THE YEAR WAS 1983
Meet Justin Gray, Marketing Specialist at Wagan Corp – Official Partner of the 2020 Rebelle Rally
Tell us about Wagan’s history
We have a long and illustrious history, but I’ll keep it as brief as possible!
On July 4, 1983 (that’s right, Independence Day!) Wagan Corp was founded right here in Hayward, California, USA.
We are a small family-owned company that has focused on quality automotive accessories that add power, comfort, and convenience to your life. We aim to provide lasting products that will serve you well for years; the phrase “top-shelf gear” has been used by many people to describe our products!
In ’91 we began manufacturing power inverters: a device that converts your vehicle’s DC power into home wall-outlet AC power.
A few years later in ’96, we developed our first PPS/Jump starter known as the “Power Depot”. Our original designs were meant for automotive emergency situations, but once the Y2K scare hit, we started redesigning our power supplies to be larger in capacity and added multi-functional tools like air compressors and lights.
Fast-Forward to 2012, we dropped a bomb on people with the Solar ePower Cube 1500 (or simply the “cube” as we call it). This was, and still is, the only true all-in-one scalable Solar Generator in the market!
In 2018 we partnered with Michelin to deliver our award-winning products to their customers.
Here it is 2021 and Wagan still follows the exact same mission that we did back in 1983; provide uncompromising products to the consumer to keep them safe, powered up, and #RoadReady.
How did you get involved with Wagan?
It was simply by chance; I am a believer of the old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Both Alex and I had a mutual church friend who knew Alex was looking for a marketer, and I was looking for a marketing job. I sat through my interview staring at the plethora of cool products on the wall of the meeting room… the rest, as they say, is history.
What’s your “don’t leave home without it” Wagan product?
I can only choose one? That’s a hard one because I’m a flashaholic; but if pressed to choose only one item, it would be the iOnBoost TORQUE V10. A jump starter is something that I recommend that everyone keep in their car. No joke, I have literally jumped 10 vehicles with the unit I carry in my truck.
Which new Wagan products are you most excited about?
I can’t reveal it right now, but there is something that I have been testing for a while now and is in the final revision stage! This product series is going to help a lot of people – we have big plans for it, stay tuned!
Favorite thing about working for Wagan?
The team of people that I work with. We have a diverse group of people who work here: that makes for a lot of good times, allows different ideas to bloom, and helps develop useful products as well as personal growth.
Best story from a customer/coworker/yourself centered around a Wagan product (ie stuck on side of road and used product, etc.)
Having worked the customer service side of the business for some time, we get a lot of weird questions and comments. One of my favorite funny return stories was a person who wanted to return one of our “RelaxFusion Cushions.” This cushion is made of memory foam and has a cooling gel pillow top. She stated that the cushion did not “cool or improve her memory” (memory foam), hence the reason for her return!
You have numerous events to choose from in terms of support. Why the Rebelle?
The simple answer is that the Rebelle is an event we believe strongly in. It is a unique off-road map & compass event that demonstrates team work while pushing one beyond normal comfort-levels all while completing daily stages… what’s not to love?
Lastly, any words of wisdom for future Rebelles and adventurers?
When I was younger I started remote camping by myself. Every little forest noise: twig break, leaf dropping, and breeze in the trees made me feel like I was in some scary movie and the boogey man was lurking nearby; I can literally say that I was “on edge.” Over time, you realize that there’s nothing scary out there. Life really is too short to sit on the sidelines and watch; take that first step out of your comfort zone and get involved.