SuccessQuest Podcast

Following Your Passion with Mario Thurber of PVC Armory
< Back to all episodes

Following Your Passion with Mario Thurber of PVC Armory

Show Notes

Kalob sits down with Mario Thurber and talks with him about PVC Armory. They talk about the importance of passion and following dreams in business. 

Mario Links

Jacob Links:

Kalob Links:

SuccessQuest Links:

Full Transcript

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting issues.)

Jacob Harmon  0:12  
Welcome back to another episode of success quest. I'm Jacob Harmon. And today we have a real treat for you. We have another interview two weeks in a row really excited about it. And this week Kalob is going to be interviewing Mario Thurber, the partner and co owner of PVC armory, and they're going to talk about their business and kind of the story that led them to where they are today and the success that they're seeing. Without further ado, I'll turn the time back over to Kalob.

Kalob Valle  0:48  
Guys, I'm so excited today I have an amazing guest with me. This is Mario Mario Say hi.

Mario Thurber  0:54  

Kalob Valle  0:54  
He said Say hello to success quest nation. I wish we had a cool name we we call them clusters we call it stirs all of our listeners questor's. Today guys. We're going to be doing an interview with the infamous Mario Thurber. And he I'm going to apologize ahead of time we're doing this with my child in the background as well. So I mean, if you hear some whimpering crying, that's just that's just normal. Also some coughing if you hear some coughing, I'm kind of under the weather. And I'm going to do my best so I don't interfere with this interview. But I digress. Okay, so we have Mario here, Mario, tell us a little bit about yourself so people can kind of get to know you.

Mario Thurber  1:36  
So I'm from Arizona, I am 28 years old. I went to LDS Business College. So very fancy. I'm very business oriented and what I do kind of how I live my life and everything. So yeah, I basically live for business. And I've I'm married as well, no kids yet. My wife Halston has a photography business. So we're both kind of in the business world. Now that's kind of what we do.

Kalob Valle  2:06  
It's really cool. The reason I invited Mario on to this podcast and I reached out to him, I told him, I was like, Hey, I would really love to do an interview with you is because he is very entrepreneurial. He loves business. So this is wife and they both are constantly talking about it probably on a daily basis. I bet you right, because you're going to a workshop, he has a little workshop. And I mean, she's doing stuff daily as well editing and stuff. But I wanted to talk with Mario because he does something. He has a business. And it's, it's a little different from the norm. And Mario key. Go ahead, just tell us what it is that you do with your business.

Mario Thurber  2:45  
Okay, so it's kind of funny, because I have to explain this every time I

Kalob Valle  2:48  
really. Okay.

Mario Thurber  2:51  
So let me explain what it is exactly. So you're I mean, we're familiar with PVC pipe, right? The white pipe that you use for your yard sprinkler systems, right, exactly. So this pipe, when you heat it up to certain temperature becomes kind of soft and malleable. And then if you hold it in a certain position or you know, whatever shape you want, and it cools, it'll stay in that position. So while ago actually, when I was in college, we had an assignment where we had to start a business. And I'm not particularly crafty, I like more of the business side of things. But I had a I have a cousin. And he had made some of these he's very creative. He found it online. He's like check out these these PVC bows. And they were fully functional bows that he that he had made from PVC pipe, which is crazy to think about this is like white, functional, fully functional. So white irrigation PVC pipe that use like in your yard, you can make it into a bow. Not only that, but he could paint it to make it look like would do all sorts of crazy shapes and stuff. Anyway, so he had shown me some of these and I had this assignment my case, like I have to make a business. So I go to my cousin like, hey, how much does a piece of PVC pipe cos He's like, like a 10 foot pieces like $2 and 50 cents. I'm like, what this ridiculous right? incredibly cheap. So we decided to just one day we started up a business. I'm like, Hey, I gotta do this for the society. Let's do it. We came up with the name PVC armory. And we just made it's so funny seeing like the progression because we just made this dinky bow like, took a picture of it online. Did like $30, free shipping and, and we sold like eight of them our first week. Wow. Yeah, snap crackle. So and that was about five and a half years ago. So honestly, I didn't think I'd still be doing this. But we've expanded we make bows that are based on like, you know, popular movies or whatever. They look really nice, we can make them look like they're fully functional.

