What does the Fourth of July and Covid have in common? It’s the perfect time to launch a business! At least, that’s what the Founder of LA Custom Kayaks, Brock Miller, did. In the summer before his junior year at LSU, Brock launched a business fueled by his passion for being outdoors and, more specifically, on the water. With the rise of the popular social media app Tik Tok, Brock started posting exciting videos of his big catches. After joining a few fishing and kayak Facebook pages, Brock offered his kayak modifying services to fellow fishermen and anyone in the group who was interested. After customizing a few customers’ kayaks in his parent’s backyard, Brock decided to expand his business and open up a storefront. Although, being a full-time student and business owner had its challenges. Nonetheless, Brock graduated from LSU with a Digital Advertising degree and hit the ground running. Selling everything from merchandising and customized marine mats to gear and accessories, Brock wanted to produce products that he would use himself and that would help every level of fisherman and kayak connoisseur. In this episode, Brock discusses his early love for fishing and the outdoors, the advancement and pros that come with the world of social media, and even a scary story his mom can’t stand that he tells—sorry, mom!
Thanks again for an amazing 2022! We’re excited to be back and have so many fun episodes coming your way this year so make sure to stick around for those. If you haven’t already, we would be more than grateful if you took the time to rate/review the show wherever you listen/watch us.
Patty-G Wardrobe by: McLavy LTD
The Patty-G Show Website: https://thepattygshow.com
LA Custom Kayaks Website: https://lacustomkayaks.com
0:00:10.0 Patty-G: Hey everybody. Welcome to The Patty-G Show year 2023, first episode of Season five. I am super excited to be back in the studio. Super excited to kick off another great year, another season of the show. We have really just a lot in store for this season, this year. So many guests already lined up. We’ve got events happening, just… You’ll have to stick around and see everything we’ve got lined up. We’ve got so much happening. But before we get to all of that, which you’ll find out more by following us on social media, our website etcetera, we’re gonna have our first interview of the year. And none other than Brock Miller of LA Custom Kayaks. And this year our episodes are gonna be brought to you by some amazing sponsors that have stuck with us year over year. We’ve got Gov’t Taco, Falaya Real Estate, Lake Men’s Health Center, Horizon Financial Group, Mercedes-Benz of Baton Rouge. And you know, we’re sticking with some outfits of the day by McLavy Ltd. Thank them so very much for being a part of the show and making this thing happen year over year. But without further ado, Brock Miller, welcome to the show, man.
0:01:12.9 Brock Miller: Yeah, thanks for having me on. I was wondering if I was the first of the year. I guess that’s a pretty high honor. So we got to have a good one here.
0:01:19.9 Patty-G: Dude, you’re the first of the year man, taking a two week leave, coming back strong. So it’s either gonna be a really great one. Or it’s gonna be a really bad one because we’re having to dust off the shoulder pads and get back in the game, so it could go either way.
0:01:31.7 BROCK MILLER: Oh we’ll get right into it.
0:01:32.4 PATTY-G: It’s up to you, but no pressure.
0:01:34.3 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, no, I think it’ll be a good one, I appreciate you having me on. I’ve been on a couple other podcasts, but this is a really cool experience to have this kind of… To be asked to be on here as a younger guy because I’ve watched a couple of episodes and it’s Gordon and Ozzie with Izzo’s and stuff, and so it was…
0:01:53.8 PATTY-G: You watched Ozzie’s?
0:01:55.6 BROCK MILLER: I didn’t get to watch it yet. I saw he was on it though.
0:01:57.3 PATTY-G: Okay. That’s…
0:01:58.2 BROCK MILLER: But I know actually know Ozzie, Ozzie and a couple other guys over there at…
0:02:01.9 PATTY-G: Oh, perfect. So do you know Conrad?
0:02:04.4 BROCK MILLER: I do. So he’s a member at our hunting camp. I met Conrad first and then Ozzie came up a couple times.
0:02:09.6 PATTY-G: Conrad is a good buddy of mine, we do a lot of accounting together.
0:02:13.6 BROCK MILLER: Okay. That’s great.
0:02:14.8 PATTY-G: He’s my accounting partner with the whole Go Eat Concept crew.
0:02:18.2 BROCK MILLER: Shoot, during hunting season I’m with him every single weekend.
0:02:20.6 PATTY-G: Oh my gosh. Yeah. Okay. I’ll make sure I… Let me know and I’ll text him and ask him like, where’s my invite guys?
0:02:26.1 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, there you go. Oh, we’ll get you out there.
0:02:28.4 PATTY-G: So who are you and what the heck do you do, man?
0:02:30.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, so my name is Brock Miller. I started Louisiana Custom Kayaks back in July of 2020 so the COVID year. But I went to Catholic High right here in Baton Rouge and then went to LSU. I got a degree over there in digital advertising and a minor in business, but halfway through my term at LSU, I started my business, which I’m sure we’ll dive into. But…
0:02:58.8 PATTY-G: So this is a college started business?
0:03:00.8 BROCK MILLER: Yep. It was, I guess sophomore, midway through sophomore year I think, or summer, summer before junior year is probably what it was, right around COVID. It all kind of blends together.
0:03:13.1 PATTY-G: So now did you graduate from LSU and finish that out, or you dropped… Or you stopped and did this full time?
0:03:17.9 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, I did. That was one of my things, I wanted… I had had a couple people telling me, you better finish, you better do it. So I stuck to it. I can’t say I was always focused on school and class, I was answering emails and building a website. But yeah I did finish LSU. I graduated this past spring.
0:03:37.5 PATTY-G: Okay. Past spring. So I was in a similar situation as you in LSU where I was taking… I was majoring in accounting and majoring in entrepreneurship and then getting a minor in communications and same as you in class, responding to emails. ‘Cause I was trying to get two different companies off the ground, always talking with people about different ideas. So from a student’s standpoint, I want to dive into that a little bit before we get into LA Custom Kayaks which you actually do, because I think that part of the story is something that is important with how you got the ability to then go and do something on your own after college. How was the balancing act that is college and entrepreneurship?
0:04:17.9 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. If you want to call it a balance, at times…
0:04:21.2 PATTY-G: The attempt to balance.
0:04:22.4 BROCK MILLER: Right. Yeah. I’ve always tried to keep my grades up and all that stuff too. But at sometimes it was like, all right, what do I focus more on? And I still focused on school, but there were times where I was like, all right, this is like a very monumental thing that I need to figure out for the business. Or scheduling emails and learning things that tailor more towards my business rather than what was going on in class. But I also learned a lot of things in school, whether it’s working with people that was a big thing in the digital advertising and business side of things was planning campaigns and just working together in a group setting, building connections. So there’s a lot… A few people out there who would say, just go to the entrepreneurial route, skip the school route, but I think, school has its place and there’s a lot you can take from focusing on it and getting through it.
0:05:18.6 PATTY-G: Yeah. If anything, I really used my four years at LSU as like a four years of just connecting and building with different people, whether it was professors, guest lecturers, or fellow students for that matter. Building, just this Rolodex of people from our mutual kind of relationship with LSU and while we were there and learning, but hey, at the end of the day, you gotta get… Especially in the accounting career, like having that professional development, having that curriculum, having that schooling is important. But at the same time, for you as an entrepreneur, it’s like, well, I really don’t wanna be studying for this X, y, Z class right now, when I should be doing something else for the business to further it and develop it.
0:06:00.7 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. And I mean some things are outdated that they go over now, but also I think that kind of plants the seed and then it’s up to you to go learn the newest trend or how things are going, whether it’s advertising your social media. So a lot of it, especially in the business and advertising world, I think you gotta kind of look it up on your own and kinda learn it and do it.
0:06:23.2 PATTY-G: So being in the advertising world, how did you even come up with the concept that you have now for LA custom kayaks?
