We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Saplin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Treating people with respect. If the people we interact with and do business with aren’t a little happier or better off from the experience then I believe we’ve done something wrong. For our contractors and suppliers, this means paying them a fair price for their work. For our customers, it means making the best product possible and listening closely to any issues or complaints we receive. For our community, it means building a local supply chain that supports other small businesses.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m proud that we took an overlooked and often ridiculed category, the bike cup holder, and made a product that actually works and people are loving. I’ve really been blown away by the positive feedback we get confirming how much people wanted a better cup holder for bikes, strollers, scooters, motorcycles, and more.
What sets us apart is attention to detail in the design. Our stand-out feature, the shock absorbing design to reduce spills, turns out to only be one part of the equation. Other details like a tool-free install, adjustability to various bar sizes, and quality clamp that doesn’t rotate down while riding all work together to set us apart.
Of course it wasn’t easy to create a product and launch a company, but what people should take away from our story is that they can do it to. Take it one step at a time, and constantly ask yourself what you can do to simplify each part or step along the way.
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?
First night in town we would head to Finley’s in West Wash Park for some of the best pub food and Belgian beers you can get anywhere. Then we would bike down to super-south Broadway to visit one or more of Bowman’s, TrashHawk, Brutal Poodle, and Dive Inn.
A week in Denver isn’t complete without time in the mountains, and we would head to Durango or Salida for some mountain biking and a float trip or two.
Finally, we would do a brewery tour by bike and visit Prost, Seedstock, Strange, and Renegade breweries or head south to Halfpenny if we wanted a longer ride.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
No question, I have to start with my Dad. Nothing mattered to him more than his family, and he was a constant source of education and inspiration. How many people can say their dad was still helping them with homework through college? He always dreamed up product ideas and loved the idea of starting his own business. Making HandleStash a reality is the best way I’ve found to remember him.
So many other people deserve credit and have been integral in one or many steps of starting and growing this business.
Erika Hale is the founder of Third Eye, who does our sewing; she started her business as a first generation immigrant and deserves credit for adjusting the design for production, keeping up with our growing demand, and just being awesome to work with.
My friends and family deserve so much credit for offering free labor and asking nothing in return, hyping me up about the business when we’re on bike rides, talking out business strategy, and just being awesome.
Local resources like the Denver Design Incubator and Ralph’s Sewing, SCORE (shoutout Jim Vernon), and Commons on Champa make Denver an incredible place to start a business.
Finally, a special shout out to my Mom for being my first customer!