We had the good fortune of connecting with David Deioma and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting Mudroom Backpacks was to carry a pair of shoes to work while avoiding cross-contamination from shoes with a laptop. In my case, the need was for cycling to work, while wearing cycling cleats and carrying a pair of office shoes separately from laptops, electronics and internal storage like lunch. Enter Mudroom Backpacks: a single solution with multi-use versatility. The name “Mudroom” comes from the Midwest where homes have mud rooms for taking off soaked and dirty clothes to keep from tracking dirt and water into a home. With 250 days of rain, snow and clouds, the only option was to go outdoors during inclement weather to keep from driving parents crazy. So that is what we did in Midwest Ohio. Fast-forward to an insightful day while riding to work on Bike-to-Work-day, and voila; the need became the mother of this invention. The name Mudroom applies to the Quartable and Intermodal backpacks because there are two separate, vertically silo’d and internal compartments inside of the backpack to carry a pair of shoes. Each compartment has exterior and interior access for easy of loading and unloading. Additionally, Mudroom backpacks have floating laptop and tablet compartments with side zipper-access for airport security lines. Mudroom is good for day-hikes too with hydration compatibility. For work, for travel and for day-hikes, one Mudroom backpack has the versatility to cover all the bases. And with Mudroom Intermodal backpacks, there is even a rain-cover in the carrying handle: a patent-pending design innovation available only from Mudroom Backpacks. That is the thought process behind starting Mudroom Backpacks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There is one saying that I have heard that applies most to the lessons that I have learned in my career. And that quote is from Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He said in an interview, “I am listening with my eyes.” In the context of the quote, he was evaluating players based on actions, not words. With all of the background noise and clutter of news and biased opinions, he cut through that clutter by the power of first-person observation: listening with his eyes. In parallel, it is necessary to listen with ones eyes every day make business decisions. And the key to making good decisions is to focus on what is important and cast aside unnecessary things. For me, the ability to focus is extraordinarily important. And conversely, distraction of any form is the enemy. So one must focus on goals, and avoid distractions. The way to achieve goals is to set smaller goals, or milestones, on the way to achieving larger goals. Also important is the need for flexibility to make mid-course corrections with the availability of new information. So one must take in new information, decide if it is significant or irrelevant and go forward based on options and the best information at the time of the decision. Actions will always speak louder than words. So, when talking with people, listen to them, but listen with your eyes also.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend were visiting, it is fun to do something along the lines of a progressive day where each part of day or meal is in a different place. During Covid times, I realize this may be difficult, but still possible. For breakfast, we would wake-up at 5am, and I would take my friend to Big Bear-SnowSummit for a breakfast burrito on the mountain and then take some runs. For lunch, I would take my friend to Palm Springs and take the tram to the lookout on Mr. San Jacinto. And for dinner, we would check-out one of the surf spots along the coast. And the reason for doing all three is to show my friend that California is one of the few places around that all of this can be done in a single day from sunrise to sunset.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people who have taken an interest in and supported the efforts of Mudroom Backpacks. Among them are Annie Deioma, Bob Small (Mr. Small), Nick Telford, Lori Logan (Ms. Logan) and David Deioma, the elder. Annie Deioma is my wife and we have worked dozens of trade and road shows including farmers’ markets. By working the events, it is possible to talk with people personally and tell the Mudroom story. And she tells the story much better than me. Mr. Small, Mr. Telford and Ms. Logan believed in the product, the company and the founder to financially support the company through its conception and growing phases. I cannot express my appreciation enough. David Deioma, the elder, is my father and also a retired patent attorney. With his assistance, he has guided the company through US and foreign patent applications. It is these patents and product functionality which the product is built on and the basis for its competitive advantage over other backpack companies.
Images 1-4 David Deioma Images 5-6 Rocky Arroyo