Behind the Golf Brand Podcast with Paul Liberatore

Ep #42 - Orca Golf Bags: Deborah and Erica Bennett (Co-Founders)

April 14, 2021 Paul Liberatore Season 2 Episode 42
Behind the Golf Brand Podcast with Paul Liberatore
Ep #42 - Orca Golf Bags: Deborah and Erica Bennett (Co-Founders)
Show Notes Transcript

We made it to Episode 42 of the Behind the Golf Brand Podcast.  In this week's episode, I interview my good friends Deborah and Erica Bennett the Co-Founders of Orca  Golf Bags.

At Orca they design and build stylish, functional, modern golf bags with only the highest quality craftsmanship and pinpoint attention to detail.  We create golf bags designed around what real golfers told us they want in a golf bag.  It’s that simple.  Similar to the ORCA – and like our bags – we are not just another fish in the sea. 

As the only women/minority owned golf bag company in the United States, we operate with a purpose: to drive inclusiveness and empowerment.  The ORCA symbolizes for us a statement about individuality, the respect for oneself and for others.  The ORCA is fearless, strong, misjudged, and though they travel in pods, they prove that working together make all things possible. 


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/golfersauthority)
Speaker 1:

Today we play golf. Let me show you how we do it in the pros. Welcome to behind the golf grand podcast. I've never missed with the seven nine a conversation with some of the most interesting innovators and entrepreneurs behind the biggest names in golf. My plans were the golf clubs. I lived on the golf course. I lived on the driving range from pro talk. You should learn something each and every single round you play to fun from on and off the green. Why would you play golf? You don't play it for money. Just let me put the ball in the hole. This is behind the golf brand podcast. With Paul libertory behind the golf brand podcast is sponsored by OnPoint . The revolutionary three-dimensional dome golf ball. Marker on point provides a layman recognition as small as a degree of inaccuracy from the planned course of the putt face angle endorsed by Jim Furich us open champion and 17 time PGA tour winner on point alignment technology has been proven to increase putting performance and help lower your score. Visit OnPoint golf dot U S , and be sure to use code GA 10 for a 10% discount on point, make more putts

Speaker 2:

What's up guys, Paul from golfers authority. Welcome to behind the golf ramp podcast. This week, I have a whale of a brand that's coming out that is going to disrupt the market. I have my friends, Erica and Deb from Orca golf bags. They're relatively newer brand last couple of years, but they're really starting to take off big time and socially cool to have him on the show today. So without further ado, welcome to the show. Very much looking forward to it. So where are you guys at right now? Well, we're currently sitting here in beautiful sunny South Florida and Fort Lauderdale. And , um , just having a great time. Is it nice out today or is it raining? All my friends up North do not kill us. I'm sorry. It's just where we are at the moment for right across the Atlantic ocean, we were looking at it. It's gorgeous. We really, you can see the ocean from your house in a condo. We were actually , um , on the amenities side, but that's nothing. That's cool. That's awesome. You know, I got a view of nothing. I have my neighbor's house. I don't want to get any bad , like, you know, I heard you talk , well, I'll get bad DM saying, Hey, this is your neighbor. Why talk about the house visit tomorrow . I want to come over tomorrow. Let's come over tomorrow. I'll bring my kids. You guys, you guys gonna watch my kids and then I'll go to the beach. Um, so let me ask you this. So what is your first memory in golf? Like I always ask people that like what, like everyone has everyone has that one memory, right? So what's your really first memory of golf. And what kind of got you interested in the game? Wow. This, yeah,

Speaker 3:

I've been playing for over 40 years, so I have a lot of memories of golf. You know, it was just one of those things in high school that , um, some of my friends were doing. I thought it was pretty cool. I was very athletic at the time. And , um, I went to the driving range with a friend and I was able to get some decent balls and sort of got interested in it, that on the team. And then it just sort of progressed from there.

Speaker 2:

So let me, so did you, were you I'm like I don't, we were on the LPGA tour or you go to college and play ball or you just like everybody else. Who's just love the game.

Speaker 3:

I was on the LPGA tour. I , uh, you know , I, I admire many of those alone for many, many years, but no, I, you know, I did go on to play college golf, but not never took it seriously enough to think about going on any further, because again, those, those back then , um, it was something that just didn't enter my mind. I mean, it was so far fetched at the time and I was really more focused on just going to college and getting a degree and , and getting to work. But what she didn't tell you, Paul, is that she got a full ride basketball scholarship to go play with Pat summit. So I stole her thunder right there, but this is about, you're a basketball player when five, five was still an acceptable height for women to play basketball. Yes, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

See . So you're an athlete. Oh, I play golf a kind of, but no , I was basketball player

Speaker 3:

And she coaches tennis and she played tennis. And just any, anything, anything I enjoyed all of it.

Speaker 2:

No , that's cool. So what about you, Erica?

