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Ep. 87 - Tarp Tips and the Rolled Hem Foot

Summary

This is another company spotlight about an up and coming maker out of Atlanta, GA. Dan Gerken fell in love with hiking several years ago and wanted to make UL shelters for future adventures. Now, all in on the cottage company carousel Dan is growing his one-man show by refining products and sticking to his mission for eco-friendly materials. 


Takeaways

  • Starting a cottage company requires wearing multiple hats and balancing different roles.
  • Working with challenging fabrics, such as silpoly, can be difficult but rewarding.
  • Justifying the cost of eco fabrics is important for customers who value sustainability.
  • Running a cottage company involves challenges in marketing and reaching the target audience.
  • Future product development can involve revisions and improvements on existing designs. Daniel Gerken is working on new product ideas, including a bug bivvy and a single-pole tarp with doors.
  • He plans to expand his product line to include backpacks and hopes to offer customers a lightweight and compact backpacking system.
  • Daniel finds inspiration from companies like ULA, Mountain Laurel Designs, and Yama Mountain Gear.
  • His favorite non-Anda gear is a Patagonia R1 fleece that he has had for over 10 years.
  • Daniel would like to see more eco-friendly fabrics in the market, such as the ultra TNT by Challenge.
  • He got his trail name Hot Pink because he carried a hot pink hairbrush on the Pacific Crest Trail.


Chapters
00:00
Introduction and Program

03:38
Starting Onda and the Embark Program

14:09
Meaning Behind the Name Onda

25:48
Working with Challenging Fabrics

29:01
Justifying the Cost of Eco Fabrics

33:16
Challenges of Running a Cottage Company

37:15
Balancing Different Roles in the Business

40:34
Future Products and Revisions

42:42
New Product Ideas

45:09
Expansion Plans

50:07
Companies and Inspirations

53:12
Favorite Non-Onda Gear

55:14
Missing Fabric in the Market

57:26
Maker Game

01:05:29
Trail Name Hot Pink

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