Print
Entrepreneurs

MADE Winners - Functional Product Category

By Staff Reports, posted Feb 24, 2017

BACKSLIDER GEAR

backslidergear.com

Year founded: 2013 | Number of employees: 2

Top official: Alan Swart, “master backslider”

Company description: Backslider Gear makes sailcloth wallets to accommodate all world currencies. Its wallets are “super-thin, minimalist wallets with RFID-blocking technology built in.” The company describes them as more than 75 percent thinner than traditional leather wallets and made of waterproof Kevlar material.

Company growth: Swart sells the wallets through its website, with orders from U.S. customers as well as internationally with buyers from China to Australia to Switzerland who want to go on a “wallet diet” and ditch their bulky ones. “I think it’s got a lot of potential. It’s mostly a hobby right now, but I ship them all over the world.”

Target market: “All men, women, girls and boys – especially if they have a wallet problem. Most folks need to go on a wallet diet. Our wallet insists on it.”

How did you originally come up with the concept for your product? “I wanted a better thin wallet. I was tired of the sore backside of sitting on my thick wallet. I searched for a lot of materials, and finally I came across the Kevlar sailcloth, which I thought would be durable, thin and attractive.”

What are your future goals for the product? To “find more vendors who want to carry our quality, handmade, USA-made product.”

 
DEATH BY DESIGN

deathbydesign.com

Year founded: 2016 | Number of employees: 4

Top official: Kimberly C. Paul, CEO

Company description: “Death by Design is an educational service that encourages people to talk about advance care planning and teaches individuals and their families to begin the conversation.”

Company growth: “After launching the podcast on Jan. 12: (there have been) over 350 downloads, over 1,000 likes on Facebook and over 100 shares on social media.”

How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “We’ve employed over five individuals and have worked with over six local agencies to launch Death by Design.”

How did you originally come up with the concept for your product? “The podcast audience, nationally, have increased to 36 percent. A podcast about end of life, provides a dated health care industry with an innovative way to communicate choices, tips and resources for end of life planning. We’ve been working on this podcast since April 2016.”

What are your future goals for the product? “The goals for Death by Design are to increase listeners to over 100,000 and to produce several tools (book and Legacy guide) for our local community as well as a national audience. Our goal is to normalize the death and dying conversation, increase advance care planning, as well as impact how and where individuals face end of life.”
 

SUNSNAPZ

sunsnapz.com

Year founded: 2012 | Number of employees: 2

Top official: Julia Jacobsen, founder and CEO

Company description: Sunsnapz manufactures UPF50+ sun-protective baby blankets and accessories. “Our patented design creates a clever must-have baby item for the active family.”

Target market: “Parents, grandparents, extended friends and family of newborn to toddler-aged children that appreciate a smart, high-quality baby product with health-related benefits. Our customers love the baby blanket that is multi-functional to simplify their active lifestyle with little ones.”

Company growth: “We have increased sales by more than 100 percent in each of the three full years since inception in 2012.”

How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “We have worked exclusively with a manufacturer that is headquartered in Wilmington, and all our products are made in North Carolina. As a small, family-owned business, we have made it part of our mission to give back through contributions to local events and charitable organizations like AIM at Melanoma.”

How did you originally come up with the concept for your product? “As new parents, we loved products that created a healthy environment for our child. We searched for a cover to shelter our little one from wind and sun, act as a nursing cover, and a soft swaddle blanket at the same time. Without one on the market, Sunsnapz was born.”

Back to MADE home page
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Dallas headshot 300x300

Balancing Goals in Family Transfers

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors
20180514 104209 51418120638

What is SOLA?

Steve Adams - School of Learning Arts
Billhunter300x300 b&w

The 80/20 Rule for Smart Business Growth

Bill Hunter - Wilmington Design Company

Trending News

Ohio Company Acquires Wilmington Based Environmental Consulting Firm

Cece Nunn - Jul 19, 2018

New Businesses Open, On The Way To Beau Rivage Marketplace

Cece Nunn - Jul 20, 2018

Airport Terminal Expansion Project Set To Move Forward Ahead Of Schedule

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jul 19, 2018

Mermaid Cove Opens New Store In Wilmington

Johanna Cano - Jul 20, 2018

Wilmington Based Atlantic Packaging Buys Maryland Company

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jul 20, 2018

In The Current Issue

SBA Pilots Streamlined Disaster Lending Program

With hurricane season officially upon us, the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the launch of a new quick lending program aim...


Wilmington Health Cardio Lab Earns Reaccreditation

Wilmington Health Cardiology’s echocardiography lab recently earned three-year echocardiography reaccreditation in Wilmington....


What’s Next In Local Grocery Wars?

The Cape Fear region is likely to remain a tempting prospect for grocery store chains considering areas for growth, developers say, although...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2018 Power Breakfast - Dishing on the Restaurant Biz
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes