Who is eBob?
At 13, Future Masters golfer runs own apparel business
Jun 20, 2017
Future Masters golfer Ryan Voois markets his own colorful hats, visors and other apparel under the 'eBob' company name. Voois is 13.
When Ryan Voois spotted a $20 million airplane he wanted to buy, his parents said sure. Just start your own company, make your own money, and you can buy it.
So Ryan did.
Start the company, that is.
He doesn't have the $20 million just yet, but at 13, he is running a fashion golf apparel business that he funded himself. Hats, visors, and belts are the company’s main focus.
“I would like to turn it into something bigger, if I have the opportunity,” Ryan said. “It’s going very good right now.”
Ryan was wearing one of his signature eBob Apparel hats on Monday afternoon as he prepared for his afternoon round at the Press Thornton Future Masters Golf Tournament. The Ladera Ranch, California, native got the idea for the golfing apparel business based on his own clothing preferences.
“All throughout my early golf days I loved to wear bright, matching colors,” he said.
At the moment eBob doesn’t offer other apparel, though shirts and socks are being considered. The hats, though, are what Ryan believes are the foundation for a colorful, well matched outfit.
“So we believe that the hat is the center of the golfing outfit,” he said. “I think our focus is always going to be hats.”
Ryan even has a carrying case to bring along different versions of his hats when he is at golf tournaments. He said he plays 17-21 tournaments each year, including five or six major tournaments. This gives him many opportunities to market his company on the golf course.
eBob Apparel does have a website (ebobapparel.com) where his products can be purchased, but Ryan said he doesn’t have a budget for sponsored ads so a lot of his business is from word of mouth.
“My mom, my dad, and me, we usually wear our logo hats,” Ryan said.
It was Ryan’s mom, Jessica Smith, who taught Ryan his golf skills about 10 years ago. She said eBob Apparel, which Ryan founded with his own $500, has taught him a whole new set of skills, including sales, marketing, public speaking and also getting rejected.
“It’s definitely work, because Ryan is in school,” she said. “But it’s so worth it.”
There is even a charitable aspect to Ryan’s business. eBob is a licensed vendor of the Executive Women’s Golf Organization (EWGA). For every hat sold, a portion goes to the EWGA Foundation, which is dedicated to developing and funding education and leadership programs for women. Ryan said over the past two years, eBob has donated about $1,500 to multiple charities from profits made by the company.
The teen CEO said he would consider selling eBob, but his future will still somehow involve golf. He would like to be a professional golfer or maybe work as an engineer in the golf business. Whatever path he takes, he’ll likely be dressed in a colorful outfit with a hat to match.