It’s great to have one thing work, or one product sell in business. It’s a validation that feels good on you, the owner, founder, creator or any title you may hold. It’s even better when you can do it with a partner, who helps you fill a certain void. And when that one thing turns, or multiplies into others under the same name, the products are now labeled as a collection. Recently, a handful of new products that were launched from manufacturing partners, CrankShooter, defined just that: a collection of collaborations.
Back in 2013, Dale Tweedy and I first met virtually via email where we worked on an agreement to license the lacrosse art for a lacrosse team website. It worked out. Dale, a real-estate developer and serial entrepreneur from North Carolina, founded CrankShooter – a lacrosse equipment and training company. A proposal that was made via email prior to boarding a flight to the West Coast to Dale, asking if an image from The Art of Lax™ be put on a particular product to sell, was accepted once I landed. Looking back, I thought about that milestone more than my West Coast trip, to be honest. In 2014 that first product became the ‘Shot Trainer‘.
We rode the ‘Shot Trainer’ wave for a few years testing the market, paying attention to sales, customer feedback and seeing the growth and demand for the product. In late 2017, or early 2018, a decision to take the concentration from the field game to the indoor game, or ‘box lax’ was made. By late 2018, the ‘Box Lacrosse Shot Trainer‘ was made for the 4’x4’ indoor goals.
It was awesome to have two products representing both the indoor and outdoor games. But Dale and I always kept on having these discussions about “other things” that could also include the lacrosse art. These discussions are some of my favorite moments in the manufacturing and production process, which is a long process, or wait. And while the discussions make the waiting worth it, the next product was more of a push from Dale – the ‘Female Shot Trainer‘ that was released in late-July of 2019.
To have three products was really exciting, but during the last few years we also discussed implementing the lacrosse art not as products just for shooting purposes, but for training, too – particularly, stick skills, or ‘wall-ball’, as it’s commonly known. The many emails for this new product(s) spanned, as I said, literally years and for Dale it also required a focus group on his part. The newest collaboration product made was a set of two rebounders, or bounce-backs, called the ‘Lacrosse Wall‘, Along with them, a separate accessory was also produced as an all-weather proof cover to protect it from the harsh sun and rain.
As I kept on looking and admiring the new lacrosse walls, they reminded me of traditional artist easels that are so vital in the their arsenal of creative tools. And with the lacrosse art on these products, they can provide the much needed inspiration to do the work to become a better lacrosse player. But when not in use they also act as great pieces of ‘lawn art’, too. Think about that! :o)
Looking back at this collection of things, I really am very thankful for having Dale and Crankshooter as a partner in this venture. It has enabled my personal goal for The Art of Lax™ to not just grow, but to be part of your everyday use.
Click on the product titles, above, to shop. To see the entire collection with Crankshooter, click here.
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Misc./Etc: I vividly remember receiving these two photos from the first ‘Shot Trainer’ being made in the factory and then a few months later, seeing the photo of them arriving in the shipping container at the warehouse. Seeing these ‘proofs’ made all of it feel so real.