Warstic Featured in Dallas Morning News

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Editorial Department

Thanks to Cheryl Hall, Business Writer at The Dallas Morning News for the great article about our founder. 


A little blurb here...Ben Jenkins is swinging for the fences. The 38-year-old Dallas graphic designer has two passions, creative branding and baseball. He decided to connect them and pay his mortgage in the process. A year into his latest venture, Jenkins, a former infielder in the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league system, is ahead of the count. His one-man Warstic Wood Bat Co. has captured national media attention and the hearts of batters from as far as Switzerland. “My intent was a company that I would run virtually from my home studio or while on the road in my trailer with my family,” says Jenkins, who’s also founder and creative director of a digital design and branding firm, OneFastBuffalo Corp. “It’s far exceeding my goals much earlier than expected.”


What’s so special about these bats?


They’re cool-looking — some retro and others way out there — and have handles dipped in bright colors. They come in a variety of shapes and grips. Go online at warstic.com, and you can design one to your specs from hundreds of options. A bat will cost you between $80 and $130, depending how design crazy you go. Kids’ bats cost $50. They’re made in Texas out of maple and ash from New York and New England. “Everybody kept copying each other and not breaking any convention with what their bats looked like,” Jenkins says. “I wasn’t trying to build these bats as works of art. I just didn’t want the cheesy crud that people usually make.”


After seeing pictures on Tumblr, Simon Scheurmeister “instantly went crazy for those bats” and ordered two — one for him and another for his friend’s birthday. He’s paying $165 to have them shipped to Switzerland. “As soon as we get those bats, we are gonna be the proud owners of colored, engraved Warstics — I guess exclusively in Switzerland, maybe in Europe,” Scheurmeister says in an email. “And sure, for that kind of American-quality work, I am always willing to pay quite more than for some ‘made somewhere in Asia’ stuff.”


Fluid schedule


Three years ago, Jenkins turned OneFastBuffalo into a virtual operation, shutting its funky loft offices in downtown Dallas and converting 18 employees into contractors who can work wherever they want.

He wanted that freedom and more.


“I figured I’m going to take half my hours that I spend on creative work, make my own brands and see if I can turn that time and energy into something for me,” Jenkins says.


He wanted to make a product that was simple, something he cared about, not too time-consuming and that would bring in enough money to pay his mortgage.


What’s simpler than a piece of wood?


“If I had a billion-dollar idea for a product and it was something I hated, I’m dumb enough not to do it,” says Jenkins, who still plays in an adult regional baseball league three times a week. “When a 12-year-old gets a baseball bat for Christmas and his mom sends you a picture of his favorite gift, there’s a happiness level that I’d never experienced with client work.”

 

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Through many years of experience, and quite a bit of soul searching, we have found a way to live lives that help us generate our best work. It's why we look so happy in pictures. Our dedication to exploration and being uncomfortable keeps us inspired, constantly expands our world-view, and brings us mindful rest to refuel and rejuvenate our creative thinking. To find the balance between long immersive journeys and having the proper time to craft our work… we limit the number of clients we work with annually to fit within our 9 month work season. We also work hard to work with people who also share a healthy outlook on work and life. Having the right clients (not just big ones) is critical for not just enjoying our work, but generating brands that matter and endure over time. Brand building is mentally draining, in a great way, when you have a healthy working relationship with the people on the other side of the table. We expend all of our energy into making new things for people we work with. It requires trust and aligning what you want out of a partner with who we are. Different firms have different styles, different approaches, different goals, different values, and different definitions of success. We are just plain different on many levels. Finding the right fit can determine a lot about what we can create together. We hope we are a good fit for you. Send us a note and let's find out. We would love to hear about what ideas you need help bringing to life, or reinventing.  

 

Keep Fast, and safe travels.

 

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