How We Source - A Visit With Jesse Dowling
As we have mentioned and you likely know, small businesses are feeling the abrupt, and very real halt to day-to-day operations as a result of the global pandemic. These businesses need cash flow, and quickly. In line with one of our company core values of sourcing locally and using local talent when possible, the Pin Drop team has created a new blog series to share the creative ways that we include and use Arizona-based businesses in our production and in our business operations.
How We Source
Through How We Source, we 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.
Once in a While....
Pin Drop Travel Trailers are crafted from quality raw materials. Our interiors are beautiful Baltic Birch paneling with maple cabinets, accented with superb hardware. Much painstaking research and trial and error have gone into selecting the best quality products for our trailers. But once in a while, you just need a plastic part. Following our company philosophy, we decided to go local and find some talent close to home that could help bring the parts to life we needed to make our campers fully utilitarian.
Enter Jesse Dowling, owner of Dowling Designs, dosers and more. Born and raised in Jerome, Jesse is the hardworking product of very creative parents. Years ago he started messing around with a 3D printer to make a dispensing tool, unavailable in the market, for his wife's medication. Dowling Designs was born out of the need to create an efficient and effective dispensing tool, which Jesse accomplished successfully. Since then Jesse has been manufacturing dosers as well as other needed designs and parts for a variety of clients. Most recently he has become a local hero and advocate, printing safety masks for healthcare workers and others in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a brief initial visit showing Jesse the specific needs we had for the Pin Drop 2.0, he quickly cranked out some parts for us that worked just right. I now have a new respect for plastic, and a great partnership with another talented Arizonan!
Q and A with Jesse!
What brings you the greatest joy in being a business owner?
My greatest joy has to be helping others by transforming their ideas into reality that they can hold in their hands. From syringe squeezers to golf clubs to clips and sockets for travel trailers.
What has been your greatest challenge as an independent business?
While the list is long... The hardest part has been charging enough for my services. Finding the balance between making it accessible to the most people possible and making it worth my time has been tough. It is an ongoing struggle. Charge too much and it scares people away, charge too little and you get tired of making up the difference out of your own time and resources.
What do you love about Arizona?
The variety of the state has to be high on the list. From sand dunes in Yuma to the Mogollon Rim and places like the San Francisco peaks or White Mountains and the high desert plateaus. In addition to the scenic variety we also have such a melting pot of people and cultures right here in the Verde Valley.
What makes your product or service unique?
We can take an idea or concept off the back of an envelope or a napkin... And turn it into a physical object that can be used in hand as is or as the basis for evolving the concept. The range of materials and implementation with 3d printing are only limited by imagination and funds.
That said, the process is actually very accessible and not as costly as many assume... so call us and we can make your dreams a reality (as long as they fit within a 12" by 12" by 18" print volume... for now)
What motivates or drives you and your team?
The desire to create solutions to problems inspired us to take this path. My Wife of 30 years has been beating MS for most all of them. Part of that was the introduction of medical grade extract oils that can be hard to dispense and dose. After looking for a better way and not finding it we decided to make it ourselves. That led us to the use of a 3d printer and the rest is history.
Eventually we want to be able to leave something that we created to our kids so this might be it.
Who is your favorite Arizona based business and why?
It is actually one that no longer exists! It was called JIC (Jerome Instrument Corporation). It was a small company in Jerome AZ. that manufactured mercury vapor analyzers. That small group of hippies and visionaries not only created amazing technical devices but they also had an amazing company culture. Every morning there was a popcorn break where the staff would huddle together. Payday Fridays would include an afternoon meeting around a small 'kiddie pool' full of ice and relaxing beverages.
It was not just about the party though. They supported their employees, had programs for continuing education and even youth work programs for local kinds to earn $ for college etc.
It pretty much set the bar very high for any eventual business I would eventually join.
Find out more about Jesse Dowling, Dowling Designs, and what he might produce for your next project or innovative invention.