By Steve Wall
How did you start the company?
I started the company with Fix It Sticks after becoming frustrated with the most ubiquitous tool in cycling. I sketched what I wanted, got it made by a machinist up the street and then little by little, day by day learned more about how to launch a product on Kickstarter, which I eventually did. Fix It Sticks was near disaster many times, but you chip away at it and get better. Then I quit my day job working for FedEx and really focused on getting sales. That went on for 2 years, then last year I launched another cycling specific product, the BackBottle and this year I launched The Weatherneck which has much wider appeal outside of cycling.
What do your customers say about your products?
My customer reviews from Fix It Sticks were always outstanding. No BS, people love those tools cause they work. We made them right here in Appleton for a long time. Now we’ve expanded and even added a shooting/hunting version of Fix It Sticks for torqueing down scopes and general gunsmithing. That’s a new market for us but it is being very well received by the hunting and tactical markets.
What are your most popular products and who is your target audience?
My products each develop their own brand when they launch, so far we have 3. Fix It Sticks have sold all over the world and continue to grow. The Weatherneck is brand new, but generating a lot of interest outside cycling and I love that. I want to learn more about other sports. I took some bow lessons this fall and learned a ton. Every time I learn a new sport I get ideas, so the best use of my time is to learn new sports. It just so happens I love doing that anyway. But my passion will always be cycling.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love riding my bikes and thinking about what things I am using that could be made better. This is common with entrepreneurs/inventors. People ask how I come up with new ideas and that is very easy to answer. I go do stuff and get annoyed with my gear. It happens almost daily. So new ideas are not in short supply. Just that some of those ideas are completely terrible, some are hacks and not products and some just don’t work. But once in awhile I can turn a frustration into an innovation and sell it to other people who are also annoyed with whatever bothered me in the first place.
What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?
Favorite hunting storymy dad took me pheasant hunting in SD a few times and the drive out there was always the best. Just being one of the guys and hearing adult conversations for 16 hours was very informative. I was a decent shooter when the opportunity arose so that was fun. But the dogsI think watching our dog work the field and retrieve like she was born to do was the most intense memory. That was magic.
Comments from Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits:
This is a unique Company Spotlight that covers multiple companies from entrepreneur/inventor Brian Davis. Brian has a passion for cycling and has invented some unique products because of this passion. These products have a reach beyond just cycling though. The Fix It Sticks and the Weatherneck in particular can be very beneficial to any outdoorsman. Please check back for a full review of the Weatherneck!
This is a segment to showcase and share a little more information about some great companies! If you know of a company that would be a great fit for this segment please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you enjoy learning more about these great companies!