I've always had the entrepreneurial bug since as early as I could remember, probably 4 or 5 years old. I have memories of going door to door asking neighbors if I could mow their lawns, or trying to sell them wrapping paper from a catalog I mailed away for from the back of a comic book. It was the 70s and things were a lot different.
I got my real taste of entrepreneurship at around 11 years old. A brand new BJ's Wholesale Club opened in our town and it was unlike anything I've ever seen before. Once I saw the bulk boxes of Blow Pops I immediately hatched a plan. My mom would buy the lollipops for me and I would sell them out of my bookbag at school. It was a great plan, and it worked for a while before the school bully took all my product and money. The shop was closed.
Flash forward a few years and I busy printing flyers and putting them in mailboxes for a car detailing service with my friend John. We delivered hundreds of flyers and got one guy who wanted us to detail his daughter's car. It was a white Volkswagon Rabbit and this thing was filthy. I remember it took the two of us over 4 hours to get the car in half-way decent shape. At the end of the day, we were exhausted and most likely lost money on the entire gig. However, I learned a valuable lesson. No matter what, you do the right thing, finish the job, and give the customer more than they expected.
Being an entrepreneur, my mind never stopped thinking of the next big idea. Sometimes I would just take a notebook and literally create an entire business plan, with no intention of ever executing it, just to get the idea out of my head and on to paper.
When I graduated from college in 1995, I started my first "real" company. I took $45 and bought a cigar humidor from a distributor and put it online. Within a few days, I had sold the humidor and knew I was on to something. That initial $45 grew into a multi-million dollar business employing over 30 people in a 15,000 square foot warehouse. Over 20 years later, I still run that company and have learned so many important lessons. Above all, the customer is always right, provide a great product, and enjoy what you do.
With the cigar humidor business, we had a laser engraver that we used to personalize products. Since it wasn't used all the time, I brainstormed on a way to further utilize it. This is when I came up with the Beer Cap Map idea. We started to sell the maps on Etsy and then decided to try our luck wholesale at the Atlanta Gift Show (Americasmart). This was around 2015, and we had a tremendous show in Atlanta. Big names like Nordstrom and Hallmark all loved our product line.
Over the years we have expanded our product line from Beer Cap Maps, to candles to bottle openers, and everything in between.
Whew, if you made it this far, you pretty much know all there is to know about me. If however, you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I'd love to chat.