HIT KIT Capitalizes at The NAMM Show’s Innovator Showcase
At The NAMM Show, members can find the latest products and innovations from across the industry. One specially curated space, the Innovator Showcase, creates an immersive opportunity for up-and-coming brands to introduce their innovations to industry professionals and influencers, grow their international reach, and develop vital business relationships to take their brands from start-up to stardom. HIT KIT is the epitome of a member company that belongs in the Innovator Showcase.
The concept of HIT KIT began several decades ago when founder Jay Vee (JV) and friends began making river trips. In camp at night, they played music. Guitars were easy enough to transport. JV’s friend Mark began to assemble a rhythm kit to bring along, which morphed over the years into a portable drum kit. When JV retired, he started exploring ways to turn Mark’s idea into a viable product, resulting in the HIT KIT. The HIT KIT is a complete trap set (kick, snare, hi-hat w/ cymbals, seat, sticks) packed into a durable suitcase that rolls wherever musicians want to take their rhythm.
We spoke with JV about the HIT KIT and his decision to exhibit at The 2023 NAMM Show, specifically within the Innovator Showcase.
What motivated you to continue improving Mark’s initial idea into a business?
A: I play music and have seen dozens of drummers’ busking rigs of various success. Most compromise a lot to accommodate a cool, old suitcase and are aesthetically attractive but not so portable. When I retired, I took up the idea in earnest. Eventually, the design was too good not to share more broadly. Amazingly, there is no other "suitcase drum kit" on the market.
What have been some of your biggest challenges in bringing the Hit Kit to market?
Design. I got a lot of help from the guy who used to operate Drum Circuit here in San Luis Obispo. Internet marketing is another challenging aspect; it’s still a new world with the internet, Google, and all the other platforms that you can engage in to amplify your business.
How do you dispel the belief that a portable instrument results in lower quality?
There are trade-offs for supreme portability. For the HIT KIT, this is, primarily size (8” snare, 10” cymbals). Less mass renders less volume. We still provide authentic sound and a natural feel and add to that super-portability. But the HIT KIT is not for arena performances. This kit is for intimate performances, coffeehouses, house parties, and rehearsals. It is ideal for busking. Because drummers are drummers, the HIT KIT accommodates accessories and is adaptable for right and left-handed players.
What advice do you have for other up-and-coming businesses considering exhibiting at The NAMM Show?
While this is my first time exhibiting at The NAMM Show, I have exhibited at PASIC in 2018 and 2022. I recommend attending The NAMM Show to learn what you are getting into.
Your booth is part of NAMM’s Innovator Showcase. What benefits do you see in being part of the Innovator Showcase?
I applied for the showcase when I read about it in the NAMM literature. I recognize that my product presents best away from the mega-kits the big manufacturers exhibit. This environment will help people to realize that HIT KIT is a new product, not a scaled-down version of all the other stuff available. To put it another way, Tesla is not just another car. The helicopter is not just another airplane. The Leatherman is not just another pocketknife. LED is not just another light bulb. These are whole-new products with whole-new properties. So is the HIT KIT.
What would be your advice for any prospective innovator looking to take an idea and turn it into a business within our industry?
Use it, break it, fix it, re-design it, and repeat until you cannot do it better.
For more information on HIT KIT or The NAMM Show and its Innovator Showcase, please visit https://hitkitdrum.com/, https://registration.namm.org/, and https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/exhibit/showcase/innovator-showcase.