Tell us about your business.I started this business after experimenting for over a year with shapes, alloys, coatings etc. We shifted gears in year 3 to focus on direct to consumer sales. We did a couple of stints on QVC and realized the demonstrable nature of GrillGrate. We did a small friends and family funding to help me build inventory, create a TV spot and work with media buyers. Now in 2014 we are solidly profitable. In June we added 4000 new customers to our grate family. We are in our 7th season on the market and excited by our growing customer base. We plan on doubling the size of our warehouse and expanding customer service support. OEM grill manufacturers and professional chefs and food service sales have also become a strong segments of business.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.We work out of 2 locations. Cartersville, GA is HQ and primary shipping point. We are 6 full time people with a solid group of part timers and free-lancers. GrillGrates are made in Beloit, WI. We ship larger orders, international and brick and mortar store orders from WI.
What inspires you?First and foremost happy customers. Early on happy customers were our "emotional gas" that kept us going. 2nd is starting with a blank piece of paper and making something happen. Seeing the business become more than my wife and I inspires us to do the 2nd stage well which is to build a company of strong character.
What makes your business stand out?#1. Delighted customers. We have 'Apple like' customer satisfaction. #2. Hard working team. We love to grill just like our customers so it is easy to serve and support them as they discover and use GrillGrates. #3. Broad market adoption. Competition teams and professionals are also discovering GrillGrate. We also sell to several grill manufacturers. Our goal is to make Raised Rail Grilling an industry standard.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?1. Don't quit your day job, moonlight and work 2x as hard 2. Prototype FAST, good enough is good enough at first 3. Forget elaborate business plans unless and until you have to raise money. 4. Go SELL your product or service, get people using it. 5. Listen to your customer- be careful not to fall in love with your creation and lose perspective.
What does American Made mean to you?JOBS, quality, quick service, PRIDE!
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