This Week's Episode of the Podcast
Tune in as Capt. Zach sits down with another Capt. Zach, the creator of the Thrash Can. As a serial entrepreneur, Zach always solved problems, especially if they were detrimental to the coastline. It wasn't until a trip to Costa Rica, loose trash in the cockpit, and a napkin sketch would eventually bring the Thrash Can to life. This episode of the podcast isn't just about building a brand or creating a product. It's a story behind the trials and tribulations of taking an idea and giving it a go. Zach is a purebred entrepreneur, and it was awesome getting to get the backstory behind his life in the water and the brands he has built.
It's not often that we get to meet everyone that appears on the show. As we continue to grow, they tend to in person meet and greets become more frequent. However, not all meetings are equal, and what seems to have been somewhat serendipitous. A muggy 5 am morning in Orlando, Florida, we first met Zach in a parking lot for an early morning workout with fellow podcaster Tom Rowland. Brief introductions and Zach and I found that we shared the same nickname. When meeting a Zach, you ask, are you a Zach with a K or an H? Zachary, or just plain Zach? It's not often that you get the response Zachariah, which is rare among Zach's and mustn't be taken lightly. A brief encounter led to numerous discussions about fishing, boating, business, and admiration for entrepreneurship.
Cut from a different cloth, it's easy to spot a purebred, and after talking with Zach, there wasn't a question of whether or not he is an entrepreneur. By definition, an entrepreneur is...
"Someone willing to take an exceptional risk in pursuing a business venture. Someone who can fail over and over and yet turn lessons learned into success."
For Zach, the lessons learned in his early days, humping beer to college parties, creating a mold for a door handle assembly kit, or preventing trash from entering our oceans, Zach has found himself making his own path to success...
Keeping Our Oceans Clean
As a Captain, Zach knew that he was more than just a guy with an urge to create a product, but had an opportunity to take a chance and make a difference. The Thrash Can represents what it means to be a steward. Small, deliberate steps over time tend to add up and result in significant change. Keeping your trash secure on board is just another step we, as outdoorsmen, can take to prevent further damage to our environment. We aren't perfect 100% of the time, but we can set a precedence that will hopefully carry on to others if we take some precautions.
Capt. Zach: My name is captain Zach, and this is along the keel is a lifelong Waterman. I have gone coast to coast, having opportunities to rub elbows with some incredibly hardworking men and women who have built their lives by the shoreline. I take you behind the scenes of some of the most iconic coastal brands, chat with entrepreneurs and chop it up with the people who are making a difference on our coastal communities.Born from the need built by the water. Get ready to earn your summer.What's going on everyone. Welcome back to another episode of along the keel. My name is captain Zach, and this week's episode of the podcast. I have a, another captain Zach on the podcast. Not only that, but he is also a captain Zachariah. You don't meet a lot of us out there. And when you do and you find out he has a coastal brand and also loves to work out at 5:00 AM in the morning, you have him on the podcast because that's what you do. And that is exactly what we're doing today. We're having Zach on the show to talk all about the thrash can a five gallon bucket topper that turns your bucket. Anybody. Into a trash can that prevents trash from going into the ocean, killing Marine life, making a big old mess. And we also get into all the other businesses
Capt. Zach: been a part of created and his life as a serial entrepreneur.
It was an awesome podcast. I really enjoyed having Zach on the show today, and I hope you guys enjoyed this episode along the keel. If you want to support the show, please. Go over to apple podcast and leave a five star review. Write something nice. If you want to and check us out on social media. At, along the keel on Instagram and Facebook and LinkedIn, and also sign up for our email@example.com.
You can learn all about this episode of the show there. And please, please, please like share and subscribe. Anyway, before we go into the show. We want to give a quick shout out to Waypoint TV who is hosting this podcast
as well as social cadence, who is helping us schedule all of our social media. So with that, I
hope you guys enjoyed this episode of the
show episode 74,
featuring the trashcan
or we'll just, we'll just keep it.
Zachariah Zachariah. Good to see you again. You know, enough about real estate talk. Cause we could, we could chit chat about that all day. But you know, it's super cool to be able to will a meet another Zachariah. Cause there's not a lot of us out there. I don't think I've ever met one before meeting you at ICAST have had you met one before?
I haven't. You're the first saccharine I've mad. When you told me that day I was, I just assumed it was a. Any, any other Sachs, but with the age it's been Zachary or something to that effect? Never Zachariah you're the first.
Yeah. Well, you know, it's aware it's a rare breed, a saccharine and I guess we gotta, we gotta at least stick together in some capacity, but it was cool being able to meet you at high CAS, but we prior to ICAST, it was really, I met you in the parking lot.
Was it the fire station or of Orlando?
Zach Thrasher: Yeah, it was right across from the Hilton. I believe the fire station over there with, yeah, that one the one, the best of places to me, but it was, it was a pretty cool experience. You know, we got to, we got to both see Tom Rowland outwork us firsthand. So that was cool.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Yeah. I want to come to the cross that that dude has, has got it down. That is for sure. He's got hell of an engine and he's, he's just an all around great athlete.
Zach Thrasher: It was being able to,
Capt. Zach: yeah, it's, it's, it's really cool to watch. And then, you know, not only that, but to see everyone else has showed up that day and you had never met Tom before that.
Zach Thrasher: Actually I met Tom in the same place two years prior. So in 2019 for the same thing, the same workout I want to say I did a little better back in 19. I may have, I may have had a few too many beers in between, but the, the person who impressed me actually was Jonathan Mohs, man. Like he was crushing it and he's an older guy too, but he was there every single day.
