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Reinventing headphones

WAVS Custom custom-fitted
WAVS Custom custom-fitted earphones

If you’ve ever worn earbuds or the mini earphones that fit into your ears, you have probably experienced the hassle of them falling out or not being comfortable in your ears. Our next guest thinks his Upstate company has found the solution using 3D printing and as a result has spurred the South Carolina Research Authority’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, to invest a quarter million dollars into the company. Mike Switzer interviews Ric Hoke, founder and CEO of WAVS Custom, in Greenville, SC.

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After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.