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Built on Passion

We catalog the experience of CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs in the outdoor, fitness, and wellness industry. All of them have a story to tell. This podcast focuses on a different kind of adventure.
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Built on Passion
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Now displaying: Category: Entrepreneurship
Jan 27, 2022
Matt sits down with Kinona co-founder Tami Fujii. Kinona makes stylish and functional women’s golf apparel while helping to open up the sport for women.

Kinona was started while Tami and fellow co-founder, Dianne Celuch were getting more and more into Golfing. Having a background in fashion, it was tough to look past the lack of innovation in apparel options for women that the industry had to offer. When it comes to style and inclusion the Golf Industry has been a little slow to adapt to the changing times and those are two major keystones that Kinona is built on. After years of getting more and more into the sport, they decided to roll up their sleeves and help bring the Golf industry into the 21st century by providing more than just a “pink it and shrink it” option for women. Having years of experience bringing brands to life and products to market they managed to develop apparel that doesn’t just look incredible but, breathes life into the sport.

In this episode of Built On Passion Tami Fujii shares her journey leading up to starting Kinona, some of the skills and tools that were key to Kinona’s swift success, how the golf industry’s need to evolve to open up the space, and the “How” and “Why” behind Kinona

Jan 20, 2022

Matt sits down with Take Two founder Jerek Lovey. Take Two makes plant-based barely milk with a huge emphasis on sustainability using upcycled spent grain as a key component in their tasty game-changing dairy-free milk.

Take Two is changing the game for plant-based milk on seemingly all fronts. To start, their dedication to sustainability is unparalleled to the point of them helping to repurpose thousands upon thousands of spent grain that otherwise would go to waste. On the nutrition front, their barely milk is so much more nutrient-dense than your typical plant-based milk but, most importantly the taste and texture of Take Two is amazing. It really all comes down to barely as the x-factor to fixing the classic problems of plant-based milk while helping offer a better more sustainable solution. So, how just how does one start a plant-based milk company let alone pioneer a new and progressive upcycling technique.

In this episode of Built On Passion, Jerek Lovey shares the story of how he started a plant-based milk brand from the ground up, how barely is a game-changing grain of the future, what it took to build out their upcycling process, and the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ behind Take Two.

Jan 12, 2022

Matt sits down with Ranger Ready co-founder Chris Fuentes. Ranger Ready makes a highly effective Picaridin insect repellent. Mosquitoes and ticks bites aren’t something to be taken lightly. Obviously, they can be a pretty big annoyance but there are some really life-changing diseases that you’re exposed to when you get bitten. Though there are plenty of bug spray options out there to help keep you protected, a good amount of them can still be fairly toxic to people so you have to ask yourself, ‘how can you actually protect yourself from exposure?’ That’s exactly what Chris Fuentes and Ted Kensten hoped to answer when they started Ranger Ready.

When Chris and Ted started Ranger Ready, they weren’t just looking for the next project to work on, they wanted to tackle a major issue that desperately needed a better option. They found that Picaridin was the key to making bug spray WAY safer for both people and pets than your average DEET bug spray. In fact, they even have the scientific findings behind it to back up their claim and the results are fairly staggering. Ranger Ready has been meticulously tested for effectiveness and has a scientific guarantee of offering 12-hours of protection. It’s easy to talk the talk but, Ranger Ready actually walks the walk and has the science to prove it. They also just so happen to be the bug spray of choice for some major organizations including SpaceX and the military. So what actually goes into creating and building a bug spray brand.

In this episode of Built On Passion Chris Fuentes shares what led him to dedicate himself to creating a better bug spray option, how they manage to stay committed to their mission, developed a devoted team leading to unparalleled customer service and satisfaction, and the “How” and “Why” behind Ranger Ready.

Jan 6, 2022

Matt sits down with Rebo Bottle founder Pierandrea Quarta. Rebo Bottle makes a smart water bottle that doesn’t just help you stay on your hydration game but, also is designed to help actively remove plastic waste from natural areas.

