💪🏻 Key role in 21+ product launches with $19+ million in sales
🙋🏻♂️ Founded 6 profitable small business ventures since 2004
🍷 Co-invented and filed provisional patents for a product that raised +$140K on Kickstarter & Indiegogo*
🚗 Turned $26 into $36K in 4th venture
🐍 1 physical product company sold in 2014
👨🏻💼 13+ years in marketing, advertising and branding
👄 12+ years in manufacturing (architectural bldg products, health and beauty products)
👨🏻💻 7+ years experience in consumer packaged goods design
👨🏻🏭 5+ years in welding, fabrication, and construction
🤙🏻 Graphic artist, web designer, and serial entrepreneur
👨🏻🎓 2007 UTSA digital art graduate
* I co-invented the product and feature set in 2015, was the original co-founder of the inventing company (CoolProdux, LLC), and co-filed provisional patents. I did not play a role in the Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns. I have no stake or interest in Carivino, other than I did back it on Kickstarter, and I want to hold it in my hand! You should buy one!
My passion lies in identifying problems and thinking of creative and innovative ways to solve them.
If you know me personally, I've probably told you that I believe good luck is the ability to spot opportunity and the willingness to act on it. I'm always thinking of random business ideas and product ideas to solve problems that arise while living life. I have a long, running list of thought-out ideas and concepts that range from interior car accessories for Toyota Tacomas to a unique way to enjoy margaritas. More on that below! 🍹Spotting opportunity is like a game to me. I just need to focus on execution.
That's what CoolProdux is all about, solving problems with cool products that focus on user experience. This live experiment is the culmination of everything that I've learned about branding, marketing, developing and launching physical products. I plan to thoroughly document the process of how to make a product from napkin sketch to customer in the hopes it will inspire others who may also have this same dream but are just not sure where to begin.
This is also a test for myself. This is a live attempt to build a community of entrepreneurs who desire to help each other avoid mistakes. This is a live attempt to create and automate a product-based business without a lot of startup capital from the ground up. This is about giving back. This serves as a mental dump for me to look back on in the future and hold myself accountable. This is a big thank you to everyone who, along the way, believed in me, helped me, encouraged me, and/or inspired me. This is about proving that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. This is about seizing a huge opportunity I was recently gifted.
I am who I say I am. This is not a scam. This is not a sales funnel nor a pitch. This is not a landing page trying to sell you an e-book on how to make products. This is not an affiliate program. This is not a get-rich quick scheme. This is not bullshit. This is not me pretending I can guarantee success.
This is a live story about me chasing my dreams, trying to manifest them into reality through meaningful and purposeful actions.
Simon Sinek suggested I start with the why.
My life goal and dream is to develop several successful businesses thus creating jobs and opportunity, and also to help others who are interested do the same, so that together we have the resources, capital, and the networks necessary to make the world a better place for this and future generations. That's my life's purpose; that's my why: to start, and help others start, successful businesses and then to help fix things, politically.
I've been working towards this goal since I wrote it down in 2013.
“My only ask is if you enjoy this content AND you're an entrepreneur, or an entrepreneur in the making, or you're interested in developing products, or you'd love to be able to quit your job someday to start your own business, or if my story inspires you, or if you're in a position to and feel compelled to help mentor others, please follow along on whatever channel you're most active on and invite others you know who may also be interested in changing the world through entrepreneurship. To achieve, first believe then relentlessly proceed to exceed.”
— Rob Hino, Founder of CoolProdux, LLC
I graduated from UTSA in 2007 with a custom degree in everything: started in math and mechanical engineering, switched to small business management, and then I dropped out for over a year. I finally ended up on the Dean's List in art with a focus in digital art and sculpture. Lol, I changed my major so many times, the counselors told me, "just finish 33 hours of free electives, whatever classes you want, and you can graduate."
As an art major, I successfully petitioned the marketing department at UTSA to let me skip some prerequisite classes so I could take upper level classes in marketing and advertising as a compliment to my digital art degree. Heh, I even took the same Advanced Photoshop class 3 times. I don't remember the number exactly, but I graduated with over 200 hours for an art degree...eight years, 200+ hours for a fucking art degree, smh. 🤦🏻♂️ I wasted my full-ride academic scholarship and had to take out enormous student loans to finish. And, to top it all off, most of what I learned no longer applies; it's obsolete. The software doesn't even exist anymore! Social media was still being developed. I had to relearn everything through trial and error, YouTube videos, and from blogs on the interwebs.