I know you were too. I only made it the first. I was in the, I was in the scrub class, but man, he was, he was killing it. I was like, I was looking bad out there. Hey man,
Capt. Zach: I wouldn't don't put yourself down. Not, not many people are getting up. What was it like? I think I got up at 4 45 that morning to, to then run down to the parking lot with builder.
It was a.
Yeah, it was, I was to be honest with you and I'm thinking, oh, we'll grab an Airbnb every night and there would be an Uber and a, you know, cause it's like a mile away. I looked it up. I'm like, yeah, that's Uber, that's Uber trouble. And he's like, Nope, we're going to run it. I'm like, all right, well, I haven't run in like six months.
Zach Thrasher: is good. Man, that's fun. Hats off to you guys. We drove there
Capt. Zach: and then, you know, we touch base again at ICAST and it was just, it was great being able to see a community of people that kind of gets together for one, you know, the love of the ocean and fishing and just conservation and then a whole, you know, variety of levels.
Right. And guys had gone to the loss. John will be coming on the podcast. You know, in a few weeks or within, you know, within the month, hopefully. And yeah, just be an awesome guys. So Zachariah, Zach, we'll just call you Zack Thrasher, Mr. Thrash.
Zach Thrasher: You know, they just call you Thrasher. Yeah, I mean, I started on when I was in high school, on wrestling team, everyone called each other by their last name and kind of stuck, I guess.
So it's always been Thrasher, Zack too, but mostly.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. So where does that nickname, like, how did that
Zach Thrasher: evolve? Which for the trashcan or just the Thrasher, just being called Thrasher, you
Capt. Zach: just crash or in general, because now you've kind of built a brand several brands around.
Zach Thrasher: I think it all goes back to just, I mean, high school wrestling to you.
I mean, everybody, like I said, it was everybody's last name. That's just what we call it. Everybody. It was easier. There was two. I think we have like two or three Joshes, you know, it was just easier to call everybody by their last name. It just stuck and it was always Thrasher. And I get that a lot. If I'm filling out something or somebody asks you, well, what's your name?
You know, Zack Thrasher in there. Oh, that's cool. Last name Zachariah never seems to school, but you know, thrash, they're actually usually people kind of key in on, and it's been, it's kind of a uncreative way for me to name whatever business or product or. Endeavor I'm taking on. It's easy to be like, okay.
Thrasher property or Thrasher lures. It's it just kinda stuck. And it's it's done well so far. So if it ain't broke
Capt. Zach: well, multi-faceted last, I didn't know you were wrestled in high school. So I was a wrestler as well. And then Tom, so it seems to be, you know, me, you know, I'm pretty sure Jonathan might've wrestled too.
If I'm not.
Zach Thrasher: But I still am. I still got values from the team I'm friends with his day and apparently don't have to be a good wrestler to have a good time and Mila. Yeah. Right, right.
Capt. Zach: So, you know, we're, we're kind of here to talk about a variety of things, but you know, you have such an
Zach Thrasher: interesting
Capt. Zach: just an interesting way about going things, you know, whether it's your.
Real estate, your. You know, learn a company and to thrash can write and just everything in between, like you are a serial entrepreneur, you know, and it's, and it's cool to see that someone, you know, and you're a younger guy too, as a Mayan and it's, it's very cool to be able to kind of pick your brain. You know, I let our last, he's doing this.
You know, our, our last conversation, you know, it was just kind of an intro, but it really kind of spun off on. So just building businesses and, and what it, what it's like to kind of go through this. The patients, the waxing and the waning of what it means to kind of just put it all out there and put it on the line.
So I'm curious, like where did where did Zack kind of get started? You're down in Orlando. We were talking earlier about all your real estate, which, you know, that's like another side passion. But where did this?
Zach Thrasher: It's a long story, man. How much time do we have, but I'll see what I can do. I'll I'll I'll try to.
Trim the fat a little bit. But yeah, it's, it's kind of, I tell my wife all the time. It's you know, you go to a, for example, when I meet some of her coworkers or friends for the first time you know, most people, they introduce themselves and they ask you, what do you do for a living? You know, it's really easy if you're an accountant or a fireman or whatever, you know, like whatever profession it's a short, simple answer and you move on to the next thing for me, it's like, well, I mean, A couple of small businesses, which one do you want me to focus on right now to move this conversation on kind of thing.
But really it all goes back to honestly college, I guess, was when I started my first business. So it was I was 22. I was a freshman in college or I was a sophomore in college. Sorry. I had taken a year off after had. But I, I came up with this business idea. It was actually a keg delivery service.
I don't even know if I told you about this, but I had started college and I had, you know, kegs, I rented taps and tubs and beer pong tables, sold ice and cups. And I even had a kegerator leasing lease to own program that I had. And I mean, it was awesome. I honestly feel like I learned more from that first business.
At Florida state's business school. I mean, it was really immersive, I guess. I learned a lot of, you know a lot of hard lessons too. The business did well, but it wasn't what's that well, what
Capt. Zach: made you start that? Like, why was it, why? Cause most college kids on weekends, they're going to getting hammered and now you're supplying.
The means to the right. You know what I mean? So, like
Zach Thrasher: I said, I was doing that too, of course, but actually, so that, that original business was at, we were at a party. It was a house party. They had a keg in it, you know, it was obviously empty and somebody was going around collecting money. The only guy that had a truck was probably more hammered than anybody else in the party.
I'm like, no, It cannot be the guy that's going to go get another cat. He's going to kill himself or somebody else, you know, on his way. And I kinda said to my body you know, at the time and kind of joking, I was like, man, I wish he could just call up and order a keg like pizza or something. We wouldn't have to worry, you know, just tip the guy 20 bucks or whatever.
No one has to drink and drive. And that's, that's what kind of initiated that. And then next thing you know, it just kinda snowballed into. Second largest walk-in cooler and Tallahassee out over 88 kegs of beer and stock at a time. I, my first first year in business, I think I, I always joke that my, my most I've ever spent on beer in college, but somewhere close to 40 grand in a year.
But yeah, it was, it was a cool little business, but I would say that was kind of the spark. That's what kinda got me going on this. Serial entrepreneurship path, I guess. For sure that was the, after that it was like, nah, this is what I have to do. I, I don't want to work for anybody else. Like this is, this is where I want to be.
Maybe not doing this for this.
Capt. Zach: Right right now, growing up. Was there someone, excuse me, was there someone that was kind of doing something similar? You know, I, I feel like a lot of people that are in the entrepreneurial kind of mindset or just someone that owns their own business is always kind of, you know, they, they see someone else doing it or maybe a close friend or, you know, so on and so forth.
And, you know, I've been fortunate to kind of be in that realm, you know? So seeing that it's like, oh man, That's like you, that's where I want to be. So was there someone there that kind of, I guess, initiated that catalyze that initial
Zach Thrasher: without a doubt, without a doubt, that would be my dad a hundred percent.
He's he's been in the automotive upholstery business for, I mean, probably 10, 15 years before I was born. So he's been doing it a long time and not seeing him you know, he was never huge. He did really well for himself. He was a craftsman. He was very skilled. He was one of the best guys to do it and as day, but but he kind of instilled that entrepreneurship and that, you know, don't rely on anybody else.
You put your head down, you grind and you'll be successful. That's I kind of kept that for sure. And then his influence and you know, the auto pollster industry actually kind of led to my second business in a way So I, I think I mentioned in passing that I had two other patents for it's a door repair kit for cheap grand Cherokees and Jeep commanders.
So when I was, let's see, just right after high school, I was making a custom motorcycle seat pants for like choppers and stuff during this big OCC chopper craze, when that was all really big. And some of these custom bikes and just go and buy a seat for it. You had. Physically make a custom fiberglass seat pan, build the foam up and then covering whatever leather, exotic material important.
But I was doing that and then I kinda took that skill and I had a Jeep grand Cherokee that had a broken interior door handle. And I went to the dealer. I tried to research how to fix it. Couldn't find anywhere how to fix this thing. They wanted like six to $800 per door. And I mean, Eating ramen noodles at the time, you know, going to college, there was no way I was going to be able to do that.
And I was like, you know, I don't know how to work with, for glass. I could probably make something work. And that's pretty much what happened. I took took a mold, the one good door handle that had made a plastic door handle that I could kind of put in a place painted it. I actually heated up a little piece of PVC in a toaster oven.
In between my class, my fiberglass, and it works surprisingly. And, you know, then that kinda fast forward a little bit more. And I've got several toaster ovens in my college apartment. I got a little door handled factor, you going, you know, I'm sure my roommates love that. And that kind led,
but it was, it was,
yeah. Yeah. It's I'm sure my friends are, are over it by now. They're like facts or they don't even, they're not even surprised anymore.
Capt. Zach: What's that doing these days? Yeah. It's like, Hey, what, what do you do? You know what? That's kind of a loaded question. I got like five different things. Oh, I totally know what you mean.
Like someone will ask like, well, Yeah. It's like, well, I drive boats and you know, I do online television stuff and I got a podcast and then I also sell stuff. It's like, All right, man. Like what, what are you, what are you doing over here? You know, but I think it really comes down to like, not getting bored, you know?
And, and I, if I had to just go down and just do something every single day that writing an email every single day or, or file paper, I would just go insane. Like it just wouldn't, it just wouldn't work. And my family will tell you that. Yeah, Zach, we'll try something and maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't like in college, similar to you.
Like I had a little Amazon business and I would literally go before class at 8:00 AM and you know, there was these towels. Right. And I feel like it's always the most random stuff, right? Like here you are making seat pans for choppers and, and a door handle kit. Right. And I was selling you know, those towels, there's those towels that kind of dry you off or keep you cool.
I should say, you know, if you soak in water to keep you cool. So I
Zach Thrasher: found out. Yeah, like
Capt. Zach: construction workers and whatnot. So I found out that I could buy them for really, really cheap at this place called job lot here in here in Rhode Island. And you can resell them on Amazon for like three times or four times the price, you know, so what I would do is I'd go into job law and I just take my card in my hand and I just like sweep them into my cart.
And when I would go check out, they were like, so what do you, why do you keep coming in here and buying these? And I'm like, man, I just really like them. They're great. They work really well. And they were like, okay. Yeah, exactly. But the beauty of it, it was was, you know, if I didn't see what I didn't sell, I would just, I just return it and get my money back, you know, and like pay the shipping fee.
So it was like, it was great inventory job. That was awesome. And if anyone here from GE works from job, you know, you guys should. You wary of people like me, but you know, that's neither here nor there. So, you know what I really, the reason why we met at ICAST was for your business, the trashcan, right. And thrash alors and you know, what I thought was super.
What, what was a genius product? And, you know, one that you have a patent on is, is this idea for a, a bucket topper that allows you to have like a mobile trashcan, right. And there's so many different areas that you kind of go into with it, whether it be the conservation side, how you've created it, like the patent process.
So what was it that made you go from. Baking Jeep grand Cherokee door handles too, you know, cause you're also a captain. We don't want, we want to, you know, sneak that little nugget in there as well on top of everything else. And, and you know, but then at the same time, like you use your ability to kind of see where a problem is and trying to solve it, to create what is now the trashcan, you know, which is such a serendipitous, you know, name for not only in the last year.
