WHO WE ARE
EZ-CLONES’ goal has been to focus specifically on simplifying the plant cloning process, using the art of Aeroponics, while creating a high integrity product that works “for you” and guarantees results. They pride themselves on becoming the utmost authority on Horticultural Aeroponic Cloning. Their many years of expertise and friendly customer service has garnered them great respect and solidified an exemplary reputation throughout the rapidly expanding Hydroponic Industry.
Pioneering the “Cloning Machine Niche”, EZ-CLONE has become the Industry Leader, winning growers’ praise and multiple industry accolades, including “Best Aeroponic Cloning Machine” and “Best New Horticulture Product”.
EZ-CLONE Product Creator, Billy Blackburn
1. What inspired the Company Founders to start EZ-CLONE?
Growing became addicting very quickly and was also a very creative outlet. However, from the beginning, we both had nothing but trouble with the conventional methods of plant cloning. I became fascinated with new ways to grow and became engulfed in the art of Hydroponics and Aeroponics. Reading everything I could get my hands on, I began making homemade Hydro and Aero systems. The creation of the first EZ-CLONE was simply just to help solve a problem for Brad and I. It was never even initially thought of as a product.
Around that time, Brad and I shopped regularly at a Hydroponic Store called Greenfire. Back then, it was only one of two Hydroponic Stores in the entire county of Sacramento. I remember going into the shop one day, and there was a little old lady named Margaret working behind counter. After politely voicing my dismay over the lack of mechanical connectivity of some plastic pieces I was looking for, she looked up, smiled and asked me if I wanted a job. I initially laughed and said “No thank you”, but after a week, I came back to ask if it was still available. I thought…what a great place just to learn how to become a better grower. I took the job.
After months of standing behind the counter, listening to people come in and voice their problems, I learned that plant cloning was one of the most difficult aspects of growing for the majority of the customers. This became the “light bulb” moment, and soon there after, Brad and I decided to start a Company.
2. What were some of the earliest challenges you faced?
The earliest challenges were learning to work together and the production of the units. We quickly discovered that being friends and being business partners were two totally different things. Brad and I literally moved into a warehouse in the middle of winter to start the business. We moved all of our furniture and two dogs out of a house we were renting, and into an eleven hundred square foot, freezing cold warehouse. We lived in it for several months and began to build the systems by hand. There were tempers flaring and butting heads, but we figured it out. We each have strengths in different areas, and learning how to let the other person do what they are best at, was quite the learning process. It took a while and a lot of hard communication. Each of us now knows very well the skills of the other. Sweat equity baby…
3. What do you consider to be your biggest successes?
First and foremost, being in business as long as we have is our biggest success. Owning a business is non-stop problem solving. I believe so many people think there is this connotation associated with the word Entrepreneur, as being totally glamorous. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Sure, it’s amazing working for yourself and having the freedom to call your own shots, but I always tell people, “Don’t be mistaken…becoming an Entrepreneur is grueling and filled with constant ups and downs”. It takes a very unique mindset and an unwillingness to stop to become successful at anything, but you also have to love what you do. That passion is hands down the most important factor. We had this unshakable drive when we first started and were probably too dumb to know any better, but we just kept pushing and didn’t allow anything to stop us. Dedication, perseverance and passion is what got us to where we are today.
“The ultimate destination lies within the discovery of one’s passion.”Billy Blackburn
“It is, what it is.”Brad Mickelsen
“What is this? A center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can’t even fit in the building?”Joe MacDonald