I applied for one job after UTSA, an inside sales rep position at Berridge Manufacturing Company. A college friend who worked there at the time got me an interview. It was clear during the interview that this was more than an interview for an inside sales position. The EVP of the company asked me to critique their product catalog and asked me what I would do differently. I blasted it.
It was after nearly 7 years at Berridge in 2013 that I realized I wasn't happy, despite my awesome job. I didn't feel I was allowed to reach my potential. Corporate roadblocks, the 3rd principle in this video from Napoleon Hill, and a series of nos -- the most notable of which was when I asked if I could ever, in the future, earn the title of Vice President of Marketing -- led me to resign on a whim. I had watched the video 3 nights before, and that morning in the breakroom I broke down in tears to the President of the company who was serving his morning coffee. I told him I wasn't happy, and that I wanted to chase my entrepreneurial dreams. I told him I didn't want to be stuck in a cubicle, working for someone else's dreams for 20 years before I realized this. I thanked him for the wonderful opportunity I was gifted and submitted my two-weeks notice of resignation.
After resigning from Berridge in April of 2013, I started Non-Network Creative, a marketing and design company for small businesses. I ended up convincing my former boss at Berridge to hire my new company to do the same things I did while I was an employee, except on contract, from wherever I wanted, on my schedule while doing whatever the heck I wanted. I dreamed this up, asked for it, and I earned the contract.
Later that year in October, I moved back to my hometown in South Texas into a beat-up trailer house at my Dad's old hotrod shop that sits on the city limits where a sign reads, "POP. 5297."
Aside 1: As I'm writing this, I'm constantly going back through emails, old files, social media, phone dump folders, and the internet's archive to try and put specific dates on things, and I keep finding real gems like this next one. I just now remembered how bad ass Jack Berridge was and how fortunate I was to work for his family. This realization made me now think that after nearly a month writing this "my story" page, this tell-all about my journey is also really about the people who helped me along the way. I knew Jack was badass, but I didn't realize how important his story is as it relates to my journey until I reread his Metal Roofing Hall of Fame Feature in Metal Roofing Magazine. Now, I feel I have to look back and expand on all the characters I briefly introduced in my first draft of this page, and tell more about their stories too. Just keep in mind as I investigated further, a lot of the details about the friends I met along the way were updated after draft one was almost complete, when I realized that my story is more complete with their stories added.
I learned from the inside how Jack Berridge, a legend and pioneer in the sheet metal roofing industry, started the company from the back of his pickup truck, not for money but because it made him happy. He spotted an opportunity and was willing to act on it.
“I didn’t start Berridge Manufacturing for the money. I liked the challenge of working with sheet metal, and I saw the need and tremendous potential in the architectural market for quality metal building products.” - Jack Berridge
As the marketing manager at Berridge, I traveled the country wining and dining our best customers while learning how to manage every single aspect of trade shows. I designed catalogs, data sheets, price sheets, instructions, legal documents, warranties, and every other type of document you could dream up. I learned about mail merge and direct mail campaigns when I got to travel around, interview clients, photograph their work, and write about them for the company's quarterly newsletter. I learned about Mr. Berridge's patents. I learned about tooling, manufacturing, distribution, shipping, and logistics. I learned about making samples, designing packaging, and labels. I learned how to read and design architectural details. I learned about credit and the credit department. I learned about accounting and sales reports. I worked directly with our staff architects and engineers to understand loads, structural design, testing, and code compliance. I learned about enterprise resource planning software and the importance of integrated systems for accounting, estimates, sales orders, invoices, inventory, fulfilment, purchasing, and customer relationships. I helped manage 17 independent sales reps. I was an integral part of 5 product launches at Berridge (HR-16, HS-8, HS-12, FW-1025, and Architectural Privacy Fence). Most of my contributions were on the marketing side with content creation, copywriting, creating samples, and launching the products to our existing customer base. I really loved my job, and I felt accomplished and productive.
I vowed to myself that I would never get another job again if I could help it. To clarify, a job is something you do specifically for a paycheck. Work is something you do because you love it, because it makes you happy. Make paychecks a consequence of work instead of the reason. Find your work, and love it. Just like Jack Berridge did. The money will come.