Kalob Valle  4:52  
So when you see a fully functional, I think our audience may need a little bit more information, right? Like, okay, what does that entail? fully functional,

Mario Thurber  5:00  
so fully functional. So like, you can pull it back and you can shoot an actual arrow with it.

Kalob Valle  5:07  
And that you don't mean like just 10 feet either like those little plastic ones. You mean? Like you could you could go and shoot.

Mario Thurber  5:14  
So so we get this question a lot. So just to give you an idea. So bows the draw away on them is measured in pounds. So how many pounds of weight you're pulling when you pull it back? And typically, to go hunting, you need a 45 pound bow. Alright, so that's the typical, if you're just doing recreational

Kalob Valle  5:35  
sounds like that's article Yeah,

Mario Thurber  5:36  
45 is actually a decent amount. Most people can't pull that back, they prefer something more like 25 to 35 pounds, which is most of what we sell, because and I'll get into that in a little bit. But we can make 40 we've made bows that are over 100 pounds draw weight

Kalob Valle  5:51  
What?!, over 100 pounds out of PVC pipe.

Mario Thurber  5:55  

Okay, that's crazy. Crazy

yeah. And I mean, can't even pull that back, you know, like that, that is insane. But we can get it up there. It's reliable, how resilient the PVC pipe is,

Kalob Valle  6:08  
That's insane!. Okay, okay. So thank you, by the way for explaining your business a little bit more, I hope or the questions out there can kind of understand what it is you do. What we do here, I've already probably I've talked to Mario about this previously, before the podcast, you know, we talked about success. We we talked about all the facets of success, that it's not limited to just being financial, or you have to have a business. But um, we like the business side of things, because I think it's um, it's intriguing. And I like this business in particular, because it was just something you kind of you saw your cousin doing it on the side and you were thought you thought this would be really fun. And then it turned into something bigger than that. And I think when you when you immediately think of man, I want to have a successful business in the future. You don't think that that business involves PVC? Right? That's just crazy. So I think the biggest thing here is that you find something you love, you can turn your passion into profit. What do you think about that? What about that? So

Mario Thurber  7:15  
what you know, it's really interesting. I like that you said that because so for me and PVC pipe bows, I told him not like very creative, but I love the business side of things. So you can tie it to me if you want. Yeah.

Kalob Valle  7:27  
crying baby passing through the room.

Mario Thurber  7:29  
So I'm in business, which is what I love to do. I mean, both are fine. Like, I do enjoy what I do, but I don't particularly love, like the actual crafting of it. Hmm, I like the business side more. And not saying that I don't enjoy because I enjoyed the whole,

Kalob Valle  7:46  
probably more than you would enjoy most other things, right.

Mario Thurber  7:50  
So the idea is, though that, and I've kind of learned this throughout the years is that if you want you follow something that you're passionate about, then you're probably going to be more successful than someone who's just doing it just because Does that make sense? So if you're passionate about and this is, this is something I learned with my so I started this business with my cousin, right? And he was really passionate about making making creative, both, like, going to the next step make him better bigger, you know, making them more perfect and all that. And me I was more like, Okay, how can we build the business side of it, you know, because that's, that's the side that I that I enjoy doing? Right? So since he was really passionate about doing the creative stuff, like I would try, but I'm not naturally creative. And that's not something I necessarily look to try to improve or anything. But he man, he got really good at some of these, some of the creative bows, and some things that I just, I don't think I could really do.

Kalob Valle  8:56  
But like you were saying passion can't, it probably wouldn't be the sole thing that would take you far in business. Right? But it's if you would read on a scale of one to 10 and importance in your business. How important is it?

Mario Thurber  9:11  
from one to 10?

Kalob Valle  9:14  
Do you need to have 10 in passion, or else you're going to just fail?

