Well, it's finally 2021, and I don't know about all of you - but I'm getting a little tired of living through so many historical events...
But that's the wonderful thing about humans - we have an innate ability to adapt and overcome, and an iron will that just won't quit.
Despite all of the pandemic pandemonium, political discourse, financial stress, and historic weather events, there will always be entrepreneurs soldiering on...
So I decided to start a new series all about breaking into the fishing industry to help light the way.
In my first interview, I spoke with Mr. Brandon Elrod, Owner and CEO of the Kushion Kompany LLC. who makes the popular "Kayak Kushion".
Question: Where did the idea for your business come from?
Brandon: "I had spent many hours on the water for consecutive days and started having tight lower back; Sciatic Nerve was aggravated, [causing] numb legs. As everyone knows, if you are fishing or trying to relax, this makes the experience non-enjoyable. Kept thinking how I can make a product that is not gel that causes sweat and heat. Memory foam collapses and is not breathable. That is how this idea for Kayak Kushion happened. Our product is anti-microbial, breathable, Made in America, washable, and durable."
Question: What made you decide to venture out and create a business?
Brandon: "I had sent out samples to around 20 kayakers and friends for their feedback. People at boat ramps, tournaments, and walking by kept reach out about these being available. That is how I decided to make this a company and see what could happen."
Question: How did you get started?
Brandon: "I got started with 2 colors (orange and O.G. Green) and had a much more complicated design from the beginning. That design had almost 9 straps. Took around 2 years to get it dialed in to where we are today, and we are always looking to make adjustments and improvements. I have a couple of new ideas for 2021 that are going to launch. The plan is to have a lumbar and a new design for office chairs and vehicles. So many people use the Kayak Kushion for other applications and uses. We are now moving into one of my favorite plans that I had for Kushion Kompany - that is providing Kustom Kushions."
Question: What challenges did/have you run into?
Brandon: "The challenges I had were: what colors should we start with, and how many should we make? I had an original design that had too many pieces to the design. Will the Kushion be too firm or too soft? Will the Kushion sit too high or too low? Small business makes it tough to keep up with production and we have 13 colors. One week you may have 20 orders for one color so that means you have to keep close attention for planning production."
Question: Is there anything you would have done differently?
Brandon: "Of course, there are always things I would have done differently but that is part of the learning process of being an entrepreneur. Research and development have been the most enjoyable outside of success stories from the Kushion Kommunity."
Question: What sets you apart from the rest?
Brandon: "Provide the most unreal customer experience in the industry. We use a patented process that creates a product that is comfortable, durable, reliable, non-collapsible, anti-microbial, washable, and can be used in many applications. Other products, such as gel pads, can be too firm and cause pressure points. Also, [they] can become hot and non-breathable. Purely foam based products collapse and lose the integrity of the product. Our Kushion Kommunity has given us positive feedback and unbelievable testimonials. We care about our customers as we are also on the water and using the Kayak Kushion."
Question: What advice do you have for people thinking about starting their own fishing-related business?
Brandon: "My advice for anyone starting their own fishing related business, is do not be afraid to fail."
Question: Any other advice, info or comments?
Brandon: "Stay positive and help people that ask questions. Don’t be 'that' person.”
If you'd like to learn more about Brandon and his Kayak Kushion, visit his website at https://www.kushionkompany.com/
Thinking of contributing your story about breaking into the fishing business?
Please reach out to me at [email protected]
Tight lines, guys!!
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