Everybody Needs a Buddee
PROVO, Utah – Jun 10, 2019 – Entrepreneurs often dream of successful business endeavors; however, BYU Marriott accounting senior Tate Laing’s first business idea literally came to him in a dream.
While on his mission in El Salvador, Laing used a fanny pack every day to carry what he needed. However, the packs he bought at the local markets in Santa Ana were low quality and broke after only a few wears. One night Laing had a dream that he developed a brand of durable fanny packs called Boodee Buddees. After his mission, Laing married and shared his idea with his wife, Bailey, who not only encouraged him to turn his dream into a reality, but also became his business partner.
With the help of his wife, Laing created Boodee Buddee Bags in 2018 to gain business experience sooner rather than later. While the money certainly doesn’t hurt, they’re in it for the journey not just for the profits.
The Boodee Buddee is a type of fanny pack created for adventurers. The bag is water resistant, and durable, and comes in a variety of colors and styles. Though Laing has business experience, he credits his wife for much of the company’s success. “Bailey counters my hyper energy and vets all of my bad ideas,” he says. “The color of our best-selling Boodee Buddee was completely her idea.”
Boodee Buddees are used globally, Laing says. “Even though we aren’t there physically, it’s like a part of us is all over the world because Boodee Buddee is our baby. That part is very fulfilling.”
Learning how to navigate a new business and a new marriage at the same time hasn’t been easy; but Laing says it’s worth it. “We have learned to work while we are at work and be home when we are home.” However, for the Laings—who ship orders worldwide from their condo in Orem—it can be hard to tell the difference. “We try to balance the times we discuss the company with the times we discuss family matters,” Laing says. “We do our best to learn the difference.”
At the beginning, the company required a large financial investment from the couple, but Laing was never scared. Instead, he was excited. “What good is that money doing sitting in our bank account?” he says. “We value learning experiences. We don’t want to wait to learn when we can be learning now.”
To Laing, the benefit of taking risks is learning. “As a kid I thought anything was possible, and I wasn’t afraid of failing,” he says. “As an entrepreneur, I try to channel that inner child to be able to envision a successful future and keep my dream alive.”
Much of the learning that takes place in business often happens because of failure. Laing understands this. “Obviously, no one wants to fail, but that’s how you grow,” he says. “What is the point of being on this earth if you’re not learning?” The lessons the Laings have learned from Boodee Buddees have changed the way they run their business and the way they live their lives.
Realizing they can’t control who chooses to buy and promote their bags is one of the hardest parts of running a business, Laing says. “Learning to accept factors out of our control was hard at first,” he says. “But then I realized that trial and error is a part of the learning process. When we have sunk costs, we have to realize that it’s in the past. We can’t do anything to recover those monetary or time losses, but we can learn from them and make better future decisions.”
Laing plans his future in a similar way. “We try to focus on what we’re doing as we do it and try to plan for the rest as best as we can,” he says. “We are going to do what we think is right today and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work, we’ll change, but we aren’t going to stop moving forward.”
BYU Marriott has played a big role in Laing’s success. He took global supply chain and marketing classes before being accepted into the accounting major and says what he learned in these classes helped him get Boodee Buddees off the ground. Laing is excited for his future career in accounting and is glad to be entering it with the experience gained from Boodee Buddees.
“I’m definitely grateful to be at BYU Marriott,” he says. “The value of being around such great people is hard to describe. I am grateful for my experiences with professors, peers, and the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. They have each encouraged me to follow my dreams and become an entrepreneur.”
In ten to fifteen years, Laing sees himself working on Boodee Buddees full-time and living on property large enough for his future family to play baseball in the backyard. Laing has other aspirations as well, but he is open to any pivot or turn that he and Bailey feel inspired to take. “As long as we stay focused and keep working our ‘boodees’ off, I know we’ll get where we want to go,” he says.
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Katie Harris