A few years ago, my friend Gary and I had a party up in Rabun County. Since it gets chilly up there in the fall, we thought it would be neat to build a fire on the dock (without burning it down of course) and hang out on the water.
It was last minute, so we found a trashed air compressor tank and cut it in half.
It looked pretty redneck, but it worked. I brought it home and used it on my deck until my wife decided that, although she enjoyed the fires, that thing was ugly and embarrassing.
So, I knew this guy who had been cutting the ends off of 350 gallon propane tanks and painting them like baseballs and such and selling them to sports bars with patios.
For whatever reason, he couldn’t seem to sell the soccer ball. So, I bought it from him and headed to the junkyard to get a steel truck rim that I thought would make a simple base.
This is all going down Christmas week. Christmas Eve, my buddy Dave and I have both been abandoned by our wives. So, we buy a case of beer and weld a base and handles on the soccer ball. When we finish, its actually snowing. So we build a giant fire, listen to weird Christmas music and polish off the case.
Well, our house is good for parties, and my wife likes to entertain. If it was at all chilly, I would build a fire and our friends would always seem to enjoy it. Some would even ask how I got that thing, if I would make one for them, or where they could get one. Especially my friend Andy Stivers.
I told him that lots of people always seem to want one and I’d be cool with making him one, but I couldn’t seem to find the right materials for the right price. Andy can always sniff out an opportunity and he found a good source for the steel.
He said ” Every time someone sees one of these firepits burning at your parties, they want one, and that’s just our friends. Why don’t we make a bunch and I’ll see if i can sell them?”
I verified that starting a business would not require me to wear a tie, quit drinking beer, or playing 9-ball, and said “okay, let’s do it!”
And that’s more or less how we started; from hacked air tank, to Christmas Eve soccer ball, to Speer and Stivers Firepits.
I think they are really cool, and you should all get one.
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