Starring Some of the WamBam Crew

Our digless fence is installed by pounding a pipe into the ground with what’s called a post driver or pounder. Skeptics abound regarding how hard it is to drive a pipe into the ground- and those skeptics included us at one time. The truth is that while it requires exertion, it’s generally not as difficult as you might assume. We can say this with confidence because we have driven lots of pipe into the ground. (Ok, I’ve pounded one or maybe two pipes into the ground, but Steve has pounded in thousands from his former fence days and Clever Joe tens of thousands.)

And let’s face it- driving pipe into the ground on a bad day is still way easier than renting augers and drilling holes on a good day. Plus, drilling holes is just the start of your problems. After that you need to mix hundreds of pounds of concrete, pour it into the holes, and clean up all your excavated dirt and mess.  I’m sometimes prone to exaggeration, but this time I promise you I’m understating the truth by a country mile.

We’ve manufactured 3 manual post drivers to give our customers options to make their post driving experience as pleasant as possible and you can see them in action in this movie.

How to Make a Grown Man Cry

Thinking of renting an auger to install a vinyl fence?

We don’t like to make grown men cry. This is why with our vinyl fence you don’t have to dig holes, pour concrete, or make a mess of your yard.

What’s Going on in the World of WamBam?

“So what’s going on at WamBam?”

This is a question I get asked often by vendors, clients, friends and business contacts.

Without a public product line and a website, it’s a valid question. I guess one might suspect that we’re taking too much advantage of the nap room or gorging ourselves on Steve’s well-stocked cupboards.

Behind the scenes, a lot has been happening. The amount of work involved in a startup is mind boggling. We have more than 40 SKUs we’re getting ready to launch, and that doesn’t include our ornamental aluminum program. Each fence design needs more than just product design, development and testing. It also needs a 20+ page installation guide, line drawings, images, detail shots, box contents, UPC codes, barcodes, etc.

Then there’s the compilation of 50+ pages of web content. There’s 7 videos. I’m setting up customers which requires copious amounts of paperwork and copy to merchandise the product, not to mention vendor agreements with lots of red tape.

And of course, as in the nature of every startup, things don’t always go as planned.

The Product

Our first container of product arrived late July. The product was to spec and with the exception of a few minor issues, everything looked great.

But there was a problem that became apparent to us when the first container was on the water. Of our 9 fencing styles, 4 were not performing to our satisfaction in final testing. This was not our fault, and not our factory’s fault either. It was a calculated risk we took. Steve knew this issue might creep up, but it was a low risk—around 20%– so it was a risk worth taking. Unfortunately the 20% got us.

Essentially, it became apparent that a few of our vinyl fence panels had bottom rails that would sag (or begin to smile) over time. While some manufactures might let this slide, we couldn’t in clear conscience. Our vinyl fencing is Professional Grade with a limited lifetime warranty, so we want it to perform in 20 or 30 years like it did on the first day.

Back to the drawing board. Change the bottom rail of these styles. Test some more. Testing is good, thus the problem is solved.

However, we have 4 styles of vinyl fence that need upgrading and cannot be released for public consumption. Thus, we needed to order another container with the new products to replace the old. You can’t just order containers overnight- they take time. It is scheduled to arrive in early September so it won’t be until then that we have a full, rounded out line of product to sell.

The Website

The website is coming along slowly but surely. The reason it’s taking so long is that the old one was completely scrapped for reasons I won’t bore you with, and I subsequently hired new developers to redo the whole thing from scratch. So we’re on the second site–with the same design. I take full responsibility for this. I hired the guy who did the botch job on the first site, and in the end it was a big mistake. It slowly became apparent that if we wanted a tight site that we could work with well into the future, it had to be done properly, which meant scrapping a 2-3 month project and starting again.

Steve laughs long and loud at me every time I beat myself up over the site. “Looks good on you, Denise. I love it!” is what he usually says with a wicked cackle. I guess it’s better than yelling and screaming, right?

It’s never easy in a startup, but all things considered, while we’re slightly behind, in the grand scheme of a 24 month project, we’re really not doing too badly. It’s coming along, slowly but surely. And the great thing is that we don’t feel like we’re rushing things, which would mean releasing substandard product or a weak website. The motto around here is, “If you’re going to do something, just do it right.”

So in short, we’re busy. Some days we still feel overwhelmed and wonder if this fly wheel is ever going to get momentum on its own, because pushing non-stop for all these months (and for Steve, it’s coming up on 2 years) requires a lot of dedication, motivation, work, and patience.

But most days we’re still having fun, and that’s what matters.

Clever Joe Hosts His Very Own Talk Show

Yeah, it’s wacky and zany, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. See sock puppet Clever Joe interview Firefighter Frank Wambalamo about what makes WamBam’s vinyl fence professional grade.

It’s WamBam fence, the only fence that’s fun to install.

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