Marshmallow Fun Company started when our son Jake had his 9thbirthday party and we needed a party favor and activity. My wife Kim came up with the idea of PVC pipe to blow marshmallows through. I made a trip to the hardware store and Jake and I were up half the night putting the homemade toys together as party favors for his guests. Kids were going bonkers shooting marshmallows everywhere and parents were getting in on the fun as well.
At the time, I knew nothing about this industry. At 48 years old, with a family to support, lots of folks told me I was nuts to change careers and risk it all at this stage of my life. I spent many sleepless nights with nervousness about the new challenge but my gut told me it was right.
I had one foot in each of my jobs for quite a while, one foot in the clothing business and one foot in the toy world trying to see if we could make Marshmallow Fun happen. When I finally told my clothing accounts I was quitting and doing this, they all told me I had lost my mind. By then, we were manufacturing Marshmallow Fun shooters, things were going well and I was having so much fun doing it. The element of fun was much more apparent than in the clothing trade.
It’s important to never take your eye off the ball. I was really clear on our goal and was focusing really hard on it. You need to eliminate the unnecessary pressure of people pulling on you to do it their way. I always tell my kids, “You’ve got to think it to get it.” It’s so easy to get fragmented.