Speaker 3:

Okay. So my favorite , um, my first memory in golf was I had, I wasn't born in this country the minute I know . Oh, where are you from Chicago? Yeah . So I wasn't born in this country. So when I , I , um , I've lived here for 20 years and , um, for the America knife , but still are an Island girl. So I didn't play golf. Golf for me was tiger woods. And that was every time anywhere T came on, the golf, everybody in Jamaica was watching it. So outside of title IX , that was golf for me. So when I moved here and that was such an , um , after golfer and , uh, she kept pushing me to play golf. And then I'm like, ah, it's not me, whatever, you know, I'll play tennis. I'll do those kinds of, I'm not me. And finally , uh, we went into , uh, some needs chorus in Virginia at the homestead, never played golf, never touched a golf stick a day, my night with a baby kind of clubs, you know? And I'm like, okay, I'm going to go play. So I go and she says, okay, you , you put the ball here. Cause I knew the mechanics of golf because I've seen it. And she said, you put in here, you do a base. You. So I did what she said and I kicked the ball and it was like 180 yards dead doms the fairway. And she was like, Oh , okay. So she said, okay, this is the club. I only take it. You go there. You're going to get it up. Can stay like this. You do this, you look at it. You think ? And I they'd watch . She said it was like two feet from the hole. And she's like , um , did you say never played golf before? And I'd go, my grandmother's grave. I never played golf before. And that day we played the 18 holes. And I think for the first time in her life, she was flabbergasted at the end of the round, she said to me, you need golf clubs. And that was my third of golf. I won , uh , the next six months later, I won this , uh, like a club tournament that one long dress.

Speaker 2:

So you're like literally a natural, right? Like , like

Speaker 3:

What ? She didn't tell you about the story. She's got finance , but I'll take two seconds to tell them she was drinking. So no, no , Jeremy , Eric is a very stylish, well put together as what she's known for. So I knew all of this and I figured the only way I could get her to play golf was I went and I bought the complete the outfit, the socks, the shoes, everything matching, not pink, by the way, all of that. And she looked the part. So that's how I honored her into getting her on the court . That's her recollection, recollection of it. But it was a lot of money. She spent

Speaker 2:

There's nothing in golf. That's cheap. Like seriously,

Speaker 3:

I can say it was Nike hats and Nike outs with a Nike, everything. It wasn't like almost a thousand.

Speaker 2:

You were like the female tiger woods

Speaker 3:

Me . I'm like, okay, I'm just going to go play this game. And so my point is it worked .

Speaker 2:

That was the, that was the trick, right? It was like, Hey , you look really good playing golf. All right , I'll go. And then it's like, Oh crap. She's good. I know Deb was like, Oh crap, she's good. Because then they're like, wait a minute. Cause I played golf on Sunday with my boss and I just gave him like my irons. Like I really get iron's . And I gave him like my old irons and I like gave him my stuff. And he was really crappy. Cause he had crappy stuff. And then all of a sudden he's kicking my. And I was like, I know it was because of the clubs . He's like, I've got some lessons. I'm like three lessons. Is that going to make you better? And I'm like, Oh crap. You know? So now I really have to play, not like, Oh, I'm really good against him. I get it. I know you're thinking. I don't even tell you .

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So , um , for another podcast we have so many stories. You know, one of the reasons why we're, you know, Orca golf, walking up to the driving range and there's like, you know, a hundred men and the two of us and another lady somewhere. And the guy actually said to me, once I had this huge driver, because I want a driver from a long drive competition. He didn't know . So I just walk up and I say, hi, you know? And he , the dude actually sent to me, are you sure you can handle that? That's what he said to me. I just , I just turned around and walk . I thought ,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you should have been like, no, but it's so big. I don't know what to do.

Speaker 3:

I said to him , I said, I don't know. I just got it because I literally had just died and I had never opened it. But you know, I opened it at the driving range and I'm like, whatever you do, just show this dude that. So I just walked up to the T I lined up and that video was like two 20 yards down the thing. And he turned around and said, Oh, done . He's like , yeah, I think you can have it .

Speaker 2:

It looks like you need one of these and then drop it, like drop the mic that he dropped the club and then walk away. And then she'd be like the Orca commercial, the best commercial in the world. I know that would be, that'd be cool. See, I like you guys. I told you that before I , my talk to you, I was like, you guys are cool fast forward. And I mean, obviously I know that you had, this is like your second career almost, right? Like in a way, because you had it . Yeah. So like, so console is like kind of how you evolved into a workout . Cause I know you've very interesting, like career path and then kind of where you got to.

Speaker 3:

So I went off to school right out of high school, went to a small teaching school , uh , got a degree in business and arts management. I was a music major for three years and then decided to take the business side of it. And then I went on to West Virginia university, which is my home state West Virginia. I did a master's in public administration there. I started a computer business , uh, when I moved down here to Florida for three years, right after college and started an apprenticeship with a gentleman and his wife who started a computer company here. And I had never had a computer class in my life. Okay, Paul? Yes.

Speaker 2:

No, that's okay. Listen, you know why my cousin did the same thing and he had becoming like super, super high at Microsoft. So I mean,

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So , um, I got really interested in it. I was very good at it. And I went back to West Virginia and I announced to my father that I was going to start a computer business. And he said to me, you can't do that. And that's all I needed to hear. So I started the small, I had a great relationship with my dad. It wasn't anything like it was in store .

Speaker 2:

I know, but it's like, I get it too. Like, you're like, Oh yeah, you want to see?

Speaker 3:

And you know, in , in three years he was eating Crow . So I did that. And then I decided I had always wanted to go to Washington DC. And I spent 25 years in Washington, DC. Um , and had most of my career there. And I worked my way up very quickly and became a chief information officer, which is

Speaker 2:

That's pretty high. It's like on the top of the board

Speaker 3:

I actually get . And um , I think that for several organizations and I, I at the time loved it, but I became a workaholic.

Speaker 2:

So you're crazy smart. Right . And who's CIO, you're crazy smart. She's going to deny . I already know. I know she's smart. So it's okay.

