When Dan Zbynski and Kyle Bolke set out to create FunkAway in 2014, they weren’t just looking for a product that covered up bad smells, they wanted to develop a solution that eliminates odors completely.
While FunkAway has only been around a short time, the inspiration behind the product began many years earlier. Bolke and Zbynski both have a passion for sports and have experience coaching youth teams. And while doing so, they had been extremely unhappy and frustrated by the performance of products that claim to eliminate odors on sports gear and shoes, when all they really did was momentarily mask them.
Zbynski, a father of three multi-sport boys, has been a youth coach for over 15 years. “When I would carpool with the kids and their teammates, the smell coming from the gear made the ride absolutely horrible,” said Zbynski. “The odor was overwhelming, but there really wasn’t anything I could do except live with it because none of the products we tried worked.”
Enter: The idea for FunkAway
Bolke and Zbynski had spent time working together previously and come from a combined background in manufacturing, research and product development, packaging and logistics. They made it their mission to find an odor eliminator that actually works.
“I worked with Dan for a long time, so I knew the partnership was solid,” said Bolke. “We just needed the right formula to help solve the problem.”
After about a year of trial and error in the lab, they finally found the solution to odor elimination. The spray was first tested on hockey and football gear, but they soon realized that its application potential far exceeded sports equipment. They discovered that they created a product you can apply on just about anything that stinks, like shoes, tool belts, yoga mats, garbage cans and automotive upholstery.
“People deal with odors of all types in many different places, and they either suffer through it or use flowery-smelling products that simply don’t work,” said Zbynski. “FunkAway’s job is to be the solution that removes odors completely, anywhere that’s needed, allowing people to live their lives without discomfort or even embarrassment. In other words, as we like to say, they can LIVE FUNK FREE.”
FunkAway works by attacking odors at the source. The formula contains the exclusive OM Complex™ that can only be found in the FunkAway line of products – Pump and Aerosol Sprays and a Laundry Detergent Booster. Consumers simply apply the product directly on the item that needs it, let it air dry, and the funk is gone. Consumers can apply more FunkAway if an item is extra smelly. Given the enthusiastic response to FunkAway and many requests from consumers for additional products, Bolke and Zbynski plan to introduce several new forms of FunkAway to make it even easier to LIVE FUNK FREE.
“The OM Complex™ is really our secret sauce,” added Bolke. “It’s exclusive and it works by encapsulating malodors on a molecular level to thoroughly eradicate the source of foul odors. Once it does, the smells are gone. But, it’s not a disinfectant. It’s the first true odor eliminator.”
There is more to the story behind FunkAway’s name. Bolke and Zbynski have a passion for working hard and playing hard. And, having fun was a key ingredient in creating their corporate culture. “We laughed when thinking of the name FunkAway because it so perfectly described what we initially wanted this product to achieve,” Zbynski said. “We think of funk as the most offensive type of odor, and we wanted to take that away.”
“FunkAway’s name is an energy boost, and we have a lot of fun with it,” adds Bolke. “As one can imagine, there are a lot of hilarious plays on words when you’re dealing with funk.”
What began as a game-changing idea in a product development lab in Waukegan, Illinois, has grown tremendously. Fast forward to now, and FunkAway is available in more than 6,000 stores across the U.S. and online at FunkAway.com and Amazon. The company is so confident in FunkAway’s formula that all their odor-eliminating products come with a money-back guarantee.
FunkAway’s parent company, B2Z Products (taken from both co-founders’ last names), plans on filling out their line by introducing several new products in the near future.