All in a year's work.

You know, I really have been struggling with coming up with blog ideas. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I am not neglecting the blog on purpose; rather I just don't want to write something that is not from the heart.

So, I went for a walk the other day, and it hit me:

Viking has "officially" been around for a little over a year! I could not believe it at first, but it was true. This past year has really flown by...

To back up; my first thoughts with Viking date back to roughly the first week of January of 2015. As we all do that time of year, we make resolutions and set goals. I gave it some thought and I wanted my love of mechanics and tinkering and design to really mean something to me. I have been 3D Printing in various capacities for years in a professional role, but thought it would be neat to do some fun things at home for me and other people. That was the idea for Viking. Also I had zero thought or intention of RC parts, just doing small create generic things. I started thinking of a business plan and a logo and this was the first shot, I 3D printing resource company for Buffalo.

So for a few months, I was doing some side work printing for people, but I still felt like I needed something more. My creative side was not being fulfilled. It was fun working on things for others, but I needed to design, but what? Phone holders, cool business card trays? I was feeling sort of lost.

On July 1st of last year I lost someone very very close to me. Other than my family, she was a big driving force of me starting Viking, finding something I could really be passionate about in life. She was very proud of me because I was learning new things and was so excited about it. Losing her really took the wind out of my sails for doing anything for the next few weeks. My printer laid dominant, while I was working through grief. Until one early August Saturday Morning...

That beautiful, warm Saturday morning I woke up and it was immediately given a gift of a great idea. 

Make 3D printed parts and accessories for R/C cars! Yes!! It was literally the most light bulb feeling I have ever felt.

I immediately got out of bed with a new sense of excitement and purpose I did not feel for awhile. I even called my mother right away to tell her the great news of the idea I had haha.

I got right to it! What was I going to tinker with first! My first idea was to make a battery strap for a friends Yokomo buggy. It broke on the first lap, but I didn't even care. It was so excited.

I made a few other things for my 22 2.0 Buggy learning from every print and every broken part. I would take pictures of stress cracks and apply the findings to the designs. I was having such a blast, my creative side was finally being fulfilled, and my grief and depression were slowly melting away. Loosing my friend was and still is a driving force in what pushed/pushes me forward everyday.

I started noticing that people were talking about 3 vs. 4 gear transmissions online and the advantages 3 gear transmissions would have. The B5M at the time had the option, but the Losi 22 2.0 did not. I started to think if anyone would be able to make one, then I thought maybe I could try! I decided to take on the challenge. It sounded super fun to me!

 

 

My goal was to have it ready in a few days, but working on it non-stop in my free time it took two weeks! Soon after that I had a working prototype that was ready to take to the track!

The first night at the track I was expecting the car to break immediately, but I was just so excited to see something happen. Not only did it make a lap, it made many! I think we ran 5 batteries through the prototype the first night! I was so pumped and felt amazing.

The next few weeks, I made design changes to make the best I could. At the same time, I started getting messages and emails about the transmission. Other racers wanted to purchase a kit for themselves! What!? This is where I decided to make Viking a legit and more serious company.

I guess the rest is history so to speak. I have only been doing this for the better part of a year, but I cannot believe how far we have come. I have gotten a lot of help and encouragement from family and friends. I can't thank you all enough. I am just so happy to be creative and have people think some of it is cool really blows me away. I have so many other ideas I want to share.

I did not make this blog post to brag, or for pity, or any of that. I wanted to just take a second to document the beginnings and recognize to myself I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am in a great place in my life, doing what I love. A year is a long time, but also not. I hope you reading this are there too, or are getting there. Just remember, life is short and we only have one at-bat. Make it count!