I really took to heart what Napoleon Hill said about changing positions:
"Sometimes I hear people complain also that their positions are such that they are not permitted to go the extra mile. And, my counsel to these people is always the same; change positions and market your services where it pays to go the extra mile."
I sold the company for peanuts in 2014 to a friend (my biggest wholesale customer) after losing interest to instead focus on building my client list at Non-Network Creative. At that time, I didn't realize the difficulties involved with scaling a service business. With a service based business, you have to always be present to provide the service. The only way to scale is with human capital, hire more people. With a product based business, you can make money while you sleep. You can scale up easier.
In hindsight, I wish I would have kept and grew RCB to its full potential. So...I'm giving it another shot! Expect an announcement about BadgeFox.com soon.
I stumbled into some very valuable lessons at RCB, and I didn't even realize it: customer discovery; mvp validation; building communities and lists to retarget and increase the lifetime value of a customer; content is king; product sourcing and logistics; inventory management; how to presale products before investing too much time or money using 3D renderings, landing pages, and sell sheets; self-hosting a crowdfunding campaign; how to build businesses around a cause or existing community; how businesses can influence change; influencer marketing; and most importantly, execution...doing the work.
Let's back up a bit. In 2012 while still at Berridge, I started RevolutionCarBadges.com with $26. I self-hosted a crowdfunding campaign for a physical product targeting a hyper-niche community of which I was a member that regularly produced valuable content. I bought a domain name, a basic web-hosting plan, Photoshopped a digital rendering of my idea, built a simple Wordpress site with PayPal buy-buttons, wrote about it, and ended up convincing like-minded people to trust me, to pre-order a product, and even to invest in my idea.
The problem I solved was very simple. My observation and assumption was that people (specifically Ron Paul supporters) wanted to express themselves politically on their vehicles, but many didn't want to use tacky bumper stickers. Why not make chrome car badges for politics, I thought. They already existed for sports teams and colleges.
Don't hate on my shitty graphics and terrible font selection! They helped me realize that execution is leaps and bounds more essential than design, more beneficial than a beautiful brand, more important than the perfect product, and more crucial than a clever title.
80% of success is showing up, although I'd add that understanding the other 20%, which includes showing up at the right time and the right place with the right solution, will dramatically improve your chances of success in any endeavor.
I even started my RCB landing page pitch with the why.
Right out of the gate I found a winning product and learned the importance of inventory management while accidentally discovering influencer marketing. I sent free product to popular people in the liberty movement, they shared it on their FB pages and websites, and I sold out of the first run in 7 days. Even one of my favorite congressman helped out. RCB was my first small taste of success, and I've been hooked on the idea of developing products for niche markets ever since. I designed, developed, and delivered 3 products at RCB.
After 11 months, I realized there are only so many things to do in a small town in South Texas. You have to want to be there. You have to love it. I missed the city and my social life, so I moved back to San Antonio in August 2014.
I think it was my friend Chris Duel, a local talk radio personality that I met while blogging at getKinky.org in 2006, who turned me on to Geekdom, the co-working "place where statups are born." I joined Geekdom that August for $50/mo. It was a no-brainer. Not only did that buy me an amazing place to work in Downtown San Antonio near the River Walk, but it more importantly allowed me to immerse myself in the emerging startup community and to meet other wantreprenuers. There was free internet, free coffee, free office printing, reservable conference rooms, tons of educational seminars, and Fermented Friday where local companies would come in an sponsor a happy hour and we'd drink beer and socialize at around 4pm on Fridays. Also, I don't remember why at the time, but I knew I needed a co-founder for whatever business I started.
Non-Network Creative, at its peak had around 20-30 customers, but at that time at Geekdom, I only had a couple small clients that helped me pay the bills. I was coming off of RCB, so I did like the physical product space. I was itching to start another business, but I wasn't sure what business to start. I remember setting up a meeting to pitch all my ideas to one of the founders of Geekdom to try to narrow it down.
Chris and I watched YouTube videos to figure out how to work the 3D printer and how to do basic 3D modeling. We spent a long time iterating and tweaking the designs and eventually founded CoolProdux, LLC in June of 2016 with the goal of making cool products that focus on user experience.
We decided we would either venture the ideas (raise money and manufacture ourselves), or we would license the intellectual property to established brands and move on to the next idea. I favored the latter. Remember, I'm trying to architect a mostly automated business that doesn't eat up all my time and become the thing I already know I despise.
