The Birth and Evolution of the Dragonfly Wingman®
Well over 25 years ago I learned that deer and horseflies were visual hunters. I also learned that their greatest predator was the dragonfly. When deer and horseflies spot a dragonfly, they make themselves scarce. I later developed an imitation dragonfly that is nearly as effective as the real McCoy. This was my aha moment! the Dragonfly Wingman® was born.
I immediately began patent protection and was able to move forward with manufacturing and marketing. In my head this should be simple, I have a product that works and had not produced before, boy was I wrong. Countless manufacturing issues causing winters spent reworking product… enough whining…
The first thing I did right was knock on doors. I walked into Moose FM radio station in Parry Sound with samples and found a great contact. The man I met is an avid angler and outdoor enthusiast. He totally understood the concept and was incredibly positive. He was instrumental in getting me into my first retail store Northern Embroidery. The owners thought it may be a great gimmicky item to sell, so they took it out camping and were incredibly surprised at how effective it was! They became my best salespeople and sold out regularly.
I continued to knock on doors, and they kept opening. One of my biggest retailers is Lee Valley Tools. It was tough to get it in because they wanted to test the Dragonfly Wingman in the wild. The first round of samples was given to test people that were not so outdoorsy, so the results were inconclusive. So, the owner Of Lee Valley Tools took samples and gave them to friends in his cottage area. The results were all thumbs up. We move thousands through Lee Valley now and the Dragonfly Wingman is amongst one of their highest selling items.
Many of our retailers have found us through word of mouth from their customers. In 2021 a Canadian Tire Corporation buyer unexpectedly contacted us. He said that “he had been poked by many people” about our product. The Dragonfly Wingman® will be in over six hundred Canadian Tire stores spring of 2022.
It makes me proud to think the Dragonfly Wingman® can make a difference in the great outdoors!
Inventor founder and great guy,