Former Hostess employee turned entrepreneur - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Former Hostess employee turned entrepreneur

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - One Eastern Iowa man is using a job loss as a new entrepreneurial opportunity.

It's been almost two years since the company which owned Hostess Brands went out of business, leaving more than 18,000 people without a job, included many workers in Waterloo.

The Waterloo bakery never reopened, despite parts of Hostess being sold to Flowers Foods, but o
ne man found an opportunity to introduce his product after the company closed its doors.

"You know when one door closes another one opens," said Brian Mauer, owner of Crane Creek Kayaks.

That open door led Mauer to the water.

After spending more than 25 years as a Hostess sales representative, Mauer was forced to find another job. 

Mauer decided to make the styrigger, a device that attaches to a kayak to help stabilize it. The idea came about when Mauer and his son decided they wanted to go fishing in them but didn't want them to tip over.

He says there's a need for the product.

"There were people contacting me, well I've got a sore shoulder or my leg is bad, my hips are bad and I have a hard time getting in. Well they're able to, this allows someone to get in, they can step right in to them and it's stable," said Mauer.
Mauer says his company isn't making the styrigger available to the public just yet. He says they are now working with a manufacturer and hope to start selling it before Christmas.

He says he has this advice for anyone who are looking to bounce back after a job loss.

"You have to look for those opportunities that are out there and I'm glad I had this opportunity to fall back on when I lost mine," said Mauer.

For information about the styrigger:


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