Speaker 3:

The person who knows her, she's beyond smart. So it's really not about being smart. It's about being strategic and it's about

Speaker 2:

Putting it all together. Right? All these multiple things happening

Speaker 3:

Because I don't know everything and I never know there's a lot. I do know. But what I do know is I was , I quickly figured out I was very good with people and I could manage people very well. And I've actually , uh , training a lot of people who were mayor had , but my Microsoft now, so that's one of the things I'm really proud of. I'm still in touch with them

Speaker 2:

Now you're the mentor. You mentored them into how to, yeah.

Speaker 3:

The last Bob , I managed 300 people in nine countries, so, and that was all engineering. Uh, and, and again, no computer background, not sure I can pass a computer class. I don't know, but I just have a propensity for, so I love that. That's awesome. I didn't know that the goal continued with me throughout my career because I used it as a business tool. And there were many times , um, even since Eric has been here where I would go off to a conference and I'm the only woman playing golf. And once they found out I was pretty decent, of course they wanted me to join their team, you know, because I think, you know, get through the ringer. Yeah, of course

Speaker 2:

You brought Eric with you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . More. And you know, one of my last deals I cut, I called Erica from the sixth hole and said, I just closed a deal for $4.7 million . Took me six calls . So it became a business tool. And Erica has, you know, quite a story as well. But toward the end of my career, I come home and I said, you know, I'm done. I , I just I'm burned out. I don't want it . I want to do it, but I want to do something fun, but I need to take some time. So I quickly started looking at options and things to do. And we started talking and before I left my last company and everybody who knows, I worked with did this, I had an opportunity to play in a golf tournament. I wasn't invited initially I came in as the last minute ad and I had an opportunity to putt at the end of that, that gathering and all of the board was there, the CEO, the senior leadership. And I just, it was one of those periods of my life, where I just want to sort of make a statement before I left. I left on very good terms and all that, but I just needed to say something and it wasn't vocal. So I got ready to put, there were three of us, two men and myself, the two gentlemen went first, you know, the first person putted off the green, the second person put halfway on the green. My turn came and I took a good 30, 40 seconds before I hit the club. And I said, you know, just, just let me put it in the hole and let me end it there. And you know what, I did it 51 feet, Holy crap. And they had to pay me 10 grand

Speaker 2:

Shut up. Oh, is that one of those like charity things like, Oh, you made 10 grand on that planet, Erica , get a new outfit.

Speaker 3:

No ,

Speaker 2:

That was like your seed money. You know, like if you guys really needed it, but like,

Speaker 3:

No, it wasn't that it wasn't good seed money, but this is , remember this, that happened years ago. So now fast forward to four years ago, or two years ago when we came up with the name of her business , 17 yards and the second was 51 feet because I said, yeah, let's call her company, you know , 51 feet because it wasn't, it was, it was a deep story of, you know,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. It's a changing moment in your life too, right? Like that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . Well, my name in a technology for 35 years, you know , that's struggling to stop and all of that and to actually do it, nobody did it before. And I think nobody has done extended . So 51 feet didn't really make sense in golf. And she said, yards make better sense . So let's convert it from,

Speaker 2:

You know what , I love this, you know , I like you guys so much because like growing up, my aunt was a pilot. I used to be a pilot, but before it became a lawyer. And so like my whole growing up, I was in the flying world and she was a pilot and then she became a lawyer. Right. But she, she went through the same kind of struggles as a woman pilot as I , and I understand that because I, she's also a general counsel for what's called women in aviation, which is like the world's largest women's aviation, like ginormous. Right. And she was like their general counsel for like 30 years. Right. She was one of the founders of it. So I, every year I go to these conferences with her and I meet all these amazing women, you know, in the , in the, in the aviation world. Right. They all have the same story, same thread of a story. Right. And so my aunt, actually, my aunt story , she would have been the first female pilot at United, but she got pregnant and they're like, Oh no , sorry, we can't hire you in 1978 or something like that. Or 77. So it's like, I , I really liked that. I like hearing these stories because I'm like, hell yeah. You know, like, I don't know . I just want to share that with you.

Speaker 3:

We're here. We can go . Right. And then, so, so Erica never really knew, I don't think how really talented she is. And she won't say much about this. So I'll boast about this a little bit. But when we , when we decided that we were going to start a company, we originally started a little small angel investment company and the idea behind that. And that's when we came to Florida and we decided we wanted to try to find young women entrepreneurs who are trying to use technology to somewhat change the world, create an app, do something that was impacting. And so at the time we were looking for custom a custom golf bag because we know that a golf bag can be a walking billboard on a golf course. And we wanted to draw attention to what we were trying to do. And we just all couldn't find anybody. I mean, I, I know how to search and when he could not find anything and years before that, I had gotten my teaching certification to teach golf through PGT, AA as if she didn't know everything else. And that was supposed to be my retirement job. That didn't work out too well. But anyhow , uh , I still haven't made a profit, but we decided that , um, I would go back and try to find the gentleman who may be accustomed back many, many years ago that had my teaching credentials on it. And I was able to find him and we spoke to him and he was trying to do something over here in the U S and we said, let's work together. Let's see what we can do. So forth three years, three years, three years, we did nothing but make individual custom golf bags . And Erica began learning how to design them. And so she, because we weren't pulling them off of the shelf, they had to be designed from scratch. I know 75 components to every golf bag, but she would design them from scratch and work with our partner in Scotland to do that. And she became incredible at it. And she still to this day does all of our design work. So she works directly with our customers and takes their thoughts. And sometimes they say, I don't know what I want. And she just, by talking to them and spending time with them, which is what we truly believe sets us apart. The customer service we give that we really get to the heart of what it is they want to express on their bags .

