Mitchell Bat Co.
Tell us about your business.After being a part of a team of designers to rebrand a local skateboard company called Salemtown Board Co., I got the urge to create my own physical product. Baseball bats were the first thing that came to mind. I started posting sketches and renderings of my vision on my personal Instagram account. People started to show interest in my bats. I decided to launch our website on October 30, 2013 during Game 6 of the World Series with 2 bat designs, the Boston and the St. Louis. 4 days later I sold my first 2 bats. The following week we were featured on Coolmaterial.com followed by the ESPN Holiday Gift Guide. We received orders daily from all over the world. We had to quickly build a business. We launched with 2 bat designs and now we have over 40. I love hearing about memories that our bats bring back to people. Our bats mirror the beauty and art of baseball. Each bat is hand-painted in Nashville, TN. Since the beginning we give a portion of the proceeds to a charity called RBI.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.For now, we work out of our home. Sometimes we have to store finished bats in our youngest girl's baby bed or under the piano. It's not ideal.
What inspires you?I am inspired by hearing success stories. I read a lot of articles in Inc Magazine. I love hearing success stories of everyday people. I'm also inspired by well-crafted, hand-made goods. Hand lettering inspires me as well.
What makes your business stand out?Our baseball bats obviously appeal to baseball fans but what I've noticed is they also appeal to "non-baseball" fans. The non-baseball fans are some of the biggest fans of Mitchell Bat Co. I've heard them say, "I don't care about baseball, but your bats are beautiful, I want one." I've also heard from them that our bats bring back memories for them. Memories of their dad that took them to a game when they were little or their grandfather who loved baseball. Women will buy these bats for their husbands and actually allow them to hang them (gasp!) in the family room! I will get emails from women saying, "My boyfriend is so hard to shop for. Your bats will make a perfect gift." Same thing with men. They will say, "My boss is so hard to shop for..." I'm reaching people that wouldn't naturally buy a baseball bat for them or anyone else. Baseball has effected all of us in some way. And our bats help connect the dots between all kinds of people and America's favorite past time.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Launch now! Make it and then make it better. Create a product you love. Create something that you would work on for free. Create something that you cannot wait to get back to after you've stepped away from it. Create something that will keep you up until 2am and up again at 5am. Don't just create a product for money alone. Because you will get tried of it. Follow your heart. Follow your passion. Get your idea out there with spending as little money as possible and see what happens.
What does American Made mean to you?American Made to me means pride in my country. American Made means baseball. I am truly proud to be an American.
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