Zach Thrasher: Well,
so the, the thrash can yeah, so it's not a stretch to say that Jeep grand Cherokee and commanded door handles. Weren't my passion. That's not something that I did for fun. Anyway, that was, I mean, I saw a way to profit from it and I didn't, I didn't really see anything else other than, you know, being able to fix my own car.
Short-term and long-term being able to profit from the business, but I've always been passionate about fishing. I've always been really into like just conservation and I mean, I've just been raised that way. I was, I was actually an Eagle scout and you know, I was always, I was always raised that you should leave somewhere better than you found it.
You know, you shouldn't leave anything behind and if someone else did that's on them, you should clean it up for them. I just kinda grew up with that mentality. And I kind of came up with this idea. I got tired of seeing trash, obviously like some of the smaller stuff that I know just blew out of the boat when I'm on the water, you know, you see like a crushed can or a water bottle, a rapper crack, a rapper or something like that, something light that blows out.
And I was trying to come up with a way to kind of stop that or prevent that from happening. And I, I never really did anything about it. I kind of had some ideas, but. Made a move. And coincidentally, we were on a, a charter in Costa Rica and it was this beautiful sport fishing yacht. I mean, with a crew that was, you know, running like clockwork, every, they had everything figured out.
So I'm out there fishing. And about the third time I see the the first mate chase a can around the back of the boat. I'm like, you know what, if this guy is having this problem, this cruise, having this. This has gotta be something that's industry-wide, it's gotta be something that you know, even on a smaller scale, people are, it's something that they need.
And literally I got back to the hotel room, I started sketching stuff out, drawn it on you know, the little free pad of paper and you get in the hotel coming up with some designs kind of brought that back to Orlando. And we got home and talked to my dad again, who was in the auto upholstery industry.
Who's perfect for helping me make a better. Being able to sew up some of these materials that I had, these crazy ideas that I had. And finally we got something that worked and I tried it out. I remember the first time I took it out on my boat, I was like, this is it's stupid that this has not existed.
And it just seems so simple and it, it works so well. I just, I couldn't believe that this wasn't out yet. And of course then I moved onto the patent process to protect myself. It started kind of going from there on figuring out how. Increased production and getting into stores and then it just kind of exploded
Capt. Zach: for sure.
Right. Right. So, you know, I think he kind of skipped over the fact that you're also a captain too, right? Like, so, and the fact that you grew up on the water and into the ocean has kind of been very important to you, you know, you're, you're down in Orlando, so. You know, Florida is, you know, besides all the alligators, right.
You guys are super, super passionate of the ocean. Right. And there's a lot of issues that are going on in, in, you know, something like the trashcan, you know, it's not gonna, it's going to do its part in solving those problems. Right. And I think what you've done in creating that is, well, it's just awesome.
Another side of this thing where it's like, okay, we got this incredible product, but the story behind how it came to be kind of is encapsulated into like, you're a Waterman, right? Like you're not just someone who saw the need or you saw the need, and then you, you capitalize on it. But at the same time, like you're truly passionate about being on the water, you know, and, and being a part of this bigger thing.
So like, walk me through, like, when did you get your license?
Zach Thrasher: It's funny. I actually, so my grandfather who was, unfortunately, he was really sick at the time and he, he was he would always ask me, you know, I, I had talked about getting my cap cabinets license for years and he would always ask me, Hey, can you get me your captain's license?
Anytime I'd see him. And unfortunately towards, towards the end, you know, he was asked, that was like the one thing he would always ask, even when, I mean, there was times where he wouldn't remember. You know, someone's name and he would still Zack, if you you get that captain's license, you know? And so I, I knew it was, it was something I always wanted to do.
I just kinda just kept putting it on the back burner, back burner. And finally I buckled down, I ended up just doing a online course and then going in person and taking the written exam after that I had plenty of hours. I mean, I had experience running, you know, a lot of different types of size.
It was just one of those things. I just never really put the time into it. But I finally did. I finally buckled down finally and I was able to finally tell him, you know, like, Hey look, you know, Papi, I, I did it. Here's my, I brought it to him, you know, and showed him, I got my captain's license. Unfortunately he passed pretty much right after that.
Like, I mean, probably within a week or so after that, but that was kinda my main drive to get it. I'm I'm not even guiding. I mean, I take people fishing all the time, but I'm not a. I'm not doing that as a profession, by any means, I'm afraid of getting burned on water or losing my passion for, you know, some of these red fish tournaments and other things that we're, we're trying to do.
Yeah. Now is that
Capt. Zach: yeah. Has been, was that something that was kind of instilled from you from like a younger age? Like always being on the water being cause. You know, in my line of work, like being full-time captain, you aren't you'll get good. Like after you licensed that's, that's not how it works. Like you got to earn it.
Right. And like, you get good when you're behind the, you know, when you're, when you're running a little tiller dinghy at, you know, 10 years old, right? Like that's, that's when, you know, that's, when you can learn the currents and the wind and the tides, and you get kind of. I guess in touch with, with the water around you so I can imagine growing up what's that and touch.
Zach Thrasher: Yeah,
Capt. Zach: but that's
Zach Thrasher: right.
Capt. Zach: If you're not jumping waves on a boat at any point in time in your life, like, are you even on a boat?
Yeah, you got to blow up at least one motor to, to truly
Zach Thrasher: you gotta know where, right?
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Well, it's a safety thing, you know, if you know where the line is and then he dumped across it all the time.
So, you know, with you kind of leading up to this thrash camp, Obviously growing up on the water had a huge impact into where you are today. And then once you create thrash, can, what was your step into like, okay, I got this thing. I'm super passionate about the water and the ocean. Like, where do I go from it?