Chris went on to build a great team of talent and vendors and raised $140K+ on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Since we split in November of 2016, I have no stake in the best wine bottle ever invented other than clearly I'm still emotionally invested in this project. I did buy one, and I do want to hold it in my hand!
I co-invented the wine bottle at Geekdom and filed two provisional design patents with Chris in June of 2016, helped prototype it, helped write the patent, did original branding, and produced all the patent drawings.
We eventually split up because of a difference of opinion: I wanted to license it to Yeti, Contigo, Thermus, and/or Corkcicle (we had connections to set meetings), and he wanted to raise money and attempt to manufacture and distribute it.
In our dissolution agreement, Chris got full control over the wine bottle project and has made great progress. I got to keep the rights to CoolProdux and BadgeFox, and I got to keep the rights to our second provisional patent.
Chris is still working hard to deliver over 3 years later, and I hope he does! 🤞It looks beautiful and exactly like we dreamed. I am really rooting for this project. It's a great example of perseverance and a testament to how difficult it can be to launch a product or a brand. You can't plan for or predict things like trade wars or worldwide pandemics. You have to be resolute, resilient, and ready to solve problems as they inevitably arise. You have to have grit. You have to really want it. You have to stick with it. If you want to support Chris' project, and I hope you do, buy one on Indiegogo.
What was our second patent? I got to keep our patent rights to this. Anyone want to start a margarita brand?!
Nothing was even close to what I eventually landed on. That's around the time I met Chris Clyde. Chris was working on a curated wine subscription business that would send small wine samples in the mail for a monthly fee and to try to get you to buy full size bottles. He knew that I had some experience in packaging and asked me if I could help him think of a cool package for his subscription wine box. This is around early November 2015. I think it was almost immediately that I said, "the box should be shaped like a wine bottle, an actual cardboard wine bottle where the bottom pops off, and 4 mini wine bottles and tasting glasses could be designed to fit inside."
Almost as instantly as I said bottle with the glasses inside, we landed on what would years later become Carivino.
The problem statement was simple. How do you enjoy your favorite wine and maintain the wine experience in places where glass is prohibited: the park, the pool, the beach, or a boat? Sure, you could red-solo-cup-it or pour it into a Yeti cup, but there's something special about drinking wine out of a wine glass.
At Geekdom, virtually all the businesses at the time were tech companies. There weren't too many physical product companies. Chris and I worked for months designing the product (not recommended) and meeting with professionals in the space (recommended). We were the only ones to make use of a 3D printer that was just sitting in the corner collecting dust.
The printer had been left there for community use by Drue Placette, a resourceful, enthusiastic Geekdom member and the future co-founder of Canopener Labs, a fully-equipped prototyping and development space in San Antonio. Drue was so excited about our prototypes and believed in us and our product so much, that one day he walked in and gave us the title to his $120k "yacht" stuffed inside of The Startup Owner's Manual, The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company (SOM), a book by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, considered to be required reading in many startup communities.
This book would become the foundation behind the CoolProdux product development system and made me realize I accidentally stumbled into many of these lessons about customer discovery and validation while working on RCB. FYI, we didn't accept the boat.
An important lesson not to miss here is that many times, as aspiring entrepreneurs, we want to launch with the perfect business, the perfect feature set, the perfect product, all our ducks in a row. We're so fearful of failure, that we sometimes make up excuses instead of just jumping in and figuring it out along the way. To be great, do great things. Take risks and don't be scared of the unknown. Life is an unknown. Have the confidence that no matter what problems arise (and arise they fucking will), that you have the ability to acknowledge, adjust, adapt, and advance.
I WOULD BUY THIS
Though I had no idea how much it would cost, where I would make it, if people would even want it, nor if it was even legal to sell liquor online, I launched and pitched the margarita bottle project as:
"...a lip lickin’, hard kickin’ with all the fixin’s and no mixin’ flavored margarita brand. Our patent pending cocktail bottle allows you to enjoy delicious margaritas without all the hassle of prepping and mixing. Just grab and go! First, pop off the bottom rimming tray, and pull out the cups and packet of lime salt. Next, tear open the salt, and pour it around the rimming tray. Then, simply soak the sponge with margarita, and moisten the rim of your glass before salting. Now you’re ready to enjoy our lip lickin’, hard kickin’ margaritas!"
About a month after I went live with it, I received a cease and desist from the lawyer representing the trademark holders for ReadyRitas, margaritas in a bag. I immediately took down the site. I remember pacing back and forth outside a clients office in New Braunfels all worried about it.
