Crowdfunded Episode 1: McCord Rees and StoneGrain Field Journals

April 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

I had a chance to interview McCord about his successful Kickstarter project, StoneGrain Field Journals.  Listen to the nuts and bolts business story behind a successful crowdfunded project here.  In the article below, you’ll find out more about his personal life.  Enjoy!

McCord Rees has always loved the outdoors.  He grew up in Provo, Utah, about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.  If you aren’t willing to take his word for it, here are some pictures of nearby Sundance that bear testimony to how beautiful the area is.

His start in entrepreneurship came early: selling lollipops at school.  At first just for fun, McCord sold lollipops to friends at school.  The product took off.  Kids were absolutely mental for his products and were seen with them in class, at recess, and after school.  He was pocketing $100-$200 a week.  Not bad for someone who hadn’t reached his 10th birthday!

His start in entrepreneurship was followed swiftly by his first experience with governmental intervention: the school shut him down.  “It’s a distraction,” they argued, and weren’t willing to hear out the fledgling business owner and possible compromises.

Flash forward 13 years.  At 21, McCord is driving a construction truck, is married to his wife Rachael, and is making decent money and putting quite a bit away.  He got involved in real estate.  Constantly learning by educating himself via audiobooks and podcasts during his drives, McCord perspicaciously picked out when to get out of the market and managed to protect his many years of investment.

But he was back to where he started before the real estate speculation: wanting something to do outside of his job – maybe even with a look to replacing his job – which would deliver to him what so many of us dream of but don’t truly aspire to by deeds not just words: more control of time and money.

McCord started taking some business classes at Utah Valley University as part of his journey of figuring out what was next.  It was there that he was introduced to the concept of crowdfunding in general and kickstarter in particular.

One particular story that stuck with him was a young girl that had manufactured some dice and had several successfully funded projects.  Perhaps remembering his lollipop years, McCord though the same thing so many entrepreneurs do: “Heck, I can do that too.”

If lollipops were the fun and effervescent products of youth, journals were clearly the thoughtful products of a man in touch with the environment around him and the world – both small and large – that he lived in.

“Why keep a journal, McCord?” I had to ask.  I have a stack of filled-up journals.  At least part of my living is made professionally writing.  I needed to hear his perspective.  My own personal answers would be too easy and obvious.  “Well,” he started, “firstly, you can keep a record of your own life.  You can also use it to catalogue ideas in development.  There’s my own memory loss – a journal helps me combat this – and interestingly – a significant number of backers use it for religious reasons.”

I used the word “backer” and by now you can guess that McCord not only did a project (two, actually, here’s his other one) but did it successfully, and is the reason he is featured on this site.  Our best wishes to McCord as he continues his life and entrepreneurial journey.

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Day Zero

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Getting ready to have an interview with our first guest for our podcast and the first subject of our blog.  We look forward to sharing more with you soon!