You know? Cause you can have a product, you know, and then you could patent the product, which I'd love for you to kind of touch on, you know, what that process looks like. But then at the same time, like, all right, now you gotta like, you gotta sell this thing. Like we got to get this thing out so we can make a difference so we can get people to kind of buy into being conscious while
Zach Thrasher: out on the water.
Yup. A hundred percent. As far as the patent process goes, it's actually. A lot easier than people may think. I think it's really important to find an attorney that you trust and that you think is going to be with you from the beginning until the end, because there's a lot of attorneys that you know, you can, you can find any patent attorney that can do a search.
Some guys will be able to actually draw up the patent and file it for you. And then there's other attorneys that can do all of that and litigate for you. If something down the road happens. And this is something that. The hard way with the door handle company. I had a lot of companies copying me and the original attorney that I had.
Unfortunately, wasn't a litigating attorney. So I had to find a new attorney who, who could help me there. And I could actually go to court and fight these guys. And who in the long run ended up being the attorney who drew up the patent for the thrashing and a couple of other products for me. And it's it's really paid off, but.
The most important thing I would say is find an attorney that's that you can trust. That's going to be able to take you from idea to possibly litigation. I think everybody should think of that. And then, you know, you just kind of move on from there, but that the patent process is really just about being patient being patient trust, trusting your attorney.
And that's, that's pretty much it, but as far as.
Capt. Zach: that took like years, right? Like the patent did that
Zach Thrasher: take, it depends on the it depends on the type of patent and the complexity of the product, I guess. So for example, the thrash cans pretty simple. I mean, it was kind of a straightforward product and it was a design patent. So it didn't take very long.
It was about two years for that. Where the. Door handle the patents. It's a method apparatus patent, and that's actually a full utility patent that took on. It was almost seven years before it was fully packed. Yeah. It depends on how complex the widget is, I guess,
Capt. Zach: basically. Right. Oh, that makes sense. So you have this patent, what's the next step?
Like what was the, okay, I got this idea. I got this product. How do I get it out to people?
Zach Thrasher: So. The next step for me, I knew I could make it. I knew my dad was capable of making these, but there's absolutely no way that you know half retired auto upholstery is going to be able to keep up with demand for this.
So I knew I wanted to find somebody that could produce this product. But I didn't want to just, you know, send this straight off shore somewhere and have it produced overseas. I wanted to keep it in the U S and I, I started kind of researching and figuring out what I could do for. And I found a company called tackle webs.
Then I don't know if you've heard of them, but they have like tackle search solutions and cooler webs. And they, they, they it's all sewn. It's a rural, similar mesh construction. I mean, it was, it was really close to what I was doing and I thought, you know, well maybe if I can talk to this guy, he can kind of help me out figure out what I can do to produce these, that kind of thing, which I ended up meeting with.
Yeah, he was a little skeptical at first. I didn't really tell him anything about what it was. I just told him I had an idea involved his product and he kind of, I didn't want to give me the time of day at first, he kind of gets people that all the time like, oh, you should make this for that or the other thing.
And, and he said, it's, it's a common thing, but he's glad he took the meeting in the long run. But anyways, I sat down with him and I told him about it and he his name's Mike, Catherine Microtech. With tackle webs and he ended up taking me under his wing. And I mean, he's been teaching me a lot about just back in logistics with business and you know, freight quantities and all these things that I had no idea I'd never dealt with anything on this scale.
And, you know, he had the experience of not only producing a product that was similar, but then he knows about dealing with these retail buyers. You know, it was about, you know, getting into the stores and everything. It's been awesome that I found someone locally in actually in Orlando, within 20 minutes of where I live that was able to do that.
And I, I feel pretty lucky that it just kind of, it worked out really well.
Capt. Zach: What'd you kind of consider him like, almost like mentor of such, or is he more like a partner?
Zach Thrasher: I think originally we were partners. I mean, I, I brought them in as a partner with the business and that's how. Gained his help and trust move forward from there, but he kind of became a mentor later.
He, so in 2019, that was the first ICAST. I mentioned I met Tom Rolan at the workout in the morning. I was actually just sharing a booth with Mike with a tackle webs. I didn't have my booth, I didn't have anything. I had like a teeny little, two foot by two foot corner of his table, you know, I'm like off to the side and I was just kind of trying to gauge interest and it ended up.
A really good time. And I've met so many people in the industry and it, it, like I said, I wouldn't be anywhere near here without, without him, for sure. So that's kind of went from partner to mentor to, you know, we're, we're moving forward as partners. So.
Capt. Zach: Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. And I got to imagine, like that had to have been a pretty pivotal moment in a lot of ways, because up until that point, you'd kind of been, I mean, other than your dad, like helping you out here and there, but kinda.
You know, like you, you just been figuring stuff out, you know, like, okay, I gotta make a mold. Like how do I make a mold? All right. Google and YouTube perfect. Or nobody, you know, like it, and until then it was okay. I got to this point, like maybe it's time to, to reach out. That's what it sounds like. So what was that transition like in terms of just mentality, because now you're taking a product from, okay.
I got the patent. Okay. I got. But at your you're now doing it at a scale that you'd never done before. Like I got to imagine there's some fear, but there's a little more, it could have been a little scary now
Zach Thrasher: yet, without a doubt, man. I'm, it's funny that you picked up on that because about that was a hard pill to swallow for me at first with not being a hundred percent owner of a company, bringing on a partner and actually having someone else.
I have to consult to, to do things or to consider. And that actually was a really big deal for me to bring somebody else on. And I don't, I don't think anyone's ever called me on that. It's kind of, it's kind of funny, you picked up on that, but
Capt. Zach: we have telepathy,
Zach Thrasher: right? Maybe that's what it is and mean that's what it is, but but no, yeah, it was, it was tough at first, but Mike's been, I mean, he's, he's kind of a.