Speaker 2:

You guys are going to blow up already know it. I can just tell, you know, why, because there's a need for this that no one talked about. Right. And so like, I can just see what the LPGA, like all of a sudden I'm like really cool custom bags, please , ladies, you know? And like, I just Bessel did it with men, right. For the men. If you look at Bessel , I work with vessel . They did that with, on the, on the PGA tour. A lot of guys trade vessel bags. It really, you know, it's kind of like the same thing, but for women, you know, because, or, I mean, is that for Italy, for everybody? It's not just the women. It's just it's . Yeah. Cause you guys do it for everybody. It's just more like,

Speaker 3:

Because also we were contacted , uh, when COVID hit and prior to COVID , uh, we were contacted by a small company here in Florida, who we had been talking to and they knew what we did. And they came to us and said, we're sponsoring Charles Forsell on the PGA tour. And we would like a commemorative bag for him to carry at the 20, 1920, 20 masters last year as well . Can you do that for us? Erica said, absolutely. We can do that. And we didn't know the COVID was going to hit, but she designed the bat and had it delivered to them in less than 30 days, which is unheard of. And they were over the moon and Cheryl actually carry that bag in the masters . So we do one of the things we want to make clear is that we're a big, only difference with us and another company that we're women. And this is for the first time women are doing it. We make box from men and we made back the women, the golf industry is a 37% women. So we don't, that's our whole story really don't quote me on that.

Speaker 2:

But even still, I'm not. I mean, if you think about that, right. What a w I mean, think of how many years of a missed opportunity, right. Forever. Right. Where they were, nobody was really catering to the female golfer. There's always been an afterthought and that , and that's , I mean , I played golf, my grandmother, like when I was for years, and it's the love, I have the best memories in the world playing ball with my grandmother. She played all the time. Right. And it's like, it's like, it's a redheaded stepchild. Right. It's like, Oh yeah. That's, we'll make something pink. Like we talked about earlier, right. Oh , we'll make it. We'll make a pink hat. And it's for females. They'll like it. Some girls, no , that's the , that's a stigma. You want to call it

Speaker 3:

Past that. We're announcing it to the world. Women don't love pink. Yeah. There's some women who you'll give them everything pink, but that's a very small percentage of women pink. It's our girl thing. It's, it's, it's as we grow into women and , you know, we like colors. There's nothing in our bag that is in our mind back .

Speaker 2:

So I did a , I did a pink beanie. Right. But, so when I was, when I was designed to be, I showed my wife and I'm like, what pink should I do? She's like, not that one. She's like, should you should just like Mavi looking pink? You know what I mean? Like a real light, like almost, I don't know what kind of like a skin tone paint . Right. And she's like, you go with that, do not go with this. And I was like, okay, I'm glad I did, because I mean, she was right. And I didn't do that. But like, even hearing you guys, she's like, that's ugly as hell. I mean, like I said, a 14 year old might would've worn it because it's bubblegum pink. Probably not nowadays. So who knows, you know, maybe

Speaker 3:

With the pink, from women thing , it's kind of like, that's not to say that they're not, some women love them . And that's because we, in our line of , um, in our line of travel bags, we have pink in there because some , uh, there are some women who like to match their luggage and stuff. So, you know , travel ban women who want to pink . I mean, I know , uh , more impressive love , speak, you know, they they've loved things. So there are people who like it, however, it's not a brand for women in general, because when you talk to a lot of the women that we've talked to and men they're like, I'm so happy. You're not doing the , uh, the , uh, pingy thing. So that's, we're over the same time .

Speaker 2:

I mean, could you imagine, like what a way of pigeonholing yourself too , right ? If all your products were pink, it'd be like, Oh, that's it always be so gimmicky. It's a man would do. Like I would, you know, I'm going to sell female golf bags, they're all going to be pink. And they're going to think that's going to work. It's like,

Speaker 3:

That's why they are in everything about our business is a story and a message and a message of hope and inspiration and inclusiveness. If you look on our website, we talk about the pie piece of who we are, and that is , um , purpose. And that is inclusiveness and empowerment. That's who we are. And that's what, everything that we do has a purpose, everything. And it goes back to my culture and it goes back to Deb was born and raised in a small town in West Virginia, but her parents are a smarter house or her father was a genius in my opinion. And I think she brought, she brought the genes to her. So, you know, our lives , uh, before golf and during golf and doing our work is about giving back and helping and kindness and goodness. So it's a business we're in here to make money. We're not in here to play around. So that's a big piece of it. Oh , ever . It's a business with a purpose, every tournament with which we work, we give back to the tournament we're having for the first time a woman owned type of sponsor golf, professional tournament for girls and , um, at the world golf village in October, it's never been done before. Why? Because these women are kind of like , uh , forgotten doing October and the first of the year, because they don't always make it to the LPGA. They don't always make it to the symmetric tour. And a lot of them just don't have the funds to travel their own . Think about, you know, traveling to all these different , um , tournament. So what Orca did is w we're working with , with , with , with , um , Mara and Mark . And so we're, we're tied to sponsor of these girls, helping these girls to go into the world, golf and play some golf, learn some life lessons, compete, you know, help one another, walk away from it, with a story and learn some and learning something new about life in itself. Not necessarily just competing in golf, but life because of that said , she used golf in her business world and helping them understand that, you know, not every young boy makes it to the NFL. Not every young girl is gonna make it to the LPG , but there are a plethora of opportunities within the golf industry to participate and to help make it better. And so we want to introduce them to some of those things, but to Erica's point, it's about life lessons. It's about finances. It's about teaching. It's about, it's about all kinds of things. And it's a 10 day event. We're really excited about Mark had called us. And we were so excited that PXG has decided to be our , um , presenting sponsor, which is crap . Yeah . So we're like, we're, we're, we're like all CA PXG fans forever. Yeah. Kind of like,

