East Coast Dyes is one of the best known brands in the lacrosse world but it really did start from humble beginnings. Many businesses start from a basement, bedroom or garage but ECD was different in that founder Greg Kenneally had spotted a gap in the market.
“There wasn’t really any high-end product [for lacrosse mesh]; everyone used the same product,” said Mike Kenneally, vice president and co-founder of East Coast Dyes. For those of you that don't know, Mike is Greg's twin brother.
“We coated ours in wax, and carved out a niche for a higher price point and a higher-quality mesh.”
The ECD warehouse and offices in Towson, Maryland is impressive and for anyone that drops in to visit the welcome is always warm. As one of the senior Northern Soul staff I have visited many times while in the US and I can honestly say it's one of the highlights of the trip and we've always found ECD one of the nicest group of people to do business with.
As with many businesses at some point you need to take a risk if you want to your business to the next level, and in 2014 ECD launched the first of their lacrosse shafts. East Coast Dyes purchased an inventory of lacrosse shafts, and Mike told the retailers that if the sticks didn’t sell, he’d take the merchandise back. The handles were a huge hit and now ECD really is one of the biggest names in the game.
With the release of ECDs new Ion head looming , we had a chat with the man who started it all Greg Kenneally.
Who are you and what's your role?
I am Greg Kenneally and I am the president at ECD Lacrosse.
How did you get involved with Lacrosse?
My dad introduced my brother Mike and I to lacrosse when we were 4 or 5 just playing catch in the yard. He coached our youth teams up until high school and still continues to coach.
Why did you start ECD?
I started the company in my bedroom in 2011 by stringing and dying heads. Later that summer I started making wax mesh and was soon joined by my brother Mike and friend Ben to increase production as we worked out of the house for about a year.
What is your current stick set up?
We are in the middle of launching all of our new fall product so right now I use the Carbon Pro 3.0 speed in white with an ION in frost.
How did you have to adapt to the pandemic?
The pandemic was particularly tough on lacrosse as it shut the season down in some of our highest sales volume months. We quickly organized working remote and having some staff in the office to fill orders. We also filled some of the revenue gap by modifying medical gowns and assembling face shields.
What's your favorite product?
The ION is my favorite product and head we have ever made. The combination of the face shape, weight, and colors is perfect for me.
What new product are you most excited about?
The ION is great but I am really excited about the Echo arm pad because it is our first launch in the protective space.
Best lacrosse memory?
Winning the MIAA Championship in 2007. I didn't play much but it was still a blast.
What was your first stick?
STX Sonic with 6D traditional
Who will win the next National Champs?
DI I think it will be Notre Dame.
Where do you see the company in 5 years time?
Our head lineup for the next few years is really great so I think we will continue to be a force in that space. What will be really interesting is if protective takes us in to gloves, shoulder pads, more elbow protection.