2005 FAST 50 WINNER
Clay Wilson, 42
A roaring fire is a wonderful thing to watch, but the soot, smoke, and ashes aren’t exactly a gift to our environment. Clay Wilson has completely rethought the humble log, creating a virtually smokeless, clean-burning fuel that leaves almost no ash and is made entirely out of materials recovered from manufacturing paper products. He launched the product this past year, winning distribution through such A-list retailers as Target, Whole Foods, and Amazon. One challenge: “We are cubes in a bag, and that doesn’t fit with how people are programmed to perceive a fire log,” Wilson says. He may put his product in log form but in the meantime uses attractive packaging and extensive product sampling and video demonstrations to draw buyers. SimpleFire has already won a following on the East Coast, and Wilson expects it to catch fire elsewhere in 2005.