Mario Thurber  9:18  
Well, passion isn't everything, I think it's more of a balance of different attributes that really make a business. And I mean, there's so much out there, I really recommend reading business books, if you're going to start a business because I think passion is important. And I think usually people start a business because they're passionate about something. If not, they're usually just go and find a job. But I mean, passion is one thing. Another thing I remember specifically one of my instructors talked about this in this business college was that a huge part of the success of your business is actually the commitment you have to write. I mean, you have to be willing to learn, you have to be willing to work. And if you have those two things, honestly, I I believe you could get into any business, you know, any any type of market out there. If you're willing to learn, and you're willing to work hard, then you're going to make it you know, because obviously to be successful, you have to fail. And if you're willing to learn and you go out there and you at least try and you fail completely. Hey, you're one step closer to becoming successful. Because now you know what doesn't work? You know? Anyway,

Kalob Valle  10:23  
very cool. Very cool. So if I if someone came up to you, and they were like, Mario, dude, I've got this this business idea, man, I want to make plastic, small plastic water guns. And that's, that's my passion. You know, I know how to make those from scratch. Would your first response be like, dude, if you have that passion, go for it? Or would you kind of be like, okay, let's kind of think about this for a second before you just jump right into it.

Mario Thurber  10:51  
No, I say absolutely. Go for it like, awesome. I would never want to tell someone like Dude, if that's what you want to do, like, do it, you know that? I'm I wouldn't want to tear that down. And there is a way you can do it. I mean, Nerf guns are out there. Yeah, you know, there's a market for it, there obviously is a market for it, there's a market for what I do, which is kind of crazy to think about. So you could absolutely do that and be successful. As long as like I said, like you're willing to work hard and learn.

Kalob Valle  11:16  
It's so amazing. I think this is what encompasses like, What is 2019? Right now people out there are making profit, hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, off of some of the most extremely unique ideas I've ever heard of some of the most out there Extra Terrestrial type of stuff. And I'm just, I'm just so blown away by people and their their ability to take something that doesn't seem very valuable at all, and to make it into something extremely valuable in their lives. So questor's, all of you guys listening, I think this is this is kind of the big, the big point of this whole podcast and having Mario on here is to show you guys that maybe right now. Okay, this is not a podcast, and you have to be in business to be successful. Right? That's, that's not the point. But if you are thinking about business, and you have an idea, and you have a passion, and you've been kind of just tucking it away, because you're scared, or because you that that pressure from maybe parents or from family is there and I think Barbara would agree with this, that you should probably just dip your feet in the water, you know, kind of get in there and just see whether or not it's true. Because maybe at the end of your life, you're just going to look back and kind of regret not having made any effort towards your passion. And that can be literally anything, anything can be your passion, anything can be profitable. It just depends on where you take it. And if you do nothing with it, if it just sits back, and it's just an idea, then you'll never know what what it could have been or what what life could have been like. What have been some of just your obstacles you faced and in such a unique business, right? Because PVC bows, this is not something I see on every corner of every street, right? I don't even think I've ever seen a shop that's PVC bow selling, you know, what are the obstacles that you face? Because it's so unique, right?

Mario Thurber  13:25  
Let's see here. I mean, there's there's some little things for example, I there was a point where I wanted to see if we could get the bows into like archery shops, right. But a lot of them were very skeptical and PVC bows, you know, like, Oh, isn't it going to break? It's plastic, all this stuff. So that was a little bit of a obstacle, but we still haven't gotten anyone to do that. We've gotten more we've actually had someone buy for their like they would sell How would you say it like lobbying? I live action? Oh, yeah. Right. So that kind of stuff will and we have there's a market also for

Kalob Valle  14:01  
now the guys just been talking along with you the whole time. He's, he's so interested, he actually probably has some really good business stuff I baby questor's on the debut listeners out there. Sorry.

