Your company or trading name
Tell us about where you’re from, what you do, how it all started and why you enjoy it.
I am from Cleveland, OH and the founder of bolstr®. I started my industrial manufacturing career and traveled the world marketing precision instrumentation valves and fittings for a company here in Cleveland. It was a good run, and I had a lot of fun disrupting markets in Japan and Europe, particularly in the Oil and Gas vertical. I loved the opportunity to innovate in an otherwise stagnate and risk-averse company. While exhilarating, I wanted to do my own thing and left to do just that.
From all my travels, I started coming up with ideas for travel coat (BlackCoat) made of high-tech materials (i.e., Goretex®), in a silhouette I could wear with a suit or casual, and pockets for all of my stuff. It took off, and over the last +15 years, it has been fun being on the front of a few trends, from gadget-friendly travel apparel to slim leather wallets (Slimmy®).
What are your aims and are there any items or products you’d love to make?
A few years ago, with the help of Kickstarter, we brought to life a small EDC bag for men – bolstr Small Carry Ultimate EDC bag. It went 1,777% over our original goal, which I did not expect. It confirmed I was not the only one looking for such a bag, and the market is underserved at the moment, further evidenced by men continuing to overstuff their pockets. I am looking to ride this trend for small EDC bags and accessories for men, and we are on our fourth successful Kickstarter at the moment.
Stay tuned as there are some interesting things in the works; I am excited to innovate to this space 😉
What do you consider your greatest achievement in the work you do associated with EDC?
WIP. Getting men to unload their front pockets is the mission. It just looks ridiculous, but I do not blame them as there are not that many optimal small bag alternatives for men on the market that do not look like a man-purse. I am to change that.
What is the best thing you have made and why?
That is a tough one for me to answer. I think the market should decide that 😉 That said, I think the best things are yet to come and work in progress. bolstr Elements fills an important sweet spot in the market but there were plenty of others waiting to be filled…
What EDC gear is in your pockets right now?
iPhone 12 Pro Max, Benchmade auto-opening knife, Baron Fig Squire Rollerball Pen, Moleskine Cashier Journal, AirPods, Apple Airtag, NiteIze Slidelock Stainless Carabiner, Slimmy R1S2 Black, Retro Super Future Havana Flat Tops, bolstr AUX Disruptive Camo with MINI Red (not yet available).
What’s the favourite piece of EDC gear that you own?
bolstr® and Slimmy® aside, the Baron Fig Rollerball. I love this pen and am writing a lot more because of it.
What EDC item would you love to own and why?
LEATHERMAN, Rev Pocket Size Multitool. I lost mine and thought it might resurface. Alas, I believe it is long gone 😉
If you are on social media or have a website please include the links here so people can find out more about you
And finally, just for fun, tell the readers a random fact about yourself that they won’t learn anywhere else
Larry Bird is my cousin (from my mother’s side).