the story

the box truck boys!

It was the summer of 09, and I was laying in my bed brainstorming ways to make a million dollars when it suddenly popped into my head. I can sell a million dollars worth of advertising space on a box truck. Wow, that was easy! Hello cover of INC magazine. It was only a matter of time. Once my adrenaline rush settled down I decided to sleep on it.

After looking into the logistics a little further, I decided it would be best to put this one in the idea arsenal and get ready for senior year of college. I’d pick it back up in full force when I graduated next May. Fast forward nine months, and my college roommate, now business partner Brian, is finalizing the last step to become a legal corporation in Massachusetts. Thanks to the $1,000 investment from our other roommate Cory “Robo” Robart, we were officially in business.

We took off the cap and gowns, packed our bags, and left the college dream in the rear view. We had inherited a new lifestyle, and my mom had inherited one more child into the household, considering it would be tough for us to make this project happen with Brian at home in Chicago. No worries though mom and dad, we’ll be here for six months, make the million, compensate you heavily for rent, and be on our way. Famous last words.

So you’re probably thinking to yourself, what’s the box truck they’re going to sell this ad space on look like? Valid question. There was only one little problem with that, we didn’t own one yet.

Six months later we had caddied about 250 times at the local country club with the plan of using that money to create and host the best fall beer festival Salem, MA had ever seen. Which if all worked out would raise us enough money to secure our loan for the box truck. Solid plan right? Three months later the first ever Witchtoberfest was upon us. Did the beer flow, the band rock, and the people dance? Yes! Did we make a ton of money? NO. However we were able to donate $750 to the Boys and Girls Club of Salem, not bad. Plus, event planning was a pretty good asset to add to the business model.

So back to the drawing board. Through extensive searching, we had found the perfect box truck hanging out in Middleofnowhere, New Hampshire. It was just a matter of being able to write the check. Thankfully, two of Brian’s uncles believed in us like Robo had before and forwarded the loan, for a pretty solid interest rate as well. Now we were officially, officially in business.

All we needed to do was register the truck, insure it, get CDL licenses, and we would be on the road and sold out by spring. Again, not so much. After hundreds of calls and emails to businesses we were realizing something. People just didn’t get the concept, and to be honest, neither did we… So we went back to the drawing board, and we realized something pretty painfully obvious. We never really devised a value proposition as to why it would be beneficial for your ad to be on our truck. Now it was time to invest in a whole new drawing board.

Initially we wanted to make a mobile advertising collage of ads, art, photos and logos. We thought a truck that was a massive collage of ads would be something to look at, and we still do. But upon further inspection, we knew it needed to be more than just a truck. It had to be one of a kind, it had to be an event in itself, it had to be something people wanted to be a part of.

The philosophy became this. If we could create the most awesome box truck the world had ever seen then surely people would want to look at it. And if people wanted to look at it then it would be a valuable place to advertise. And if this truck sold out and ended up looking the way we knew it could then it would surely become a piece of history. And who doesn’t want to be a piece of history?

That’s when Bigfoot was created. The idea of Bigfoot was everything we wanted our truck to be, and Brian decided to put a little different spin on what Bigfoot “looks like.” So after several hundreds of more rounds of caddying, Bigfoot transformed from a sketch on a piece of notebook paper into the 12X8 foot face you see smiling at you when you see our box truck.

With Bigfoot officially looking like we wanted him to and October knocking on our doorstep, it was time for Witchtoberfest round 2. After months of planning and the infrastructure in place, it was only a waiting game to see if the people would allow themselves a night of “good beer, good music, and good times.” Let’s just say everything fell into place. With more than double the guests, breweries, and restaurants than last year, 600% more profit, and a check for over $2,500 to the Boys and Girls Club, we were pretty happy.

But before the year ended we wanted to take advantage of our 26 foot box truck to test the waters of one more entrepreneurial venture, the Christmas tree business. Yes, we sold Christmas trees. Once the last lucky customer got their tree delivered and set up by the Christmas Tree Guys, it was officially time to say goodbye to 2011. It was a year that was filled with a whole lot of ups and downs, and certainly proved to be quite the learning experience.

So in 2012 we are here with a more focused mission. That is, to transform Bigfoot into the most awesome box truck the world has ever seen while creating a piece of advertising history in the process. Plus, we want to help out some really awesome charities while we’re at it. And if you see us along the way, make sure to come over and grab a beer out of Bigfoot’s taps. Yes that’s right, he pours beer. And yes we are thinking the same thing you’re thinking, that’s pretty awesome.

To Chasing Your Dreams,

Pat and Brian

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