To say I grew up with YakAttack is an understatement - YakAttack was, is, and will continue to be a crucial, core part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are going to Bob's house (where we originally started), riding scooters around in a circle in his basement while he and my dad made original VISIPoles. From there, it moved to my childhood home in our garage. My mom and dad would make VISICarbon Pros every day while my sister and I (who were homeschooled students), did our schoolwork inside. The garage grew more cluttered, and we got creative - hanging VISIPoles and VISICarbon Pros from the ceiling, building new shelves, and even renting a shed down the road for some inventory storage!
I remember when we moved to our first building in Farmville (a small building that used to be a fabric store), both of my parents were worried that there would be days that UPS would stop by to pick up and no one would be at work - simply because we didn't have any orders to fill. However, somehow that day never came. We all pitched in to help. My sister and I packaged, my brother managed our shipping department, and my parents did pretty much everything else. Eventually, we hired our first few employees, and we outgrew the little factory which had become a second home.
Moving to Burkeville, it seemed impossible that we would outgrow it. We rented half of our first Burkeville building, and eventually expanded to fill that building with our offices, engineering, and assembly. Our second rented building in Burkeville housed packaging, assembly, and fulfillment. Our third and final building in Burkeville, rented a year and a half before we moved, contained all of our injection molding and de-gating.
Now, we're heading back to Farmville.
It seems a little surreal to me. The first time we moved to Farmville, my dad told me it would be great - that a new space would allow us to have more employees and to sell more product. From what he said, thirteen-year-old me had this picture of going in, waving to people working on the floor, saying "hello" to everyone, making connections and meeting people, and getting the opportunity to be a part of something that was bigger than me or my family. While thirteen-year-old me didn't exactly see that come to fruition (I think we only had one or two employees when I was that age), twenty-one-year-old me is getting to see that come to life. I work full-time at YakAttack now as part of our marketing team, and I have the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible people. To say that I'm living the dream is an understatement, and a lot of that has to do with the people I work with.
I produced this video from beginning to end, and in doing so I had to take a step back to see the full picture. I am in awe of how far we have come. In just a decade, the little company my parents started has grown into something so much bigger than us - even bigger than this industry.
We've grown a lot, but we didn't do it alone. We had people all along the way who have not only supported us, but who have grown with us. So, if you have been a part of our journey - whether as an employee, a YakAttack dealer, a team member, an industry partner, or a customer - thank you. Thank you for enabling my family to live the American dream. Thank you for using our products and telling your friends about them. Thank you for taking a chance and placing your first order with us. Thank you for being a part of our team.
So, without further ado, I am very excited to present to you the first installment of "Introducing Our Town" - a video series capturing our move to Farmville, Virginia. I hope you enjoy this presentation of our history, present, and future.