Wazoo Founders Featured on NPR!
I have been a fan of the show "How I Built This" for several months now. I quickly binge-listened all the episodes and eagerly awaited for the next one to be released. In this week's episode, there was even more of a reason to be excited!
Almost too thrilling to believe, we had the honor and privilege of being interviewed and included on a recent episode!
"How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. If you've ever built something from nothing, something you really care about — or even just dream about it — check out How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz."
This episode details the story of how Jenn Hyman started and grew her company Rent the Runway. Wazoo was fortunate to be featured on the end as a postscript.
Listen to the last ~5 minutes to hear our interview, listen to the full episode of Jenn Hyman's journey to get some great business growth insights, but binge listen to all of the episodes to become better at being a badass.
Every episode is a goldmine of advice for entrepreneurs from entrepreneurs who have been there and done that. Hear from real people who have successfully overcome the obstacles along the way. The ones that prevent most people from achieving greatness. It's inspiring to hear the stories of how these exceptional individuals persevered forward. While their stories are all different, it's incredible how much of their DNA is the same and this podcast helps map the genome of success.
Listen to the full episode in the embedded Podcast Player below:
Guy: Hey, thanks for sticking around because it’s time now for How you Built That.
Dustin: My name is Dustin Hogard we live here in Seabrook, Texas, it’s Southeast Houston, Texas.
Guy: Dustin grew up on a ranch and so he spent a lot of time outdoors. And around the age of 10 or 11 his parents started to let him hike in the woods by himself.
Dustin: And since I was a little kid I was obsessed with survival kits. When I would go to any store anywhere I would always go immediately to the survival kit section.
Guy: As he got older he started to design some of his own survival gear and eventually he got a job with the Texas State Guard.
Dustin: And the story that you hear all the time when you do these case studies of people who are in survival or emergency accidents is that they were never expecting to get into it. So you need some tools on you just in case something happens. Whether it be a natural disaster or an emergency that happens while you’re out doing an outdoor activity. You need to have those things on you at all times.
Guy: But most people just don’t have those things on them at all times. I mean most people do not want to carry a bulky survival kit around on a daily basis.
Dustin: They don’t in the morning go, when they’re going to work, put on their survival kit. It’s awkward, it’s weird, and people don’t like to think about that.
Guy: So 2 years ago, Dustin started to design a survival belt that you could wear everyday, whether you’re heading into the woods or, you know, just going out to walk the dog.
Dustin: So when you think about a belt, you think it has to be comfortable and it still has to be fashionably appealing. So the number 1 goal is to make sure that everything fits comfortably and does not weigh too much or doesn’t look weird.
Guy: So as Dustin started to research how to make this belt, he found out that someone else was working on virtually the same thing and that person lived about 15 minutes away. So Dustin contacted him and said, “Hey, you know, let’s work together.” And it turns out that other guy was a former engineer at NASA. So, they decided to partner up. They called a bunch of mills, they found a military grade webbing for the belt. And then they had to figure out how to make survival tools small enough to fit into it.
Dustin: We had to invent every single small part almost so the foil is a custom foil, the duct tape is a custom duct tape, the water container is a custom water container. All the parts and pieces required us to go out and test the heck out of it.
Guy: Dustin and his partner worked with almost 30 manufacturers to custom design every miniature gadget that goes into the belt.
Dustin: We also have a ceramic knife, a high quality button compass, purification tablets…
Guy: Even with all of this gear it doesn’t weigh a ton.
Dustin: It’s really hard to believe, but if you put it on you wouldn’t know you’re wearing a bunch of survival stuff.
Guy: Last year, Dustin and his partner Nick decided to launch a Kickstarter to get the whole business going. They were hoping to raise 15,000 dollars, but they raised a quarter of a million dollars! So right now, they are extremely busy fulfilling pre-orders getting them shipped out. But they’re still experimenting with the belt and testing it out and Dustin says he wears it every single day.
Dustin: We wear everyday. The only days I don’t wear it is laundry day when I don’t have belt loops because I’m wearing shorts or pajamas or something. But otherwise we are our biggest testers.
Guy: That’s Dustin Hogard of Seabrook, Texas. His company is called Wazoo Survival Gear and his product is called the Cache Belt, which is available online.