Speaker 2:

Well, that's a good brand to be synonymous with, right. If they're doing stuff with you, then, you know , that's , that's a super high end golf club. Well-respected brand disrupted the market a couple of years ago. You know, like it's people know it's not BS, not like you know ,

Speaker 3:

Of the LPGA and women in general. We really felt that if we could get the best of the best, and this is a good, this is a good commercial for PX . Again , when we meet with them, you know, more formally , we will talk to them about this, but we were talking to a young LPG they're here in Florida. And you know, she , one of the things you said to us, she said, I'm so happy PXG is presenting your tournament because they take really good care of the girls, the women on tour, on tour. So that was from a LPGA player. So kudos to that , the bigger brands in golf w w will come on board with us on ,

Speaker 2:

Well, I don't think they will come on. I don't know. They've had years of do it. Right? Like it takes people like yourselves and brands like yourselves breaking the mold, right? Like they're used to doing the way they've been doing business for 40 years. And so I don't know they're going to do it . I don't really have a lot of respect for the bigger brands. I mean, whatever. I find that innovation comes from smaller and mid-sized brands because they're not trying to solve a problem. Right .

Speaker 3:

My focus is very different. There , there are global brands that , yeah . That tens of thousands of products, we're just, yeah . It's just not us. We can't overstate the purpose piece of it. Like the Orca. I mean, if people just take some time and just read a little bit about the meaning of the Orca on that huge Orca Orca is like an apex of the sea . I mean, nothing can touch on Orca. They're the, they're the highest of the, of the species. And they call them killer wheels. They are the sweetest, nicest, genuinely thing, but don't, don't mess with them.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 3:

So don't, don't mess with them, you know? Um, they're , they're misunderstood in that. A lot of people would think are mostly the things that an Orca is a, well , it is absolutely not a wave . And , you know, we can talk about the killer whale and they go, you know, this , this male killer whale, the killer whale is a female, a female, not the male.

Speaker 2:

So you guys are the killer whales. If somebody mess with you guys,

Speaker 3:

But they're manner of communication. I think , um , I'm going back to high school, same class. Now I think maybe the honey bee is maybe the only other preacher that has such a sophisticated communication thing . I mean, they, they, they traveling odds . They communicate the way they, they, they come together to , to , to find things. It's a beautiful lesson in inclusiveness. If we can learn about the Orca. And that's why we, our brand was called the Orca, the black, the white, you know, where these ,

Speaker 2:

Your bags are nice. Like even like, I , they just redid their website. You guys. Cause I know, cause I've been on it before. And they just went out today to look at it. And I was like, Whoa, new website. But like their bags are fricking nice. Like the first time I talked to you guys, I was like, Holy crap. I mean, we're used to seeing bags that are flat. Let's call it the colors, the colorings flat, the flat, as you're looking to describe it, you know , it's black or white, maybe a lighter blue and a lighter green or something like that, like a Navy, but they're always flat in color. It's now there's a shine to it. And it's like, you guys are fancy. I was like, Holy crap. This stands out. You know, like that even looks nice.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. The thing about our bags is we try to, again, Orca is such a sleek flipping animal and it is black and white and you can still use black and white and look very sleep, which is we , we do not typically make nylon bags that you would see sitting in the store. That's not our brand. We want people who like style. They want quality. And they like craftsmanship because everything down to the rivets and the snaps and the quality of the zipper, we only use certain qualities differs. I mean, everything is just, just impeccably done from a craftsman. And we spent a lot of time finding the right partners to do that with. And you know, we were willing to wait to bring it to market if, and only we had that falling , it's just who we are. And it's what we believe in. And we don't ever want someone to have to come back and say, wow, this fell apart or the end. And in the five years we'd been doing it and knock on wood. We've not had a problem.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . Yeah. But so just recently though, like before you were more custody bags, right? Like, but now why aren't you guys bringing like bags to the masses to now, right.

Speaker 3:

There are two sides for our business. There is um , the custom side of the business, which we will always have. And Erica pretty much leads that. And she's the one who works directly with our customers and those are individual bags or maybe a tournament comes to us and says, we need a hundred twenty-five bags. And she designed 120 some bags for the Maryland Smith Pro-Am and Arizona LA last year, the year before, before. So she worked with them and Marilyn Smith was one of the original founders of the LPGA and Marilyn Smith was no, she just died. Last year. She was known for her pearls and created this beautiful bag. And it had a set of pearls stitched on it. It was absolutely stunning. She works to do that kind of stuff. However, we started talking, we said, maybe not everybody wants a fully customized bag, but they want the quality and craftsmanship of an Orca bag. So she's head down and designed six bags and they come in different colors that we would offer to the masses that we're a little bit further down in terms of not quality but of costs because we can offer them in quantity versus an individual bag, which is much harder to produce. Yeah . So get your all cup blue. And the Orca blue is my favorite of the Caribbean blue and I'm a Caribbean girl. So , um , you can go online and get your own Orca, which is, which is really cool. Then we're happy for, you know, the uptick that we're seeing, you know ?

