!
How have things changed since launching on The Grommet? How was the response from the community?
The Grommet launch has been amazing for me, prior to the exposure I was really starting to wonder if all my work on this would ever pay off. The boom in sales since launch day has been very motivating and has helped and forced me to really get on top of stuff and turn this into an actual business. I have learned a lot and still have so much more to learn. I am excited to see where it goes and excited to apply what I have learned to future ideas that I want to develop.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I created the Whirly Board as a fun toy for myself and I enjoyed it so much that I felt it was worth sharing. I am very thankful for the positive response and that people are excited about it! I know the board has helped me and I really enjoy using it so I believe in it strongly. I care about the product and I stand behind every board I sell. I build them to last and I never want to have an unhappy or unsatisfied customer. I have always received excellent customer service when my board sport equipment breaks. I have had multiple pairs of wakeboard bindings rebuilt or replaced, a few wakeboards replaced and snowboard or two replaced. I have greatly appreciated this service and I remain a loyal customer to these companies. For this reason, I want to offer the same service to my customers, if you use your Whirly Board enough to break it or even if it wears out, I want you to always have one and I will make sure that happens. It is exciting for me that someday I might be able to make a living from something I created. It is literally a dream come true and I hope I can continue to bring products to life.