Kevin is what you could call a serial inventor-preneur. “I started my first business in grade 12 making wooden kitchen products in the high school woodworking shop after school and selling them to mom’s in the neighborhood.”
Next it was a summer of a fence and deck company that he started after helping a friend and his dad build one. “I had to learn on the fly. Suddenly I got a job to build a fence for 15 houses, so I had to hire people, including my older brother, and I was only 18.”
Then, at the age of 21, the idea that launched him to into a global accessory brand was an invention for a snowboard locking device. Along with his 2 brothers and then girlfriend (turned wife), they started Bakoda Design Logic, a boutique line of locks, tools, bags, gloves, and tuning equipment. “By the age of 25 we had a little factory with 25 employees making accessories for some of the biggest brands in the industry, including Burton and RIDE.” In 1999 Kevin sold Bakoda. “I finally made some money and had a steady paycheck.”
In 1992, Kevin was hired as President and Creative Director of Proflix: video action trading clips, a company his brother started making by super cool flip books. Customers included Nike, Toyota, Energizer, CBC, ESPN, and many others. While the idea of flip books was an old one, Proflix managed to create something unique enough that they were able to license the brand to companies in France, Spain, the UK and Australia. Additionally, Proflx secured the licensing rights to brands such as Star Wars, Spiderman2, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool UK football clubs.
After 2 years with Proflix, Kevin resigned and went on a hiatus. “I broke down. I had a sudden question of purpose. I found myself just chasing the money, without caring WHY I was doing WHAT I was doing. I quit and left everything, including my family, for 3 months of soul searching in south east Asia. When I came back I was more confused than ever. I had opened a Pandora’s box. I couldn’t…wouldn’t work until I figured out WHY I was working. Eventually I came to the conclusion that my work had to have 3 things, in this order: 1) I have to create, 2) I have to use my business to make the world a better place, 3) I have to make a lot of money, because with more money, I can do more to help make the world a better place.
I had several ideas that I was working on for other products, including a vented ski glove and a kids candy, but it was kelvin that I decided to devote all of my attention. Not just because it was a useful idea, but because an urban multi-tool was the best idea I had to connect with the most amount of people around the world. If I want kelvin to be a tool for change, then the more people that buy a kelvin, the more change I can affect in the world.