Tim Niemier, former owner of Ocean Kayak Inc., and Brian Queen, a man with 25 years' experience in rotational molding, have joined to create a new company, Wild Design Inc.
Although Wild Design can use its large rotational molding machine to make kayaks, canoes, and other water-sports products, Queen, head of production, said Wild Designs will not just be making sports equipment.
``We're a little unique in that we can do larger parts, up to 20 by 10 feet,'' Queen said. The firm also can make special-order products.
Furthermore, Wild Design can design products, create computer-aided designs, make models and form aluminum molds.
A smaller, 4-foot machine started production June 17, said Tim Sullivan, who oversees sales and marketing.
The company intends for the second, much larger machine to be operational by July 15. Queen designed and built the machines, and they will be able to rotate biaxially and do rock 'n' roll molding.
Wild Design is based in Sedro Woolley, Wash., about 60 miles north of Seattle.
Niemier sold Ocean Kayak to Johnson Outdoors Inc. in 1998. At the time, he signed a noncompete agreement that expired in July 2004, according to Sullivan. Queen was worldwide operations manager for Johnson until 2003.
Niemier had good things to say about Johnson Outdoors. ``Selling a company is like marrying off your daughter, and I couldn't be happier with Johnson Outdoors,'' he said.
But Sullivan added that ``it's probably not [Johnson Outdoors'] first choice'' to have Niemier and Queen back in the business.
Still, Johnson Outdoors spokeswoman Cynthia Georgeson said: ``[Niemier] is a talented guy, and we wish him well.''
Queen said Wild Design already is working with a number of companies, and the firm also does consulting, helping new concept producers get off the ground by offering design, modeling, and manufacturing expertise. Wild Design also will help new companies build their own rotomolding machines and production lines.
One reason Niemier stays interested in rotomolding is because the work cannot be moved overseas easily.
``Rotational molding can't be outsourced because it costs more to ship the products than to make them,'' he said.
He is confident about his new company. ``I reinvented kayaking with the sit-on-top kayak, and now Wild Design is going to reinvent rotational molding.''