Parachute CMO Luke Droulez on How to Bring Authenticity Home
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
On today's episode, Parachute Chief Marketing Officer Luke Droulez joins Authentic Influence for a conversation on how the home essentials and lifestyle brand strives to foster a community of "true authenticators" for its quickly growing DTC business.
Today, you'll learn:
Luke's journey from Parachute's first-ever hire to CMO
The blossoming of #myparachutehome
Parachute's new avenues for development (i.e. Pinterest)
How Parachute's in-market tactics work in comparison to the rest of the home essentials industry at-large
Tips to become a more authentic marketer
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Music: "Streetview" by Jahzzar is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Luke: We like to think we sell the softest things and so soft selling is part and personal with the parachute experience.
Adam: That's Luke Droulez. He's the chief marketing officer of a brand called Parachute and he's my guest today on Authentic Influence. I'm your host, Adam Conner and I'm glad to be giving you this conversation today. As I discussed with Luke how the home essentials and lifestyle brand is striving to foster an environment of true authenticators, his words, who genuinely love their brand. Now Luke knows a lot about Parachute… back in 2014 he was their first ever hire and over the last few years he's truly risen the ranks. He's now their CMO as I said, and last year he made Forbes 30 under 30 list. That's right. This is a young guy, he's 30 years old and he's now running a company which is getting tens of millions of dollars in funding. Truly making it in this direct to consumer space and challenging some of the big guys. He's got a lot of insight when it comes to things like generally the importance of authenticity, but also #ad and #sponsored influencers versus ambassadors versus again, true authenticators. We talk about some of his work with Pinterest. We talk about what he does in relation to the larger players, how their tactics are like two ships passing in the night, how he does some of the inverse of what the others are doing. Lots of interesting points here. So I'm going to get out of the way and let him describe them to you himself. So without further ado, here's our interview for today. It's Parachute’s, Luke Droulex. All right, everybody. So excited to be chatting with Luke Droulex from Parachuute. So great to have you on the show, Luke. Thanks for joining.
Luke: Thank you for having me.
Adam: I'm so excited to dive into a everything Parachute is up to today. I want to talk about, uh, your, your views on authenticity, want to talk about some of the new areas that you are diving into, both online and off. The first thing I gotta ask as an icebreaker, how did it feel to get on Forbes 30 under 30?
Luke: It was fun. It's a, I appreciate the recognition and I'm glad that I was able to sneak on the list before my 30th birthday. I think there was literally two months that separated the announcement and my official Christening as a 30 year old, um, you know, I, I'm very thankful for the opportunities that kind of brought me to this place. You know, if it, if I hadn't joined Parachute, if they hadn't taken an opportunity, you know, chance on me. Uh, I don't think I would've gotten to where I am today. So a lot of people to thank on the way our investors and the founder and CEO Ariel and then the great people who believed in the brand and have, you know, helped us get to where we are.
Adam: Yeah, definitely. And it will, it's a, it's a hell of an honor to get, and I just, it's funny that you said, I'm glad you snuck on there before the 30th birthday. I'm sure most people out there would kill to be on a list like that, but uh, yeah, it's uh, it's good that, um, yeah. All right, cool. You snuck in there. Great. Congrats. Uh, um,
Luke: Yeah. And now I'm going to wait until I'm 39.99 until I uh, apply for my next of rewards.
Adam: Yeah, exactly. Before ad age gives you the 40, under 40. Yup. All right. Well market calendars. Um, so, so, uh, let me talk to you a little bit more about the, the, you said it was a chance taken on you to join the team. I know that you have a bit of a diverse background, wasn't always rooted in marketing, so, um, why don't you talk a little bit about your journey to this point with the company?
Luke: Yeah. Um, it was through a very bizarre series of circumstances that I came to meet the founder and CEO. Um, I, and when I did it was kind of a nontraditional interview. We in an in between, you know, your typical questions and each party kind of sussing out the other. We packed boxes, we answered customer service, phone calls and you know, amidst all of this, we were in the middle of a coworking space at the time. Parachute was a part of the launchpad accelerator here in LA and I think it was an environment that was very different from my prior experiences. So I found it very interesting and I saw kind of a synergy between what Ariel was trying to do on the front end of the brand in terms of investor relations, sharing the brand vision, recruiting people and what needed to be done on the back end. And I think, you know, along my journey to pivot from finance into something different, a wise person told me that like in order to join a small stage startup, you either need money skills or connections. And at the time that I joined Parachute I had none of them. So it was like, I think what I had is a willingness to learn in a, a capacity to kind of take on anything that needed to be done. And so, you know, through that process of osmosis I was able to kind of capture knowledge, meet mentors and learn a ton on the job and kind of that flywheel of information has kind of brought me to this point.
Adam: So you're packing boxes and taking calls and doing this unconventional interview and through the lack of all these things that you mentioned happened to land yourself a spot on the team. Quite lofty spot. I'll say things have changed certainly since the days of the coworking space and doing boxes on your own. How about you talk a little bit about what's going on new at Parachute today because wow, what a journey it's been since.
Luke: Yeah, I mean, uh, you know, just to quickly take the listeners on that journey, when we first launched, there was any three or four pre-package sheet sets in, two fabrics in three colors. And now we have products that we sell in essentially every room of the home except for the kitchen. Um, we started primarily online and now we sell in seven stores and then also have a partnership with Zola and are in term living stays and also hospitality partners. Um, and you know, our marketing budget went from no money and primarily word of mouth and earned media to now being very well diversified across a variety of channels. So I think the path forward is kind of using the tools that we have available. The amazing team members are, you know, investors and partners and kind of taking the foundation that we've built for the brand and reaching larger markets and larger audiences.
