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Small Business Grips Digital Tools

Kevin Brown is the co-founder of Friction Labs, a Denver-based business that makes performance products to improve athlete’s grip. Before starting Friction Labs, Kevin was a science teacher and ran marketing and sales at a few tech companies. But Kevin always wanted to own a business, so he finally took the plunge and opened a climbing gym. It was a great start but he wanted to help more athletes. After using some poor quality chalk, he went on a quest to develop a product to improve grip for climbing. 

His wife, a geologist, helped test the various chalks and confirmed his hunch. Kevin started experimenting with ingredients and finally developed a chalk that kept his hands dry longer and kept his skin healthy. Kevin opened Friction Labs along with his business partner, Keah Kalantari, which has become the go-to premium chalk company. His chalk is in over 1,000 stores across the US as well as 30 countries and has over 2,000 5-star reviews. 

While most of his sales are wholesale, Kevin also sells directly on his website and uses Google keywords to help connect potential customers to his website. Kevin also uses the Amazon marketplace to supplement his sales and takes advantage of Amazon’s fulfillment program to handle shipping and delivery for a low cost.

“Amazon’s access to millions of customers globally provides us with a great business opportunity,” says Kevin.

Kevin wants to make sure Congress doesn’t pass laws that punish large tech companies, which could ultimately take a chunk out of his revenue. 

“I’m not a politician, but I know that inexpensive tools from Google and Amazon have been great for my bottom line. Congress should think about that before passing any laws that could harm my ability to connect with customers.”

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