Utah County Business Owners Find Success On Discovery Channel
OREM, Utah — Starting a business is all about risk. For a couple of friends, jumping on every opportunity led them down a path that put them on national television.
“I wish there was more to show you right now,” Marcus Sorensen said, as he gestured around a nearly empty warehouse. “This is usually where the coolers are. We have sold out.”
Along with his friend/partner Chris Studdert, Marcus Sorenson has built a business centered on high-end coolers, called “Blue Coolers.”
Both men are relentless salesmen, who are happy to talk endlessly about the benefits of their coolers. They’ll happily acknowledge the quality of their competitor Yeti Coolers, but decided they could do something similar that was more affordable.
“Do I really got to pay that much for that cooler?” Studdert asked. “Here I see Yeti marketing its sports games, and I see them all over the place, and I’m like, ‘Hey. Part of that money I’m paying you is going to pay for all this.'”
The two had trouble keeping up with the demand, but the business took up so much of their time that they both had to quit their regular jobs. Studdert left a promotional company he’d set up with his brother, and Sorensen quit a high-powered sales job for a company that grows quinoa, which Studdert jokingly called “lettuce.”
Studdert refers to Blue Coolers’ origin as a “side hustle,” which they both decided to commit to on a full-time basis.
Being so successful that they’ve sold out of their main product only happened because they seized opportunities. So when Sorensen got an email, they didn’t hesitate.
“I literally was like, ‘Yeah yeah, whatever Marcus,'” Studdert said. “‘Sure sure, whatever Marcus, don’t waste too much time.'”
“I think we were just like, ‘Nah, that’s not gonna happen, that’s not a real thing,'” Sorensen said.
It was definitely a “real thing.”
Both men are part of a new reality show on the Discovery Channel called ‘I Quit,’ following people who leave their jobs behind in a quest to become their own bosses and run their own businesses.
“It got down to like a thousand people,” Studdert said. “Then we got this email saying, ‘Hey, we want to do this casting call with you,’ and now I’m calling Marcus going, ‘What in the heck have you got us into?'”
Both men said it was a little unnerving being followed around by cameras for the better part of a year, but they eventually got used to it. Surprisingly to most, they said the show was completely unscripted.
“I remember the first day, they showed up in my kitchen,” Sorensen said. “They spent some time setting up, and then they just said, ‘Okay, go.’ And my wife and I had to have a conversation that was in episode one about me quitting that we hadn’t even really had yet, and I needed to. So it was not a staged conversation.”
“I think the first week they filmed, I was freaked out,” Studdert said. “I called Marcus every ten minutes, like, ‘Are you kidding me? What have we done?’ And after maybe three days of having cameras on you, you just kind of forget they’re there.”
They only had a couple of weeks’ notice before the show’s premiere, but if you ask Studdert, it was one risk they certainly don’t regret taking.
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