Students fall into hammock trend
Kammok is the new camping hammock that is doing more than just hanging between two trees. With a UMHB alumnus as one of the five founding partners and students buying into the trend, Kammok is a revolutionary brand that brings technically innovative outdoor products to the socially conscious adventurer.
Founder and CEO of Kammok Greg McEvilly desires that the company inspires and equips customers to fully live out the company motto, Life Changing Adventure.
“We hope to be the conduit that helps people engage in the greatest adventure of all – the adventure of changing lives,” he said.
In a year and a half, five guys have been able to create a business from just an idea of revolutionizing the traditional camping hammock. Through an online pledge system for funding creative projects called Kickstarter, the company was able to sell more than 2,500 pre-ordered products in less than two months.
Director of mobilization Grant Hickman, UMHB alumnus ’07 and college pastor at First Baptist Church Belton, realized that they were on to something after the success with Kickstarter.
“In 50 days instead of raising $15,000, we raised just under $209,000,” he said. “At the time, when we finished the 50 days of funding, we were the tenth most successful Kickstarter campaign in the history of Kickstarter.”
Although this is not a new concept, Kammok is more than just a product-driven company.
The company logo is a kangaroo, so the followers and fans have been dubbed “the mob.” Hickman believes that their mission is changing the world through business.
“A group of 10 or more kangaroos is called a mob, so anybody that is involved with Kammok in any shape or form, whether you work on staff, are an intern, buy a product or like us on Facebook, you are a member of the mob,” Hickman said. “And we want to know how you are changing the world.”
For Kammok the sky is the limit, but to get their feet off the ground, owners have launched their first product line: the ROO and Python Straps.
Senior international business major Tobin Davies fully supports Kammok as both a business and a product.
“I believe their product is superior to other camping hammocks, and I think the guys who run the company have their priorities in the right places,” he said. The Kammok ROO is a single travel hammock that is lightweight, made of LunarWave fabric with Diamond rip-stop weave and stuffs into a waterproof compression sack about the size of an “angry blowfish.” Currently the product is only available in ROO Red with dark gray sides, but more colors are in the works.
The suspension system is unlike anything else on the market. The Python Straps are 10 feet long and have multiple attachment points for the small, lightweight carabineers all along the straps.
“I am a big guy, and my other hammock stretches a lot when I use it, which causes it to feel unstable and sag closer to the ground,” Davies said. “When I have Kammoked, I was amazed by how static and stable it felt, especially since it packs up so small.”
The company is often asked how the Kammok differs from other camping hammocks on the market, and Hickman jokingly answers.
“It’s like asking the late Steve Jobs how his computer is different from a Dell. It’s just a computer, but it’s the little things,” he said. “We looked at every single aspect and said we want to make ours the best quality and use the best materials.”
Because of Kammok’s commitment to support something greater than just camping equipment, the company is investing more than 20 percent of all profits to humanitarian and environmental initiatives around the world.
“Also, with every ROO purchased, we donate a treated mosquito net to a family in need of protection from malaria,” McEvilly said. “Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria…. We hope to raise awareness of global needs and also be the conduit that can be a starting place for people to engage people in need.”
The first shipment of more than 2,000 Kammoks will be delivered Nov. 14 for adventurers who pre-ordered. Currently, people can place an order at www.Kammock.com.
McEvilly envisions Kammok as a song and his role in the company as the composer. He hopes to bring out the best in his team and its product.
“A song is never about the end. It is about the whole – the entirety…. I don’t view our mission at Kammok as a sprint to the fastest profits, or think of quick cash-out exit strategies down the road,” he said. “Kammok is not about an end. It is about a journey. Each note having significance and purpose, together, making a beautiful whole that hopefully will have a lasting impact on our world.”