Iowa West Coast Initiative Feature: S2B Fishing Supplies

BUSINESS OWNER:  Stubbe Family
BUSINESS NAME:  S2B Fishing Supplies, LLC
LOCATION:  Rock Rapids, Iowa

Short description of your business:

We manufacture ice shack anchors, which are designed to help hold an ice shack to the ice on windy days. Our bracketing system securely holds the shack to the ice for a more enjoyable experience. We also have other fishing products that are currently in development.

What motivated you to start your business? What drives you each day? 

Greg Stubbe was ice fishing alone on a windy day and thought about a product that would take away some of the worries of his ice shack moving toward open water.  He drew a rough picture of his idea, which his sons took, created the product, and decided to market it. The love of fishing and working with customers drives the family daily.

What’s unique about your business? 

To our knowledge, we are one of the few products in the market serving this need. We also approached marketing a bit differently by connecting with fishing guides who show the product in action via their Facebook and YouTube channels. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as you’ve grown your business? 

Our biggest challenge has been proving how efficiently the product works and sharing that information with the public. Assembly and setup are straightforward and provide a much safer and more enjoyable experience on the ice. 

What has been your greatest reward? 

Our greatest reward has been to see our product on the shelves in a big retail store. Most recently, we are now being carried at Scheels in Sioux Falls. We also want to develop more relationships with retailers to help grow our footprint. 

How have you benefited from the startup community in Sioux City and the region? What resources did you use?

The sharing of information and feedback has been beneficial. We know our product but only a little about all aspects of running a business; therefore the resources are helpful. Our recent experience with The BIG Challenge has helped us learn more about the available resources, and we look forward to utilizing them. 

Are there any experiences that were particularly influential in that regard?

The pitch presentation at The BIG Challenge helped us develop more confidence in speaking about our product. We stepped out of our comfort zone with public speaking, but the product sells itself. The judges’ feedback was very informative and helped us develop some of our next steps as a business. We will use some of our prize money to help develop future patents. 

Why is it important for the community to support startups and small businesses? What more can be done to help them?

The support is vital as it keeps products American-made and keeps employment opportunities local. That is something that we are very proud of and want to help keep going. 

What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known when starting your business?

Looking back, we underestimated how long it would take to create a final product. There were quite a few changes and redevelopments of the design. The anticipation of getting started was tempered with patience as we realized we needed to perfect our product first. The anticipation can be frustrating, but in the end, it was very rewarding. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?

Start small, and become an expert at your product prior to taking the next steps.

How can the community continue to help your business?

The community can help by talking about local businesses. Share and celebrate each other, which will lead to exposure for local businesses.

What are some future goals for your company?

We would like to expand our product line with more fishing items. We truly love what we do, which is evident in our passion when we speak about our product. With the expansion of our product line, we can continue to offer our customers a great experience. 

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