Setting trends has never been something new to us. On our journey to be different and make an impact on the game - we have been inspired by the moments we have lived through that has shaped everything we do and who we are.
Hi I'm Ryan Gold, and I am Tater
I am Justin Guerrera, and I am Tater
I'm Stephen Figueroa, and I'm Tater
Freddie: All right. Hi everyone! We're back at it with the We Are Tater podcast. I'm your host, Freddie, accompanied by my co-host, Jeremiah, my brother.
Miah: What's up Tater fam? We're really excited for this episode, it's going to be a good one. Talking to you guys about our plans for this year. New year, a lot of stuff in the works for Tater and Freddie will tell you the rest.
Freddie: Yeah I mean, branching off from our last episode; if you haven't heard it, go take a listen. It's our first one, I think we crushed it. There's a lot going on. I think you guys will get, you guys will really enjoy it. You know, we're now in like mid January, 2022. We have a ton of pro guys reaching out about glove deals, bat deals, batting gloves, so our roster's expanding. Exciting to see what's going to happen amidst everything that's going on with baseball right now.
Miah:Yeah, before we get into the episode we'd just like to ask you guys if you really enjoy the previous episode, like Freddie said, go listen to it if you haven't, or you really like this one at the end of it, feel free to share with someone. That's all we ask. You know make the family a little bigger. We're going to be putting out some more great content for you guys, some nice raw genuine stuff so let's get into it. Let's talk about this bad boy that we got on the on the table right here, this bat.
Freddie: Yeah, this is what we're calling Project Aurora. This is our January 2022 drop. This is really, you know, Project Aurora really represents a lot of things. For the last seven years or so we've been really innovating in the marketplace in terms of creating such unique baseball equipment and we wanted to take it one step higher. So the name Project Aurora, really comes back from two things. The street that our factory is on, it's called East Aurora street and the other side of it is that the Aurora Borealis is, you know, a natural wonder that people can look in different parts of the world and look at the sky and depending on the oxygen levels and chemicals in the sky, the colors change. So we wanted to hit these two items and kind of match them together to inspire like collaboration between color and baseball. You know I think a lot of us, especially at the company, we're tired of seeing the same cookie cutter bats. A lot of the innovative bats that we would do over a course of five or six months, it became a standard in the marketplace or not necessarily a standard but people would try to emulate our style and our swag. So we wanted to do something that it's very very difficult to compete with and this is what this bat represents.
Miah: Yeah the first bat, which some of you might have seen, we dropped it this past Sunday, we're recording this on January 19th. So this past Sunday we dropped the Seaglass bat. It's the first one in a Project Aurora series and we're excited for the bat of the month. So we're making only 50, only 50 were made I mean, and once this color is done, it's done and what you guys will see that this is definitely a color that has never been done in baseball. The following month we'll have a crazy color, and it'll tie into the northern lights. The northern lights are really pretty if you haven't seen it look it up. But, it's an inspiration for what we're going to do and create. Each bat will have a meaning behind it and I think we'll start off by explaining the color and why we came up with the name Seaglass, and what made us do this one first.
Freddie: Yeah and just to follow up, Project Aurora is going to be an ever expanding project so as it starts today, is not going to be the same at the end of this year. So depending on if, you know, we are definitely going to be dropping limited items to accompany the bat and we're just going to take it to the next level. People are already loving it, between pro players, college kids, high school, everybody has just been hitting us up about how awesome this has been. Even people who don't play baseball. We wanted to start you know, when I say that Project Aurora has a lot of meaning is, there's a lot of thought process to it. It's not just painting a bat a different color, or choosing a colorway, or whatever because we want things to have a story. Everything we do at Tater has meaning to it. Right.This bat represents really, to me, and the reason why we pick these colors is the defining moments of when we decided to like we're doing now, take Tater to the next level. Back in 2017, yep,we decided that we were going to get certified by the major leagues and get our bat used by pro guys at the highest level. This all took place in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and like actually believe it or not at my grandparents house. So my grandparents live about what would you say like a mile, about a mile, five, five minutes from the stadium from the, Indios de Mayagüez which is a winter league team in Puerto Rico. One of my good friends, who's a great, he's one of my best friends now, Christian Colon. Played big leagues for quite a few, quite a few number of years as a well known, well-recognized, well-respected, baseball player. We met probably a couple months prior, when he was playing. You know, we just hit it off. It was one of those things where the energy was, you know, it's like as if I know him for a long time. We related very well, it was just like it was one of those natural friendships. You know we were going back and forth for the last couple months on, you know, how he liked the bats. He really felt like he was hitting better. He felt confident at the plate. He knew what he was getting; the quality, the work, that we were putting into manufacturing this for him. He wanted to represent us at the highest level you know. I think it was after his practice, he came by to the house and you know we had a celebratory shot with my grandpa. Shout out to gramps. We're sitting by the water, my grandparents lived literally on the edge of the water and we're sitting down and and he was saying how in 2018 that if he got called back up to the big leagues that he wouldn't feel comfortable unless he was using our product. That he wanted to represent us because he felt like he was part of our family. That's right there with me and my pops. Unfortunately, Jeremiah was at school at the time. Right. But, we decided, okay well we're gonna do it. We're gonna take the jump. We're gonna do what we need to do to get certified. If you're going to help us out, you're going to put your hand out for us, we're going to do the same for you. That's when we really decided that we were going to get certified. We knew it was a lengthy process. It was going to be very difficult. So this bat really represents that moment because this flamed tempered, black, torch handle, it's really like as the waves were crashing. You know, we were looking out into the ocean so as the waves were crashing, hitting the sand and obviously Puerto Rico is very hot. The sand would change from dark brown to light brown. So you have, you know, some texture of that semblance in the handle and the Seaglass portion of the barrel really represents different parts of the water as it was moving. You know, they lived in a, you know, the waves don't, they're not normal beach waves. They're very calm. So you'll get these portions of the water where it's kind of like this grayish, bluish color.