Speaker 2:

So when did, when did your bags come in here? Your , uh, your mask is calling to mask its bag. Like what recently? Cause that was on the website before, was it? I don't know if it was

Speaker 3:

Unaware is if you have to go now just even, it was just released. We just did a press release about a week ago, two weeks ago.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's right. Uh , Mark's email.

Speaker 3:

So if you go to the Orrcon now you'll see the brand new lineup ,

Speaker 2:

Dude. Your beds are nice. I'm not just saying that. Like I see a lot of bags. I work with Bessel I've um , I've also worked with minimal. Um, those are the two, Oh, I worked with , uh , what's the Exodus called sun mountain. They make cool bags, but they're functional bags, but yeah, you make it, you make nice bags. I would say that there's a lot of people trying to get into the bag world. I've seen this, like they're going to Alibaba and they'll be like, Oh yeah, I'm a big bags . It's really, finally bags that are like, it probably cost 40 bucks to make. And they're sort of like 200 it's like that would never carry that bag. I won't even get that to my kids. You know,

Speaker 3:

To your point earlier to go back, one step is , um, you know, practicing what we preach, which is to really try to elevate , um, the women's game as well. Eric and I spent a lot of time with the LPGA last year, talking about how we could support the LPGA and, and bring our products to life with the LPGA. And we signed a contract with them and Erica has designed a full line of bags, travel bags, our pod, and all of that for a special set of them, for the LPGA amateurs and then a full set for the LPGA TG professionals. And they come onto our site to a special login. I saw that for them and they can order a special bag I tried in, but it wouldn't let

Speaker 2:

Me

Speaker 3:

That's the whole ,

Speaker 2:

No, that's really cool. That was smart. That is, that's super freaking smart because now it's like they roll into a tournament and they have all matching stuff and it all looks legit and it all looks nice and it's not like they're , you know, like they look , they looked , I want to say, look, the part it's like, they,

Speaker 3:

I do, they can, they can buy us suite , you know, 15 million unworkable.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Well, good luck with that. I'm going to try it out for a while . That was good . I haven't

Speaker 3:

The whole idea behind this is, you know, again, having been in the golf industry, well, not being in the golf industry that long, but having been in the golf world for so long, we , you know, contract clubs, we played with friends, who've played with , you know, private course . If we'd run public courses, it , the gamma women, kids, you know, all of that. I'm a board member first D so, you know, I , the first tee kids and veterans and all, that's all we know the golf world and because we know the golf, we're all that. Well, all the things that we do now is the combination of years of knowledge and years of that information, listening to people, all the information

Speaker 2:

Physically being in the industry, like you learned through osmosis, right? Like my dad used to always say, like,

Speaker 3:

He came to the golf industry as a business, as legitimate business. We came at the table, we weren't scratching our way anywhere. We came at the table and he said, okay, this is who we are. We are here, we've got this. Um , we're, we're willing to grind , uh, or weight to the top of that's . Right .

Speaker 2:

You know what I like about you guys too? You have like a F-you card, right. Because it's not like you're coming into like your, if your card is like, we're just doing this because we want to do this. We're not doing this to like stay alive. Right. It's not our , it's like, some people have to come in, this is their job and they're just trying to kill it. But you're, you're able to say, you know what, we can do whatever the hell we want with this role . Completely different reason . So you can't even touch us,

Speaker 3:

Not as broadly as that, but yes, I get the point that you're making. And I'm , that's what I, I was explaining before that, you know, it took years of her knowledge and in business and in management, then senior management and years of my working with people in , in, you know, in , uh , marketing on television, I used to, co-host a television program. So it's listening to people and knowing what people want in a, in a sense without sounding cliche. So , uh , so that's the reason why when, when we started Orca again, it was a new industry, but the whole ideas

Speaker 2:

That's really cool. So how busy you guys are going to pick up a loss ? She's going to get really busy now? I would assume.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . That was the first time. Yeah. Um, you COVID, when COVID hit, you know, we were just ready to take off and, you know, we could have crumbled. We could have said, you know, Oh my God, we're not going to do this. But you know, we took that time and really laid some foundation. And our , our business is built on relationships and it's built on long-term partnerships. Uh, we're not about the get in and get out and get the fast buck and, and all of that. We want long-term partnerships and the partnership has to make sense. And we have to, we have to feel it. We have to believe. And if we don't, we just don't, we move on. And it's just like the LPGA, the LPGA was so welcoming to us and , um, you know, others as well that we're working with and building those relationships. A couple of , we can't mention right now, but it's coming. And I think the reason people are now coming to us versus us going out and having to seek is it's all about being authentic. What you see is what you get. We're no different at home than we are in a business meeting. It's just who we are. So we don't have to, you know, play a part or whatever. We just be ourselves. We're kind human beings, but what , we're still a little skeptic sometimes. And, but you have to be, you have to be in business in general. And I think people are seeing that, that, that we are who we are. And , um, people want to do business with us now. And , um,

Speaker 2:

