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It's time for the next Talk It Up Tuesday, this week we caught up with Brent Densford of Beach RC, Assault RC, and Boosted Designs to learn a bit about the business side of the industry.
LiveRC: Hey Brent how have things been over on the East Coast all things considered this year?
Brent Densford: Hey Tyler, Things have been a little on the weird side this year. For me personally 2020 has been decent. I've made it my mission to grow our brand(s) and to also get as healthy as possible with-in normal human standards. As far as BeachRc and our brands it has been a pretty good year to date. I feel like the hard work, long hours while submersing myself in the hobby has allowed for our brand to gain recognition and grow even though times are rough for some. In a business like this where everything is a luxury and bought with expendable monies, I feel we are fortunate to be able to do what we love and have a business that employs people and puts food on the table for my family and theirs. So I would say overall that things aren't all that bad out here on the east coast.
LRC: For those that aren’t aware you have a couple of business ventures in the RC industry, what are all the companies you have a hand in?
BD: Well of course BeachRC is what I am known for and that is my number one focus overall. I have spent years, countless hours and many sleepless nights growing this brand while trying to maintain a presence in the community at the track and events while trying to keep a healthy home life which is probably the hardest thing to do of all the tasks. Prior to starting Beach Hobbies and BeachRC.com I was in the design, manufacturing and fabrication industry. I really enjoyed the design side of things so naturally I wanted to design and have my own product line which is where Assault RC came from. Assault RC is our proprietary line of products made for hobby shops that encompasses our in house designed products as well as a wide variety of products that other brands have that have our spin on it. But everything is priced to help make hobby shops and race tracks better margins and offer a great variety. Then we have Boosted Designs. I have been printing graphics, car wraps and signage for 20 years. It is something that I have always done and just last year I opened up an office across from Beach Hobbies to work from and have dedicated employees to keep the ink flowing. Just in the past couple weeks we have acquired new shirt printing equipment and will start working in that field but to be 100% honest, we print more stuff for Beach Hobbies and BeachRC.com then other customers. It's basically a means to do all of our own work and keep things in house, which offers us the ability to change on the fly, print banners for big or special events, new shirts for promos, stickers for all of our online orders and more. I guess that is really the just of it all...
LRC: Have things gone back to normal within reason at the Beach RC?
BD: Yes, we are pretty much back to our full capacity but our hours are a little shorter than before for the time being. Beach Hobbies was one of the first shops to close down voluntarily to the public until we knew the scope of the situation. We never closed as we kept BeachRC.com open as most if not all websites did, and once we were comfortable we offered curbside pickup to our local customers. But today we are open, and trying to practice as many of the social distancing options that we can to allow for a good environment for all of our customers. Ultimately I am not sure we will ever see what we once knew as normal, but we are going to do our best to give the most normal experience to our customers as possible.
LRC: Do you sell more racing products or bashing stuff on the website?
BD: That is a tricky question to answer. I could go strictly by the stats and say one way but I think in the long run, the track and our true racer following could rival the basher stats any day. Of course the basher market is the biggest market by far in our industry. But it's almost impossible to break into that side of things with the bigs out there doing their thing. So with that being said we focus more on the performance side of the industry however we do work hard to drive the traffic our direction with the basher crowd.
LRC: How did you get into the industry?
BD: In 1987 my dad bought me a Tamiya Falcon. I loved it and played with it until it was so worn out you couldn't even fix it. Went to the local hobby shop back then in Tucson AZ and ran it on their tracks a few times but never got into racing at that point. However I was racing BMX bikes, quarter midgets and whatever I could compete in. Fast forward to the mid 90's. I was living in Colorado and some of my friends and I got some cars and ended up traveling to MHOR in Denver on a weekly basis to race indoors. Knowing nothing about it but wanting to compete I just went and did my best but we were all in our mid teens and loving every minute of traveling together and competing against each other. I had an Associated B2 and Losi XXT CR at that time. So, my experience at MHOR was so good at that time in my life that I thought one day I would have aspirations of owning a hobby shop and track like that, but let's face it, the dream was to chill, hang out with friends and play with toy cars all day like some if not most hobby shops. I just have too much ambition which is why BeachRC.com came about almost instantly when I started Beach Hobbies 1.0 in 2013.
LRC: What do you enjoy more, the business side or actually racing?
BD: You know, I never have really thought of it, but since you asked... Early on when I opened up I would have most definitely said the racing. I have been racing something competitive my entire life. Racing is in my blood and I don't think I would be who I am today if I didn't compete in sports or motorsports growing up. I feel like it gives that edge I need to get better, achieve goals and see everything as a means to victory. As I have gone further down this rabbit hole I have come to love the business side of it and all the challenges that come along with it. So with all that being said I will always love competing but, as of now I am not as serious as I once was and I have much lower expectations of performance and results than I once had. I race for the fun of it now. I don't race enough to stay sharp or stay on top of the new technology as all these young guns. Now that I am 40, I will at least get to run one more class at most of the bigger races though. ;)
LRC: Do you guys have anything exciting coming from any of the brands for the rest of 2020?
BD: Well, there is always something in the mix. I feel like we will definitely have some great new products from a lot if not all the brands we import or produce. I do know of one big product announcement from BeachRC.com that we will be doing in the not too distant future that should be something new and fresh for the industry. But of course LiveRC and my main man Lefty will get those press releases hot off the press as soon as they are able to fire out.
LRC: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
BD: Well of course I want to thank you Tyler and LiveRC for continuing to promote the performance side of the hobby and keep tabs on the industry for all of us. And I would not be able to do any of what I do without my amazing crew who makes sure we stay up and running daily. I truly feel that I have the best employees in the business and it shows daily with the amount of work we put in and the personal touch we have with our customers. Honestly just the entire RC community that has continued to support us with all the other options they have we certainly appreciate each and every one of you and wake up each day to serve and help you with your RC passions. Thanks for connecting with me and having me on TIUT, it is always great and a pleasure to work with LiveRC.
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