0:06:32.6 BROCK MILLER: I’ve always been in the outdoor space like we can go as far back as when I was this tall. And fishing every day in a progue in my grandparents pond. So that was kind of like, I guess, my earliest form of kayak fishing, but I’ve read an article, I was probably 11 or 12 at the time, in Louisiana sportsman about a guy that fished at a kayak tournament, and I was like, Oh, this is interesting. The key part in the article was that he flipped the kayak and then he got back in and won the tournament or something like that. So when I pitched the idea to my parents, I made the mistake of telling them, Oh yeah, the guy flipped his kayak so now It’s just red flags all over kayak fishing.
0:07:14.7 PATTY-G: Yeah, I wouldn’t start that way with your parents, no.
0:07:16.7 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, but I was 12, so I was just amped up about it, but I fought them for a while and I was like come on let me get a kayak and finally I bought a 250 dollar kayak from academy, and that’s how I got my feet wet. I remember catching my first bass out the pond with it, and then it just kinda evolved into going to the marsh and fishing on the coast down here, especially with my dad, and like down in Golden Meadow. And then as with anything, as you get more involved with it, you’re like, Alright, what else can I do, what can I add to the kayak, and where can I take it and stuff, and it’s really just… It became a snowball effect of adding fish finders and rod holders and all kinds of stuff to them. So before I ever even started the business, I was interested in kayaks and tricking them out and modifying them, so when the idea came out to create my own business, it was like, Well, I’m already doing this. So let me just do it for other people.
0:08:16.4 PATTY-G: You were the customer before, you were an owner.
0:08:18.7 BROCK MILLER: Right exactly. Yeah I’m like looking up videos on what we’ve done before, and then it kinda just transitioned into the business.
0:08:27.6 PATTY-G: So it’s such a niche business, like decking out kayaks for fishing, like first, you gotta find the people that are interested in kayaks, but then you gotta find those folks interested in kayaks, interested in fishing, and then wanna take it a step further and actually get a set up.
0:08:40.4 BROCK MILLER: Right.
0:08:42.4 PATTY-G: So I mean from, I guess, a research model for your business, developing your business plan or your… Business model canvas, as they would teach you at LSU. What type of research did you do? What type of companies… I mean are there any other companies locally around here that do exactly what you do?
0:09:00.8 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, there are a few, and that’s kind of what helped me because so, so… We had talked about The Backpacker earlier, I had worked there for a couple of years and actually did a little bit of rigging and selling products and stuff like that for them, but right when COVID hit, it was the big closing of stores like that and all the regulations and stuff, so a lot of the stores locally that did that stuff closed, but people don’t have anything else to do except go fishing. Because its right in the heat of the summer, so what happened, what happened was people go fishing, they either break something or need something installed. And they would reach out to me and be like, “Hey, can you do this?” I’m like, first couple, “I’m like, Yeah, sure, why not?” And then it just kind of snowballs. And I say this all the time, like, You know, I’d have one or two kayaks at the house at a time, and then I would look in the back yard and there’s like eight of them back there and my dad is like, Alright, we need to find somewhere else to do this.
0:09:54.6 PATTY-G: You need to go beyond the garage.
0:09:57.6 BROCK MILLER: Right, right yeah I’m like locking up kayaks in the back yard with bike locks, so they don’t get stolen, but yeah, that’s kind of how it really got started.
0:10:07.4 PATTY-G: So How are people finding you for this.
0:10:12.1 BROCK MILLER: It’s so I’ve kind of… Like I said I’ve always been in the kayak space, we have a really good kayak club, it’s kinda based out of Baton Rouge in new Orleans, a little bit of Lafayette called The Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club, and they host tournaments and events and just get together, so I know a lot of people in that space. And I think that the Facebook group has five or six thousand people in it, so as soon as you put something in there, word travels fast, and then it just kind of building a customer base and relationships off of that.
0:10:43.5 PATTY-G: Gotcha, so it was the Facebook group.
0:10:45.5 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, I’d say Facebook groups, those are definitely what got me started, there has been other things along the way, TikTok and YouTube that have helped a lot, helped me get outside of Louisiana, but for the most part, Facebook groups kinda kicked it off.
0:11:01.6 PATTY-G: So what did your parents say whenever you told them you wanted to start this business in the heat of a global pandemic?
0:11:09.9 BROCK MILLER: I don’t know, it wasn’t really… I guess they kinda just said Go for it, I mean, I wasn’t a…
0:11:15.4 PATTY-G: Okay. Was there any entrepreneurial… Hang on back, was there an entrepreneurial history in your family first?
0:11:19.6 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, so my dad, he worked in landscape and construction, doing his own thing, so I guess that’s definitely where I’ve gotten some entrepreneurial, I guess, spirit from, and I also got uncles and other people in the family who’ve done similar things, and I’ve always just kind of… I guess done my own thing throughout my, as I’ve grown up, so it wasn’t really a shock to them where like, Hey, I’m gonna go start a kayak fishing outfitting business. So they were like, You know, you’re passionate about it. Go for it.
0:11:54.7 PATTY-G: So is this your first business, you said you did some other things on your own, is this… Is LA customs your first one, or is there something before hand?
0:12:02.4 BROCK MILLER: I don’t know if you call them businesses mowing yards and stuff like that.
0:12:05.3 PATTY-G: You made money?
0:12:08.0 BROCK MILLER: I did make money, so we’ll call it a business, not professional in any way, but 12 years old, pushing lawn mowers around and mowing yards, anything to get money to buy fishing baits, I guess.
0:12:18.3 PATTY-G: Dude, so I did the same. I feel like grass cutting. I don’t know if it’s a Louisiana thing or a Southern thing. Yeah. But like grass cutting businesses for young guys is like the go-to business.
0:12:28.4 BROCK MILLER: Oh, it is.
0:12:30.1 PATTY-G: I was 11 years old when my brothers and I started our first lawn care business. My brother turned 16 and he had a truck. We got a loan from our parents for the equipment, and sure enough 11, 14 and 16 year olds going around the town cutting people’s grass. Started out with track coaches and stuff like that.
0:12:47.8 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, people you know.
0:12:49.2 PATTY-G: They were throwing us about and saying, “Okay, I’ll pay you 50 bucks, come cut my yard.
0:12:52.0 BROCK MILLER: They were coming behind you, whether we did or…
0:12:54.0 PATTY-G: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. They were watching us. Walking around the whole yard as we’re cutting, tell us, “No, no, no. You missed a spot.” They were the hardest on us, which was great because we learned a lot, but…
0:13:02.7 BROCK MILLER: Oh yeah, that’s like, that’s… And you say Louisiana, I guess our grass grows 12 years or… I mean, 12 months out of the year. So.
0:13:09.1 PATTY-G: Yeah, it’s like a year time… A year round thing to cut grass.
0:13:11.3 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. So I mean, it’s the perfect thing for us. And I know I did that a couple times. I’ve sold fishing baits and taken people kayak fishing before.
0:13:19.6 PATTY-G: You’ve done charter kayak fishing.
0:13:21.0 BROCK MILLER: I wouldn’t say charters, they just kinda went off… Went off fields.
0:13:23.6 PATTY-G: Did they pay you to go fishing?
0:13:25.9 BROCK MILLER: No.
0:13:28.1 PATTY-G: Good answer.
0:13:29.2 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Yeah. We won’t dive into that. Buddies taking buddies fishing.
0:13:34.2 PATTY-G: There you go. Friends of friends.
0:13:36.0 BROCK MILLER: Right. Yeah.
0:13:37.1 PATTY-G: They just fed you. That’s what it was. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So getting into this outdoor lifestyle of kayaking with… I still don’t understand how you sold your parents by telling them the vessel and what you’re purchasing flipped. Like that’s your lead into.
0:13:51.2 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking.
0:13:53.0 PATTY-G: I wanna buy this thing that somebody flipped?
