Sorry, it has been so long since we have posted on the blog! We will be writing a lot more and really want to get the airgun community involved in providing interesting content for everyone to enjoy. We figured the best way to revive the blog would be to interview one of our favorite people, Donny Du. If you have been in the airgun forums/groups you have probably heard of Donny through his company DonnyFL. He makes some of the highest quality products in the industry that we both use and sell very often. We were able to sit down with him this week and found out some of his secrets!
1. How did the magic of DonnyFL get started?
As with most entrepreneurs, it came by mistake. I was new to the PCP scene and was excited to get my first air rifle. Spent hours/days/weeks watching youtube videos of people shooting this gun. When it arrived, I took it outside and fired the first shot and CRACK! I ran into the house and I could hear my neighbors say what was that? Needless to say, it sat unused on my desk for a long time. I tried many different shrouds and moderators but none got it down to the level that I was comfortable with and that’s where my journey began.
2. Making airgun moderators is a unique niche. What drew you “making silence a priority”.
It has been an obsession of mine for the past 5 years. When you become good at something, you tend to focus on those skills. Just like in sports, I played a lot of hockey growing up and I was known for my wrist shot. People were always amazed by how fast and accurate it was. So I kept working on it. It was almost as fast as someone else’s slap shot. The drawback to this is that you neglect to improve in other areas. I could not take a slap shot even if my life depended on it. I would miss the puck and spin in circles. Fortunately, in the airgun community, there are so many talented people who have lots to offer. From stock making, tuning, pellet making and even their knowledge of shooting. So I don’t have to be a jack of all trades. I can focus on silence and that’s my priority.
3. What is the most common question you get from customers? And what is the answer?
The common question I answer every day is which moderator will work best with a certain gun. Everyone’s shooting arrangement is different so the level of moderation varies from one person to the other. I usually ask them where they’re shooting and what’s their goal. From there I can recommend a moderator based on their needs.
4. DonnyFL is everywhere now. Forums, social media, etc. Has the ride been fun? What is the number one thing you have learned in running your own business?
I have so many great memories since I started shooting again. Memories that my family and I can look back and always laugh at how this business all began. They all supported me from the beginning and it has always been a dream of mine to be able to work with my wife. We work really well together and now she plays a very big role in this family business. It was not always fun, I had my share of frustration during the R&D phase. I am a perfectionist and it took me a few years to come up with a design that I was happy with and opened an online store. In this day and age, I’ve learned that social media can make you or break you. You have to carry yourself well and treat people with respect. Are my products 100% perfect? No they’re not but if there is an issue, I will not hesitate to fix it. I’ve been on the other side of the transaction and I want what I paid for.
5. Innovation seems to be very important to you. Do you have some fun new things on the horizon you are working on?
In any field you’re in, you cannot get too comfortable in the position you’re in. A good example is the cellphone market. Every year they keep coming out with better technology. They wouldn’t be who they are today if they stopped innovating years back. That’s how I feel about my moderators. I am constantly trying new materials and new designs. I am at the stage where I enjoy collaborating with other designers/makers to offer this community some great products not just moderators. I am currently working on a few but you’ll have to wait and see!
6. How did you decide on the Japanese/Samurai branding?
I was always intrigued by the Japanese culture growing up. When I think of them, I think of loyalty, honor and respect. The core items that were taught to me very young and I still believe in them today. So I named my products after their warriors who I believe carry these attributes.
7. What does DonnyFL mean?! Haha!
When I first joined the airgun forums, I had to create a member name. Well, I am Donny and I am from Florida so DonnyFL hahaha. Not much thought into it and the name was available! However, during my R&D phase, guys were interested in buying my designs so eventually word got around that if you wanted to quiet down your airgun contact DonnyFL from the forum. As the years went on people just knew me as DonnyFL so when I created my brand and website, I wanted to make it easy for people to be able to find me. So http:///www.DonnyFL.com
Follow DonnyFL on Instagram: http://instagram.com/donnyfl
Follow DonnyFL on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonnyFl-881877831979824/