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

Hi Shea, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Buderflys was founded on the slopes at Steamboat Springs after I realized that no earbud could fit comfortably in my ear for an entire day of skiing. I was not the only one feeling discomfort. After researching, over 95% of earbud users experience pain or ear fatigue after 45+ minutes of wearing. There was a need. So I invented Buderflys, a high-end, premium sounding earbud made with a proprietary squishy material that flexes with the ear’s movement as we talk, chew and exercise.

Having been an executive in the mobile and music industry, I also knew there was a huge market for earbuds that was not being tapped. The market of spoken word, meaning audiobooks, podcasts and zoom calls. These listeners are on their buds 4-6 hours a day. I knew I wanted to create an earbud for this market. Buderflys can be worn continuously, comfortably, and securely – even responding to your own body heat for improved comfort the longer you listen, all while delivering incredible clarity of sound.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Buderflys was born on the slopes of Steamboat. My ears hurt after falling asleep with my earbuds in and I was given a “pass” from my husband to ski without the family. I was so excited to listen to my favorite audiobook and make some powder turns. I know it’s a little nerdy to listen to audiobooks rather than music, but that’s who I am. However, it wasn’t happening with the buds I had. I was in too much pain. So I crushed the hard plastic and took the components and placed them in my kid’s swimmers wax. It was surprisingly comfortable and the sound wasn’t half bad. It was a crude solution to what I found to be the industry’s #1 complaint – pain/discomfort.

After 4 years of research, prototypes and a pandemic, we launched our first product, Buderflys G2 Curiosity Wireless (tethered), in May 2021. It is an earbud you can wear comfortably for an extended period of time, made from a proprietary “squishy” material design that never hardens. We set ourselves apart by being the only earbud that flexes with your ear while it moves providing long term comfort. We also have a unique sound signature that is designed specifically for podcasts, audiobooks and zoom calls.

What we want the world to know about our brand is that Buderflys is built for life-long learners. For the curious. For those who are excited for their favorite weekly podcast to drop. The way people are listening is changing. Gone are the days where people just listen to music while working out. On average, heavy earbud users listen to music 15-20 min a day while the majority of their time is spent on spoken word content. With the explosion of podcasts and audiobooks, and then with the pandemic and zoom meetings, earbuds are now the conduit to spoken word content. Buderflys is the earbud that facilitates that experience in the best way possible – comfortable and optimized for clarity of sound, so everyone can listen longer.

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. I have learned to do a gut check each morning and ask myself, if I could do anything else in the world, what would it be? For the past 4 years, it has been Buderflys. If that ever changes, I will pivot.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being a Colorado native, I am a mountain girl at heart. I would definitely jump in the car, hit I70 and Rabbit Ears spending a few days in Steamboat, where the Buderflys idea was conceived. While there, we would hike and bike on the abundant options of trails and end the days at Taco Cabo with their dirty queso and a tequila overlooking the tubers on the Yampa. The later part of the visit we would soak up Denver with taking in an intimate concert at the Botanic Gardens, a lovely brunch at One Fold followed by perusing the farmers market at Union Station and a garden dinner at Potager. If there was time, we would bike from Cherry Creek to Rino on the Cherry Creek bike path and check out all the murals. I live on my bike in this city.

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?
My husband Jeff. He deserves all the credit. About 4 years ago, I was at a crossroads – go back to grad school to pursue a PHD in Economics or take this idea I have had and run with it. I put together a business plan and presented it to Jeff. Knowing I am a life-long learner and have an entrepreneurial spirit, he did not think twice to push me to start Buderflys. The ups and downs of being an entrepreneur are not easy and without his support would be nearly impossible.

I also could not do this without my lean and mean team, trying to come up with concrete titles does not do them justice. Sarah, Head of Growth, and Annie, Head of Operations, take on whatever needs to get done. Shifting and pivoting as Buderflys grows all while having a little fun too.

Website: www.buderflys.com

Instagram: buderflys.earbuds

Linkedin: Buderflys Technologies, Inc

Facebook: buderflys.earbuds

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