From Coolers to Beer: Teddy Giard’s Journey to Island Brands

From Coolers to Beer: Teddy Giard’s Journey to Island Brands

Teddy Giard’s first business venture started with a quest for golf clubs. As a first grader, Teddy set up shop beside a notoriously difficult hole at his local course, reselling golf balls he retrieved from out of bounds. For days, Teddy continued his “You Suck! Golf Balls 2 for $5 Sale” until he earned enough money to buy a shiny new set of clubs — his inner entrepreneurial spirit awakened. 

In high school, Teddy moved on from sporting supplies to video editing after receiving a GoPro for Christmas. His love for cliff jumping and outdoor exploration made for excellent footage and he began posting clips of his adventurous undertakings online. 

His discovery of digital content coincided with the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Vine, which allowed Teddy to improve his editing skills alongside the fledgling industry. At a time where many did not understand the basic functionings of iMovie or how to create engaging content, Teddy caught traction off his well-curated clips. 

The money he made from early gigs quickly went towards better equipment as Teddy graduated from a GoPro to a professional camera and a drone. Impressed by his portfolio, lifestyle and clothing brand Southern Tide tapped Teddy to be an ambassador and sent him plenty of patterned shorts and polos to be featured in his videos. 

It was through these connections made with reputable brands and clients that Teddy realized he could make a living out of a passion project — much like our founder Scott Hansen did with Island Brands. Far before paid promotions and purchasing Instagram followers became a reality, Teddy’s videos were getting thousands of views simply through organic outreach. 

Ready to commit to an idea of his own, Teddy helped launch a successful Kickstarter for Kanga coolers — 5 Clemson students’ “no ice, keep the case” solution to warm beer — in 2018. A year later, Teddy was in a kangaroo suit backflipping & presenting their prototype on Shark Tank. 

Throughout his entrepreneurial endeavors, Teddy said the greatest takeaway was learning how to effectively communicate your idea, mission and product offering. Customers are drawn to clarity and want to invest in a company with a purpose at its core. When his Kanga tenure came to a close, Teddy was drawn not only to the people of Island, but the story it was trying to tell. 

As Brand Director, Teddy crafts the creative advertising for Island Brands and is responsible for the image we set forth. The way we connect with our customers is aided by his succinct messaging and surfing videos all meant to elevate how our beer is received. It is no small feat being able to translate our passion into what sets us apart from other brands, but Teddy is the best of the best. He may be sans kanga suit but he still gets our mission across: To Enhance Living Through Premium Beer & Active Giving.