Do you guys remember our last amazing Prink giveaway?! It was such a huge success that the fabulous team over at Prink Tech has so graciously offered to sponsor another giveaway of their brand new fabulous iphone 5 cases made from real wood! The detail on these babies is sooo cool and unique, you are not going to want to miss out on this killer giveaway! I’ve asked the Prink team to share with you guys a little more about their company and how they got started as a small business to inspire you guys =) So below is an article written about founder, Garrett Staples, from Concordia University. So read all about their journey and read the contest rules at the bottom of the post to enter to win one of these bad boys =)
“Growing up, Concordia men’s soccer alumnus Garrett Staples believed that settling for anything short of becoming a professional soccer player would be just that, settling. Little did he know, his life’s path would lead him to something he’d enjoy doing even more than soccer: running his own business.
Staples had always known that when he grew up, he wanted to do something that he really enjoyed, but he always thought that would be soccer. When his dreams of playing professionally finally came true, most notably as a member of the Portland Timbers’ U23 team, he couldn’t have envisioned it going anymore according to plan.
However, just as it all began, Staples’ childhood dream abruptly ended as the lingering effects of seven concussions he suffered throughout his career forced him out of the game. Still, Staples overcame that disappointment and has found the enjoyment he once found in soccer in a new career path.
Before Staples found his new path though, it was all about soccer. Staples starred for Sheldon High School in his hometown of Eugene, Ore. from 2000-04. Staples’ strong play in high school earned him the opportunity to further his soccer career at Concordia and work his way up to his ultimate goal of playing professionally after college.
At Concordia, Staples did more than seize his opportunity, he ran away with it. As a four-year starting goalkeeper for the Cavalier men’s soccer team, Staples was named an honorable mention NAIA All-American four times, an All-Cascade Collegiate Conference first-team member three times and the 2008 Cascade Collegiate Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, Staples also earned Academic All-CCC honors and was named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete in 2008. Now having seized his opportunity to impress at Concordia, Staples began what had always been his dream as he ventured out into the world of professional soccer.
Staples first signed with the Kitsap FC Pumas of the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League, which houses some of the best developing young players in the country.
After his time with Kitsap, Staples ventured down into Mexico to play in the country’s top tier of professional soccer where he found fervent attention from the local newspapers and other news outlets.
While playing down in Mexico, Staples not only got to experience the exuberant fans that packed the stadium every night, he also had the opportunity to live in a foreign country and experience life as the only American living in the small town in which he was playing.
“Playing and living in Mexico was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.” said Staples.
However, Staples’ time in Mexico wasn’t his only memorable professional experience as Staples left Mexico to join the Portland Timbers’ U-23 team.
As a goalkeeper for the U-23 Timbers, Staples got to work under Troy Perkins, the starting goalkeeper for the Timber’s first team at that time. Perkins served as a mentor to Staples, and helped Staples make an immediate impact on his new team. Perkins also taught Staples several principles of goalkeeping, which Staples says he now uses in his role as an assistant coach in charge of the goalkeepers for the No. 1-ranked Concordia women’s soccer team.
However, just as Staples’ professional career began to blossom, it came to an untimely end when he sustained his seventh concussion.
Longtime Cavalier fans can surely recall the excitement they felt watching Staples star in goal for Concordia. Ironically though, Staples can’t recall those same memories.
Due to his concussions, Staples explains his memories of his college career as “coming back gradually, but sporadically.”
While he sustained his last concussion just over a year ago, he still feels the lingering effects of them in his everyday life. Towards the end of his one season with the Timbers U-23 team, Staples’ recalled his side effects from concussions getting to the point that when the team was holding a youth camp he got extremely anxious about getting hit.
“I found myself so paranoid about getting hit in the head with a ball, that I pressed myself against the sideline padding just so I could see everything going on around me.” said Staples.
With that paranoia ever-present, as well as his diminishing ability to sustain long periods of energy while training, Staples stepped away from the game in order to get healthy so he could function like he had always been accustomed to. However, the road back to normalcy would not be an easy one.
