This edition of our Business Spotlight comes from Donnie, owner of DMAC SPORTS, makers of custom built cornhole boards in Bowling Green, KY. What follows are Donnie’s responses to some basic questions about his business, and how it started and developed.
Q&A with DMAC SPORTS
Location: Bowling Green Ky
Made my first set of boards for myself, after being invited to a friends house to play. Had never heard of cornhole before. Was hooked immediately. So I checked around to find information on building myself a set, ran across a little site called Cornhole Game Players. Asked questions and got a lot of support and advice from several people on the site. Made my first set as one board UK and 1 board U of L. they turned out fair. But my friends seen them and started requesting me make them some. So I thought not a bad little hobby to help relieve stress from my day job. When I look at those boards now and compare to what I currently make, I can’t believe anyone wanted those.
I make my boards out of the 3/4″ red oak from Lowes or Home Depot (depends on which has better material).
I use pocket screws and Liquid Nails to assemble each set, sand and then paint and stain, apply decals then spray at least 5 coats of Poly on each set. Use different color of stains , depending on theme, also do several with camouflage. Also make the mini versions that kids enjoy.
Well my hobby has turned into a part time job. Each set I make I strive to find ways to improve the quality of them, it must be working because I have a constant flow of orders. Most all I make are custom ordered. I made a few over the winter and set up at a local community yard sale one day recently. Sold 4 sets of full size and 1 set of my mini’s and got orders for 5 sets. Was very surprised at how well they were received.
I have set my workshop up to build these boards, and the money I have made has bought all my equipment. Still not in it to make a lot of money, I spend a lot of time on each set, so if you break the profits down to man hrs, not such a good business venture, but its stress releive is priceless.
I have worked out a good relationship with a couple of decal suppliers, and we have designed some new decals and have a very good relationship. That helps a lot on with the boards that I make.
The positive comments that I get on my boards helps me stay focused on a high quality product. when 50% of your customers are driving up to 2 hours to pick their boards up, it makes you feel good when they tell you they look better in person than in the pictures.
I have no plans to expand, and I’m actually considering slowing down some. This is my 2nd year of selling boards, only advertise on Craigslist and by word of mouth. Last year I averaged 5 sets per month, so made around 60 sets. So far this year I have already sold 40 sets and have orders for 5 currently. My normal build time is 7-10days, depending on my real job and keeping the wife happy with her to do list.
Been doing a few new designs with full boards using the vehicle wrap decal. Looks really good, but profit margin isn’t, so may not make many that way. I don’t want to raise my prices any higher. I work with a local lady that makes bags, and we have a good arrangement that helps us both.
I would like to give thanks to the members on the forum, their tips and information have been very helpful. Never thought I would be a wood worker, but its a good HOBBY/Business.
DMAC SPORTS can be reached by phone at 270-202-8588.