The idea for Buderflys began six years ago when founder and CEO Shea Gerhardt fell asleep with earbuds in while on a ski trip. When she woke up, her ears were sore. So, Gerhardt took matters into her own hands. “I cracked my headphones open, put them into my kid’s swimmers wax, and wore it all day,” says Gerhardt. “It was super comfortable. The sound was so clean.” After researching this comfortability issue, Gerhardt learned that there was a hole in the $25 billion industry. “All earbuds on the market are made with a plastic, clamshell material. The current industry solution is that little rubber ear tip that comes on the end. But even with that, the top complaint in the industry is comfort, fit, earbuds [you] can wear for long periods of time. So, we set out to solve this actual pain point in this space.”
On A Mission
Buderflys officially launched in the summer of 2021. Named after the butterfly effect, Buderflys operates on the belief that communication can have a positive impact on the world. With a background in the music industry, Gerhardt knew what listeners and producers alike needed in order to produce positive communication. They needed quality comfort without risking quality sound. “We brought in a speaker system that comes from the hearing-aid industry.
Our speakers have an incredibly clean sound,” Gerhardt says. “Because we can be comfortably worn for long periods of time, we are specifically going after the heavy earbud users. People who are in zoom calls all day, listen to audiobooks and podcasts. The intelligibility of the spoken word is incredibly clean.”
However, such high quality has been known to come at a price. To help lessen the carbon footprint of the earbud industry, Buderflys provides consumers with a sustainable option for recycling the brand’s earbuds by teaming up with a Denver-based electronic recycling company. “We will pay for it, [customers just] have to send us back the earbuds.”
The start-up’s collaboration with the Denver community doesn’t stop there. In 2020, Buderflys was one of 27 Colorado startups awarded with a grant from Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Giving back what they receive, Buderflys contributes to local programs supporting early childhood education. Gerhardt herself dedicates 1% of her equity in the company to supporting local sustainably efforts.
“This is an incredible state where people can come and live and enjoy life. But also, we have awesome talent.” This goes without saying with these cool buds.