Grumpy old salt, but you know, he's, he's been he's been a good dude overall. He's, he's definitely, he's made some networking connections for me that were, you know, I mean, you can't put a price on it and introduce me to people that I never would've met otherwise giving me advice that it probably would have taken years of me screwing up to figure out.
So in the long run it was a, it was definitely a good choice for sure.
Capt. Zach: But it was. Yeah, I can imagine. I can imagine, you know, it's, it's something that having never been in that position, I can't really speak to it, but you know, when you're doing something on your own all the time, it's like, well, you're, you're kind of skeptical, right?
I mean, you're like, you're going to grind as much as I'm going to grind, you know, are you going to help as much as I can? Cause I'm, I'm all in, you know? And I think we're approached by partners. Like that's always the question of, well, are you going to. Part as I can. But when you see guys like Mike who have have a well-established business and are doing things, it's like, okay, yeah, he gets it.
You know, he understands. Cause at some point in time he was, he was right there in your position, you know?
Zach Thrasher: And I, I think he was actually a little bit weary of me at first. And it took kind of a while. I think he's kind of in his own business, dealt with people who've been burned before. And things. And I think it took me a while to kind of earn his trust too, which is fair.
You know, he doesn't know, I'm just some guy with an idea. So he hasn't seen me work until, you know, now we're a couple of years into it and I think he realizes now I don't, I don't really stop it's I have, I have a problem with that. It's once I get, once I get going on something it's hard for me to, it's hard for me to let off the throttle.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. You're like, by the way, dude, I also have four other businesses. So like, I mean, if the proof is in the pudding, I don't know what to tell you. Like look at my resume. Well that brings up a good is like, okay, yeah, this guy, this guy does not stop. You know, there's, I feel like there's underlying factors in entrepreneurship and I'm kind of glad that, you know, a lot of times we focus on the story.
The business and we've really, we've, we've dove into this story. But I think with that, it warrants a lot of outside questions of just the w the waxing and the waning of creating a business. And as someone who has created multiple businesses and a lot of them just kind of being on your own up until now, you know, there's that, and you said it right at the beginning, and I've had this kind of in the back of my head, but.
It's like the grind, right? The day in the day out there doing stuff that has to be done and no one else is going to do it, unless you do it, like, explain that, like, when you say grind, what does that, what does that mean to you?
Zach Thrasher: For me, it's, it's like, like I said, it's the stuff that nobody sees, you know a lot of being an entrepreneur.
Working for yourself. It's, it's part of that. And I mean, most people believe it or not will say I've had people say it to me. They're like, well, you don't, you don't have a real job. You know, like you don't have a nine to five, like that kind of thing. And they say it as a, and that kind of digs at me a little bit.
Cause I'm like, man, a nine to five would be a pretty cool part-time gig. Right, right. I mean, compared to entrepreneurship and the stress of having everything on you, man, it's, it's a. Trying to figure out the best way to say it, but it's, it's really, it's the stuff that nobody sees. It's the, behind the scenes, all the hours of like the real boring mundane stuff that no one really wants to do, like making a business plan or, or doing all this research for you know, like a patent search or similar products and trying to break down every single part of it.
You know, material costs. Packaging and all, I mean, there's so many little minute things that go into, even something as simple as the trashcan that it takes, I mean, hours, days, months, weeks just to get through it just to get to where anyone's even seen the problem. And I th I think that's, that's the biggest thing for me is, is it's the part that nobody sees.
The long hours the stress on your marriage. If I dunno if my wife's within here in shot right now, but I'm sure she's built it too. And and, and like you said, there's wax waning and it's, you know, there's, there's so many ups and downs and it's, it's your typical nine to five, you know, you have that, you're pretty confident that paychecks coming every week.
If you just, you know, do, if you have to do to not get fired, you'll get that. With entrepreneurship, you could, you could be working as hard as you ever have, and there's no guarantee that's going to be there. There's no guarantee of the business is going to be successful or that paychecks can be there.
And being able to just put that in the back of your mind and keep working just as hard as if it's going to be there. I think that's, that's the grind.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and not to mention the fact that you could put hours and hours into something of creating the thrash can not knowing whether or not you're going to make even a dime off of it, you know?
And, and that could be next week, you can make money or it could be five years from now or 10 years from now. Like you have no idea, you know, and, but there's something to be said about just. Not really looking towards the monetary value. It's it's it almost becomes like this weird game that you, you inside are sickly, enjoying.
Right. Of of like, man, this is some, like I'm, I'm building something, I'm creating something, you know, I think that's what gets me excited rather than just, you have. Yeah. Otherwise it's not fun. Like, cause otherwise if it's all about money, well then you're not going to be, you're gonna be very disappointed.
Zach Thrasher: You can make money doing that. You, you have to feel that passion and, and, and you, you touched on it earlier, you know, I've grown up on the water and it's absolutely not just a product that I'm passionate about, but then, you know, I'm, I'm marketing towards an industry that. No. I mean, that's, this is what I want to do when I clock out, you know, this is, this is this industry.
And this promoting the product is this is what I want to do when I'm not working. So if I can find a way to combine the two of those, then that's, that's being a successful entrepreneur, even if you're not built the rich at the end of the day, if you're doing what you love and you're passionate about it I think it's more about quality of life more so than, you know, the number in your bank account.
Yeah, for me, you know, these things, not only do they do a good thing, I mean, we're every one of these on a boat. Obviously it not only helps keep trash out of the water, but it shows that the captain of that vessel cares. He doesn't want anything in his boat adding to the problem that's already there. It it actually, you know, we, we donate a portion of every sale towards some type of some type of coastal conservation.