0:13:54.0 BROCK MILLER: It took it. I don’t… It might have taken a year, but I know it took months to… It was mainly my mom, my dad, he was cool with it, but she’s, you know, I was the first child, first baby, so she didn’t want me doing anything like that, but I finally won ’em over. And I was looking back, I think I’ve been in it for 12 years and I’ve probably owned like 12 or 14 kayaks through that kind of tenure. So that shows you, like, typically I would get one, modify it, sell it, get another one, modify it, sell it, and kind of work my way up. So I kinda worked my way up.
0:14:25.2 PATTY-G: And kind of actually get better. Yeah.
0:14:25.6 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. So sell it sometimes make money, sometimes lose money and then pile a little bit more money into it and get an nicer one.
0:14:32.1 PATTY-G: I love it. So going and doing your first one for somebody, I mean, how did you begin to look at like a pricing model of what… Did you do the… Like what did, what was that process like, figuring out how to price it and what to charge people for doing something like that?
0:14:46.3 BROCK MILLER: That was definitely a learning experience. Sometimes I had felt like I was making a ton of money and then other times I was like, well, I learned a lot. I didn’t make quite as much money. And then early on, like now I have accounts with manufacturers and different companies. But before it was like, all right, either you’re gonna, you gotta bring me your fish finder and battery that you want me to install, or I can go buy it. And then it’s like, all right, well do… I charge them more since I bought it? So that was a big kinda learning curve on what do I set my time at, what do I wanna make off of this? And some projects take 10 times longer than you think they will.
0:15:26.8 PATTY-G: Yeah. Especially when it starts getting into complex ones.
0:15:30.8 BROCK MILLER: Right. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s definitely a learning curve. And then some you’re like, well it’s gonna be really cool when I post a TikTok of it, but I’m not gonna make a much of money off of it.
0:15:39.6 PATTY-G: So kind of stepping into that topic of TikTok, the story behind how I came to know about you was from that platform where you had commented on a video that Mallard Bay or my buddy Logan Moe had posted about him on the show talking about Mallard Bay. I saw you commented, I got the notification of some sorts. And when I checked you, when I checked out your TikTok page, like it’s a serious page. Like you’ve amassed quite an impressive amount of followers and then I believe you were in a business report or a 225 article.
0:16:14.0 BROCK MILLER: I think so. And that was… And that might have been with Nick who we talked about earlier.
0:16:18.6 PATTY-G: Possibly.
0:16:18.7 BROCK MILLER: I think so. I think that was that.
0:16:20.6 PATTY-G: Because I’ve talked about you before on Talk 107.3 FM Okay. With Brian Haldane. We read about your article about what you were doing, how this was a new thing and it was right in 2021 timeframe.
0:16:30.6 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
0:16:33.0 PATTY-G: So I had known you from both ways and seen you on TikTok. I was like, okay, I gotta check this guy out. So walk us through exactly what you do on that platform.
0:16:40.6 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, I’ll go back to the beginning. So this was before the business, before anything, I think I was, it was, I was in Spanish class, so it had to been freshman year, like first semester. Like this was… Okay… Like I don’t know, I heard about TikTok or something. It was like, it sounds like a bunch of dancing and all that whatever. I’ll download it. And I like downloaded it and I posted a video of a tarpon that I had caught. So Tarpon is a big six foot long fish, not very many people catch them out of a kayak. So it was kind of something that was unique. So I posted it and I like closed the app and like halfway through class I checked my phone. I’m like, it’s got 5000 views. That’s kind of a lot, I haven’t gotten that on any other platform. Like okay, I posted a couple more.
0:17:26.5 PATTY-G: Well, and you had been posting on other platforms about like kayak fishing as a whole…
0:17:29.9 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, because it was just like my passion. That’s something I like sharing, you know, A lot of people like, to me catching the redfish on a kayak, I do that all the time. Like it’s just another thing. But when I show somebody a video, like, oh my gosh, I didn’t know you could catch redfish out of a kayak. So I’ve grown with GoPros and eventually nice Sony cameras and drones and stuff just kind of captured everything that I’ve done so far. So I had a stockpile of videos and I start posting a few on TikTok and then I post one and it’s like this one angle and every time I posted it just blows up of this tarpon that I caught. And it ends up getting like, I think like 6 million views or something crazy.
0:18:08.3 PATTY-G: 6 million.
0:18:09.4 BROCK MILLER: And this was before anybody posted like, fishing on TikTok.
0:18:12.0 PATTY-G: So you had like the first, you were one of the first few in platform.
0:18:14.1 BROCK MILLER: One of… I had a buddy in Florida Yeah. Who did something similar and we both like have… I wouldn’t say massive, but really good size pages. So that’s what I was like, man, maybe I should dedicate a little more time to this TikTok thing…
0:18:29.0 PATTY-G: This TikTok thing is important.
0:18:29.1 BROCK MILLER: Maybe it’s not just just dancing, you know? And I think it has really grown since then, like since it’s inception, I guess with Musical.ly or whatever it came from. And you see business people on it, your podcast is on it. So it’s more than just, you know, an entertainment kind of thing I think now.
0:18:46.4 PATTY-G: Well, yeah. And then when you get to the point where you’re at, I’m sure you’re, are you in the TikTok monetization phase right now?
0:18:53.4 BROCK MILLER: I did it for a little bit. I’ve done research and some people say if you like, try to monetize, they kind of cut down on your, how much they produce, you know, broadcast your videos. So I’ve been on it, you know, made 45 bucks or so, but in the past.
0:19:10.3 PATTY-G: Really retiring on that TikTok money.
0:19:11.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I’m just stockpiling it. But I mean, really, like it’s crazy how I’ll get somebody who emails me but was like, “Hey, I found you on TikTok. And I’m like, really? You saw a TikTok video and now you’re here, you know, trying to buy a marine mat or something. So it definitely has become a tool, you know, as I’ve started to use it more.
0:19:31.3 PATTY-G: And they definitely taught you about that at LSU, in your market classes?
0:19:33.5 BROCK MILLER: 100%. 100%.
0:19:36.2 PATTY-G: The power, was it the concept, the power of viral marketing, the viral campaigns.
0:19:40.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Social media and stuff. And honestly, in a lot of these classes, like that’s something so new and like evolving, that it’s tough for a professor to teach on something that’s changing every single day. It’s really, you have to do it. You gotta be in the space. You have to realize the trends and jump on ’em.
0:20:00.5 PATTY-G: And then also a lot of it’s just sheer luck, right? I mean, who’s to say that that angle that you had from however long ago the video was, was gonna be the angle that caught people’s attention.
0:20:11.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I’ve had some videos, like I’ll spend five hours trying to get something just right and then I’ll take a a five second video that’s just something random and that gets 10 times more views than anything else.
0:20:21.3 PATTY-G: And I’ve heard that time and time again, people that put, they put all this time and attention and effort and they’re getting the clips, the timing, the angles just right. And then it just way underperforms their expectations and then they walk out and do a selfie video saying, look, the sun’s rising this morning. And it’s like…
0:20:38.4 BROCK MILLER: And that’s it.
0:20:38.4 PATTY-G: It’s it.
0:20:39.3 BROCK MILLER: And then your accounts got all the traction it needs.
0:20:41.5 PATTY-G: Yeah. Well, and with the traction, how are the views correlating to actual emails or DMS for getting people to purchase your products or purchase your services? I mean, at the end of the day, from a marketing standpoint, that’s the goal, right? Get people to either see your content ’cause you’re monetizing it through sponsors or whatever, or get people to contact you via your platforms, who wanna do business with you.
0:21:06.5 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I don’t really know of it, like a direct, I don’t wanna say 1000 views gets me one, you know, one email or something like that. But I’ve definitely seen that, the more people that that see it, like, I would say, I don’t know, a 10th of the people who follow me actually kayak fish or actually even fish. A lot of people are just like, oh, this is interesting. Let me follow along. So I definitely think it gives you a very broad scope of different people that see your stuff. But at the end of the day, I feel like the more people have eyes on your brand and your business is gonna translate into more conversions and emails and orders.
