Jul 21, 2015

Buoy Batter Up!

Hello there, friends!
Happy Sunday! I am coming off a great birthday week and can't thank you enough for all of the birthday well-wishes and such.  I really felt the love.  Seems like birthdays are getting easier as I get older.  Can't really stop time marching on, and I'm thankful for every day.  So, thank you.  Cheers to a great year ahead.  

So, many of you have seen my Facebook posts about my friends Bill and Sue's excellent entrepreneurial adventure, Buoy Sports, LLC.  Sue is a friend and fellow fabulous Delta Zeta Theta Gamma sister at the mighty University of New Hampshire and Bill, also a UNH grad, is her wonderful and super witty husband.  
Buoy Sue and Buoy Bill from Buoy Sports, LLC

I recently had the opportunity to have a virtual sit-down with the man, myth, legend....Buoy Bill.  He is ridiculously busy with his business and I am appreciative of the time he gave to give LucyUncorked readers a glimpse in to Buoy Sports.  Also, and very importantly, you and your family can find him in the Maine building at the Big E in September.  Don't miss it--and tell him I sent you! 

~~So, Buoy Bill--what do you do in your business/tell us about your product? 
We make cool fun things from real lobster buoys!   Buoy Bats, Welcome Buoys, Poo-E-Buoys, Buoy Bud Vases, Buoy Bat Go Fetch. We also do personalization on all our products.  

~~ How’d you get to this point? 
We just keep pushing on and our hard work is paying off.  People LOVE lobster buoys and other products made from them equals products people want. We've been lucky that people like them so much because we're so busy making them we don't really have time to do much proactive selling. What could be better! 

~~What is your guilty pleasure?  
Wellllllll....I've been know to eat entire tubs of rainbow sherbet on the couch before anyone notices what's happening.  Then I'm in trouble! (LU note: Bill and I have that in common---perhaps we learned that skill at UNH?)
~~What would you do, if you weren’t doing this? 
I'd probably still have a good job with vacation, health benefits, a 401k w/employer match, and on top of that I'd get a nice paycheck every week...yuck!  

~~What is your favorite college/professional sport and team? 
I'm really not a big sports fanatic because I really don't have the time to be one.  I played sports my whole life but hardly ever watch an entire event.  My wife and kids have prompted me to be Patriots and Red Sox fans (LU note:  GASP! Red Sox? YUCK!) and so do watch the Super Bowl once a year. 

~~Famous person you’d most like to meet?
Hmmmm...I do take every opportunity to introduce my products (and myself) to celebrities if I come across them so have met a few already by chance.  We sold 625 Buoy Bats to Adam Sandler and I played it with him for 2 pitches on the set of Grown Ups 2 but I played it cool with him and never actually got introduced to him.  I kind of look at celebrities like normal people and if I had to choose one I'd like to meet its be Mike Rowe...cuz he's such a normal guy and I think we have a lot in common.  
LucyUncorked with Buoy Bill at the Big E 2014.
~~What advice would you give your 25 year old self? 
"Hey there Bill...uhmmm, ya...better not wait til you've got 3 kids, a wife, 2 car payments, a mortgage, a dog, 2 cats, a big lawn to mow, a deck to stain, and all that other stuff on the list to deal with to start a small business...do it NOW while you're life is still simple you idiot!"

~~What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?
Kinda hoping there will come a time when I don't need to struggle with whether we can "afford it" or not...whatever "it" is. I've worked hard my whole life and it'd be nice to smell the roses for a portion of what's left! 

~~Where are you in your family birth order?  Do you think it has affected you?
I'm a middle child and the only boy.  And 3 step sisters on top of that!  I think being the only boy prevented me from developing character traits of a middle child.  

~~Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Vacation?  Favorite spot?  Ok well not too much recent experience with either of those subjects but if I have to make one up I think I'd be most relaxed and comfortable if I was in Hawaii again.  Went there on our honeymoon and really enjoyed it...except the part when I Thought it was MY wife who had just ridden her bike off a cliff on Mount Haleakala!    

~~Do you have any hidden talents? 
Most of my talents are fully exposed by my business.  I'm a wicked MacGyver and can make stuff outta nothing.  It's fun for me and can be distracting because it's much more fun than the stuff I'm supposed to be doing.  Oh...and I can play taps on a lobster buoy which is a little known family secret and it doesn't really sound that good anyway.    

~~Tell us about your family? Are they involved in the business?
My wife Buoy Sue is totally involved with the business. My kids are involved w/photo shoots as models and my oldest daughter Katherine is just now becoming the company photographer.  All the kids are very patient while Mom and Dad work long hours to get the orders out the door. I'd LOVE it if I can grow the business to a point where they can all stay and work with me in it forever!  Love my kids.  

~~Early bird or night owl? 
Both!  I've always been a night owl but these days I'm an early bird too...when I need to be.  The pressure to fill the orders and get things done so we get paid for our efforts takes precedence now over rest!

~~Biggest business “learning experience” i.e. “mistake”.   
Not getting my books squared away earlier.  Whatta nightmare to figure that out after 4 years in business.  (Not that bad but I shoulda placed more emphasis on it.)

~~What can we look forward to from Buoy Sports in 2015-2016?
Hopefully continued growth...no new products planned for launch at least at this juncture.  Hoping to get hooked up w/some well known specialty retailers that will propel is to the next level.  Stay tuned! 

~~Where can we find you? (events, website, online retailers, brick and mortar retailers, etc.)
We do a bunch of events and left on the schedule this year are big ones a The Maine Lobster Festival and The Big E!  Hey, I also just built a vending cart and have started a new chapter as a street vendor in Portsmouth, NH!  
There's my "WeHa Magnus" Buoy

So, readers, as you can see, Buoy Bill is a true New England original.  I've given Buoy Bats and Welcome Buoys to everyone in my family (personalized, of course) and even had him made a custom "WeHa Magnus" one for me.  It hangs proudly outside of my house and everyone who visits asks where they can get one.  I love that Buoy Bill and Buoy Sue are building a fantastic and successful business made out of something as crazy simple as a Lobster Buoy.  If you've spent any time in Maine, or New England in general, you know how iconic the lobster buoy is!  I am looking forward to seeing Buoy Bill again at the Big E! (September 18th through October 4th, West Springfield, MA)  

The personalized Welcome Buoy I gave to
my Dad for his birthday!

Also, Buoy Bill is generously offering a 15% DISCOUNT CODE: UNCORKABUOY
for LucyUncorked readers and friends. That's 15% of ANY Buoy Sports item. Good from today through Sunday, August 2nd. Stock up on those holiday gifts or birthday presents TODAY..  For the next two weeks, take advantage of a great discount on your very own Buoy!  

Until next time....

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