Mario Thurber  14:15  
That's all right. Because of the nature of what we do, for example, a lot of our income. Now right now, we haven't gone to convention for a little bit just because some business decisions that had to be made. But we used to go to a lot of Comic Cons, right. And these conventions, they're the type of people that will buy these books, right, because a lot of the, the stuff that we make is based on like video game characters and stuff like that. And people come they dress like the character, they see the bow and they're just like, I need that, you know, to complete my costume. So that's our market, right? That's where we want to be, however, because of the nature of what we make them because they're fully functional bows, that they can actually shoot arrows. They're also viewed as weapons. So some conventions won't let us sell at their conventions. And that makes sense. And another thing too, is we had a, a block on our Facebook, so also Facebook, since it registers them as weapons, we're not allowed to advertise on Facebook, which we've seen since we had started to until we got blocked, and it went really well while we had it. But other than that, I mean, when we tell people about it, I feel like everyone at some point in their life, honestly wanted to try a bow. Yes. So it's not exclusive in any way to like, cosplayers, or, you know, going to these Comic Cons there. I mean, most anyone will want to try one. So I and since it's so unique, it almost like wants to make them try it a little more. So I can't really say that we've had too much of a difficulty because it's so unique. I feel like it's almost helped us as a business to get out

Kalob Valle  15:55  
there and like that,

Mario Thurber  15:56  
right. And I mean, the only thing I think is the you know, these professional archers are like, oh, PVC, but right, and they're more into like the accuracy. And we're more like, Hey, man, instead of spending a couple hundred bucks on a bow, we sell this one for 40 bucks. It's fully functional. And that's kind of our market and where we've kind of gone so I mean, there it's a good enough product and good around all everyone knows enough about archery that that the fact that it's a functional bow itself is

Kalob Valle  16:26  
it's pretty easy to sell

Mario Thurber  16:27  
rightly correct.

Kalob Valle  16:28  
That's awesome. Do so what can the clusters listening? Here do to learn more about you and what you do or find you? Can they find you? Do you have a website?

Mario Thurber  16:39  
Yeah, so we have a website, PVC armory. com. Most of our sales are actually through our Etsy shop. So if you actually just type in PVC armory, and Google, which would be the first thing that pops up probably our Etsy site. But yeah, and we sell I mean, we sell a little bit on eBay and hoping to expand to Amazon as well. But yeah, so that's basically where you can find us. I mean, that's,

Kalob Valle  17:07  
that's awesome. Well, questor's, go ahead and take the time out of your day to go and visit his sites and just check out and see what he does. I promise you the quality. I mean, I've been looking at this stuff, the quality is just fantastic. And seriously, Mario, thank you so much for being on this podcast with us and answering these questions. Is there anything last minute stuff you'd like to say to some of the people out there who may be listening, maybe challenge them to do something to be more successful or overcome their fears?

Mario Thurber  17:35  
Right. So I, if I were to say one thing, don't be afraid to test something out. So if you have an idea, something you want to do, like just take like 30 minutes out of your day, and just little by little start experimenting with it. Like we didn't know this was going to take off. I didn't know I was going to be doing this until we tested the waters. And we knew and then once we found there was a market you know, it kind of just grew from there little by little. So I'm just take it slow. You don't have to overwhelm yourself and do everything at once. But if it's something you're passionate about, and if it grows, like my wife didn't know she was going to be a photographer until she test the waters as well. So I think that's what it takes. And then you just keep working from there.

Kalob Valle  18:16  
That's awesome. Okay, thanks, Mario so much. And we'll be in touch. Yeah,

Mario Thurber  18:21  
sounds good.

Jacob Harmon  18:22  
Thanks, Kalob for that amazing interview. And thanks, Mario for those insights. I just want to reiterate something that you were talking about. And that's the important importance of passion, whether that's passion in business or passion in something else. For example, my wife is incredibly passionate about being a good mother. And whatever you decide to do in life, be passionate about it. And then you will be successful. Like always, I invite you to check out our website and our Facebook group. We have some exciting things coming out soon. So look forward for those. And we will see you guys next week. But first day a successful day.

Transcribed by