Seventeen-year-old Ryan Murphy, a student at Bishop Carroll in Wichita, embraces that saying. Murphy, an avid angler, makes his own soft-plastic lures to sell online through his company, TTG Lures.
However, it took some time to get the art of lure-making down.
“Honestly, the lures I was first making were horrible,” Murphy said. “I had trouble with burning the plastic as I heated the plastisol. The lures also had air bubbles due to the cheap molds I had got. I considered giving up but I decided to get one nice mold and see if I could improve, and as I tried hundreds and hundreds of times, I continued to get better and my Instagram page for the company continued to grow at a steady rate.
“I soon was making very, very good quality soft plastics, and people began sending in (pictures of) huge fish that they were catching on my lures.”
In addition to competing on the bass fishing team, Murphy also plays defensive end for the state-champion Bishop Carroll football team and competes on the wrestling team.
Because of all of his school activities, he has to carefully schedule his time to take care of everything he needs to during the day.
Murphy says his typical day during the school year involves waking up at 6:30 a.m. to check his Instagram and emails and respond to anybody who has contacted him, then going to school from 7:55 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., followed by football and wrestling practice until 5:30 p.m., dinner and a shower between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and working on filling orders, answering phone calls and responding to emails and Instagram messages from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Then, from 9 to 10 p.m., he does homework and responds to more people. He finally relaxes from 10 p.m. to midnight, when he heads to bed.
“Many of my friends and even my family thinks I do too much, but I really enjoy working and I hardly even consider running this company a job because of how much I enjoy the people I have the chance to interact with and the nonstop stories of fish that people are catching on my lures,” Murphy said. “I plan on taking this business as far as I can, and hopefully am able to make it into a solid full-time job down the road.”
His workload doesn’t get any easier during the summer, when he often has football or wrestling camps that take him out of town, as well as working 40 to 70 hours per week as an electrician. He says he typically wakes up at 5:15 a.m. to go to work, then comes home immediately afterward to work on orders.
Murphy’s football coach at Carroll, Dusty Trail, said he wasn’t aware of Murphy’s side business, but said he may need to purchase one of his player’s lures and try them out.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Ryan would do something like that,” said Trail. “He is an outdoorsman and a hard worker. He is involved in a lot of different activities and is always doing something. He has an active and creative mind, so starting his own business and being an entrepreneur fits into his personality.”
“Unfortunately, I have not been able to make the time to do a lot of fishing, but maybe buying some new lures would kick start me into making time,” Trail added.
Murphy has a variety of plastics available for purchase, including a “Ned Worm” to be used with Ned Rigs, similar to Z-Man’s TRD baits. The Ned Worm runs $2.99 for a pack of eight, while a pack of eight TRDs is typically in the $4.50 to $5 range retail. His baits come covered in salt for extra buoyancy — a key part of the Ned Rig’s success, as the small stick bait lifts up and stands straight up on a flat mushroom jighead. He also sells crawdads, creature baits, worms and a variety of other soft plastics.
Murphy said he has gained many repeat customers by not just trying to get sales from them, but getting to know them and offering them customer service that he said “rivals the best in the country.”
Murphy allows his customers become a part of the company by recommending colors and new products for him to add.
“I plan on running this business throughout my senior year and into college, and depending on how much I’m able to grow my company, I would definitely consider doing it full-time,” Murphy said. “I plan on investing my profits into a new machine this summer that will hopefully allow me to get my product into tackle shops across the country.”
Murphy’s TTG lures can be purchased at https://tinyurl.com/y9s2bazl/.