Miah: Yeah and sunlight, depending on how you're looking at it or what time of the day, you get different colors of more bluish, clearish. You get more of a color like we have here. So this bat really reminds us of that day when we decided to make that big leap. That was the first big step that propelled us into making Tater what it is now. Project Aurora is the first bat, Seaglass, reminds us of that day because, Project Aurora is a similar project for us. A similar day when we decided to do it. But we decided we're going to do this project and it's going to transform Tater and really bridge us and do something different in the baseball industry.
Freddie: Yeah, really leave our mark. You know it's one thing, you know, we say it all the time when we talk to players. It's really one thing to make, it is one thing to stay, and there's one there's another thing to be like a hall of famer right. So this is a defining moment for us where we want Tater to be a widely recognized household name. Really, we want our tribe to grow, our family. I think everyone that's been supporting Tater, I really, I always reach out and touch points and I always remind people like, Tater would not be anything without the people who've helped us. Christian Colon being one of them and every one of you that are listening to us and sharing our stuff. Should we just dive into like talking about how we got in into the big leagues?
Miah: Let's talk about the day we came up with the name Project Aurora, like the thought process, who was with us, why we came up with the name. You start it off, I'll talk a little bit about it too.
Freddie: Yeah so our boy, Mike, was uh at the shop. Mike Loudoun, shout out. He's been a big Tater fanatic since you know I can't. I've, I felt like I've known him forever. He's another guy that I felt like, 20 deuce, 20 deuce we felt like we've known you forever man. It's like we hit it off, I think the first time we hung out, we actually even went out to lunch. Which is kind of crazy. Pops, yeah pops you know, we're sitting in the middle of the factory. So for folks that have never been to our shop, the way we designed it was that our office is literally in the middle of the of the entire factory. So that we could see every part of the production process. So we're sitting and it's, what is it like...
Miah: So Friday afternoon. It was just us there we were done running production for the day. It was probably around 4:30-5 o'clock. We're just about to leave. We're closed on Fridays technically but we're always there working. So it was one of those days and it was one of those brainstorm sessions. We have so many unique ideas for colors for bats and we're like how are we going to bridge this into what we have planned for the new year. This is about two months ago when we decided that we were gonna start this and Mike came at a perfect time because we had an idea set in place like we've been crushing our brain for the last three days. What are we going to name this project? This is going to be super dope. And Mike came and just helped us out a ton.
Freddie: Yeah and pops too, I mean, it was like kind of like the time when we were trying to figure out the name for our company. Yeah the brand. I remember having a group message back you know, what about this? What about that? And then once we came up with Tater Bats, at the time it was like everybody stayed quiet and was like, boom, that was it. We had that same, literally that same feeling which I it was the only two times I ever had that when pops was like why don't we call it Project Aurora or a Aurora Project.
Miah: The Aurora Borealis, he brought up the Aurora Borealis and we're like, that's it, you know because it ties into everything we do and ties into the future. You know, we're not always going to be on Aurora street. But we have something that reminds us of the grassroots phases of the company where we met a lot of the great people who've helped us out.
