Proud Pyro is based just outside of Pittsburg, Kansas in a little shop with big dreams. We’re diversely talented in the fields of design, engineering, fabrication, and even photography and web design.
We conceive, design, fabricate, photograph, market, box, and ship everything we sell. We believe in using as much American material and hardware as we can source to build our products. When you buy something from us, you know it’s built to last and built to work.
Phone: (620) 374-9740
Chat: Use the app at the bottom right of the screen
Mike has lived in Southeast Kansas for nearly all of his 35 years and is a graduate of Northeast High School in Arma, Kansas. Following a brief appearance on the campus of Pitt State University, he ran a successful and highly-regarded photography studio for over a decade with his wife, Annie. Following the Great Recession of the late 2000s and the rise of Pinterest and Social Media in photography, Mike was searching for a new career that combined his love of design and entrepreneurship. Starting a new business from scratch called Bad Idea Supply Co. sparked a new adventure for him and his family where they created their first successful product, the Pyro Tower.
Highly intelligent, meticulous, reserved, and calculating may be common terms to describe some of the most famous serial killers in history - but they are also perfect adjectives for talented engineers. Far from the former but very much the latter, Jesse has proven diversely talented in product design, logistics, and all aspects of business where Mike falls short. Jesse graduated at the top of his high school class before attending Kansas State University. After returning home to Southeast Kansas, he spent several years working in practical engineering and mechanics honing his skills. He recently passed the written flight exam and hopes to have his pilots license soon.
The Proud Pyro brand started as a passion-project to build something special for Mike's wife, Annie. She was looking for an affordable and fun way to cook Pizza outdoors while also having an outdoor fireplace for the family to enjoy. After quickly learning there was nothing affordable about custom masonry, they set to work designing something out of a medium they were more comfortable with: steel.
The group quickly realized they had created something truly unique and the seed was planted to see if a business opportunity existed. With their background in photography and web design they were able to create a website and branding in less than a week. After being discovered by some online blogs and review sites, things took off immediately with over 50 Pyro Towers sold in the first month.
In the first months, all of the part cutting was done in their small shop on a CNC plasma table designed and built by Jesse and Mike. Everything was made-to-order and shipped in custom boxes made by hand from large sheets of cardboard.
Demand quickly outpaced their ability to do everything in-house, so they began outsourcing the part cutting to large industrial-grade laser cutters in Kansas City. This change not only significantly increased the number of parts that could be made, it improved the quality of their work and opened the door to several more products that could never have been made on plasma cutters alone.
The cut parts are still finished and hand-oiled in the same small shop before being packaged and shipped. It's a true family-run business with help and support given at any time by Mike and Annie's children, Mikey (age 4) and Maria (age 6). If you ask Maria, many of the products sold on this website were stolen from her "idea book" that she keeps on her own small desk in the office.
Mike and Jesse spend each day packaging orders, loading the FedEx trucks by hand, handling customer calls and emails, and managing the normal daily operations of the business.