So that, that same captain, you know, he's doing his part. He's, he's put money towards something else. I mean, it's, it's, it's a snowball effect, man in it. And it, I think it makes kind of everybody think twice too. And when they see something on the boat, that's directed at one thing and that's even trash out of the water.
And if you're on the boat and you see that, you know, you're gonna think about what you're doing for the rest of the day. And, you know, maybe be a little bit more conscious about dropping something over the side or flicking a cigarette butt or whatever.
Capt. Zach: Yeah, no. And, and what I really see the thrash can being is it's a tool to educate people on the issues that are affecting our environment.
Not only just trash, because what it does is it opens up the conversation about conservation. So whether it's about, you know, Tampa bay right now with all the algae blooms and you know, what's going on in the Everglades, You know, captains of clean water is doing a fantastic job. Kind of covering that.
And then, you know, even up here, like the, the, the marshlands, you know, the degradation on our marsh and in shoreline erosion here in Rhode Island, like, what it does is if you're on a boat and you see someone who is taking at least an effort to, you know, have a trash can and putting your trash into the bucket and like not having it, just sit around the boat.
It's kind of, it's a, it's a great marketing for you, but what it really is is it opens up the conversation. You know, like when I was running boats on Hawaii, we made it a point to offer reef safe, sunscreen, you know, and even if people were coming onto the boat and had sunscreen, but it wasn't reef safe.
Like we would give them reef safe, sunscreen regardless. Right. Because we knew the importance of our reef. And if the reef's not healthy well, then the fish aren't and if the fish aren't, then people aren't going to come see a dead reef. So. What are we doing here? You know, so it's, it's almost as if the guides, the guys that are on the boat, you taking your friends and family out who maybe haven't seen that waterway, you're an ambassador for, for the ecosystem.
You know? So it's almost as if the thrash scan is kind of like a tool to do that. It
Zach Thrasher: seems like. Yeah. I mean, that's, I never thought of it that way, but it's absolutely an educational tool especially for, like you said captain's taking people out and I know a lot of people will take you know, hire a guide and maybe a new area they've moved to and they want to learn more about the fishery.
And I mean, that, that is definitely something you want to instill on these people that are coming and moving to the area. And, you know, they see this guy and they'd see this product. They've never heard of it. They see that he's making you know, active choices to prevent trash from going out of his boat.
Maybe that'll pass on and, you know, educate his friends and family and keep going from there. That's that's a great way to look at it. I never thought about that, honestly. Why dockerize they won't put the light. I'm just going to keep going back to
Capt. Zach: that. So, you know, as you've kind of gone through and, you know, creating thrash can, but also like all your other endeavors.
What are some of the biggest things that you've kind of taken away with that, you know, like the, what are some of the wanes that you kind of look back and be like, okay, now I understand why, you know, that happened. And, and you kind of, I guess, look back on your, not really failures, cause it's always an evolution, you know, and, and kind of say, okay, that's how I learned.
Like that's what I took away from this process.
Zach Thrasher: Yeah. I mean, I would say that the, it teaches you how to be humble for sure. I, I think most people who I've started from, you know, the small little business as an entrepreneur and kind of grew it into anything it, they have to, at some point learn how to be humble.
I mean, even if they aren't in the beginning, it's it's it's definitely a profession. That's humbling. I was at a point when I, before I've been at the door handle repair. I was actually, I was in college. I just graduated. I was actually selling my furniture on Craigslist just to be able to pay my rent.
And I mean, I didn't know where I was going to be hired. I didn't know what I was going to do. I knew I didn't want to move back in with my parents or do anything like that. And then that's when the the door handles happened. I mean, it just happened to be that time and kind of savings there.
And then that business, you know, obviously allowed me to pay off my student loans and buy my first house. Gave me the means to start this product or, you know, even pursue this product. But I, I think at the end of the day, it's just, it's, it's being humble. It's, it's like it's entrepreneurship is a chance for someone to take little to nothing and build it into whatever they see or whatever their dream might be.
I think that's the biggest thing is it's, it's a way for anybody to do what they want.
Capt. Zach: I love that. I love that mentality because, you know, without kind of taking a step back and being humble, you're I feel like you don't, you don't get too far, you know, and, and if it's it's as much about you as it is everyone else too, and creating products that truly help, you know, it's not just a cash grab, right?
Like the trash can it's that really kind of gives back. Now, do you think that. You, I mean, you selling furniture to pay for your rent and
we can laugh about it now. Right? You can I so like,
Zach Thrasher: yeah. So
Capt. Zach: was that. Do you think inventing the door handle was a mixture of just the, having the fortitude to keep going? Or was it a little bit of a mix of luck, a mix of stubbornness, like, cause that kind of really in a lot of ways, other than the keg business was your entry into where you are, where you're at now,
Zach Thrasher: you know,
I would say, I mean, there's, I, I will never deny that there's some luck involved always, but I think it was it's it's stubbornness for sure. I was, I don't like to, I, I pride myself in being able to fix something. I don't know why I probably got that from my dad or my grandfather. It's they kind of instilled in me that you know, you should, you should at least try to repair something.
We've never, I've never been raised as, you know, just to throw it away and buy new. That's a completely foreign to me. So with the door handle thing, I think it was just, I knew I was in a tight spot. You know, I had nothing else to focus on. And at the time you don't have this broken door handle and I'm sitting around, I didn't have a job, I just graduated.
And I'm like, well, maybe I can focus on this and fix this and get my mind off of things even. Of course I was fishing at the time, too, when I could afford to the gas. Yeah, I think it was, I'm going to take your words, but stubbornness for sure. Luck. And then just that mentality that keep working, you know, keep grinding and something's gonna happen.
