Built in Boise: High Notes to Numbers Games

The volunteer writers and photographers at Built in Boise are sharing more inspiring stories of Boise companies and the people behind them. From craftsmen to crunching numbers, here is a roundup of profiles from July... 

Clark MandolinsFrom all outward appearances it looks like a typical mid-century home in a well-kept West Boise neighborhood. But enter through the side gate to a door that opens to the home’s garage-turned-workshop, and you immediately realize that nothing about this is typical. Beautiful, richly stained mandolins hang from a drying rack in the ceiling. And the walls, papered with jigs, close in on a compact but neatly organized workbench surrounded by every manner of woodworking tool. This is where Austin Clark spends his days (and often nights) producing some of the world’s most sought-after mandolins. Read how this former chef turned his passion for music into a craft and, ultimately, a successful business in High Note. 

WhiteCloud Analytics:  Bob Lokken was happily retired… for about a week. After selling his previous company, ProClarity, to Microsoft, then spending several years on the Microsoft executive team, he decided it was time for a break. “I got a one-way to Scottsdale and played golf. Lots of golf,” Lokken says. “But after about a week, I was bored. I was too young to be done.” He decided the best thing — the right thing — was to go back to what he loved. “What I enjoyed most is working with a small team on a goal that will help make the world better. And creating it all out of white space. There’s not much that is more interesting, fun and meaningful.” Read how that thinking led to the birth of Whitecloud Analytics in Numbers Game. ''

Bison Bag: “If a sleeping bag had a baby with a hammock” is how Lance Williams describes the Bison Bag, a project he started with his wife Julia in 2014. The idea: combine the warmth of a sleeping bag with the “setup anywhere” nature of a camping hammock. But this isn’t first foray into entrepreneurship. “I’ve always been creating my own companies ever since I was little … crocheting beanies and selling them at school … spray paint stencils, that kind of stuff.” So when he got the idea for the Bison Bag from a conversation with his father-in-law, he had a decision to make. For Williams, ideas come easily — it’s the motivation to execute that can be difficult. Read how Williams kickstarted the idea and turned it into an outdoor brand in Bag of Ideas. 

Refer.com:  Tom Gay knew he was onto something. The systematic process he used to build a thriving high six-figure consulting practice in just two years was working. Not just for himself, but for others, too. After all, for service providers, like attorneys, consultants and accountants, building relationships — and trust — is critical. But it is also time-consuming and hard to track. His company, called 22 Touch at the time, solved that by providing a standardized protocol for how and when to connect with prospects. Read how Gay spent two years manually refining his product before turning it into software in Relationship Sales.