Davidson natives Curtis and Cason Thorsby were just getting off the ground with a new product they developed and found to be useful in their college days two years ago.
Now, the brothers, both Central Michigan University alums, are internationally marketing their hangover cure, Party Armor, and learning lessons about the business world daily.
Party Armor, a 2-ounce shot meant to be taken at the end of a night of drinking, cured hangovers for Central Michigan University students, causing the business to branch out, Curtis said.
“I actually came up with the idea while I was still a sophomore at CMU,” Curtis said. “(Because) in the college lifestyle, you start to face the consequences of drinking alcohol.”
One shot of Party Armor is loaded with antioxidants and cleanses the liver, blood and brain by replacing the vitamins lost in the body during a night of drinking and flushing out toxins, Curtis said.
Curtis, company founder and recent graduate, not only came up with the idea but also formulated the product itself, he said. Cason, now the CEO of Party Armor, was in charge of getting the company off the ground.
“I told (Cason) how well it was working for everybody, and he was kind of skeptical at first, but he was such a believer in it after trying it and joined up,” Curtis said.
The final product was the result of a lot of trial and error with some testing of the product between the two, they said.
Both brothers agreed it was quite the learning experience trying to figure out what ingredients to use and how to get the product to actually taste good, because, in the beginning stages, it tasted and smelled horrible.
“The first year in the business was a learning curve,” Curtis said. “Everything was new with us, and you’ve got to figure out how to do things the right way and make it work for you.”
Party Armor has seen success internationally, including in Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand. Doing business internationally has also been an adjustment for the brothers.
“I thought I didn’t sleep before; I certainly don’t sleep now,” Cason said. “I’m easily up until three and four every morning.”
One staff member at CMU who the brothers said helped them out was former Director of the LaBelle Entrepreneurship Center Chuck Fitzpatrick, who gave them direction and advice.
“Chuck was a great guy who helped out quite a bit and had an open door policy,” said Cason, an entrepreneurship major. “I was constantly in his office talking to him four or five times a week.”
Fitzpatrick recalled the time Cason’s father gave him the option of having him pay for college or giving him money to start his own business. Cason chose to start a business that ended up paying for his college tuition in the end.
“They investigated and researched as thoroughly as they could, and they had no fear in taking the risk,” Fitzpatrick said. “They are essentially one of the best examples of entrepreneurs you could find.”