Love of the River - Find your why!
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a small town of Calabogie, Ontario right on the beautiful lake, next to the ski hill. My childhood consisted of swimming, fishing in the summer, then in the winter skiing all day and playing hockey all night. It was this surrounding that has given me an emotional connection to the water. At every stage of my life I have always felt a desire and need to live on the water and enjoy its natural calming effects.
When I wasn't playing outside, I was discovering my love for all things tech. It was around grade 6 or so when our 2 room school got our first Apple computer. My teacher (Mrs. Little) allowed me to explore this new world of creating anything. I was immediately fascinated by power of making artwork, stories and small programming. Then off to grade 9, this was a big transition for a kid that had 30 people in their entire school, to the nearby high school of 600. That coupled with being a bit of a geeky teenager, I found refuge in the computer labs. My best friend Joe and I would spend countless hours designing video games and having some fun (hacking). Our high school (RCI) computer teacher (Mr Oegema) also introduced us to electronics and as a kid who had a fascination for "how things worked" I was hooked. After high school, it was off to the big city of Toronto to continue with electronics engineering technology.
After graduation, I started working for a small company that designed high end speakers and found a passion for audio design. Fast forward 20 years, (it goes so fast), I have designed countless complex electronic designs, inspired and lead teams for fortune 500 communications and aerospace companies. My love for audio/music has always been apart of my life so getting back into my audio design passion was inevitable.
I knew that I wanted to have the same environment for bringing up my children as I had. Around 8 years ago, my wife and I we moved on the magnificent Ottawa river and started raising our little family. We enjoy the same things that I was blessed with growing up (swimming, kayaking, skiing, skating and playing on the beach)
Every spring, old logs from the 1800s would wash up on our beach and I thought to myself it would be cool to create a speaker out of this historic wood. All the current speakers on the market are ugly, plastic speakers with no style/sound/soul. We have an emotional connection to music going back to our childhood so let's re-create that sound on an artful and unrivaled design.
Over some beers with my co-founder Scott (Mech Eng), I told him of this idea, he instantly loved the concept and we began napkin sketching. Over the last 2 years we have gone from napkin sketch, engineering, prototype, production and full funding thanks to #RC100. What a journey the last two years have been creating a company from zero to selling all across North America. I couldn't ask for a better co-founder as we are perfectly aligned on our vision and balance. We have stepped out of our comfort zone, met so many influential people that love our story and help us out beyond our belief.
Riverwood Acoustics is on a mission to create the highest quality audio products (speakers and soon to launch headphones) that are made from reclaimed riverwood. By utilizing this historic wood, we minimize our carbon footprint and since we have a limited lifetime warranty divert electronics from the landfill. Our goal is give back to our small town of Renfrew by creating local jobs and help our local suppliers.
The picture above is our summer ritual of an evening kayak with the kids on the Ottawa River. For anyone seeking a better quality of life, I highly recommend living in this area as I've been all over the world and will always call this place home.