Coal Grove duo puts bounce back in their careers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2005

As Mick Clark and Mark Robbinson toiled as sales reps at the Pepsi branch in Huntington they found one day that they had both lost their fizz.

The duo's solution to return the bounce to their step was to start their own business.

The fruit of their labor, M&M Inflatables, is now entering its second year and the two Coal Grove men are so pleased they seem ready to pop.

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Sodas weren't the only things brewing at Pepsi-Cola in February 2004 as Clark and Robbinson were laying out a plan to start their own business. The original hope, however, wasn't to become their own bosses, but rather to get a little R&R.

"We were both working at Pepsi, and we decided to go into this to make some vacation money," Clark said.

"It started off that way."

The business the two would delve into was inflatables; bringing puffed-up attractions, such as jump houses and bouncy boxing, to turn any local event into a wobbly, colorful wonderland of bouncy fun.

However, beginning the business with just two jump houses, an inflatable castle and an obstacle course was anything but a wonderland. Despite a rocky start, the two stayed optimistic.

"Like any business, the first couple of years are going to be hard, and we knew they would be hard," Robbinson said.

"But once we get over the hump we knew it was going to be good.

We have a lot more things scheduled already this year than we had last year."

From four inflatable attractions, M&M has grown to 16 different play items in their blow-up


If you'd like to hire the guys for an upcoming event, better plan ahead, especially during the summer months, as they'll usually need to be booked up to a month in advance.

Clark and Robbinson have even been helping out in the community, setting up an inflatable playground at Dawson-Bryant Elementary for students who have exceptionally good behavior.

Though they started slow, the barons of bounce have truly begun to find their stride. Robbinson said the key to success that he would pass on to fellow small business owners is to start small.

"My advice would be find something that you like, and do it a little at a time," Robbinson said.

"We didn't go out and borrow a lot of money to do anything, we just started with what we could."

If you'd like to help the pair further inflate their business, they can be reached at (740) 534-1796.