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Meet Phil Kelly of Malo’o in Solana Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phil Kelly.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Hi, I’m Phil Kelly, the founder of Malo’o.

I started Malo’o (Hawaiian for Dry) because I couldn’t find a good solution to dry my wetsuit after an early morning session. Often, I head off to meetings or to the office and I didn’t have time to take it home and rinse it and hang it properly. It would either sit in a plastic bin in the back of my truck or I’d try hanging it on things throughout the day, so it could be ready for a late afternoon session. Nothing worked and I knew there had to be a better way.

I’m also an avid snowboarder and camper and realized that I was always looking for places to hang my wet gear. Towels, hats, gloves, clothes, jackets and other items, all needed to be air out or dried out, when I was on the go.

I wanted something that was durable, portable (could go from truck to van, to RV) could dry my items, didn’t break the bank and was recyclable. Since this didn’t exist, I decided to build it. After a dozen different prototypes, I finally hit upon one I really liked and I filed a Utility Patent for it. Then, I got some others to help me and we finalized the design and materials.

In late 2017 we took it to Kickstarter to see if anyone else would like it. We were successfully funded and moved on to manufacturing. In April of this year, we started delivering our DryRacks to Kickstarter backers and made it available to the public.

Outdoor enthusiasts can now get the Malo’o DryRack on Amazon, Malooracks.com, and at great local partners like Hansen’s and Surf Ride. We’re still in the early days of Malo’o, but we’ve been blessed with great customers and spectacular partners in the best location in the world! So, fingers are crossed for a bright future.

Has it been a smooth road?
Things just take more time that you plan on. We needed to find a logistics provider that could store our product and also ship it anywhere in the world at a competitive price.

They also needed to be able to deal with the starts/stops of a startup. Luckily, we found a good one, ShipLabSD. We’re working on the go-to-market activities every day and we are really challenged with how to make people aware that this product is now available.

There is so much noise out there, and getting the word out is very expensive. So how to reach people, with a new product, in an efficient manner? That’s a challenge!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Malo’o story. Tell us more about the business.
Welcome to Malo’o! It’s Hawaiian for “dry” and pronounced “mah-loh-oh”. We are located in Solana Beach, CA and we love the ocean, mountains and the great outdoors.

For most of the year, we are spoiled in Southern California with great weather. But, when it cools down, it’s time for the wetsuit.

For years, we washed out our suits the old way and hung them on anything that was available. But we knew there had to be a better way! We tried everything that was out there and also a few home-made contraptions but we still suffered with “damp wetsuits” like most every other surfer… so we decided to do something about it. We knew there had to be a simpler and faster way to dry a wetsuit. We developed several prototypes until we hit upon one that was easy and fast, and was portable and could be used inside or out.

Now that we had a solution to the “damp wetsuit syndrome” we had to share it with everyone and Malo’o was born. We also found that the Malo’o rack was great for drying our gear while snowboarding or camping.

Our mission is to enable active lifestyle people to enjoy more of what they love to do by giving them a simple and efficient way to dry their gear while on the go.

We’re a new company so I think we are still working on what we should be known for, but so far:
– DryRack that hangs off the side of a vehicle
– Durable, portable and does what it’s supposed to do.
– Guaranteed- product is guaranteed for life

It’s unique because it was made specifically for the outside of a vehicle, to hang over the side mirror (patent pending). Also, because you can hang just about anything on it. With our accessory kit, you can hang it from just about anywhere. So extremely versatile and useful. There is not another product like ours in the market, and folks are loving it, so far.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Our Market is the great outdoors. Surfing, SUP, diving, windsurfing, snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, climbing, camping, boating, RVing, to name a few.

Every study we read shows that Americans, in particular, are getting outdoors more and the demands of participants are growing. The more people partake in an activity the more likely they are to consider gear to enable them to do that activity more or better.

We see the overall Outdoor market continuing to expand and we look to bring new solutions to our customers over the years ahead.

Pricing:

  • Malo’o DryRack $39.99
  • Malo’o DryRack Combo $45.99
  • Free Shipping on orders over $35.00

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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