Water bottles are fairly simple in and of themselves but, the intricacies behind Rebo Bottle are absolutely incredible. It all started with Pier wanting to do more to help remove plastic from the environment. His past experience working as a Brand Manager for one of the world’s most widely known name brands gave him an opportunity to not only sharpen his knives to build a brand but, also expose him to a newfound passion, sustainability, and coming up with progressive practices to support it. Ultimately Pier wanted to create a product to help push the world towards a much more sustainable future and focusing on something everyone interacted with was the starting point.

Rebo Bottle’s smart bottle isn’t just a container for H20, it’s designed to help encourage people to stay hydrated, track their water intake, and find and track nearby refill stations all through their app. 

On top of making a smart bottle with extremely detailed features, Rebo has developed some interesting strategic partnerships to help actively remove plastic from the environment. What’s most remarkable of all is that in creating Rebo Bottle, Pier is building an extremely unique and progressive brand around a global issue in a way that hasn’t really existed.

In this episode of Built On Passion Pierandrea shares what inspired him to dig deeper into sustainability, some of the challenges that came with building Rebo Bottle, and the “how” and “why” behind Rebo Bottle.

Dec 17, 2021

Matt sits down with Lone Pine Gear Exchange co-founder Katy Jackson. Lone Pine Gear Exchange is an outdoor gear consignment shop and so much more. They also repair gear, tune skis, are a plastic-free refill station, a coffee shop, and act as a community hub for outdoor lovers of all kinds.

Getting out into nature and enjoying the outdoors is an extremely important part of the human experience, but it can be really hard to commit to living a life that helps reduce the human footprint on the places we love. That’s exactly the issue that Katy wants to address with Lone Pine Gear Exchange. Lone Pine Gear isn’t just a gear consignment shop, it gives anyone and everyone who wants to get outside a place to get everything they need to help keep supporting a cleaner and healthier planet. Katy and her partner didn’t flinch when they came up with the idea of an all-in-one stop for anyone who loves the outdoors as much as they do and although it seems like such a niche, and specific idea for a brick and mortar store, when you examine all the differance aspects it touches on it seems to effortlessly make sense. Beyond helping people to enjoy and get into the sports they love, Lone Pine Gear Exchange is also rapidly serving as a community center for like-minded people to get together and share in whatever passion brings them together in nature.

In this episode of Built On Passion Katy Jackson shares the background of how Lone Pine Gear Exchange got started, how the idea developed, what roadblocks she's faced along the journey, and the “how” and “why” behind Lone Pine Gear Exchange`

Dec 10, 2021

Matt sits down with Bolstr founder Jay Yoo. Bolstr makes ergonomic everyday carry bags and accessories designed to help simplify your life, unburden your mind, and bring a little zen into your everyday life.

Jay isn’t quite a serial entrepreneur, but more of a serial problem solver. He initially got his start as a product manager before moving on to the fashion industry leaving his mark, only to go on and completely revamp how we look at wallets with the inception of the 'Slimmy'. Despite substantially affecting each industry he enters and making it seem like nothing, Jay’s biggest feat has been staying level-headed and focused through all the hard parts of his career. Jay is an incredible reminder that no success comes without struggle and keeping the right perspective and healthy habits pays back in dividends.

In this episode of Built On Passion Jay Yoo walks us through his colorful career highlighting how he ended up starting Bolstr, some serious wisdom on what it means to be an entrepreneur and how he navigated some personal roadblocks along his journey, and the “How” and “Why” behind starting Bolstr

Dec 2, 2021

Matt sits down with Nocs Provisions founder Chris McKleroy. Nocs Provisions has reimagined one of the most iconic tools of exploration, adventuring, and the great outdoors; Binoculars.

