We had the good fortune of connecting with Rod Dunlap and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rod, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Our company started in 2002 and we didn’t really have a well thought out business plan in the early days. We were focused on one product rather than a full business venture that morphed into a full line of golf products. We we were young and naive in the beginning and thought our first product (a golf bag cooler) would be an overnight success story. We couldn’t find anything in retail that suited our needs so we decided to design our own. We learned very quickly having a great product was only part of the battle. For us it took a lot of hard work, various sales and marketing strategies and overcoming a lot of early failures to be where we are today.
What should our readers know about your business?
CaddyDaddy is a manufacturer of golf travel bags, coolers, golf bags and golf gloves. Our new Claw gloves have been a huge hit and will probably be the main focus of our company moving forward. The gloves are unlike anything on the market. Our gloves are 100% synthetic are super comfortable, have amazing grip and outlast leather gloves 3 to 5 times. We’ve overcome a lot as a business. The golf business has changed dramatically over the past 10 years or so. COVID has greatly reduced air travel which has been really tough on our travel bag business. We’ve also gone from a wholesale company (mainly dealing with retail stores) to more of a direct to consumer model thru our website and Amazon. The recommendation I have for any small business is to adapt, adapt & adapt. What I mean is the world can be a very unpredictable place, but if you have a strong work ethic and are a true believer in your company you can overcome nearly everything life throws at you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Of course we’d golf! My favorite course in AZ is Dinosaur Mountain in Gold Canyon. The views of Superstition Mountain are an experience everyone should see. I’m also a big fan of what has been done in downtown Gilbert. There’s a lot of nice restaurants with a laid back atmosphere and parking is never an issue.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the unwavering support from my wife and my mom. My mom was our venture capitalist in the early days as securing small business loans was nearly impossible. My wife has been amazing since day one and has been unbelievably supportive thru good times and bad. Our company wouldn’t be around today without they’re confidence and belief in me and the business.