0:21:50.4 PATTY-G: Yeah. It’s getting that the eyeballs on the product or the service and the long haul, is gonna get their return on it.
0:21:57.4 BROCK MILLER: And a lot of people that reach out, they’re like, I’ve never even heard of kayak fishing before, but now I want to check it out. So as far as just selling them a product, like that’s great at the end of the day, but if I can just show more people about kayak fishing or Louisiana or whatever it is, then that’s, then I guess, that’s a win too.
0:22:14.4 PATTY-G: Well, and I think that content translates better. The real authentic content of I’m out here doing what I love and just the fact that I want to do it and I just wanna share it with people in hopes that maybe getting someone else to say I started following your page, had no idea that this was a thing. Now I do it every weekend with myself, my kids, my brothers, whomever. And you see that that’s building memories for people. It’s not just getting them to purchase their, their kayak services through you. It’s getting people into that hobby, into that lifestyle to kind of, I guess shine some more light onto where now I think Grand Isle does like straight kayak tournaments.
0:22:49.7 BROCK MILLER: Oh yeah, yeah.
0:22:51.3 PATTY-G: Many times a year, which I believe you’ve won one, right?
0:22:54.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. So that was another thing that kind of propelled me into the industry. The Ride the Bull tournament, which Rad was CCA? You haven’t had him on yet?
0:23:03.4 PATTY-G: I have not had a CCA on, no.
0:23:04.4 BROCK MILLER: I can hook you up with him. He’s he’s a good dude. He’d be a good one to have on. But yeah, so Ride the Bull was something, that was actually like one of the first tournaments I ever fished. And the funny thing was, I never caught a fish during the tournament until the time I won. And I’ve never caught a fish during the tournament after.
0:23:22.5 PATTY-G: You caught it when it counts.
0:23:23.4 BROCK MILLER: That’s it. That’s it. So to kind of paint the picture Ride the Bull is in Grand Isle, it’s outta Bridge Side Marina. And I think the records like 730 people came out and fished that tournament.
0:23:36.2 PATTY-G: 730 people.
0:23:36.4 BROCK MILLER: 730. And it was, I think that was like 2014 or 2015. But basically they send everybody out. They got…
0:23:43.7 PATTY-G: Where did they park?
0:23:44.4 BROCK MILLER: Oh, everywhere.
0:23:44.7 PATTY-G: Like, just from a logistics standpoint.
0:23:46.3 BROCK MILLER: Oh, you have to get there like three hours early to, get parking.
0:23:48.4 PATTY-G: I would imagine even… / like do some people just kayak there from place.
0:23:51.4 BROCK MILLER: Some people do and they’ve gotten in trouble ’cause they’ve just kind of kayaked across and like, oh, I’ll just stop here. And now they’re there when we’re supposed to blast all. But basically it’s a bull red rodeo. But the unique thing is, there’s chase boats that go around and so when you catch a fish, they come pick up your fish, they bring it in, weigh it in, and then release it for you. So you could sit in one spot all day, catch 15 fish and never have to move.
0:24:16.4 PATTY-G: I had no idea that was a thing.
0:24:17.4 BROCK MILLER: So it’s kind of like a safety thing, you know, that way people aren’t dragging in 30-pound fish every time they catch one. But yeah, so and I’ve caught bullheads in an area before, but never during the tournament. You know, I’m playing on my phone. I would be scrolling through through TikTok if it existed then, but I don’t know what I was doing. But my rode bends over and I got a big fish on and I get it in the boat and I really, I was 16 at the time so I caught a few fish like that before but really didn’t have anything to judge it off of. And the guys in the boat were like, you’re gonna do something with that? So I’m like, okay, I’ll take your word for it. And they take the fish and they would post on Facebook when, you know, they get new fish in for with the leaderboard. And sure enough I refreshed Facebook and it’s like Brock Miller, it was 34.56 I remember ’cause it was 34.56, 34.56 pounds. And I was like, oh wow. I’m winning.
0:25:15.4 PATTY-G: You were winning that.
0:25:17.4 BROCK MILLER: And I think there was like 400 people at that time in the tournament and I was like, okay, all right, well I can’t do anything else, I can try to catch another one. But I sat out there all day, then went in and sure enough it held that year, and ended up, taking home… Taking home the top prize.
0:25:34.5 PATTY-G: And there was no lead weights in the stomach to the fish?
0:25:36.5 BROCK MILLER: No lead weights. No. That was, God, that was… I remember I was fishing a tournament when that video came out and it was like the talk.
0:25:44.4 PATTY-G: That’s crazy.
0:25:46.6 BROCK MILLER: That was wild. Those guys don’t need to be fishing anything.
0:25:48.4 PATTY-G: I don’t think they are. So for those listening or watching that are not aware of what happened, there was a fishing tournament where the people on the leaderboard actually stuffed metal weight or lead weights down the fish.
0:26:00.4 BROCK MILLER: I think it was like…
0:26:01.4 PATTY-G: It was like two or three pounds per fish.
0:26:03.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Per fish and it was five fish.
0:26:05.2 PATTY-G: And they had like what? Yeah, five fish. Yeah. So they added 20 to 30 pounds of weight to their bag to take first place. And there’s a viral video, I don’t know if it’s still up there or not. There’s a video on TikTok or Instagram or somewhere where there’s actually at the weigh in, they’ve got people because they were so over the weight of everybody else.
0:26:24.4 BROCK MILLER: They weren’t even close to second.
0:26:25.3 PATTY-G: I was saying they weren’t even, they were like so far…
0:26:26.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Like they probably could have won somewhere without lead weights, but then they beat second by, I don’t know, 14 pounds or something crazy.
0:26:32.4 PATTY-G: Something ridiculous. Yeah. And sure enough, there’s a video, they’re cutting it out and they’re, they’re like pulling out these weights of these fish.
0:26:38.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Oh, then the cops get involved.
0:26:39.8 PATTY-G: It was so bad.
0:26:40.6 BROCK MILLER: I think, I’m pretty sure they spend a couple nights in jail right then and there.
0:26:42.5 PATTY-G: I wouldn’t be surprised. I I didn’t read the whole… I just, I read the headline and saw the video don’t, okay. You know, [laughter] don’t come after me for that.
0:26:49.5 BROCK MILLER: And that’s like, I, I think it was Walleye, which that’s something we don’t have down here, but like, that’d be like a cheating in a big bass tournament or something, you know? Thousands of dollars they’re, they’re going after.
0:27:01.4 PATTY-G: And more than that, once you get up sponsorships and you get all those promotional fees.
0:27:06.5 BROCK MILLER: Oh, yeah. Like, some of ’em are doing full-time.
0:27:07.4 PATTY-G: Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean those guys were, they had, you know, they had their shirts on, I think it was like what, a $60,000 pot for that tournament. Just something ridiculous. And the worst part, like if you look when you look at the fish, they weren’t even like easy to hide the weights because of how slim the fish were. Like how can you…
0:27:21.4 BROCK MILLER: He was like, I can feel the lead weight in it.
0:27:26.4 PATTY-G: But so you won that tournament and was that ever your, was that your first tournament you’ve ever had or?
0:27:31.4 BROCK MILLER: So I had fish Ride the Bull like a couple years before that. You know, it was like a yearly thing. We had a group that went down, we’d all fish it. A couple guys had caught fish before in the past. But yeah, that was the first time I’d caught a fish in that tournament. Then I fished a couple years after, now I’ve kind of moved into helping with the tournament with the chase boats and video and some stuff in recent events, so.
0:27:58.5 PATTY-G: Gotcha. So it’s more now what can you do to help the tournament go on and kind of keep the spirit of kayak fishing as a whole throughout the, the region and the area.
0:28:07.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. And I love the idea behind it of like catching and they actually tag the bullheads when we catch ’em. So they take the data from ’em.
0:28:15.4 PATTY-G: Well, they tag them?