I didn't have the money to challenge it at the time, and actually, a friend had given me the domain name, "ReadyRita.com." I distinctly remember asking their attorney if their client had any interest in buying my patent! Lol, they said no. 🤷🏻♂️
At Geekdom, I came to meet a big bald Brit named Nick "I'm-Nick-Jones-Bitch" Jones who specialized in videos and marketing. I remember during many late nights waiting for 3D prints to finish that I'd want to go to the parking garage for a quick smoke session, but I didn't want to have to pack up all my stuff. I'd ask Nick to watch it.
He was a hustler, just like a lot of us at Geekdom. Both being creatives and idea machines, we became great friends. We would always compare our lists of domain names that we acquired over the years, and we had this inside joke for a branding campaign for a domain name registrar company like GoDaddy. It became a competition anytime that we thought of an idea, we'd quickly jump on NameCheap to see who could be the first to find the shortest, most relevant, available domain name.
The inside joke was that this isn't something new to tech entrepreneurs. Many of us have a list of domains just waiting for the right time to present themselves. Everytime we would think of something great in each other's presence we'd make quick eye contact then glance around like nothing happened, then we'd both jump up pretending to rush and find our phones to register the domain...but we'd run into a fake glass door or a piece of pretend furniture or pretend to bobble our phone into a toilet as we raced to be the first person to register the catchy domain name. You have to be a geek to get the layers of humor in this.
As Chris and I were working on the wine bottle project, one night I had the idea for a disposable version for mixed drinks on the go. As I was describing the idea to Nick, he got all excited and shouted, "ReadyRita!"
Apparently, he had had the same problem years before. He wanted to have a good margarita, and to do so, he had to go get all the separate things to make it. Being entrepreneurial minded, he bought the domain name, readyrita.com and sat on it until unknowingly he would meet me years later. ReadyRita (RR) lasted about a month until I received the cease and desist. I shelved the idea for a few years to focus on another project that was gaining traction and momentum.
As their creative freelancer and then Creative Director, I helped launch over 20 products with sales totaling over $19 million and counting. We killed it, and the Armans helped pioneer the activated charcoal oral care industry. It was beautiful and disruptive. The team they assembled, we were a bunch of misfits who really didn't know shit, except how to hustle, how to care, how to learn, and how to adapt.
I wondered the same thing when I first started working with My Magic Mud in 2014. At Non-Network Creative, I helped small businesses and liberty-leaning political candidates with branding, websites, and other marketing related services. Through mutual liberty friends in 2014, I became friends with Justin and Jessica Arman, the founders of what once was a fledgling physical product startup called My Magic Mud (MMM). That day that I received the cease and desist to stop using the name RR, I was in New Braunfels at their new headquarters.
In 2013, Jessica was tinkering around with different home remedies to help with her daughter's sensitive teeth. She stumbled across a mixture of activated charcoal, bentonite clay, mint extract, and orange peel extract. Her daughter posted a picture of her black mouth, and Jessica's friends wanted to try it. They kept coming back for more, saying the mixture made their mouths feel cleaner and made their teeth whiter. They started selling the activated charcoal tooth powder in little black jars at their local farmers market in New Braunfels, a charming German town in the Central Texas Hill Country.
Our working relationship began soon after 2014, and I didn't know it at the time, but they were pioneering an entire new category in the natural product industry and were one of the first activated charcoal brands to move from inconvenient powder to a more practical paste which was the game changer for My Magic Mud.
I can remember the early days. I would commute to their small office in Downtown San Marcos. The sales team had already been hustling for hours. I would hear Donna, Ian, and Rebecca calling natural store after store, lead after lead, and taking notes in their Zoho CRM system. No after no after no, they pressed forward making calls, following and tweaking their script, honing the perfect pitch and learning about their customers' needs and wants. Regularly I could feel their joy and excitement as they landed a new account with 3 locations.
Donna, Justin's mother was the first to believe in them, and she single handedly developed the entire wholesale side of the business by driving all over central Texas, stopping at every health food store and asking them if they would sell their product.