Nocs Provisions is bringing binoculars back into vogue and bringing them into the 21st century. It’s interesting how binoculars have been pretty synonymous with time spent outdoors and general adventures of all kinds. Despite being such a recognizable tool it’s not something that’s really been modernized...until now. Nocs is raising the quality, dropping the price, and making binoculars cool again. Their designs are awesome and make this dusty tool more of a functional accessory. Beyond a long-needed update to the classic tool, Nocs is using their products as a jumping-off point to break down barriers in the outdoor space and open it up for people to enjoy getting outside and experience how life-changing it can be.

In this episode of Built On Passion Chris McKleroy shares a more sustainable approach and attitude to bring into a new and budding business, some pitfalls he faced in his first entrepreneurial endeavor and how he managed to avoid them the second time around, and the “How” and “Why” behind Nocs Provisions.

Nov 24, 2021

Matt sits down with 3RD ROCK founder Jessica Mor. 3RD ROCK makes expertly made activewear while challenging the limits on sustainable manufacturing in the fashion and apparel space.

There’s no question that 3RD ROCK’s apparel and activewear is awesome but, beyond the surface of their products is where the magic really happens. What started as a way to make better, more comfortable, and eco-friendly apparel quickly grew into something a little more. It’s easy to label yourself as a do-good company by donating some funds to an organization and calling it a day; however, 3RD ROCK goes above and beyond to create sustainable products while doing what they can to make climbing much more inclusive space. 

In this episode of Built On Passion Jessica Mor shares how she jumped from the fashion world to the climbing industry, her approach for developing functional garments and sustainability, opening up climbing for as many people as possible, and the “How” and “Why” behind 3RD ROCK.

Nov 17, 2021

Matt sits down with Heather’s Choice founder Heather Kelly. Heather’s Choice makes incredibly nutritious and delicious dehydrated backpacking food that doesn’t cut corners on ingredients.

This episode is a little bit of a different format than what you might be used to. We do hit a lot of entrepreneurial themes and we still dig into the nitty-gritty of what Heather’s Choice is all about but, I think what really sets this episode apart is Heather Really lays out her relationship with Heather's Choice, Entrepreneurship, and the meaning behind it all. This isn’t just a job or career, this is a HUGE passion point for Heather, she even describes it as more of an art project. To sum up this episode simply, Heather Kelly is a badass, I wish we had more time to really dig into things and I’m. We really hit the ground running with this episode and dive into some deep topics

In this episode of Built On Passion, Heather Kelly dives into what entrepreneur means to her and how she approaches building and running her business, how she dove into a brand new career and fought her way to fine-tune her process while learning some tough lessons, and the “How” and “Why” behind Heather’s Choice

Nov 10, 2021

Matt sits down with Hiker’s Brew Coffee founder Zach Pecha. Hiker’s Brew Coffee makes sustainably-minded coffee made for the outdoors.

Coffee is one of the most common daily routines in the world. However, the waste and single-use plastic that it can create can be absolutely absurd. In creating Hiker’s Brew Coffee Zach and his co-founder/partner Addy Serum want to help push the coffee industry into a drastically more sustainable future, and it all started with their Venture Pouches. Zach and Addy went down the rabbit hole meticulously eliminating any single-use plastic in their packaging, finding coffee farms that were ethically and sustainably run, and even opt to run their operation with the smallest team possible to prevent any excess coffee from just sitting on the shelves. Their orders are made on purchase to make sure they’re avoiding wasteful excess production and, more importantly, to make sure their coffee is the freshest it possibly can. At the end of the day, it isn’t just the length at which Zach and Addy go to make sure their operation is sustainable, it’s their grit they show in sticking to their guns to maintain their high standards of quality and sustainability.

In this episode of Built On Passion Zach Pecha walks us through the steps they took to ensure their coffee operation was as sustainable as possible with the high-quality coffee, the benefits of staying a small batch company to stay true to their mission, and the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ behind Hiker’s Brew Coffee

Nov 3, 2021

Matt sits down with Ener-C founder Richard Pollock. Ener-C makes a hydrating, energizing Vitamin C drink mix to make healthy habits more enjoyable.

