If you attended this year’s unConference, then you probably saw runner-up Tyrone Hazen’s invention, the Fireside Audiobox. Tyrone introduced his wireless speaker with flames that dance to the music at the conference. He was coming off the heels of a successful Kickstarter, which raised $38,000 last summer.
Since then, interest in the Fireside Audiobox has ignited. It’s hot! Damn hot! (Does anyone get this movie reference? Anyone?) Retailers want it. I recently chatted with Tyrone to learn more about his progress with his fun invention that has transformed into a real business.
Here are a few of the most recent developments:
- Grey Street, the company that makes the Fireside Audiobox, received an order for 10,000 units, from a major retailer.
- Thanks to this gigantic order, Tyrone had to figure out how to make 10,000 units — fast. He’d been making the units here, but doesn’t have the capacity to scale production that quickly.
- So he reached out to a friend at RuffWear for guidance. And because people in Bend’s business community remain exceptional helpful as a rule, that friend connected him with a U.S. company in China that specifically helps businesses find appropriate manufacturers.
- Then Tyrone went to China for two weeks.
It was a productive and eye-opening visit. Thanks to the aforementioned connection, he was able to set up a relationship with a manufacturer there in short order, and is now awaiting samples of the Fireside Audiobox to approve.