We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Denson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The single most important decision I’ve made is surrounding myself with a talented team that offers complimentary skill sets. A team of people that think and act the same way I do would have hindered our success. I want people around me that challenge my decision making which in turn, helps the company proposer and helps me grow as an individual. My father and I are partners in Bison but our personalities couldn’t be different. Neither of us would be as successful without the other. Together, we make a great team and have been able to grow Bison to where it is today.
What should our readers know about your business?
When we started Bison Coolers in 2011, the industry was really separated into two categories. You had traditional manufacturers who had been building coolers the same way for decades. On the other hand, you had a few companies producing coolers a completely different way that were more durable and much more costly. They weren’t yet mainstream but we had a feeling that there was significant opportunity. Our goal was to offer coolers of the same or better quality, produce them here in the United States and sell them at more affordable price points. Producing our hard and soft coolers here has always been our big differentiator. It wasn’t until a few years later that we discovered that customizing our products could also separate us from our competitors. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t customize our products with company logos for customer gifts, employee recognition or special events. It’s allowed us to grow in an industry that’s packed full of competition. My big lesson is that your business plan isn’t set in stone. When you identify new opportunities, it’s healthy to pivot and capitalize on them. Customization is a perfect example of something we hadn’t planned on offering but saw the potential.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Times are a little tough right now to go out and enjoy everything that DFW has to offer so I’m going to pretend that this visit is during normal times. First and foremost, I’d take them to a sporting event. Depending on the season, DFW has a lot to offer from a sports perspective and we have some of the nicest venues int he country. Then, we’d visit spend one evening in downtown Fort Worth seeing all the spots and enjoying some great restaurants. My favorite restaurants in Fort Worth are Reata, Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, Joe T. Garcia’s and Woodshed Smokehouse. We may have to come back a second night. Then, we’d mix it up and head to Dallas. My favorite restaurant in Dallas is Uchi as the dining experience is unique and second to none. I live in the Mid Cities area (Colleyville, specifically) so I think it would be important to take them to a few local spots and give them a sense for what a typical weekend is like which is hanging out with great foods and enjoying some really good quality local restaurants.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my family. I know that sounds cliche but without their encouragement and support, I never would have taken the plunge into starting this business. In 2011, the high-end cooler market was in it’s infancy. It was a big risk to start a business with products that are expensive to manufacture, warehouse and ship. Despite these headwinds, they always offered unwavering support. Particularly from my wife, Emily, and my parents, Dennis and Lisa. My in-laws were also very supportive. Once the business was up and running, my family wanted to be a part of the team and we’ve since added my brother-in-law, brother, mother, aunt and wife. They’ve truly been a blessing.
Jen Faith Brown Photography Ardent Creative