By: Leandra | September 07, 2018

In a recent blog post, we introduced you to Taryn Kutches and Parker Design. Even though her business is young, Kutches has already found success in her passion career. Like many of us these days, Kutches wears multiple hats. She is a dedicated mother, hard-working sales engineer, and, as you know, the co-founder of Parker Design. In this post, we will be highlighting Taryn’s take on failure and resilience. 


Often times, people are afraid to try new things - even mundane things - out of a fear of failure. Nobody ever wants to be knocked down, hear the the word ‘no’ or simply have something not work out. However, failure is part of human nature. Failure can be good thing. While overcoming failure can absolutely be a testament to the resiliency of a person (or business) and their ability to overcome a significant obstacle, failure can show us that a previous approach isn’t working and that a new method needs to be attempted. Thomas Edison, while inventing the light bulb, was famous for coining the phrase, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 


While it may sound a tad cliche, Kutches’ road to success was paved with its fair share of failure. When asked if she had any advice to give to aspiring entrepreneurs, Kutches responded by saying that you should never fear failure, and sometimes failure can be a good thing. 

Taryn Kutches Failure Quote

“One thing I’ve learned is that failure is inevitable. I have never, ever, ever heard a success story that didn’t involve some type of failure, whether it be catastrophic of just very minor.” 


Initially, as previously discussed, Kutches had a difficult time choosing one of her countless business ideas she most wanted to explore on her road to becoming an entrepreneur. Being caught in the idea phase can be extremely frustrating, especially for first-time entrepreneurs. However, inspiration struck at the Detroit auto show when she saw men wearing backpacks that looked fine when worn with dress clothes, whereas women were holding handbags that just had an overall clunky feel to them. Kutches dreamed of a world where women could wear a backpack that would look put together with business appropriate attire.


Once an idea is born, the first hurdle of entrepreneurship has been lept. However, the next step is making the dream a reality; making the abstract tangible and, in Taryn’s case, creating a product. 


In the case of Parker Design, they had a successful kickstarter campaign that aided them in their journey of turning a dream into a reality. This is not a typical path, especially for a brand new business, but it is an avenue that certainly helped them garner success. After raising enough money to begin producing prototypes of the Rosa PAK, they thought they had a manufacturer that would make the product that they wanted, and were under the assumption that everything would be good to go in terms of making the first prototype. However, they got a call that said, “we’re not the right fit for you.” 


For Kutches, this was originally viewed as a significant setback. However, the first company that Parker Design worked with was able to point them in the direction of the company they currently use to produce the bags. 


After working with this new company, Kutches and her co-founder Brian Hiddema finally had the backpack they had been looking for. They nailed everything, from the straps on the backpack, to the way it sits on your back, to the size and number of pockets. Since then, it has been smooth sailing. 


Parker Design has enjoyed a successful start and are already looking towards the next steps in expanding their business. They are exploring the possibility of making backpacks in a variety of price ranges, accessories for the backpacks, and, perhaps, opening a brick-and-mortar storefront in downtown Grand Rapids. If Parker Design always took failure from a negative perspective, they likely would not have seen much, if any, success and would not be progressing at the impressive rate that they are today. 


Do you have a passion that you want to turn into a career, but you’re still hung up in the fear of failure? Take a page out of Taryn Kutches’ book and take the leap. After all, the road to success is often indeed paved with failure. For those that can keep moving forward past their obstacles, the rewards can far outweigh the daunting fear of failure.  Call us today at (616) 841-5548. What do you have to lose? 

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