0:28:16.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. So they tag them and this past year I think AFCO was involved and they gave out like gift cards if the fish was recaptured or something like that. But yeah, I’m all about conservation and, and preserving the fishery and just all of our resources down here because we’re losing a lot of it pretty quick. But that’s what draws me to that tournament is, you know, the whole idea is to catch the fish and then release it, you know?
0:28:41.4 PATTY-G: Right. And so, and they take just your heaviest fish of the day. Not necessarily…
0:28:44.5 BROCK MILLER: There’s a couple different categories, like the main leaderboard is just your heaviest fish. You can’t, I don’t think you can be on the leaderboard more than once. But they also have team categories with most fish and most weight, stuff like that. So there is some… You can still win if you stay out there and try to catch fish all day.
0:29:00.4 PATTY-G: Gotcha. So when you… What made you wanna start actually documenting and recording your fishing adventures on a kayak?
0:29:08.5 BROCK MILLER: Oh, I think back to, I don’t know, I was like 15 or 16, made some terrible videos of, I don’t know, like fly fishing in a pond or something. And I still see ’em in my mind. I’m like, gosh, those are awful. But I don’t know, I had a couple of guys that I followed on YouTube, but really back then there wasn’t a whole lot. So there was like two or three guys who posted kayak fishing content. So I was like, you know what, I gotta GoPro for like Christmas or something one year and started bringing it on the kayak and just video and stuff and I wouldn’t always do something with it, but it was cool to just kind of look back on it and then you kind of remember things that you did in the moment. Or like reactions, like I’ve got a couple of crazy top water eats that I just freak out on and, you know, [laughter] and I’m like look back like, oh, you’re an idiot, but you look back on it and it’s really cool to have those kind of memories.
0:29:58.4 PATTY-G: Oh yeah. And the GoPro or the invention of the GoPro made it so accessible for outdoors men, for outdoors people to really capture what they were doing because you had the Sportsman’s Paradise channel, that was… My dad would watch it every weekend and he was watching a Sportsman’s Paradise and just watching those people fishing and hunting and all that stuff. And then you had this GoPro come out where it’s like, be your own cameraman or whatnot. And the ability for that to go and then take people to building these channels was just…
0:30:31.5 BROCK MILLER: 100%.
0:30:32.5 PATTY-G: Just life changing.
0:30:33.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. And there’s so many things, like when I caught that tarpon over in Florida, in my memory, I cannot remember a single thing that happened because it happened so fast. Like the fish jumping outta the water and just the adrenaline that’s pumping. If I didn’t have the video, I couldn’t tell you what happened, but now that I have that, I know exactly what happened and how the fish jumped and everything, but with all that adrenaline running through you, like that memory’s just not there.
0:31:01.4 PATTY-G: Well, I guess that’s true. You don’t ever… The memories you have when you’re fishing or you’re hunting is always the after the fact. It’s not the in the moment or I guess if you’re going on like a long elk stalk or a long whitetail stalk, maybe you have that memory. Yeah. But the adrenaline.
0:31:14.4 BROCK MILLER: Oh, when that gets going.
0:31:14.4 PATTY-G: When you’re fishing is just… Especially when you got something on the line like doing pure fishing in Grand Isle. Where you’re just throwing like a half a chicken in the water for something. [laughter]
0:31:23.4 BROCK MILLER: You got a lot of time to think about it [laughter],
0:31:26.4 PATTY-G: But then like the moment when it’s happening. Yeah. It’s that craziness of you’re just like, “I gotta get the fish the boat.” Don’t, don’t horse ’em, don’t play with ’em like, just slowly, steadily get that fish to the kayak or the boat and get ’em in. Yeah. So you can then do whatever you’re gonna do with it from there.
0:31:43.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I mean anytime, like I got a, a nice Sony camera and I take it duck hunting and kayak fishing and stuff and like I always try to pull that out to just capture something from when I went. Because it’s so cool to look back on that. And then also just sharing it with people. ‘Cause like I get, I’m blessed to go kayak fishing all the time and hunting all the time, but a lot of people aren’t, so they get to see my stuff and kind of enjoy what I’ve experienced. So that, I mean, I think that’s the biggest thing with the social media stuff is a lot of people don’t get to do that and then they see and follow just because they get to experience it through, I guess through somebody else.
0:32:19.5 PATTY-G: Well, and not everybody’s also being so aware and cognizant of the fact that they should record it or they should bring a camera with them. I mean, yeah. You see it happen on the time on social media or TV where they’re filming and they’re doing all this and that, but a fraction of the population is like, let me film my own experiences.
0:32:36.4 BROCK MILLER: Not everybody thinks about it.
0:32:38.5 PATTY-G: Like, you always have, oh, I could do this, I could do that. But the people that actually make it happen, it’s really cool to see what they’re able to put together. Yeah.
0:32:45.4 BROCK MILLER: I’ve also had sometimes where like something really cool happen, I turn around the camera’s dead or off, I’m like, oh my gosh, it just happened recently. Like a fish, you know, ate at the boat. And I’m like, man, that’s gonna be so sick. And I turn around, oh, it’s dead [laughter]
0:32:58.4 PATTY-G: We’ve had that happen for the show. We’ve had it a couple of times where we’ll be like 15 minutes deep and I’ll, this is before Flaya Focus studio, so this is not a reflection.
0:33:10.0 BROCK MILLER: There you go, shout out.
0:33:10.4 PATTY-G: But there there’ll be times where we were like 15, 10 minutes into the show and they look at and they’re like, Hey, can can, can we, can we, can we back it up and re and redo like redo 15 minutes of content? Yeah. Where we only do one take of everything. Like no, we can’t redo that.
0:33:26.4 BROCK MILLER: Oh. And that’s the thing in, in the outdoors, it’s like there’s no redo.
0:33:31.5 PATTY-G: Yeah. You can’t say, Hey fish, come back.
0:33:33.2 BROCK MILLER: Jump again.
0:33:34.2 PATTY-G: Jump again, please. Like jump into the boat.
0:33:35.7 BROCK MILLER: Exactly.
0:33:36.2 PATTY-G: Please come right here, right, next to the boat.
0:33:38.4 BROCK MILLER: You gotta be on it.
0:33:39.4 PATTY-G: So that technical side of things where you’ve got this gear and it could malfunction is always that risk factor when you’re recording this. So I can, I’ve had some, some painful times where I’ve had to look back at content we’ve created and I’m like, Oh…
0:33:53.4 BROCK MILLER: Should have done this. Should have done that. Yeah.
0:33:57.4 PATTY-G: Mic wasn’t one. Or I’ve had one where we, I straight up had somebody’s mic off for like 30 minutes before I realized that…
0:34:02.9 BROCK MILLER: Are these on?
0:34:03.8 PATTY-G: No, these are on. Right? We got the thumbs up. So in that moment, it’s like an instant moment of regret that I feel you also miss out the opportunity, you miss out the feeling of enjoying the moment because you were so worried about capturing it. I mean, how do you evaluate that as well as like a content creator where you’re trying to get this content and you’re trying to capture it, but you also wanna live in the moment and experience what you’re doing? Yeah.
0:34:30.4 BROCK MILLER: It’s such a balance. Like I would say early on I would get kind of caught up with it and, you know, I’ve gotta have my camera set up and gotta have this drone shot and all this stuff, but now it, I wouldn’t say it’s second nature, but I kind of just like set it up, let it roll and whatever happens, happens. And I feel like that’s kind of the best content. You know, you see some guys go out and they’ve, you know, setting their angles and doing all kinds of crazy stuff trying to make something happen. I feel like it’s better to just kind of set it up, let things happen and I like that just natural flow in content, that typically does the best in my opinion.
0:35:04.4 PATTY-G: Yeah. When it’s… When you’re just there.
0:35:07.4 BROCK MILLER: Like not force.