Like that's how I started my that's exactly how I did it. Exactly. It's almost like it's all about the relationship. I'd say every brand I work with, it's all about the relationship. If I don't feel it, or you don't feel it then, you know? And so when I first started out, you know, a lot of people are known to like ask for money right upfront and be like, Oh, you want to be on a podcast? Sure. It'll cost you whatever, Oh, you want to do a video or a review? Oh, sure. It'll cost you this much. And I never did that. I was just like, Hey, I don't even know you . So we're dating. Right. So you're entrusting me with product, whatever that might be. I'm telling you, I'm going to write a review on it. And then we'll see what happens to this whole process. And because of that, and I don't think nobody does that anymore. Right . Because everybody wants , it's always the me , me , me, and you never build a relationship at the first. I , I feel like if your first interaction with somebody is over money, that's always going to be about money, right? Like I'm buying, you know, I'll never be your friend because it's like, Oh , too late.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. All the time Paul. And you know, I, it just kind of comes with the territory. It's unfortunately you hope at some point, those people will figure out that that really doesn't work. Um , we've had one person come to us who said, you know, I'm doing this in this area and I don't want anything from you. I really, I really don't want anything from you, but I want to help you ladies, because I believe in what you're doing. Maybe down the road, we'll talk about that. But you know what, no, we're not going to do it that way. And do you, we have gotten so much press from them. And he'll call me up a day before and say, dad, I've got to have a , I've got a full page ad for it . Can you just, it should be something over, you know, and we'll send it over. So what's going to happen with us from there , from that thing is, as we grow, they're going to be our go-to people. Excellent. So every time we have , um, something that we think will benefit that it's going to go to them and that's how our relationships work . And we talked already about, you know, women golfers . We have, we're not working with PGA tour players who have come to us and said, I've been working with them ,

Speaker 2:

Small, small, small, small world. Like though when you realize how small it is

Speaker 3:

Exactly. And, you know, we just do I've that said where as authentic as we come, we have our products out there and we've been at even a product . And we know that the products are great. So we let the products on , people speak for themselves. And we send , uh , you know, the, the LPGA event, we sell , whatever we're doing. And we extend it to two people and they see, and they call us. And one agent who works with at least five PGA tour player that I've been working with this one cup , this one company for forever. And I want to want you to design some golf bags for these door players. And I designed them. So it goes to show you that the old way of doing business through trust and purpose still works

Speaker 2:

A hundred percent. I , I, he always asked me, I get a lot of people like will reach out to me and say, wow, how'd you do? How'd you do this? And I'm like, be yourself. Do what you say you're going to do. And don't be a jerk. Right. And like, that's really, that's about, that's all it is and work your off. That's the fourth thing. Like, you know, be willing to do something that somebody else is a want to do. Right. Or just the work. So, you know, I always that's , that's exactly how I do it too. And I we're both outsiders. Right? You're outsiders, I'm outsiders. We're coming into a , we're not born and bred in the golf industry at all, but I've learned over the last three years of me doing this, that it's a very, very, very, very small world. And everybody knows each other and like, do good and be yourself. And it will happen. Exponentially will happen. Don't do it. The other thing is, don't do it for like a reason, like say, okay, I'm going to talk , like, for example, I'm not doing this. I'm like, I'm going to talk to Orca . Cause I want a free back . Right. Like don't, don't, don't go into it saying, I want something out of , it's going to be like, whatever. So what happens like this is, that's like, don't have an expectation level. I dunno . Do for the right reasons. You know, it's just like an to say it . I don't know . Cause you know why nobody does it anymore .

Speaker 3:

No. Yeah. That's terrible anymore. You know , you know, when you do post there's reward and there's meaning and the money comes. So if people could just be themselves, be real, you know, you don't , I mean, the days will probably never be over, but it's not in our wheel house. We don't want to be fake . Okay. Well, if you show me a little piece of this and I show you the sense of no, we go to the table and we're going to be honest, and this is what it is. It works, it works. And it doesn't, we walk away less stress . We sleep well

Speaker 2:

Before I've worked with brands like it's dating. Right. So I tell them like the rules of, you know, kind of like, this is how we're going to do the review. And like, you can, I could change, like, I'll change parts of the review if it's like, I'm not technically correct. Like, Oh, I see it's blue and it's red and it's, but I'm not changing my opinion. I'm not changing anything like that. And then as soon I've delayed brands, that was the deal. And then when they get the article, they want us to changing stuff. And I literally say, I already told you, we weren't going to do this, this conversation's over and we're not doing this. We're done. Because at that point I already know their intention. I'm not going to try to work with your shady.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . We , we, we, we love the , we stay positive and we love feedback . We love feedback. We want to hear feedback because we're always looking for ways to make things. I love feedback, as long as it's honest feedback and it's not to undermine .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And like trolling, like just to try to, you know, pull up crap or something. Yeah . But honest feedback is great because that's how you refine your product. Right. Like, cause we don't know, we have no idea. So

Speaker 3:

Oh absolutely. A lot of learning . We're good .

Speaker 2:

So what's, what's, what's coming out for this year. Like what's the plan with Orca?

Speaker 3:

Well, we are really focused on this refill line of bags . So obviously our custom bag side of the house continues to grow on the

Speaker 2:

Really nice. I just, I mean, I just went through the whole, I looked at them before the shot

Speaker 3:

And um, I think we want to focus on those and , and, you know, get as many out there as we can and , uh , get the name in front of as many people as we can. And um, we'll continue to do that, you know, on a larger scale, on a smaller scale, you know, wherever we can, again, it's all about talking about it and it's easy to do because the quality backs it up. So we're super excited about , uh, about people seeing them physically seeing them now. Yeah . They they've heard they're coming and we're just happy to finally have them in hand. So that's that's um,

Speaker 2:

I know, cause you guys were waiting on your order to ship . Right. And like that took forever Colby. I wouldn't have that problem. So it's like, I mean everybody. Um, so do you guys have them in, are they here now as did you do this shipment come in and finally

Speaker 3:

All of our main bags that we use for our samples and all of that, or a week [inaudible] bags and they're going to be delivered in a couple of weeks.