"Mom pioneered the entire wholesale channel of our business, driving our black jars of tooth powder to every store in the region and on charisma and passion alone, and with zero experience, learned about the expos and exactly where these stores were buying. We took a giant leap of faith and with her sales hustle and unrelenting energy, got us into our first 250 store locations in just 12 months. Within 3 years, we were the fastest selling brand in our category and we created an entire industry and changed the face of oral care. Mom worked 7 days a week on our family business for several years until she was able to semi-retire and turn to the project of being a wonderful grandmother and educator," said Justin about the beautiful person his mother was when she unexpectedly and suddenly passed away this past June. Life is unpredictable, and sometimes it's brutal and unexplainable.
I don't recall the exact specifics of how the next part came to be, but Nick and I decided to join forces and start a new creative agency. We decided we would pitch MMM on hiring us to do what I had already been doing for them since 2014. We got the deal, but almost immediately afterwards, Nick had a change of heart and decided to go a different direction because of a new baby on the way. I had to go back to MMM and ask them to put me back on contract. He felt so bad, he gave me the Macbook I'm typing on right now.
I continued to freelance with MMM for several successful projects, and then I was offered an equity position in the company over a 3 year term in 2017. I closed Non-Network Creative and joined the team. We would go on to become fastest selling natural toothpaste brand on the market, and I am so thankful and proud to have been a key player in that amazing journey for 6 years. Nick was eventually recruited to join us late that year, and was with the company for about a year.
In a startup, you don't just wear one hat. We all wore 2 to 5 hats, sometimes even more. I wore hats in branding, packaging, prototyping, sourcing, production, manufacturing, FDA cosmetic compliance, Canadian and Europeon Union Compliance, designing award winning tradeshow experiences, basic office IT, event coordinating, and business systems architecture and management (like CRM, workflows, automation, email lists and campaigns, software integrations, data management, NetSuite and GSuite). I even wrote the parody jingle above in less than 24 hours!
Growing from a small office in San Marcos, Texas with 5 employees to a custom built office and 10,000 sqft warehouse will teach you a lot, and failing is part of that journey. Through so many wins and just as many or even more losses, the team and culture carried us through.
We got to compete against the pros that co-found major lip balm brands, then find and copy other winning products, and then sell-out. I mean, that was our plan too and the whole reason I shut down Non-Network Creative to join the company: to be acquired.
I resigned from MMM in September of 2019 and at the time, we were in over 40,000 stores across the globe. Again, I got tired of working for someone else's dreams. It was a very stressful time for everyone, and several things contributed to my resignation. The biggest lessons I learned at MMM were:
Rob Hino, Founder of CoolProdux, LLC
San Antonio, Texas
hit me up
With all the research that goes into writing a piece like this, you stumble across so many memories long forgotten, or some that you stored away that if asked, you can recall in a heartbeat. But if not asked, you may never even think to remember some of the best and most valuable lessons you picked up during your journey. I've several times in the recent and distant past thought to call up the things that my mom and dad said to me growing up.
My mom would say, "do your best and better if you can." My dad would say, "You know, you don't have to make a lot of money from one place. You can make a little bit of money from a lot of places." And now as I get to the end of this story, it just hit me....and it's so beautiful.
"Do your best and better if you can." = "Always go the extra mile."
My mom told me this as a kid all the time and still does to this day. When I titled the first chapter about always going the extra mile, I didn't even have to think about it. I knew what the catalyst for me deciding to quit Berridge and chase my dream was. It seemed like a good fit, and now I know why.
"You know, you don't have to make a lot of money at one place. You can make a little bit of money at a lot of places." = CoolProdux is just that.
What are the chances? What are the chances that the lessons that stuck in my head from my mother and father would end up being what helped me find my happiness? Did I manifest this? Did they?
Please also note that I'm starting from scratch. At the time I started this project in June 2020, I was -$500 overdrawn in my bank account and didn't have a job. Rent and my truck payment were due. From September 2019 after resigning from MMM, through March 2020, I was working with my brother's automatic gate company before deciding to move to California to learn construction while I figured things out. Cities started shutting down because of Covid-19 in March, so I came back to Texas and started up my design business again to help make ends meet.
Then, out of nowhere, I was gifted a life changing opportunity. I was gifted money by my parents to chase my dreams. As part of my parents divorce settlement in the early 90's, my Dad's hotrod shop would eventually be signed over to my brother and I, and I got bought out for my half.
It's not a lot of money by any-means, so I'm currently freelancing and finding odd jobs to fund my living expenses while I attempt to start a product development business during the middle of a worldwide pandemic and massive civil unrest. What could go wrong? Lol, I hope you stick around for the ride!