Today we’d like to introduce you to Randall Thompson.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up playing the game of baseball in Orlando, Florida. I played for about 20 years — from little league to high school, to college, to the minor leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays.
In 2012, the Blue Jays released me, and I decided to pursue an opportunity to be the pitching coach at a D2 college in Melbourne, FL.
After a year of coaching, I decided it wasn’t for me, and I had a strong desire to be creative. So, I moved to St Pete, FL for an unpaid internship with an ad agency.
I found a job waiting tables at night, and I spent the mornings/afternoons at the ad agency.
Both fell apart at the same time. I got fired as a waiter, and the internship was unchallenging and boring…so, I just stopped showing up.
At the time, I was living in my sister’s back yard in a 300 sq. foot garage converted to a studio apartment — I couldn’t afford to pay her $400 a month, and I had barely enough money to eat.
There I sat: no money, no job, and no clue what I was going to do.
Since I was a kid – I always dreamt up products, businesses, and loved talking about creative concepts. My one dream outside of baseball was starting a business. I recalled an idea I had while coaching baseball:
The hitting coach at the college was using a handsaw in the dugout and cutting wooden baseball bats in half. Scattered around were a bunch of loose bat barrels. I picked one up and said “you could probably turn that into a pretty cool drinking mug.”
So, in my darkest time of my life – I said “that seems simple enough that I could actually make that happen.”
I took a job as a van driver to deliver paint. My thought: from 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM — I will drive the van. All the other free time I have — I will work to make the bat barrel mug a thing.
My first paycheck went to a chop saw, 24 craft baseball bats, and some cold beer. I began cutting the bats in half in my sister’s backyard.
That was in 2015 – 6 years later, the company does annual revenue in the 8 figures, and is carried in every MLB team store in all 30 MLB stadiums.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not smooth at all. But, when you enjoy the music you are listening to on the ride – the bumps don’t really matter.
One of the biggest struggles was very early on — an ex-business partner sued me. Lawsuits, unfortunately, can be filed with no merit – they can be used as a business tactic to get a person to do what you want them to do. Create leverage, so to speak. That was a hard struggle for me. I thought about giving up — looking back, I am glad I didn’t give in.
Like a sling shot — it set me back, but eventually – I propelled forward from it.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We celebrate the heroes of the baseball community by creating unique baseball gifts. We all know a baseball parent, or coach that bends over backward for the betterment of the kids in the baseball community. Dugout Mugs exists to be the middle man between that coach, or parent and the person wanting to get them something that screams “you’re awesome!”
We have a handful of patents of baseball centric products — including,
The bat barrel mug — aka the Dugout Mug
A bat handle turned into a shot glass — aka the Knob Shot
A mini baseball bat wine glass — aka the Wined Up
Just recently, we created the Metal Dugout Mug — which is the world’s first metal bat barrel mug.
We also carry a license for all these products with Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, Major League Baseball Player’s Association, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
What makes us unique / sets us apart from others — we are truly unique. We are creators first … therefore, we don’t really compete with anyone.
Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
We have an offer for people to get a free Knob Shot … they just have to pay shipping and handling … the link for that is:
- Website: dugoutmugs.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dugoutmugs
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dugoutmug
- Twitter: twitter.com/dugoutmugs