Speaker 2:

That's cool. That's really cool. So it's happening? It's like, it's finally like the products are to come in. That's all. So

Speaker 3:

We went on our website today. You can buy a bag and it will be shifted in two weeks. I mean, if you, if you buy two ,

Speaker 2:

Which is great anyways, because

Speaker 3:

Three to five days, depending on the size of it. So that's where we are.

Speaker 2:

So are the bags, are you ship the bags out of Florida or do you like a warehouse distribution center somewhere

Speaker 3:

Out of Florida for now? Yes. For now .

Speaker 2:

So the ship, the ship came to Florida. Wow. Or to get shipped across the United States that had come into LA or something,

Speaker 3:

They come into California

Speaker 2:

For anybody out there who is completely new to business. This is a huge pain in the. Just telling you like, this is not easy. You're on someone else's time schedule, especially when you're in a foreign country. Uh, and then, then you , you know, it's a pain in the and shipment is expensive. It always costs. It's like whatever they say, Oh, it cost as much per unit. You're like, okay, cool. And they're like, Oh yeah, but shipping the shipping is a cost like three times that amount. And you're like,

Speaker 3:

Yes. And that's exactly what happened after COVID the shipping is three times. It'll eventually come back to a little bit of normalcy, but it's going to be a little,

Speaker 2:

A long time. There's not a sh there was a , I read an article saying how there's literally a shortage of container ships , right? Like there really is

Speaker 3:

For up to a month in shipping. Absolutely. Absolutely. And we can't control that. There's no

Speaker 2:

Control over that. Undermine

Speaker 3:

Who , um, uh, knows a lot about shipping. He sent me a picture the other day that someone had taken several miles off shore of the Pacific ocean or the ships are coming in and they're just butted up against each other, waiting their terms to come in.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

It's just so bad with , with the pandemic. It did two things. One, it reduced the time it takes to make something because people were sick. So when you would have 10 people working, it probably was four or five. You know, it reduced that. And then shipping, no, you're having to add medical supplies in millions to production. So, or golf bags doesn't mean as much, you know, on somebody's shirt doesn't mean as much as PPE getting to , you know,

Speaker 2:

The other thing too is like the terrorist stuff, right? Like if you're like, I already go at the 15% I had a friend of mine was telling me his story. I was like, Holy, that this is so bad. So he ordered a bunch of products, right? That the shipping guy never called them. Or let me call those people are , the middleman is right. Figures it out. They didn't tell him it was going to be a terrace . Okay. So stuff comes in and then it's at the airport. And then the shipping guy said, okay, customs says you have to pay a tariff. And it's 15%. And he's like, you need to send me $20,000 right now. Or we can not release it. It's like, wait, what? He goes, I don't even have $20,000. So like he had to like get a credit card, charge 20 grand on it, since it released his products and you could sell it. I'm like, because the guy never told there's going to be a terror, but I don't even know what tariffs didn't work. I just,

Speaker 3:

It's a tough world, but it's a tough world. And we got it. Yeah. We got it under control. You can't see these guns, but they're there.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's awesome. You guys , I love what you guys are doing. I think it's really cool. I think you guys are going to blow up. I think in about one year everyone's known or at least a majority of people are not honestly because there's not. Yeah. I mean, it's only, you know, let's say a dozen less than a half, a dozen golf bag companies, but give it a year. I really do, because I'm not just saying that because you're not selling crap. You know what I mean? If you're selling some vinyl bag, it was 200 bucks. I'm like, Oh, I see a million of those guys come and go, but you guys are doing it a completely different way. You're being very strategic in your relationships and how you're taking care of it . You're running a corporation. You're not running it like Devin, Erica selling golf bags that they bought on Alibaba. Right. So there's certain brands I talked to them like, Oh, that's going to happen. I can already see it. So just give it, I figured a year people definitely. I knew about you guys cause of Mar. Right. So , um, but yeah, that's my 2 cents on that. So thank you for being on the show and hopefully I can get the review. Some of your bags this year, would you up against some of the other bags I have behind me? Like these Bessel bags a little bit .

Speaker 3:

I'm a very confident were writing. Very confident .

Speaker 2:

I reviewed every vessel bag out there. So I have a bag snob now . I'm really not what happens. I get bags. And I just give them away to people like after I get them and I'm like, Oh, school bag. And I give somebody, I'm like, we need to really Give away those bags. I cry my name's on that bag. So like, like I'll have to cross my name out with like a black Sharpie. Like here's a bag for you and going to be like, thanks a lot. Um, well thanks for being on the show and I hope to do more with you guys this year and you guys didn't check out Orca golf bags. What'd you guys do your elegant isn't Orca dash golf,

Speaker 3:

Desktop.com and all , we appreciate it very, very much. And look forward to having you take a review of our backs as well.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Thank you guys. Oh yeah. All right. You want to sing that for me? That's like my favorite song . All right . Bye-bye thanks

Speaker 1:

For listening to another episode of behind the golf brand podcast, you're going to beat me a go stay connected on and off the show by visiting golfers authority.com. Don't forget to like subscribe and leave a comment. Go up is always more fun when you're winning , stay out of the beach and see you on the green.