By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 4/15/14
It was only natural that Cortland Begor would take his love of lacrosse and his interest in woodworking to create his own career path.
Begor, a senior attackman and 4-year starter at Proctor Academy (N.H.), has launched TimberStix, a homegrown business that sells wooden shafts. (See site here.)
The business, run out of the Begor’s family woodshop in Sunapee, N.H., has sold over 600 shafts, some as far as Madagascar, Africa.
“It’s what I love to do,” said Begor. “I love entrepreneurship.”
Begor grew up in Wilton (CT), but his family has a summer house in New Hampshire, and his father owns the woodworking shop 30 minutes from Brewster.
“Both my brothers made wooden lacrosse shafts in the summer,” Begor said. “We grew up with the wood shop.”
Begor himself bagan making shafts 10 years ago. He would bring them to games and would even show them to college players. Then last year he decided to launch his business after taking an Economics class at Proctor.
He found a talented designer for his website while working with the CFO at Proctor on his business plan. Last summer be continued to bring his shafts to tournaments. The business officially started last fall.
Begor, of course, realizes that most lacrosse players prefer metal shafts. But there remains much interest in wooden shafts and Begor believes his product is very competitive for many reasons.
“Right off bat, they have a different feel in your hands,” Begor said. “There is a different balance because there is a slight added weight and many feel it is superior to metal shafts.”
“But compared to the metal shaft, there is more bend and more torque. That’s a pretty cool feature.”
Another big feature? Durability.
“I have been playing with wooden shafts for four years and only broken three of them,” Begor said. “I think it’s right on a par with metal shafts and I think it can be better since they bend.”
The price is another feature – only $37. Begor also believes the lacrosse lifestyle is a fit for the wooden shaft.
“New things come around and everyone grabs onto it,” he said. “It’s just that now all the big companies are pumping up the metal sticks.”
Begor is using ash, but is looking to outsource to other locations in New England. He believes a grain that works against itself would be even stronger and provide more bend.
Begor’s sold over 600 shafts. They are being used in many places – at colleges such as Georgetown and Yale and at high schools such as Hotchkiss and Taft. “They are playing with them,” he said. “It’s a matter of getting it into their hands. Once they have them, they love them,.”
Begor is also environmentally conscious. His company is involved in “1% for the Planet” which connects business to the environment by donating 1 percent of its profits to environmental organizations that promote worldwide change.
Begor – who has six goals and six assists and 19 groundballs for the 1-4 Hornets – is headed to Dartmouth College and plans to try and walk on to the lacrosse team. He will also focus on building his business.
His future goal is to sell shafts in the retail market and ultimately help make the wooden shaft in vogue.
“We want to get kids involved and have fun with the company and the product,” he said.