Small businesses are feeling the abrupt, and very real, halt to day to day operations as a result of the global pandemic. The impact to Arizona and our communities, especially in rural Arizona where we, live, work, and raise our family is immediate. It is more critical now than ever that we source and spend in our local communities. These businesses need cash flow, and quickly.
Meaningful Company Values
In line with one of our company core values of sourcing locally and using local talent when possible (and especially when we think it's impossible), the Pin Drop team decided to share some of the both logical and creative ways that we include and use Arizona-based businesses in our production and in our business operations. The truth is, it's not difficult, it's not more expensive, and it's not inconvenient, as many believe. At this time, it is so important that we make more thoughtful decisions on our purchases, spend less of our dollars through clicks online and spend more with the actual people that live in our community.
New Pin Drop Blog Series
Through a new blog series, in addition to our regular stories, travel tips and Pin Drop updates, we will highlight the exceptional local talent and small businesses that contribute to our local economy and to our own product, service and livelihood at Pin Drop Travel Trailers. Through 6 simple questions, you can gain insight on these companies, their stories, their passion, their challenges and best of all, what they love about Arizona. These are companies that we respect and who are critical to Arizona and our communities.
We are kicking off this blog series by speaking with the owner of Canyon Coolers, Jason Costello. Canyon Coolers is an Arizona company, based in Flagstaff. Having used their product extensively as avid campers and now offering Canyon Coolers as an amenity to the Vintage, Road Runner, and Scout Pin Drop models, we admire their quality, their innovation, and their drive as a company.
Canyon Coolers are a compliment to each Pin Drop. They're the ice-ing on the cake.
What brings you the greatest joy in being a business owner?
Seeing the employees grow. I started this thing in a storage locker with about $45,000. Now we make almost 30,000 coolers a year. I have been lucky, but I have had some great people working with me as both employees and as clients.
What has been your greatest challenge as an independent business?
Cash Flow, we need to pay taxes in Spring, make a ton of product, ship it to dealers who need 30 days to pay for more, make more product and finance it all. Our supply chain is fairly complex for its size. Going up against 800# Gorilla's in the industry is another thing, they can buy relationships that we just can't.
What do you love about Arizona?
There is a ton to explore here. It's like an outdoor adventure playground. Too cold ? Drive an hour. Too hot ? Head up the mountain. Camping, hunting, rafting, hiking, motorsports, fishing. We have it all. A lot of people are into the outdoor thing here and it makes meeting and making new friends so much easier. People move to Arizona to live their dream and that can happen here. I have lived here since 1990 and there are still places, trails, and roads I am finding and wondering 'what took me so long ?'. Knoll Lake is an example, never been, took the family, and had a great time catching fingerlings with sandwich bags. So simple and yet such a nice memory.
What makes your product or service unique?
Our people, our designs, our warranty. We aren't perfect but we come at this with a passion that a lot of our competitors do not match. We have minimalist, uber-functional designs, we have over the top insanely insulated products. We have specialty coolers for rafts, others with tables integrated in. So we are this boutique company, pretty small in the scope of things, but somehow we get to make cool stuff and make a living. We back it up with a lifetime warranty and a genuine motivation to 'make it right' for the customer.
What motivates or drives you and your team?
Success frankly. We must have the best customers on earth. They are exploring, building, doing scientific research and doing all the things they are passionate about. Many of them come back for a second, third or fourth cooler. We worked hard, and we have been rewarded by this passionate following and that matters to us.
Who is your favorite Arizona based business and why?
Oooh that's tricky. Mother Road Brewery and Historic Brewing Company are both super passionate and make great products that speak to me. I think allot about the local restaurant industry and they really need our collective help right now. So support your local taco shop. Support those little specialty shops. If those independent outdoor stores close we lose a valuable resource and a wealth of knowledge not just about gear, but real local knowledge about the lakes, trails, and back country we all love.
For more information on Canyon Coolers and to learn more about their story, purpose, and products, be sure to visit their website. You can't find a better premium cooler on the market and we are so privileged to have them as an option for each and every Pin Drop Travel Trailer we build.