I first met Georgia Hoyer in 2009. We were pretty good friends back then and spent a lot of time talking about technology, startups, and what it would be like to create an awesome product. We both started our own companies shortly thereafter. Georgia founded a company called TrekPak and I started a technology company that would eventually transform into Drift Management. We’ve often bounced ideas off each other over a nice glass of whiskey. We’re both partially responsible for the success of the other’s company.
Georgia’s a great gut check. She is absolutely determined to succeed in everything. If you’re doing something of questionable intelligence, she’ll call you out on it. Of course, she’ll also offer some advice that only a hungry entrepreneur could. “Get crazy. Think about what’s not being done and do it.” That’s exactly what she did when she created TrekPak.
TrekPak is an organization system for photography and other protection-necessary gear that travels with you. She retrofits products for Pelican cases, backpacks, even luggage. When I first saw the prototype in 2011, I knew it was worth pursuing – recklessly. She came to me to build her first website. It was terrible (I completely admit that). We built it on an early version of WooCommerce. WooCommerce in 2016 is much different from what it was in 2011. Over the last 5 years, WooCommerce has quickly taken over 30% of the eCommerce market. It definitely wasn’t ready for the needs of TrekPak, but we did what we could to push something out the door. We had to do it cheap; we had to do it fast. Her company’s success depended on her ability to move product.
While we were tossing ideas around for the website, I mentioned this new thing called Kickstarter. It’s a household name now (for better or worse), but in 2011, it was a completely new, untested concept. I had only heard about it a few months prior. She looked into it and eventually submitted a proposal that Kickstarter accepted. That’s when she turned into a super human with laser focus. Get the website finished, get the press release finished, contact tech blogs – she pushed hard to get the publicity her product deserved. I helped her get there as best I could. Thankfully, lots of blogs picked up the story and she reached her funding goal on Kickstarter easily. She had no idea how much stress, joy, and chaos was headed her way. Neither did I.
For the most part, I was along for the ride. We talked strategy every few months: constantly sharing progress reports on our respective companies. I saw her put her personal well being aside for the success of her company. While I’d never wish that on anyone, she did everything she could to make TrekPak succeed. That meant less money for fun activities and more money for her company. She put everything she made back into the company for several years. She’s young, powerful, intelligent, and hungry. It was a combination of those traits that helped her take TrekPak beyond a hobby, beyond a product, beyond a startup, and turned it into a Colorado success story.
Pelican TrekPak Partnership
Today, Pelican Products announced that they’re partnering with TrekPak. Pelican will stock several iterations of Georgia’s products as optional configurations. That’s huge. Georgia’s been making Pelican-ready TrekPak dividers for years, but the Pelican TrekPak partnership means she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves. Soon, every Pelican customer will hear and see the name TrekPak. They’ll see how great her product truly is and how much benefit it adds to the Pelican brand. I can’t wait to see the company grow beyond anything she and I predicted.
Congrats, Georgia! Thanks for letting me play a small part in your story.