Staples soon realized that he’d get nervous and nauseous in certain social situations, which adversely affected his everyday life as he was trying to finish school and start a new chapter in his life.
Things have started to turn around for Staples though, and while he still deals with some of the side effects from time to time, he is finding it easier to get through things he enjoys without having to be constantly paranoid about how his body will respond.
That small victory has allowed Staples to fill his life with new goals and ambitions, some of which led him right back to soccer.
Even though the concussions ended Staples playing career, he knew that he wasn’t ready to let go of soccer just yet.
With that in mind, Staples joined the coaching staff for the Concordia women’s soccer team as an assistant coach in charge of the goalkeepers. In that role, Staples has been able to use his own experiences on the field as teaching tools for the current Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have seemingly responded well to Staples too, as the Cavaliers have shut out five of their first nine opponents this season.
“Getting to relate to younger players and getting to share some of the principles I learned from playing professionally under guys like Troy Perkins, is what makes me enjoy coaching,” said Staples.
Staples’ time with the CU women has not been the only new chapter in his life though, as he’s also found new success away from the soccer pitch.
Achieving a childhood dream
Ever since he was a kid, Staples could always remember that he wanted to own a business. “It was just something I always wanted to do, something I thought I would really enjoy” said Staples.
With that dream still in his mind, Staples began experimenting with lasers inside a garage, specifically in how to use lasers to carve things into different materials. Eventually, Staples experiments turned into something more as he began to design cases for iPods, iPads and even laptops out of pieces of wood and metal. Soon after that, Staples realized his hobby could turn into the business he had always dreamed of owning.
Taking that next step proved to be difficult for Staples though, as he had no idea how to start a business. Staples had majored in biology with a pre-med minor and had always thought that he would enter the medical field after graduation. To that end, Staples worked in hospitals and medical facilities during college, never thinking that he’d need business training instead. However, Staples decided against pursuing a medical career, and instead put his ambitions into his newfound business. In order to give that a full effort though, Staples knew he’d have to seek help to build up his business knowledge.
He found that help in Concordia business professor Bill Meade, who helped introduce Staples to the business world. With Meade’s help, Staples found the confidence he needed to make his business a reality.
Staples presented the idea for his company early on in his time working with Meade, and soon afterwards, Staples’ company, PRiNK Technologies, was born. For those who don’t know, prink means to dress in a fashionable manner, or to put on one’s best attire, which Staples said fit the idea behind his company perfectly.
Staples found an instant demand for his product too, which has just increased his faith in his own business. Staples has already gained many loyal clients in Northeast Portland, though Staples has also signed licensing deals with Facebook, the University of Oregon and the company that owns the rights to the “I heart Oregon” logos and stickers. In addition, Staples has signed deals with companies on the east coast of the United States and has even spread his reach to regions of Asia.
“I work 18-hour days, only employ three part-time employees and am my own boss,” said Staples.
Despite the long hours, Staples said it’s the ideal situation for him, as he loves what he does and doesn’t mind spending long hours tinkering around with new designs or concepts.
Staples has also made philanthropy an instrumental part of his company and lists it as his number one business goal for the future. He has already given to numerous causes such as local hospitals, healthcare facilities and has made many gifts to Concordia.
Staples’ business is still in its infancy, but considering he has already overcome the side effects of concussions and his own inexperience in the business field, it’s hard not to bet on him.”
To enter to win an iphone 5 case: check out the Prink Tech Facebook Page and click “like” – then come back here and leave a comment telling us which is your favorite case for your fab iphone 5
For extra entries, tweet and/or write a Facebook post about the giveaway and leave another comment here with a copy of what you wrote. So to get 2 entries you must leave 2 different comments!
I will be picking the winners on Monday!!
And the winner of a brand new iphone 5 case is E.A. Creative Photography!!
Thank you to everyone who entered and if you didn’t win, you can always purchase an iphone case, ipad case, or macbook case at Prink and for every purchase they plant a tree!!