In this week’s engaging episode of our podcast, we dive deep into an intriguing conversation with Mike Stepp, the co-founder of Handle Bend, a remarkable brand known for their uniquely handcrafted copper mugs. The Handle Bend mug creations make excellent and thoughtful gifts, standing out with their one-of-a-kind designs and exceptional quality that are a testament to the brand’s dedication to craftsmanship and innovation.
Our conversation with Mike Stepp is a fascinating exploration into his entrepreneurial journey which is as unique as the mugs his brand makes. What began as a college pastime of making their own mugs soon took a surprising turn as their creations started being sought after as wedding gifts. Encouraged by this unexpected demand, Mike and his partner considered the potential of their hobby and were inspired to transform it into a business when enough people suggested they should start selling their unique creations.
Choosing to stay true to their roots, Mike and his partner made a conscious decision to keep their business grounded in their hometown, O’Neil, Nebraska. Their commitment to the town is driven by a strong desire to contribute to their local community, and to build something that would not only be rewarding for them but would also bring tangible benefits to the town they cherished. Over the years, their hard work, dedication, and a dash of good fortune have led Handle Bend to become a thriving lifestyle business, significantly contributing to the local economy and community.
In an exciting recent development, Handle Bend expanded their operations by acquiring a 14,000 square foot building in O’Neil. This building has been transformed into a buzzing hub of activity, driving the business forward and serving as a focal point for more than just their flagship copper mugs.
Throughout this episode, we delve into the growth story of Handle Bend, highlighting key milestones, significant achievements, and the challenging decisions that shaped the brand over the years. We discuss insightful advice for budding entrepreneurs, touching on the importance of following your vision and not being deterred by naysayers. In our conversation with Mike, we also explore the philosophy that has underpinned Handle Bend’s journey – a focus on doing things that excite them, telling captivating stories, and building relationships, rather than just chasing sales.
This podcast episode offers a window into the world of a small-town business that dared to dream big, embodying the spirit of entrepreneurial grit, community values, and the power of creativity. Join us for this enlightening conversation and discover the captivating story behind Handle Bend mugs, a brand that has truly made its mark.