Our Story

Stories are all we have, and our cumulative life stories have shaped us into who we are today.

Christmas was my favorite holiday as a child, but the 4th of July was right on its heels. From summers in Wyoming having bottle rocket wars with my cousins to lighting matasuegras in Bolivia, the smell of burning sulfur or a lit punk brings back a lifetime of memories. Now as an adult, I can say that 4th of July is without a doubt my favorite holiday.

Not to say that playing with fireworks doesn’t have consequences. At age 32, newly married to my wonderful wife Elizabeth, I lost sight in my right eye due to an errant bottle rocket while in Bolivia. Lesson learned, always wear eye protection.  On the bright side, I know what it feels to be a “one-eyed” pirate, patch and all!

Now, my wife and I have two wonderful children who are growing up way too fast. As serial entrepreneurs, we decided to start a small side business called Waz Up Fireworks as a way to teach our kids about business. Now every year, we take two weeks off and spend them together, as a family selling fireworks. It is really a perfect marriage of passion, pleasure, business, and family.

 There are many lessons that can be learned through selling fireworks.

#1 Is that of patience. No business is in the black their first year. It takes time and dedication. Considering that when anyone sells fireworks in Kansas, our selling season is only a two-week window. Many factors outside of anyone’s control can affect your sales during those two weeks. One of the biggest factors can be weather, especially rain.

#2 Hidden cost of doing business. As with any business, you really need to have a business plan. Part of that business plan is researching all the costs associated with running a firework stand. Everything from firework liability insurance fees, real estate space rental, city firework permit, Fire Marshall application and fee, your firework inventory, point of sale equipment, sales tax and your staff compensation.

What can you sell?

As part of your research, you will need to see what is legal to be sold in the city or town you plan on setting up your stand or tent. For example, in Wichita, Kansas you can only sell safe and sane fireworks. But if you go just go down the street, you might be in Bel Aire or maybe Maize and their City Ordinances allow you to sell a broader range of fireworks.

Safe & Sane vs. “The Good Stuff”:

What does that mean? Safe and sane fireworks are really family orientated fireworks that cannot emit sparks or fireballs greater than 6 feet in the air. Now for most of us, we have pent up pyro energy that has been building all year long and are looking for the “good stuff”. Fireworks that I classify as the “good stuff” resembles that which you would see at a professional fireworks show. Similar “cool” effects that go high in the sky with large and loud breaks.

Wholesalers:

Once you have chosen your site and learned what fireworks can be sold, the next task is securing the product. There are large companies that are looking for groups to man their tents and provide all the products and everything you need. These are well-established companies with great reputations. For maning their tents for the ten days to two weeks, they will give you a percentage of the net profits, which may range from $1500 to $6000. This is the easiest way to get a “taste” of selling fireworks without all the hassle.

Risk vs. Reward:

Although, for those who are willing to take the risk and go on the ultimate pyro adventure, then you need to think about selling fireworks. This will take many years to develop before you start to see a profit. Wisdom shared with me by Steve and Peggy Showalter of Showalter Fireworks, “persistance is key”. If this sounds like you, send me an email and we will set up a time to talk in more depth to answer your questions.