Armin Eichhorn, MIB’10, Kyle Cunningham, BCom’09 and MIB'10, and Blair Cunningham

Custom Cooler Bros.

Our product is a customized Coleman® cooler, ideal for camping trips or cottage weekends. People can personalize their own coolers with a favourite picture, text, and/or flag via our easy-to-use website.

Why we started the company: My partners Kyle and Blair came up with the idea three years ago. Previously, companies were able to bulk-order corporate coolers, but with high minimum order requirements individuals were forced to buy generic, off-the-shelf models.

What business problem does your product solve? Coolers are essential equipment for life in Canada, and 8 out of 10 Canadians own a Coleman®-branded cooler. That’s a lot of dull coolers out there! Personalizing your cooler is fun and ensures no one accidentally dips into your drink supplies.

Something we tried that didn’t work: Selling customized coolers at Rib Fest and other summer events. That didn't scale very well because even though people got excited about the product, without the website cooler editor they didn’t have the option to view the customization. That’s why we later decided to bring the business online at coolerbros.ca.

What the business needs most right now is: People checking out our cool website cooler editor, customizing a cooler and posting it to Facebook for their friends and family to see. You can share on Facebook without buying a custom cooler from us.

Advice I’d give a budding entrepreneur: To anyone thinking about starting a business I'd say: Be clear about the (financial) risks you can afford to take, then go for it!

A Smith School of Business Connection? Kyle and I went to Queen’s and that is where we met. If it wasn’t for SSB, Custom Cooler Bros. wouldn’t exist.

Anything else to add? We are looking to expand our range of products beyond customized coolers. All ideas for both customized products as well as cottage/camping equipment, and questions are more than welcome via bros@coolerbros.ca.

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