Bull & Stash: Timeless, Stylish and Highly Unique
Bull & Stash founders Cameron Huber and Connor Wingo were inspired to create the last notebook you’ll ever need — a stylish, durable and refillable journal to keep your thoughts with you for years to come.
“I’ve collected shelves of sketchbooks and old notebooks full of great ideas, but I found that many of them have sat untouched for years,” said Huber an undergraduate architecture major at the University of Oregon. “This idea for a notebook offers something timeless, stylish, and highly unique in its functionality.”
Setting out to create a singular place to compile all of his best thoughts, Huber created Bull & Stash with a scrap of leather and an idea for a refillable notebook. He later teamed up with Wingo, a business design major, also at the University of Oregon.
Backed by $1,000 in early investment and a talented team of journalism students, the company got off the ground, then raised nearly $70,000 in funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign.
High demand for the product, following the initial Kickstarter success, caused the company to face a number of logistical and scaling challenges as they tried to match the demand. Opting to narrow the product selection and offer a smaller variety of products helped to alleviate some of these early issues. As a recent participant in the RAIN Eugene Accelerator program, the company is hoping to tighten up its business model, Huber said.
“There is a lot of fine tuning the business needs and we hope the Accelerator program can help us work through all the small details,” Huber said. “We hope to use the resources, mentor feedback and peer collaborative experience to identify our brand messaging, validate our target market, and get a better sense of the direction in which the company is headed.”
Huber and Wingo say that advice from RAIN Eugene mentors has been extremely valuable in the move to market for their notebooks. Recently, Bull & Stash was added to a showroom in Los Angeles through an introduction made by a RAIN mentor. Above all, Huber and Wingo say the most helpful mentors have guided them through everything from market research to early-stage startup legal issues to sales and brand identification.
By the end of the program, Huber says he hopes the company will have a more solid marketing strategy as well as a number of resources and mentors to help with company growth. Within the year, Wingo hopes to have sold 10,000 units of notebooks, to have a subscription base that reaches over 2,000 monthly subscribers and to have expanded into other supplementary products, such as an eco-friendly notebook model.
“We hope to expand into products that offer productivity, efficiency, and style,” Wingo said. “In areas where we don’t offer complementary products, we may look to establish a strategic partnership with another company. For example, a pen company.”
Find out more about Bull & Stash at the RAIN Eugene State of the Startup Ecosystem Address on January 13th at the Hult Center. Register Now