Will Kornegay is one of those guys who finds opportunity everywhere he looks — sometimes in surprising places.
The 29-year-old entrepreneur got the idea for his latest companies while hunting ducks last fall in eastern North Carolina with Adam Whitehead, a friend of a friend.
“(Adam) had an idea for a business and was looking for someone to help with the marketing and implementing,” says Kornegay, who graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in business management with a concentration in marketing. “We became friends and decided to start the company.”
Their company, Sportsman’s Box, is a service that delivers subscribers a monthly box of hunting and fishing gear, grub and apparel, sort of a care package for the outdoorsman. The first boxes are scheduled to ship July 10.
The contents of each box are pre-tested in the field by Kornegay and Whitehead. A video, “What’s in the Box?”, on their website gives a light-hearted look at what subscribers might expect.
The idea is to introduce subscribers to new and useful products, from compasses to fishing tackle, insect repellent, waterproof gloves and more. The company offers one-, three- and six-month subscriptions and a money-back guarantee if a customer is not satisfied after receiving the first box. A variety of upgrades, including a sneak peek at what’s in the box and the option to “skip it or ship it,” are also available.
Kornegay and Whitehead are confident that busy sportsmen will take the bait and let a pair of experienced hunters and fishermen check out the latest gear and deliver it to their door. “In college, I had plenty of time to hunt and fish and spend time online searching for the newest gear,” Kornegay says. “But life gets very busy when you’ve got a full-time job.”
Following his graduation from NC State, Kornegay spent two years with a Cary company, trading energy on the spot market. Then he decided to put his passion for agriculture to work. He now works full time as sales manager at Ham Farms Inc., in Snow Hill, N.C., a leading producer of sweet potatoes, onions and cabbage.
Last year, Kornegay also started AGrow Life, an online site where agricultural pros can network, monitor commodities trading, check the weather and shop for a branded line of apparel, including work gloves, sweatshirts and caps.
The clothing line has done so well, Kornegay says, that he plans to parlay it into another venture that is scheduled to go live in July. The new site will sell a variety of apparel lines, including T-shirts emblazoned with Kornegay’s original photos.
Eventually, Kornegay and Whitehead hope to turn Sportsman’s Box into a full e-commerce store where subscribers will get first access to new products and free shipping.
–Carole Tanzer Miller