The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Wesley Smith is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Wes Smith and I’m a Co-Founder of Osiris Outdoor Co. Fellow co-founder Rob Turner and I are avid outdoors enthusiasts and engineers determined to create outdoor recreation equipment in a way that better serves the planet. Our focus is utilizing recycled plastic to create equipment for outdoor recreation. Our flagship product is the REPRISAL kayak - America’s first 100% recycled plastic kayak.
What did it take / how did you get started?
About a year and a half ago, Rob and I were interested in taking on an entrepreneurial pursuit when we came across an article describing how the idea of plastic recycling was (and is) a modern myth. After a little digging we learned that the overwhelming majority of recycled plastic ends up in landfills largely due to the lack of demand for recycled plastic products. This problem is compounded by the fact that global plastic production is projected to double in the next 20 years…
Without much demand for goods made from recycled plastic, there's very little incentive for waste centers to actually recycle it. This means that whether or not we put it in a blue bin, the ultimate reality for most plastic remains ending up in a landfill, incinerator, or worst of all, in the parks and waterways we cherish. Further, it means that most manufacturers continue to call on more and more virgin plastic production, creating a snowball effect with disastrous repercussions.
In an effort to alleviate this problem we set out to create a product made from recycled plastic and landed on the perfect combination of our personal and business interests - the Reprisal kayak! The Reprisal is the first kayak made from entirely recycled plastic in the U.S. It’s manufactured here in America, and all our recycled plastic is sourced from U.S. facilities. It’s built for recreational paddlers and anglers alike with a modern design focused on stability (more details and pictures available on our website – https://www.osirisoutdoor.com/). Not only is this the ideal product due to the massive amount of recycled material we can move per unit, but also because it resonates with our target audience. People who love the outdoors are commonly passionate about recycling.
Over the last year and a half we’ve designed and created our first set of prototypes, sourced all of the necessary materials/accessories required and built the foundation of our marketing strategy to get us off the ground. We’re currently in the process of selling the first batch of kayaks through our Kickstarter campaign (link), and are looking forward to getting involved with retailers as we grow the business through its first summer.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
Right now we are focused on maximizing our backing on kickstarter. After the conclusion of the campaign we plan to pivot and focus on B2B sales with small retail outfitters willing to host our kayak. We’re excited to scale our business through regional growth, and develop a community of like-minded paddlers.
What drives / motivates you?
Improving the world around me. With this business we are able to make a tangible difference in the plastic waste problem, while also doing what we love.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Start with what you’re interested in, then build your business from there. You have to love what you’re doing to push through the rigors of starting a business.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
The global supply chain issues created by covid have made it difficult to enter the plastic industry as a start-up. Very few suppliers and manufacturers are interested in small batch runs, and prefer to focus on their larger clients. It required a lot of persistence and good will to build the partnerships we have today.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
Shoe Dog - Phil Knight
Good to Great - Jim Collins
Side or full-time hustle?
List the founders
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
Brought on investors after incorporating our llc.
The Kickstarter campaign showcases our market entry, so our total revenue will be whatever the most recently updated pledged amount is!
Any call to action?
Take part in our Kickstarter campaign by providing whatever support you can at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/osirisoutdoor/reprisal-a-one-of-a-kind-kayak-made-from-recycled-plastic?ref=user_menu
Visit our website and join the mailing list for updates: https://www.osirisoutdoor.com/
Give our Facebook page a "Like" @OsirisOutdoor (https://www.facebook.com/OsirisOutdoor/)
Follow us on Instagram @osiris_outdoor (https://instagram.com/osiris_outdoor?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=)
Follow us on Twitter @Osiris_Outdoor (https://twitter.com/Osiris_Outdoor?s=20...)
Find & Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Osiris Outdoor (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UComhwQ6rQMGKLrUGSMdHq2A)
Spread the word and share our pages/accounts with others in your network!
View, share, engage in the content we post going forward!
IG - @osiris_outdoor