Lancaster business owner builds success brick by brick

Cris Collingwood//May 12, 2023

Kelly and John Cohrac started Inspired Passion Productions during the pandemic when “things were tight.” - PHOTO/JOHN COHRAC

Lancaster business owner builds success brick by brick

Cris Collingwood//May 12, 2023

A small business born out of the COVID-19 pandemic gained enough traction in 10 days to fill orders without outside investment.

Inspired Passion Productions designs, builds and sells nature-inspired micro block building kits. John Cohrac of Landisville, Lancaster County, who designs the kits, said sales doubled from year one to two and is on mark to double again this year, reaching $88,000.

The company owned by Cohrac and his wife, Kelly, started during the pandemic when “things were tight.” Cohrac said.

Inspired Passion Productions makes a variety of animal and insect models using micro bricks – PHOTO/JOHN COHRAC

“I’m a Lego fanatic and a Penn State graduate so I built a lion out of LEGOs. I had micro blocks from a trip to China and I built a lion with those and showed them to people just to show off,” he quipped. “People immediately wanted to buy them.”

He went on to design and build butterfly models at his wife’s request and found they sold just as quickly. “We decided to start a business,” he said.

The company launched March 15, 2020, as a preorder business. The idea, he said, was to make something that was educational and different. The product also had to be different from what was already on the market.

After Cohrac designs the models, he and his wife create instructions and design the packaging for each model. They include educational information about the animal, insect or whatever the creature is, as well.

As the online sales grew, Cohrac ventured into retail and landed a deal with Lancaster’s That Fish Place That Pet Place.

“I talked to the purchasing director who loved them,” he said. “She decided to try them, and they went into the store in June 2020. They sold in three days. Now I’m stocking every Monday and we’ve sold 500 units in six months.”

“When John first came into the store with a sample of some of his sharks I was intrigued by the product and Johns’ passion about his products, said Stacy Davis, purchasing director. “Not only did he have the sharks to present but he also had some awesome ideas for future products that he was very excited to share with me.”

Davis said the products did well when they first came in but slowed slightly.