Name: Evolve Golf
Founded: June 3, 2003
Location: Sunset Beach, NC
CEO: BJ Maloy
Manufacturing: Leominster, MA
Evolve Golf markets and distributes golf tees made from recycled materials. The company outsources production of their tees to an injection molder in Massachusetts. It outsources retail packaging to a non-profit group that provides employment opportunities to persons with disabilities. To date, the company boasts 124 Tour wins and 46 PGA Tour victories
Click through the slides as company Founder and CEO BJ Maloy shares his story:
Q: What factors did you consider when deciding to manufacture domestically?
A: Fair labor, clean manufacturing, and local and sustainable economic development.
Q: How has having your product made in America influenced your organization?
A: It plays a part in every decision we make. We go out of our way to locate products and materials that are locally sourced, even the materials that went into the making of our eco-friendly trade show booth were domestically and locally sourced
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges to growth as your company moves forward?
A: The biggest challenge that Evolve Golf faces is broadening distribution. Our golf tees have replaced wood at more than 250 private clubs in the United States and have also found success with a handful of national off-course golf specialty retail chains. We are off to a great start, but we are targeting an additional 10,000 combined off-course golf specialty retail and golf facilities shops nationwide.
Q: What is the biggest challenge to maintaining manufacturing in America?
A: In order to manufacture a high-quality performance golf tee we require capital intensive tooling to fuel our growth, so it has been difficult for us to market our products outside of viral marketing initiatives.
We have seen a rash of imported golf tees that are attempting to trade on our successes with inferior performing products. A number of our competitors have found initial success selling their product into the retailers, but they have found little success staying on the shelves as consumers seek better quality and performance. We have been asked to move our manufacturing to Asia on numerous occasions because the perception is that the retailer can obtain a lower cost and, therefore, a higher margin. However, we found that we can offer the retailer an equivalent cost when transportation costs are taken into consideration.
To combat these challenges we have focused on developing our business at the golf facility level where the quality and performance of our product can be readily demonstrated. The strategy is working as consumers are specifically asking their favorite retailers for our product and as a result the retailers are calling us back.
Q: What is your company doing to promote domestic manufacturing?
A: We don’t heavily promote that our product is made in America. We are proud to display Made in the USA on our packaging.
Q: Where is there opportunity in the market for your product or service?
A: Every golfer’s bag.
An in-depth look at small businesses that are choosing to keep their business in the states and what that means for their bottom line.