0:35:09.3 PATTY-G: Yeah. Exactly. Forcing content or kind of forcing something to happen just to get the shot. Just to get the angle, I mean it comes across in the finished product that Oh, a hundred percent not authentic, you know, like if you’ve got somebody’s saying, Hey, come back, like a touchdown pass that you miss, you know, or, please run it again. You know? Yeah. Come back, let’s recreate that moment. It’s, you can tell as the end user it’s not genuine like it was staged, you know?
0:35:38.5 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Oh. In the fishing space, you see it all the time. Like a guy sets the hook and then reels in a fish and the fish is like limp. It’s like, man, that’s not, that’s not genuine. That’s not, you know, but when you see the cast and then the, the hook set and the catch and the fish is lively, that stuff is… People just like seeing that, I feel like.
0:35:53.2 PATTY-G: Well, and then also you have to take into account when you’re consuming that type of outdoors content that they’re showing you the highlights.
0:36:00.0 BROCK MILLER: Oh yeah.
0:36:01.2 PATTY-G: They’re not like…
0:36:02.7 BROCK MILLER: Not the two hours.
0:36:03.4 PATTY-G: Brock’s not sitting there on his kayak for two hours just looking at the camera. Hey guys, we haven’t called a thing. Yeah. We haven’t done anything today. We’re just chilling. No fish are biting.
0:36:11.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. There’s good to, I think that’s one thing I’ve noticed with TikTok probably the most is you can like… The stuff doesn’t go away, but you can just post as much as you want. And like the behind the scenes stuff tends to do really well. It’s not always just has to be a fish catch or something like that. Like rigging up your rods or launching your kayak. Like little stuff like that that in the past if we were putting on Instagram would’ve never made the cut. You can put on TikTok and it may not go crazy, but it’s content you can put out there.
0:36:44.4 PATTY-G: Well, what I’ve also started seeing is people who self film their content are now… Like it came across my feed today that they will record them going back and grabbing the camera. And post those things.
0:37:00.8 BROCK MILLER: I’ve seen that, yeah.
0:37:00.9 PATTY-G: The behind the scenes, that stuff of you solo content creator, here’s what they don’t show you, you know? Logging this camera or this tripod here to get that shot, or they’re running back down the gravel road really quick, so no one steals your phone. You know, like they don’t show that side of things, but it tends to also perform pretty well than the stuff where it’s set up and you’re actually getting the shot you’re after. They’re walking away from the camera, what have you, this…
0:37:23.0 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I think Instagram, and Facebook for whatever reason, like that’s, like, it has to be perfect. It has to be framed perfect and just like edited, and just the exact shot that people have in their mind. And then, TikTok is just any kind of video just real… Some of my best videos may have been holding up a fish and putting it back in the water. And they get 100,000 views. It’s like, that’s not interesting at all to me but people just love it. [laughter]
0:37:53.0 PATTY-G: It’s quick attention grabbing Content.
0:37:56.6 BROCK MILLER: Exactly.
0:37:56.9 PATTY-G: With the TikTok where it’s, how do we get these people attention? How do we keep their attention? Whereas people on Instagram or Facebook are more, okay, we’ll look at it if it’s really good. Especially now with like, with the podcasting content, people are taking that in the longer forms and the shorter forms, and we’re talking beforehand. About doing that long form and then clipping up in a smaller form. And the impact that that has overall where it’s maybe don’t put an intro on this because people are losing interest ’cause you’ve got a two-second intro.
0:38:28.0 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. You gotta jump right into it.
0:38:28.7 PATTY-G: Like you gotta jump right into it like that’s… [chuckle] It’s crazy how much it matters. [laughter]
0:38:33.7 BROCK MILLER: Oh, yeah. And it’s like, like we were saying earlier, it’s always evolving. Like when TikTok first came about, I guarantee people weren’t thinking like that, but now they’re…
0:38:42.5 PATTY-G: They’re like, what cool dance can I do?
0:38:43.8 BROCK MILLER: Right. Exactly. That was oh Ugh. I’m glad it’s gone in the right direction since then, [laughter] But yeah, it’s wild how it’s evolved and you see, like Gary V and a couple other people, we talked about it’s so easy to emulate what they do and find success and stuff like this.
0:39:01.1 PATTY-G: Yeah. And so you’re doing something similar, right? You’ve got a long form strategy that you’re doing where you’re… Walk us through your strategy.
0:39:08.3 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, so, typically like, we’ll film a YouTube video, let’s say a marine mat install or something like that. And it may be a 10, 15 minute video. But I can go back and really, you don’t have to edit anything else. You’re just going in and splicing in, you know, splicing different little clips. And I try to stay under 15 seconds for the most part for TikTok. But it could be just laying down one piece of Marine mat and put that on TikTok and just see how it does. It’s all trial and error. Like I posted one, what’s that song is like, everything she Ain’t, that was popular on TikTok.
0:39:51.4 PATTY-G: I don’t know it.
0:39:53.0 BROCK MILLER: We played it in the shop while we’re rigging boats we’ll play music and the audio picked it up. I was like, “oh, lemme throw this on there.” Ended up doing well. It’s just like little stuff like that. But yeah, for the most part film along YouTube video, and then you can cut as really as many as you want out of it. And I’d say the biggest thing is don’t be too particular about the shot. Like, it doesn’t have to be perfect just have some kind of content that may be interesting to some people. And if you put it up there, I guarantee it’s gonna gonna take off.
0:40:23.4 PATTY-G: And there’s somebody interested in every component of the content.
0:40:26.8 BROCK MILLER: Oh, yeah. Whether it’s a weird component where you’re looking at the camera and then you’re looking down the shot and “Okay, wait, that’s crooked.”
0:40:33.8 PATTY-G: Yeah.
0:40:33.9 BROCK MILLER: And you’re like, now I gotta take the whole thing off, you know? Yeah, just little stuff like that can make a difference that behind the scenes. I feel like ins… I tell people Instagram is like a second website for your business, and then TikTok is just all the behind the scenes, and you can do a little bit of it on Instagram with stories and stuff like that. But I think people crave that other kind of angle on TikTok.
0:40:58.2 PATTY-G: So have you seen, I’m guessing the answer is gonna be yes, you’ve seen that different content you’ll… Like, have you ever posted the same video on both to see how they both perform?
0:41:06.4 BROCK MILLER: A few. I try not to. It’s kind of a tricky game. I do have some stuff that I’ll edit for TikTok and make it look nice. And I’ll put it on Instagram, like as a reel as well. That’s something that’s Instagram’s trying to compete with TikTok in that realm. So I have put some stuff, but there’s other stuff like I will post on TikTok and never put it on Instagram just for the fact that, it doesn’t really fit the aesthetic that I’m looking for on there.
0:41:36.6 PATTY-G: So and how do you have time to outfit these kayaks, man?
0:41:40.2 BROCK MILLER: I still do a little bit of it. I actually have a guy who works for me, his name is Alex. He goes to LSU I believe he’s in construction management, but he’s kind of similar to me, just like likes working with his hands and, figuring stuff out. He didn’t really have a background in kayaking or kayak fishing, but just boats and being outdoors and stuff. We got, actually got linked up through the LSU bass team. I was on that for a couple of years at LSU and I needed some help, so I posted a little thing in our group message and he’d reached out. So he’s been helping me ever since. But he, for the most part, I’m able to kind of line up projects and let him get after it and we’ve gone through some training on how I do certain things. And then other things I’m like, “look, I trust you on this handle it how you think you should.” So that’s helped a ton being able to have him do stuff and then I can either video him or make posts and handle the marketing aspect of it.
0:42:42.8 PATTY-G: So do you have your own space now for your shop or are you still operating out in a garage?
0:42:47.3 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. So after the garage phase, I actually moved over to the industrial plex, industrial Plex Boulevard.
0:42:53.9 PATTY-G: Okay. So you got like a little, like a legit space?
0:42:57.1 BROCK MILLER: Well, so that was like the first little shop I was in. And I feel like all small businesses start on industrial plex it’s just littered with people getting their start over there. And some people, some stay. But I actually teamed up with Southern Oaks Athletic Club, which is over in Shenandoah.