In this episode of Built On Passion Richard Pollock shares some of the hurdles of educating people and evangelizing about the importance of Vitamin C while dispelling some fallacies, some wisdom from his expansive entrepreneurial career, and the truly captivating ‘How’ and ‘Why’ behind Ener-C

Oct 27, 2021

Matt sits down with Batch CBD co-founder Dennis Mistrioty. Batch CBD doesn’t just make incredible CBD products. They also serve as a CBD testing facility and manufacturer for countless other CBD brands.

Batch started when Dennis and his co-founders took the plunge into entrepreneurship as the CBD and hemp industry started to really blossom. However, Instead of heading straight into retail, they started with researching and learning everything they could about the agriculture and manufacturing of hemp and CBD and going on to open up a CBD testing facility. As time went on and the industry grew, so did they. They managed to snowball and expand into hemp extraction and then created their own brand, what we know as Batch CBD. Today they manufacture for some of the biggest brands on the market and have helped set the bar for sustainability, customer satisfaction, and above else, quality. Although it wasn’t necessarily the smoothest journey, through trial and error they found their voice and created their own CBD products.

In this episode of Built On Passion Dennis Mistrioty shares how they built one of the industry-leading CBD Manufacturers, some insights on how they handled marketing in a completely new industry, their approach to building their community, and the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind starting Batch CBD

Oct 20, 2021

Matt sits down with Yuki Threads co-founder Luke Mitchell. Yuki  Threads makes Technical Snowboarding apparel with a HUGE emphasis on sustainable manufacturing and the snowboarding community at large.

Luke Mitchell, (or as his friends call him, Mitch), and his co-founder Lani started Yuki Threads as a simple way to keep doing what they loved most, snowboarding. After a successful run of hoodies, Mitch started to ask the right question to solidify Yuki Threads as a future household name. He took a step back and asked, “How can we do this better?” rolled up his sleeves, and started his journey coming up with an answer.

Building Yuki Threads wasn’t just a journey to create apparel but, to make technical outerwear that was made responsibly. He dove down the manufacturing rabbit hole to make sure that virtually every step of the way was as sustainable as possible. Mitch brought his adventurous spirit with him throughout the process, literally visiting every stage of production, traveling through India, building real, meaningful, relationships. All in the name of preserving the integrity of Yuki Threads. Sustainable manufacturing is far from anything they’d compromise and a keystone for what the brand has been built on. For the snow industry, and the Fashion industry especially, this level of detail is something that’s unheard of. 

At the end of the day, it isn’t just building a cool brand, it’s about making products that mean something and doing things the responsible way, that’s built around a community and can actively give back to the sport of snowboarding and snow sports as a whole. 

In this episode of Built On Passion, Luke Mitchell shares his approach for tracking down the right manufacturing partners, how he dove headfirst into a brand new industry and came up swimming, and the how and why behind Yuki Threads

Oct 12, 2021

Matt sits down with Sego Ski Co co-founders Peter & Tim Wells. Sego Ski Co is a ski manufacturer making high-quality handmade skis

Over the years Sego Ski Co. has been growing hand over fist as a rapidly rising star in the ski industry. One of the remarkable things about Sego Ski Co. isn’t JUST the fact that they make a remarkable pair of skis, it’s that despite experiencing some serious growth (expanding their facility, growing their team, etc.) they manage to stay committed to the foundational soul on which they’ve built Sego Ski Co. In addition to completely owning their entire manufacturing process, they’ve seriously grown their partnerships, working to help expand the accessibility of snowsports and get more people out there to enjoy it whether it’s their local hill or somewhere along the powder highway in BC.

In this episode of Built On Passion Tim & Peter Wells peel back the curtain on some major milestones they’ve reached, their vision for where Sego Ski Co. exists in the snow industry, and the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind starting Sego Ski Co.

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