The Slingshot Bros: Student Entrepreneurs Take Their Business to the Shops

Ellie Gavin, Staff Writer

 

Many Staples students shop at stores like Dovecote and Down Under, but how many of them can say that they actually sell a product there?

The answer is two.

Hamilton Kovtun ’15 and Robert Gordon ’16 decided to forgo the usual route of babysitting and part-time gigs, opting to make bank in a more exciting way: by opening their own business.

“It all started after a long summer day of skateboarding and tree climbing,” Kovtun said. “Preparing to climb another tree, I grabbed onto a Y-shaped branch, and said to myself, ‘Let’s make some slingshots!’”

Thus, Slingshot Bros was born.

The boys start by collecting fallen branches from local trees—Kovtun noted that in an effort to be environmentally friendly, the boys never cut from live trees.

They then drill holes and attach a rubber band to create a unique slingshot that they decorate and personalize with duct tape of different colors and patterns for their customers.

The inspiration to start selling the slingshots came a few months after the boys started making them for themselves.

“A kind lady stopped us in the street and asked where we had gotten the slingshots we were holding because her grandson would love one,” Kovtun said. “It was right there, right then, that Slingshot Bros  originated and brought us to where we are today.”

From there, the business took off. They pitched the product to two local stores (Down Under and Dovecote), both of which agreed to sell the slingshots.

“The stores were excited and interested to have such an unusual product in their inventories,” Gordon said.

The slingshots cost between $10 and $15, depending on size. According to Gordon, he and Kovtun make around $250 a month.

As word of their distinctive business spread, they expanded their services.  They recently were employed to run a “Hunger Games”-themed birthday party, where they created unique and personalized slingshots for each guest.

Gordon said he has high hopes for the future of Slingshot Bros.

“I see the business expanding, and I see us selling [the slingshots] in a lot more stores around the area,” Gordon said. “I also see us having employees to help make it faster.”

For anybody with dreams of starting up their own business, Kovtun offers words of wisdom.

“I advise all people to pick something they love, to embrace their inner passion and use determination and opportunity to pursue their dreams,” Kovtun said.

For more information on Slingshot Bros, check out their Facebook page—the first link on a Google search of “Slingshot Bros” will bring you there.