0:43:14.7 PATTY-G: Okay.
0:43:15.2 BROCK MILLER: We kind of teamed up and I helped ’em with some marketing and also helped with their kind of paddleboard and paddleboard rentals and stuff like that over there. But my shop is also located over there, so moved into a nicer space. Place I can kind of host events and have people come out and see everything.
0:43:31.6 PATTY-G: Okay. So in that transition, was there a point in the business where you knew it was just time or how did that happen? Going from parent’s garage to in Industrial plex.
0:43:43.9 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I mean, having eight kayaks in the yard plus mine was definitely the a telltale sign. And then also there’s also some brands like in the industry that won’t sell to you unless you have a brick and mortar place. So that was another driving force. So if I wanted let’s say YakAttack, which is a big accessories brand, I had to have a brick and mortar place to be able to open an account with them. So if I wanted to kind of make take the next step into retail and actually have a lot of products on the website, I needed a place like that.
0:44:19.4 PATTY-G: So walk us through the decision to go into retail and adding that as a different revenue stream for the business.
0:44:26.6 BROCK MILLER: It definitely started, I kind of mentioned, talked about it earlier with like, when somebody would come to me, I would, in the beginning I would kind of have to say, all right, well, you “Here’s the link to purchase this battery and fish finder, and then you can bring it to me.” And then basically I’m charging them the labor. So that kind of got the wheels turned, like, oh, I’m kind of leaving money on the table when I’m sending them somewhere else to get a product. So I think that definitely is what drove me to the retail side. And then eventually it morphed into making my own products and acquiring my own products to bring in and Obviously, when you have your own product, you can sell it for a higher margin.
0:45:06.3 PATTY-G: You set the sales price.
0:45:07.6 BROCK MILLER: Right. Yeah. Well, a higher margin than when you’re buying from somebody else. So that definitely help.
0:45:12.4 PATTY-G: So you have your own, so you call it Lack, or L-A-C-K?
0:45:16.0 BROCK MILLER: Uh-huh.
0:45:16.7 PATTY-G: So you have your own actual Lack branded items?
0:45:20.2 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, so I have a few and some of them are accessory specific too, like a specific model kayak. Like Hobie came out with a new model kayak, I think it was about a year and a half ago. And I got it immediately ’cause I knew if I could jump on that new model and I knew it was gonna be popular, I can make products for it. And that’s been one of my best selling products, is when I jumped on that new model, made products specifically for it, and then was able to sell it to other people who are looking for similar items.
0:45:51.7 PATTY-G: How do you work that? Like is there, Do you have licensing agreements you gotta do with these companies? I mean, your manufacturing relationship, what does that look like?
0:46:00.6 BROCK MILLER: So some, like, I guess I’ll kind of tell about what type of products I have. So some of the products are actually made out of marine star boards. So there’s a couple of motor mounts and just mounting plates that go on the seat of the kayak. And those I have a, it’s called a Shapeoko CNC machine. It’s about this wide, probably three feet long and it’s a CNC machine. And that was a whole nother learning curve in itself, was figuring out how to… I’m surprised it didn’t blow it up in the beginning. But I bought that and started making products with that. And I just get marine starboard and cut it out 17 times before I got it right. And then start mass producing it on the little sheets. So some of that stuff is just all created in-house. I have the hardware to it. And then others, I’ll take architect part and pair it up with one of my parts and then put it on the website as that. So it’s kind of, Some of the stuff’s my own and then some I kind of bring multiple items together.
0:47:02.4 PATTY-G: Gotcha. So you’re able to curate what specific product they need for the outfit, and then also looking into future developing of what will come on the market that you can be a part of from a construction side of things, and also kind of a selling side of things.
0:47:20.1 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. And it’s also helped with the customization of kayaks. I had a guy come in and he wanted two fish finders mounted on his kayak in a certain way that no other mount on the market could have suffice for it. And so I was like, “All right, Let me do some drawing up and figure it out and cut out two things on the CNC machine.” And the next thing you know, he is got a low profile mount that he could pick his kayak up with and it was super sturdy. So that’s the other side of it is yeah, I mass produced stuff with it, but also one of things I can… It may take me a little bit of time and that’s one of the things that I don’t always make as much money of off. [laughter] But when somebody sees a kayak with two, a nine inch and a seven inch fish finder on, they’re like, “Dang, that’s really cool. I haven’t seen that before.”
0:48:06.7 PATTY-G: So why do you need two fish finders?
0:48:08.9 BROCK MILLER: We’re getting into the specifics of it. I personally wouldn’t have it on mine, but it’s typically the bass guys they like having… It comes from the bass boat world, a lot of guys…
0:48:21.5 PATTY-G: It’s two different views they leave it on?
0:48:23.8 BROCK MILLER: Yeah.
0:48:24.1 PATTY-G: I mean, what is, you got, they only do the same thing at the end of the day?
0:48:28.7 BROCK MILLER: So I’ve done a couple of big bills and they’re always bass fishermen and I think it comes from just the bass industry. The guys with $80,000 boats and they’ve got five fish finders on them and all the electronics so they, It’s really transitioned into the kayak space. I haven’t seen one with three yet, but I’m sure it’s coming. But they do typically use one for maps or one for forward facing sonar, which is a big thing that we do a lot of installs on, so it’s, I personally wouldn’t run it, but some guys they gotta have it and we’ll figure out a way to put it on there for them.
0:49:03.1 PATTY-G: So I want to, if you’re open, I wanna hear some horror stories.
0:49:08.6 BROCK MILLER: Horror stories.
0:49:09.8 PATTY-G: Of either being on the water in the kayak or decking out someone’s kayak and it went completely wrong if there are any. I have no idea.
0:49:18.9 BROCK MILLER: I have. So My mom’s gonna watch this and she already knows it happened and she gets mad at me every time I talk about it. So this was before Ride the Bull. I can’t remember what year it was, but I went out with Chris Holmes who is a writer for Louisiana Sportsman and my dad and my brother. And we were gonna get some content for an article that Chris was gonna do on catching bullheads with these big rattle traps, that’s another Louisiana brand. And I was watching the weather and I was like… And the place we go is in the middle of a bay, pretty much. Just one specific spot and the bullheads just school up and you can catch them easy if they’re there. And I was watching the weather and I was like, “I don’t know. We probably shouldn’t go, but we gotta get this done.”
0:50:00.5 BROCK MILLER: So we went anyway and I’m just… I think we caught a couple fish, but we really didn’t have what we needed. And I look up and it’s just a wall of rain coming at us and I’m like, “Oh, rain, that’s not that bad.” And then we are like, “Maybe we should head in.” And it turns into three foot rollers and just white out rain. And I have a GoPro video of it and, I didn’t tell my mom it happened, but she sees it on my Instagram or something. She’s like, “What were you doing?” And you can see my little brother in the background. He was 11 at the time, just pedaling his own kayak. And I was like, “He was fine. I was right there.” But that’s probably the worst scenario I’ve ever been in. I’ve been, I’ve gone in the winter sometimes and gotten wet and gotten cold, but that’s… Yeah, being caught in a storm is…
0:50:44.9 PATTY-G: It’s never fun.
0:50:45.8 BROCK MILLER: No.
0:50:46.3 PATTY-G: And it’s worse when you’re 30 miles offshore. I love deep sea fishing.
0:50:50.0 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I do too.
0:50:51.0 PATTY-G: So like 30, 40, 50, 60 miles offshore and you just see those storms just pop up and just head towards the… It’s like they have a beacon.
0:50:57.6 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. They head right to you.
0:50:58.1 PATTY-G: They head straight towards the boat.
0:51:00.1 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. We’ve had our fair share of that and I better not talk about those. Those are in the boats. We’ll leave that out of it.
0:51:05.8 PATTY-G: Much safer. Much safer.
0:51:07.1 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, much safer. Yeah.
0:51:07.9 PATTY-G: So what about rigging out someone’s kayak? Has something ever gone horribly wrong?
