We had the good fortune of connecting with Joshua Thurmond and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joshua, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’m not exactly sure why I started a business at the time I did. Call it COVID madness. Call it boredom with my current career. Maybe I just saw a need after all of the destruction from the wildfires. I had a bunch of reasons I wanted to start a business, but mostly I just thought I had something good. I have been a tinkerer my entire life. I design and build things constantly. After my third prototype of the LavaBox, I knew I had something that would be a hit and would positively impact the world. I had never brought a product to the market but foolish naivete never stopped me before. I just knew I wanted to jump all the way in. I made up my mind that I was going to be a success or die trying. I might still die (haha). My partner was encouraging and believed in the product as well. Most importantly, I didn’t dwell very much on how to do things. I just starting doing and seeing where it went. I figured that I was going to make mistakes anyway, so why not just start? I know this isn’t how most folks function. They do research, learn about business, test the market, etc. At the time, I was very concerned that more fire pit products would flood the market in response to the wildfires and the uptick in the popularity of outdoor recreation. This paranoia was prognostication. I was first to the market with a small, compact propane fire pit and we have been leading the market ever since.

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?
We have a few very big goals. The first is part of my work history. I was diagnosed with a disability early in life and spent most of K-12 in Special Education. I was separated out from mainstream classes. Often ridiculed. This experience left an indelible mark on me. It fired a drive to create more equality for people with disabilities. To ensure that everyone has access to everything. It taught me that people can do more than what you might think. This drove me to the National Sports Center for the Disabled. I loved my job there. I could push the world’s idea of what was possible for people with disabilities, and I could push the athletes to see what new heights they could attain. When I started LavaBox, I wanted to do the same thing. Our goal is to have all of LavaBox run by people with disabilities. I have designed products that are easy to assemble if you have limited use of your hands or diminished motor function. I would love to build adaptive equipment to help my employees get the job done. I hope to meet this goal in about a year. Our next big goal is to stop human-caused wildfires. I know, this is a big one, but hear me out. There are very few people who go camping with the intent to destroy wild lands and private property. I think most human-caused wildfire is born from ignorance. Having a giant fire and drinking some beers is fun and cool. We feel primal and alive. It’s the best part of camping. When I started LavaBox, I knew whatever I created had to be cool or no one, especially hardcore camping folks, would adopt it. It had to be a big fire! It had to illicit all the same emotions the classic bonfire stirred up in the soul. It had to make you proud to own it. I think we have done that. After many prototypes, we created the big fire. I focused heavily on building community around LavaBox. We made sure it was a high quality product people would be proud to own. Of course, we embraced the military heritage of the ammo can. All of this combined will hopefully inspire campers to move away from wood fires. Our fire is safer and cleaner. And, maybe–just maybe–cooler than a “real fire.”

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Love this question!

Day one: We would start with breakfast at the Denver Biscuit Company on Colfax. This way they could have a great breakfast and see one of my favorite streets. Then we’d drive West down Colfax to the Capitol. Maybe check out Civic Center Park and hit the DAM. Have lunch at Pints Pub and drink a couple scotches. Swing by the Kirkland and wrap the whole thing up with dinner on Larimer.

Day two: Quick breakfast, drive up Lookout Mountain and do some rock climbing at East Colfax (https://www.mountainproject.com/area/107221938/east-colfax) with lunch at the crag. Then wrap it up with dinner in Idaho Springs at Beau Jo’s.

Day three: Just chill at Cheeseman Park and do a cookout for dinner. Grab crowlers from some breweries, hit a dispensary. Portable grill and frisbee.

Day four: Trip to RMNP.

Day five: Catch a game at Coors Field and have dinner at The Source.

Day six: River Surfing lessons and picnic at River Run Park with an evening pub crawl down South Broadway.

Day seven: Breakfast at Snooze and flight home.

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?
There are a ton of folks who guided me along the way but the most important support and encouragement came from my family and my mentor, Joe.

Website: https://fireanytime.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fireanytime/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuathurmond/#experience

Twitter: @fireanytime

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lavaboxcampfire

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwcBwz9J9A-Pg1vxMOmK0Lw

Image Credits
Carlo Nasisse Jairus Popp David Lynn

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.