Eric Prum, Virginia bred entrepreneur, has taken his talents to New York with an idea that may soon change the ways we use mason jars. The creation of the Mason Shaker combines the idea of a classic New York City cocktail with a southern style and demeanor.
Elite was able to sit down and catch up with Eric Prum about the Mason Shaker.
What was the creative inspiration that led to the development of the Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker?
The mason shaker was the brain child of myself and Josh Williams a few years back in college. While throwing a bbq+cocktails party, an all too frequent event, we jury rigged a shaker out of a mason jar. A few drinks later, we decided we would try and make one for real. It took a couple of years to refine, but we feel we have done it just right.
I'm aware that this is not the only project that you have going on at the moment. Could you tell us more about the other ventures that you have in the works?
I have a couple of projects that I have pursued over the past couple of years. My primary 'day job' so to speak is being a partner and designer at a German Paintball company called Style Supply (www.style-supply.com). We make all kinds of custom extreme sports goods. In addition, earlier this year I formed a Stun gun based sport and launched the league in March- www.utblive.com . We have had events in LA and Thailand, and are looking to partner with a major network this fall to bring the sport to television.
As an ambitious entrepreneur, you are familiar with failure. Could you tell us about a time when you were faced with a failure but you were able to persevere?
Sure thing- first off every day is full of successes and failures and you have to strive to not sweat the small stuff, and focus on the bigger picture. Whether it is a creative endeavor, the formation of a sport, or my manufacturing and design company, there is never a perfect day, something is bound to happen, and what defines you as an entrepreneur is how you react. Right out of school I felt I was ready to start my own business, so I moved from Virginia to San Diego, and opened a paintball shop. I did it hastily and without the right knowledge etc. Safe to say, with in 6 months, I was back home, broke and jobless. I really took that as a learning experience, and it has truly taught me lessons about preparation moving forward.
Kickstarter has become the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. What are your thoughts on crowd funding?
Crowd funding, through kickstarter has been fabulous. Its near risk free on both the investment and reward side, and if curated properly a kickstarter project benefits both parties. We are looking forward to many more projects using the platform.
Being a full time entrepreneur is quite the commitment. At what point did you realize that nothing will stop you from success and you are in this field for the long run?
It is truly a terrifying full time commitment, but the reward is that you are your own boss, with your own schedule and pursuits. My current path has been full of ups and downs, but where we are now is pretty incredible when you look at the road behind. I realized that this would be a full time pursuit pretty much as soon as I left my day job. Manhattan isn't the cheapest place on earth, and if you want to make it here, you have to be all in to what you are doing, 100%. The positive about a place like NYC, is that if you are committed to a good entrepreneurial endeavor, there are a lot of ways to make your dreams into a reality.
Do you have any advice for young, aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be bold, be fearless. It takes a bit of confidence to walk up to a TV exec with an idea, or abandon the safety of a salary for what some might doubt as a crazy idea. I have a great support structure in my family and friends. My wife Bianca has been an absolute God send over the past several years, as I have had to work crazy hours and travel the world, I am fortunate to have her.
Where do you see yourself professionally 5, 10, 50 years down the line?
Continuing to pursue these ventures... I have an active imagination and I am not done yet. I envision UTB on TV and on a national circuit. I am hoping to build the W&P Mason Shaker into a full line of similarly themed bar ware, and I am certainly not done yet. 50 years.... maybe.