0:51:12.2 BROCK MILLER: I wouldn’t say anything horribly wrong. I’m of the mindset, I’ll figure it out. So if something is not, doesn’t work out exactly like I thought, I’m gonna figure out another way to do it. I have taken a guy and We did a bunch of work on his kayak. It was probably the biggest build I’ve ever done. It had two fish finders, like two motors, lights, the whole nine. And we took it out, and I won’t mention the brand, but this kayak rides pretty low on the water. And I’m like, I have my camera out and I’m taking pictures and kind of going all around him, and I hear water, like rushing in. And I’m like, do you hear that? And he goes, yeah, I do. Can you look back here in the hatch? And I do. And the boat’s like sinking as we’re out there and I’m like, oh my gosh, we gotta get you in. And so luckily we weren’t far but his like 10 more minutes he’d have sank the kayak.
0:52:05.2 PATTY-G: Oh my gosh.
0:52:05.9 BROCK MILLER: And it was a manufacturer kind of issue and we kind of rigged it up to where it wouldn’t happen again. [laughter] But…
0:52:12.4 PATTY-G: That’s… Resolve the issue.
0:52:14.4 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. Resolve the issue. They don’t make that boat anymore, by the way, [laughter] But that was, that’s probably the worst experience like that.
0:52:23.0 PATTY-G: My gosh, man. Yeah. And I think it’s, that the horror stories are always kind of fun to hear because it’s like the lessons you learn.
0:52:30.3 BROCK MILLER: Oh, 100%.
0:52:31.5 PATTY-G: Are so important and so impactful going forward that, if X, y, and Z is happening because of a bad experience, I know how to resolve it.
0:52:41.6 BROCK MILLER: Right. I’m big on like learning by seeing something happen or seeing it done. So in some cases that means learning the hard way on a lot of things, but like, that’s how you really, I feel like you really learn. Like you can tell me something all day, but I wanna see it done or do it myself, and then I’ll really understand.
0:52:58.4 PATTY-G: Absolutely. So speaking of learning, as we start to wind down the show, we have like a set list of four questions we like to ask everybody. And the first one of those being, what are three lessons you’ve learned along the way?
0:53:13.1 BROCK MILLER: Definitely managing money. When I, in the beginning I’m just working trading time for money and there’s really not a lot of overhead aside from some rope or whatever that I used on the install or the repair. So when you start getting inventory and learning, I can order this much, sell it in a month, or order a set amount. And just kind of balancing that, that, that’d definitely be a big one. I mean, the whole advertising thing and just like not being set on one specific way to advertise and kind of roll with trends and new things. That’s definitely been a another learning kind of curve to it. What was the third one?
0:54:01.9 BROCK MILLER: I guess just kind of being able to roll with the punches. Not everything. Like, I’d say three years ago, I wasn’t planning on having a kayak fishing business. And now like, this is where I’m at. So you really can’t be set on one specific thing or one specific outcome. There’s always gonna be a bump in the road or like a change of plans. And if you’re super subtle on one thing, you’re probably gonna run into a wall, you’re not gonna get any further. Just kind of being flexible and rolling with the punches is definitely. Yeah.
0:54:33.6 PATTY-G: Gotta be able to pivot, man.
0:54:34.5 BROCK MILLER: Oh. That’s it. Pivot.
0:54:35.4 PATTY-G: Gotta be able to pivot.
0:54:36.8 BROCK MILLER: That’s it.
0:54:37.3 PATTY-G: Pivot when you have to. So, I mean, I feel like you’re living this answer, but what is something you did as a kid you wish you could still do today?
0:54:45.8 BROCK MILLER: Oh, I wish I could fish every day. That was something my grandparents had a pond in, where we lived in Central. And I’ll like go grab my dinner out off the dinner table and go hop on the pond. [laughter]
0:54:58.2 PATTY-G: Love that. It’s Even better when you go out there to the pond, you catch your dinner.
0:55:02.6 BROCK MILLER: Oh. Yeah. There you go.
0:55:03.5 PATTY-G: And you come back into the house.
0:55:04.2 BROCK MILLER: There you go. Yeah, but you couldn’t keep me off of that thing. But, I don’t know. I mean, I spent a lot of time in the woods and a lot of time on the water. So I can’t really complain about any of that. So.
0:55:19.8 PATTY-G: So being a Baton Rouge boy, going to Catholic High, LSU, what is something you’ll love about the area?
0:55:29.3 BROCK MILLER: I mean the culture, the food. There’s nothing like Louisiana, when you go other places and you travel, the roads are a lot nicer and a lot of stuff’s cleaner, but you can’t like, beat the culture. I especially love South Louisiana, like Grand Isle, all those… Golden Meadow, all those places. That’s like, I love just going down there. I could spend every day down there. So I’d say definitely the culture, and I like traveling. I like, going to Texas to hunt and just went skiing for the first time and experienced all that, but there’s nothing that compares to down here.
0:56:04.0 PATTY-G: Yeah. Sportsman’s paradise, man.
0:56:05.5 BROCK MILLER: That’s it, and like you, I don’t think if I lived anywhere else, I would’ve gotten to experience all the hunting and fishing and inshore fishing, offshore fishing, bass fishing, just stuff that I love to do. Like, it’s hard to find a place that has all that.
0:56:19.4 PATTY-G: Yeah. Especially within reasonable driving, the distances of everybody.
0:56:22.9 BROCK MILLER: Yeah. I mean, two hours north, duck and deer hunting and of course you can do it anywhere, but that’s where we go. And then two hours south you’re catching trout and redfish.
0:56:30.8 BROCK MILLER: Love it, man. So for the final question, what can I do to help you?
0:56:34.4 PATTY-G: I mean, as far as I know we talked about it earlier, all the connections that you have, and I’m sure I have some that, that I can hook you up with to get on the show. But I mean, that’s kind of why I like doing stuff like this is, I know you have a big, I guess, book of business and people you talk to on a daily basis and I do as well. So I think we can kind of help each other out and grow from it.
0:57:00.7 PATTY-G: Yeah. We’ll exchange PalmPilots and see what the contacts are in there. [laughter]
0:57:03.7 BROCK MILLER: There you go.
0:57:05.5 PATTY-G: So, thank you man for coming on the show. And what is the best way for somebody to get a hold of you?
0:57:10.7 BROCK MILLER: I mean, social media is definitely a good way to get in touch with me with, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and even YouTube. And then firstname.lastname@example.org is the email that I check the most. That’d be the best way to get in touch with me. But yeah, that’s it.
0:57:29.4 PATTY-G: Perfect man. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you for volunteering to be in episode one of…
0:57:34.2 BROCK MILLER: Yeah, episode one.
0:57:34.9 PATTY-G: 2023, man.
0:57:35.3 BROCK MILLER: I’d say we did all right.
0:57:37.2 PATTY-G: Oh yeah. We crushed it.
0:57:38.3 BROCK MILLER: We did pretty good.
0:57:39.4 PATTY-G: We did great. We had some good stories, some good times, man. Hopefully your mom doesn’t yell at you too much.
0:57:44.6 BROCK MILLER: Oh no. That was in the past. We’re all still here.
0:57:47.4 PATTY-G: Well, thank you so much, Brock, for coming on the show. I appreciate your time and I appreciate you sharing your story with everybody. And thank you everybody else for watching or listening to the show. I greatly appreciate it. Now the guests do as well. We’re in it now, we’re in 2023. We’re rocking and rolling. I hope to see you all on the next one and hear from you all. Let us know if you have a guest in mind that you think we should have on the show. We’re going to do our best to incorporate any business and every business that we can in the community. So we don’t know of everybody, and I’m sure you know somebody that we don’t, so be sure to reach out to us, whether it’s email, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, whatever social media platform you’re on, or go straight to our website and reach out to us from there, and we’ll do our best. So thank you all so very much and thank you to the amazing sponsors that make this show possible each and every week coming your way right now.
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