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Student Affairs is proud to feature ROTC and agriculture science student, Eric Frizzie, at the 2014 Fall Recharge, for his efforts in building his first company, Summit Outdoors Supplies. He is one of many students who embraces their unlimited possibilities in unique, exciting ways.
Cal Poly ROTC student and agricultural science major Eric Frizzie founded Summit Outdoors Supply (S.O.S.) in 2013 after losing a close friend the previous year. To help preserve his friends’ memory, Frizzie and his business partner created a cost effective and unique paracord bracelet to assist the avid and recreational outdoorsman. Within a year of launching SOS, they have their products placed in over 40 retail stores both domestically and overseas including South Africa, Tanzania and Canada. Their products are also featured in nation-wide chains and are currently expanding into new product categories.
After Eric’s good friend, Matthew Barkley, passed away, Eric utilized the Student Affairs’ Health and Counseling Services to help him cope with his loss,. Through these services, he learned how to process his feelings in a healthy way. Around that same time, Eric won $500 from a Lotto ticket and used that money to build the humble beginnings of his first company. In 2013, he launched Summit Outdoor Supply and created his first line of bracelets, made of rope strong enough to hold 550 pounds and wrapped it around 13 tiny, yet effective, instruments for survival in case an adventure turns disastrous. It was Matthew who taught Eric how to make a paracord bracelet and Eric wanted to continue the legacy by naming his first line of paracord bracelets after him, called the Barkley Series. “Matthew emulated the spirit of an outdoorsman,” said Eric. “I wanted to create a way to make him proud and give us all something we can remember him by.”
Eric pitched his startup to Professor John York’s business entrepreneurship class and from that he was able to recruit a team of students who helped him launch his new product company. “I like that it was started by students. They have a very clear vision of what their brand is. They are incredibly persistent and determined,” entrepreneurship Associate Professor John York said.
With the company growing rapidly, Frizzie emphasizes that S.O.S. exists to fulfill civic duties and work towards the betterment of the community. S.O.S. is dedicated to giving back, supporting everyday heroes and plans on restoring American jobs, all while creating innovative life-saving products.
In addition to giving portions of his proceeds to local law enforcement, military organizations and other health and safety individuals, Eric utilizes his fellow Cal Poly peers to set his company apart. Eric works with Pride Industries to provide jobs to mentally and physically disabled individuals, and also hires graduates of the Grizzly Youth Academy which works with at-risk youth to help them succeed as adults.
Today, Eric balances his time between building S.O.S. and completing his agricultural science degree.
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