Interview with Josh Sprague – founder, owner, Orange Mud
Story by Malena Morea | Photos from instagram feed of @TheOrangeMud
When one thinks of hydration packs they often think of heavy packs or awkward handhelds that weigh you down rather than help push you further. Fact is most add-on running gear is bulky, expensive and just plain frustrating. Orange Mud owner and founder, Josh Sprague, describes a similar experience as he navigated a world of fanny packs and handhelds during adventure races and Ironman races.
Sprague wanted something more stable and toyed with the idea for over ten years. During the 2012 training season, Sprague realized how tired he was of stashing bottles along his route and decided he would develop a product where runners could create and carry their own nutrition.
“I thought it would be nice to be able to do your own nutrition plan during a race and be able to execute it and carry extra,” Sprague said.
Made in Sprague’s garage with a fanny pack, gun holster, and some straps that were lying around, the first prototype wasn’t exactly shelf ready. But, just a short ten months and 21 prototypes later, the product was inching its way out of the developmental phase looking less and less like something you’d find at a yard sale.
By October 2012, a crowd funding campaign allowed Sprague to launch his product, but he had to show retailers that this was a product consumers were begging for. To prove Orange Mud was something worth stocking on the shelves he put in the time and energy needed to promote it to the right audiences. Orange Mud had a presence at Ironman Arizona showcasing their HydraQuiver Single Barrel Hydration Pack and it sold big.
While Orange Mud began to grow in popularity with endurance athletes, they also began to expand their product offerings. Sprague began hearing from ultra-runners that they loved the HydraQuiver but needed to be able to carry more hydration; so he developed a second vest pack with two barrels for hydration, the HydraQuiver Double Barrel. These have become one of his most popular selling items and are showing up all over the 5k, half and full marathon circuits.
For anything above the traditional 26.2 miles or for runners who would like more storage, Sprague and his team developed chest pockets for their Vest Pack products which come in both single and double barrel options and are also best-sellers
Orange Mud’s transition wrap is the product that really helped put them on the map based on its unique and highly functional characteristics. The Wrap has a dual function of serving as a towel under which you can execute a flawless outfit change after a ride/run/paddle/hike etc. and it can also be used as a seat covering to ensure that regardless of how dirty you are, your car seat stays clean. OrangeMud has sold about 75,000 transition wraps and they are carried in over 400 stores in 40 countries, clearly indicating their popularity and usability.
As for the future of Orange Mud, Sprague and his team plan on continuing to expand the brand and its product offerings. They hope this continued innovation will help the brand grow.
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Written by Malena Moreau, Malena is an outgoing advertising professional who loves Baton Rouge almost as much as the people in it. She has a real passion for running and the calm it can bring to everyday life. She currently plans to run the half marathon this year.
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