Freddie: Yeah, it's funny that you bring that up because right now, like now that I think about it. There's so much meaning behind there Aurora Project or Aurora street because when we were getting certified by the big leagues, after we made that decision with Christian Colon and my dad. We had to figure out all these other problems like we needed to figure out where we're going to make the bats. We couldn't do it out of our garage anymore or the shed or the basement so we had to move out. You know we, we flew back from Puerto Rico. We hit the ground running and dad and I were like, okay we need to order wood. We need to pay for this. We need to get insured. We need to do this. We need to get a factory. What is our store going to look like? You know all these little things, you know. Are we gonna carry batting gloves? There was just so many different ideas that were going through our minds and I was like okay who else is gonna use our product? I literally can remember the day where, so we found a place. I had all of our family come down on a Saturday. We gutted out the whole, it's like 2,500 square foot place and this was actually not Aurora street. This was actually a different place prior to getting into our current factory. We spent the whole day cleaning it out, right. We rented out a truck. It was just full of garbage. So it was cool because all of our uncles were there. We had our our sales rep that flew in from Cleveland just to help us out for the day, because we were literally bootstrapping everything. We couldn't hire a company to clean it out for us. We had to do it ourselves. So we cleared out like in five hours. Everybody was banging it. So we go in, we call it a day. We wake up in the morning, Sunday, we go when it's a rainy day. We walk in, there's like two inches of water in the factory and I'm like oh this is not gonna work. Like the roof is no good and so we call the guy that that owned the building at the time and he's like hey you guys have to figure it out. It's like okay we gotta, we gotta pivot. We ended up eating, we ended up leaving that mess and we were like you know what, let's just go to a diner and get something. We're already stressed out because it's like okay, like 10 days left ,10 days to get a factory before our certification process is done. Yeah and we wanted to have everything under one roof like that was pivotal to us because especially for like turnaround times and having full control over the process, there's just a lot of things moving at hand and having a real you know if we want guys to come down and visit our place, and see how they're made, and this and that. You know it's just a whole different feel than having somebody come to your house. You know, that we've been doing it for so long. So we ended up eating breakfast on a diner off the street of Aurora and somebody overheard dad and I talking about the situation and she was like hey I if you'relooking for a place to lease, I know a spot. Then we literally got up, followed her, drove there. Saw it. I didn't see the vision but dad did and like hey we're making this work. It's actually like 3,300 square feet, so much bigger than what we were looking at. Again, it was full of garbage. Complete mess. Complete mess. No walls. No ceiling. No lighting. No nothing. It was like, all right we're gonna have to make this work one way or the other. No other options. Like none. It was in budget, I mean we didn't have a crazy budget either. I mean we had, pretty much all the money that we made in two years was spent in about a month. Just to try to get everything going. With the certification process and actually just ordering wood and all this other stuff, just the natural overhead of running a company. So, I literally remember like having people come down because the season was just about to start for amateur players, your high school, and college and Dave, who had a baseball team, aau team, at the time, with his son Zach. Came to the house because Zach needed a bat. I was telling him, he's like, oh where's all the you know what's going on? Where's your dad? Where's the equipment or dad or mom? Yeah and we told them like hey we just actually, just got a a nice little spot off Aurora street. I'm just trying to liquidate all the bats that I have now just to fund that because it's just you know, we had to buy flooring, it's just like just madness like so much stuff you got to get an electrician so on and so forth. Literally this place used to be a bottle redemption center, so they had nothing outfitted to manufacture a product. He's like oh you know what, I do a lot of um construction I can help you out like you don't even have to worry about it I'll just show up. And literally Dave and Zach set up the entire storefront. They laid down the flooring, they did the ceiling, they did the light, they helped with the lighting, and that's just one person out of you know 15 or 20 people that would come into the shop and lend us a hand. I had our graphic designer was painting the walls. JC who helped me sell the bats was taking out all the tile, just demolition.
Miah: Uncle was helping, Pito was helping, our cousin
Freddie: Yeah. Setting up the paint booths, creating new walls so we can segregate and make offices, make a bathroom because the place didn't even have a bathroom like there was not even a toilet. I mean it was crazy. So this project, this Aurora Project means a lot to me like personally because it represents all the struggles that, you know, we had to go through as a family, as a community. And all the faith that people have in us, to do what we do every day. Like people look forward to us and that's something that I remember every day when I wake up because the times that I'm tired, the times I don't want to work, or I don't want to make bats, or I don't want to and I'm not, I don't feel creative is the same times where you know players are tired they don't want to work out, but at the end of the day people look up to us. Whether it's the athlete or us, because we're chasing our dreams and that's and they put their faith in us to kind of succeed and exceed and that's I think that's what this project really embodies.
Miah: That baseball grind. The company grind. We know how it feels because we've been doing it. So it's awesome. Aurora, Project Aurora, we're excited for the next pieces to come.