Johnny Davis

Johnny Davis

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.

Johnny Davis is up. And...

In case you missed his story in 2020, you may want to start here first.

What is your name & current role?

Johnny Davis, Founder of The Boulder Garden

Explain to the audience what it is that you do, or if it failed, what you did do?

Our team is repurposing a 97 year old welding building in the heart of Durham into a bouldering gym community. The space will highlight the stories of the past, while inviting everyone into the world of climbing.

Since you last shared on Hardly Hustle, what have you been up to?

The Boulder Garden is a continuation of our work at Acorn. Our mission to get people trained for the outdoors in a sustainable manner remains the same. We'll feature Acorn's products in the gym - and long term look to revamp production after the gym is established.

Since your last story, any responses you’d tweak or add to?

Myself and Acorn have changed a lot. After the boom of sales during the pandemic, I needed to take time for myself and step away from Acorn (it was the only thing I was doing). After graduating and working for a few years, I've gained more experience and passion in pursuing a gym project.

For the past 2 years, the team and I have been property searching and concept modeling to validate the idea. On March 1st, we went public with the project and are soon to be submitting permits to buildout the space. We are targeting an open date for this Fall.

What have you automated or thought about automating in your day to day to make life easier?

Honestly, not much - I enjoy doing laundry, cleaning, watering the flowers. They are great meditative breaks from constant deep work. For the gym, we'll have quite a bit of automation regarding payroll, bookkeeping, CRM, and point of sale to give our staff more time to engage with the community.

What hire has made the most impact for you?

My real estate broker, Jack - he's been fighting for me for nearly 2 years now. He's been a mentor, hustler, and friend. There's no way this project would be where it is today without him.

Has your work-life balance gotten better or worse, and why?

It's a good thing I love climbing, because it really is my life now. I've greatly enjoyed getting to meet so many passionate and honest people across the industry that all get psyched about rocks.

What’s one thing you’re bullish on or think is a good idea?

Agile and temporary design. We are not permanent, and neither are our ideas. Eventually something better or different will swallow our creations, so designing with an intent to repurpose or biodegrade is so important.

What is one business tool or resource you can’t live without?

Voice Of the Customer - Learning from what people want and what creative ideas they have from participating in an industry and seeing what works and what does not.

What is one "life hack" or one tool in your life, personal or professional, that has made a large impact?

Yoga and Hang Gliding! So meditative and important to me.


# of Employees?


Current revenue?

Not provided.

Projected revenue?

Not provided.

Any call to action?

Connections to local artists in Durham.

Blog posts by 

Johnny Davis

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