And that's exactly what happened. I mean, it wasn't, yeah, we're talking about it as if it was happening. One thing after the next, and it was it was a little different than that at the time, but it was, that's definitely how it went. Putting my head down and working just because I didn't want to focus on where I was at the time to, Hey, this is, this might be a successful product.
Capt. Zach: So as you, you know, kind of look for, or look towards the future, I should say, you know, with trashcan and all the conservation efforts that you guys do with, whether it be a beach cleanup, you know, donating to organizations, getting involved, where are you kind of see this? Where, where do you kind of see this going.
Zach Thrasher: So actually, I'm glad you asked me that that was we're currently kind of facing an issue right now with meeting demand and we're having a few production kinks, and I think it's kind of industry-wide with materials and things like that, even, even I know some boat manufacturers have bowls that are completed, that they just can't power right now.
And I don't think it's just me. We're having issues, keeping up demand right now. And I I've been working with a new company who I met at ICAST and I've been talking with them and I really want to try to kind of pursue this custom option where, you know, I might be able to work with these other companies that have a similar focus, like maybe like toad fish Outfitters.
I know that's really cool what they do with the oysters Mang, the guys, what they, they do with mangroves. For ocean with the trash, obviously another one. And I feel like if I can get to the point where I can work with these other people who I think are doing an amazing job of, you know, this one-to-one kind of business model maybe I can work with them and kind of take my idea and mix it with other people that are doing great things while still doing, you know, these trash cleanups.
And I mean, the, the more of these we get on board. The less trash we're going to see in the water. And like you said, it's an educational tool. I'm hoping that it just kinda, it spreads that awareness and it makes people think twice about taking trash out on the boat and letting things just blow away. Or it just even a conservation mindset.
I hope it puts people into that, that way. I would hope. Yeah. Well,
Capt. Zach: you, I mean, you rattled off some, you know, Mang has been on the show, you know, for ocean still trying to get them on. So if you're listening, you know, just to call me all right. But yeah, great, great people like that, doing something good.
And then, you know, guys like yourself providing the tools to do so. I think that's an awesome idea and you know, something that. Without a doubt is going to bring more awareness to conservation and educating the public on what we got going on. So with that Zack, yeah, that's the goal. Right. And you know, so with that, where can people get in touch?
Like where can people learn more about it and, and, and buy one, get involved, follow you on Instagram. What's the, what's the deal there.
Zach Thrasher: So I guess one of the best places to purchase it would be on Amazon. When they're back in stock, unfortunately we're sold out right? We were Amazon's choice product for a little bit, and that kind of just cleaned us out.
I mean, I know a lot of people do that, but we do still have, yeah, that's not a bad problem, but we do still have some in stock on Thrasher lewers.com and you can check us out on Instagram at, at boat trashcan. We're also on Facebook. The thrash can those are, those are probably the top places. We have a YouTube channel too.
It's just Z thrive. But we're, we're, you know, we're constantly doing something where we're planning another trash pickup. I mean, if, if somebody listening has another way that we can get involved with some kind of conservation effort where we're all ears and we're happy, we want to, we want to work with a different kind of company each year.
So, you know, the first year we kind of worked with CCA we've talked with captains for clean water. We want to kind of pick a different. Focus each year that's conservation minded and hopefully be able to be in a position to donate to them each year to somebody different. That's kind the goal.
Capt. Zach: Awesome. Love it. Well, Zach, Hey, thanks for being on the podcast. It was a pleasure getting the chat, you know, all things, entrepreneurship, trashcan, and yeah, it was just always good to catch up.
Zach Thrasher: Yeah. Thanks for having me, man. Talk some real estate, let me know.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Well, you know, I'm always down to talk real estate, so all right, man, we'll be good.
And we'll see you on the next one.
Zach Thrasher: Yup.
Capt. Zach: you guys for tuning into this episode of along the keel. It was a great being able to catch up with Zach and memorialize our workout at 5:00 AM. You know, right before I cast with Tom and the way point crew in this podcast. But not only that, I get to really learn all about Zack and dive deep into why he created thrash can.
One thing that I have kind of taken away with all of our conversations that I've had with Zach. Not only with this podcast, but on the, you know, just casually over the phone would probably be the word patients.
Things take a lot longer than you think. Right. And you know, recently this past summer just giving some personal input here would be the fact that when you think, you know, what's about to happen, you don't right.
And when you
Zach Thrasher: think you.
Capt. Zach: I've got it all figured out and you got your plan, get ready for that plan to change, you know, and, and change in a good way. Right. And just be patient. Right. And that's something that I know I struggle with. I think a lot of people tend to struggle with it. But that's one thing that I think I've taken away from this episode of the podcast and the episode that I always have with Zach, when I'm on talk one of them on the phone about a variety of different things.
So anyway, hope you guys enjoy. Make sure to stick around for the, I don't know, this is the end, so don't, you'd have to stick around for anything. Be sure to give us a five-star review. It does mean a lot. It does help the algorithm do its thing and get this show out in front of more people. So that's super helpful if you want to write something nice, go for it.
You know, I'd love to hear what you guys think of the show, what you guys are doing out on the water and be sure to check us out on social media at Alon McKeel on Instagram, Facebook, and Lincoln. And check us out on YouTube, where you can watch this episode go down and we got some really cool coming 20, 22.
I know I've been saying that for awhile, but Zach is going to be involved as well as a lot of the other brands that are I've been on the podcast.
Zach Thrasher: We'll also
Capt. Zach: be involved. So stick around, tune in as always work hard, do good, be incredible and have an
Zach Thrasher: awesome day.