Adam: So you've been continually broadening and diversifying the offering. Any plans to enter kitchen as a category?
Luke: Yeah, I mean we had some tea tiles back in the day. I think it's, you know, we really like to make sure that we have a distinct point of view when we enter into a room. I think a lot of the web and store experience is about curation and so that involves identifying the right manufacturers, identifying the right materials and color palette, and then kind of telling that story. So if we don't feel that there's a compelling enough product story, we do, you know, wait until we have all of the potential to do so.
Adam: Well perhaps we'll see that soon or at some point down the road. Uh, I wanna jump, switch gears a little bit here because we're not here talking about product or, or, or new developments though, at least not in that vein. I want to talk about authenticity. You want to talk about marketing. I want to talk about the ways that, uh, you are serving as a, a loudspeaker and megaphone for the people who are so passionate about the brand. So let me start off really, really broad and then we're going to specify to you, uh, and you've spoken about this broadly in the press. So I know that I'm not a, I'm not, I'm not surprising you here with any of this, but you know, what's the importance of having an authentic message or the importance of authenticity in marketing to you, especially as somebody in the direct to consumer space, or at least who was part of that initial wave, but as now of course broadening, but what's the importance of that to you?
Adam: And I've seen this really broadly, again, uh, through some of the content that, uh, that you promote socially. And we'll start there and then we'll, we'll talk a little bit of, a little bit more about the offline expansion, but, um, the blossoming of, of, of day one, I think the vision of the brand has always been to be more than the products itself. And increasingly we've sought to build a platform around the products. You know, our mission or mandate is to make you feel at home. And I think as you build a modern lifestyle brand, kind of aligning with that North Star is incredibly important.
Adam: And I've seen this really broadly, again, uh, through some of the content that, uh, that you promote socially. And we'll start there and then we'll, we'll talk a little bit of, a little bit more about the offline expansion, but, um, the blossoming of, of, of #myparachutehome now that that has at least to the public eye become a key part of your content strategy. I see that on Instagram, uh, thousands and thousands of posts. Um, was that, where did that come from and how central is it today as a pillar to the way in which you are emphasizing the experiences that your consumers have with Parachute’s products?
Luke: I think it helps contextualize the product and bring it to life. You know, we sell very tactile goods and it is a very tactile purchase experience. So for us it's important that people are able to see how the product looks and feels in different environments. And so UGC helps bring the brand to life. You know, beyond the mechanism of social proof we found it as almost a creative outlet and incorporated that increasingly in our ad experience and our site flow. And make sure that the different touch points, even down to packing slips that come with your order point to it. And what's cool is that people will go onto our organic social feed, and then see #myparachutehome and it kind of sets the context. It's like how can I recreate that look or how can I create a look of my own and share it with the community? Uh, if you think about it, you know, typically speaking, bedrooms and bathrooms are relatively closed door environments. They are not the first place you want to share when somebody comes to visit your house. Whereas the living room, you know, kitchen, dining room or more like areas where you showcase your world. And so we are really excited that people feel comfortable letting us into their most intimate spaces. And I think it adds a new dimension to the brand. As I said, it's, it's at a certain point, yes, you're buying bedsheets or a towel or a robe, but the way that those products make you feel, the way that they elevate and upgrade your space is really important because in a lot of ways, the spaces that you inhabit are an extension of the self. Right.
Adam: And I would think, you know, this is something that I've always turned over in my head and maybe it's because, uh, you know, I'm a younger person myself, but when I think about those, uh, you know, more personal, closed off spaces, I don't immediately think, oh, this is something that I got to spruce up and share. Nor, nor is it frankly somewhat where I'm thinking, oh, well I want to be making investment into, you know, a slightly higher end good uh, and I, and I know Parachute's all about, you know, doing that sort of luxury for less, uh, style. But you know, it's something that I had some like grapple with all the time. And so it's good to know that, you know, you are championing people doing that at opening up their, their I guess closed doors that they wouldn't normally do and encouraging people to share all throughout their experience. Especially with the packing slips. It's a good idea to be able to direct people. I wouldn't think of packing slips as a way to I would say be a major avenue for activation. I've seen it but it's interesting is it just you put the sort of patch tag on the thing and it's like go make a post.
Luke: Yeah. It's like anywhere that we can fit in the cash tag where it feels appropriate, you know, it's like as a part of the unboxing experience, if it's, you know, increasingly it's become less about how much you enjoy pulling the product out of its packaging and more specifically about, you know, using it. I think we want the functional qualities of the product to live up to the aesthetic. And so it's like for people who really enjoy it, we find that that's the most appropriate way to share it. And so I think what's exciting is seeing people get excited about the brand, get excited about the product and then have, you know, essentially complete strangers, see it and get inspired by that themselves. You know, it's like the rise of platforms like Instagram and Pinterest and their associated ability to use imagery to inspire and in some cases educate. Um, it's cool. I think what's nice is that the way that our Instagram feed is structured, it's not about fomo, it's about kind of celebrating these spaces as a part of saying like, you can achieve this in a lot of ways, yes we are a more premium brand, but we, I think we like to believe that like, you know, you are getting the value for money and we want to make sure that as a part of buying a product that we are delivering on that promise.
Adam: Yeah, I get that 100%. And also just to go back to the personal grapple ahead. You know, eventually you just got to understand that, you know, this is where people spend, I mean statistically a lot of their time in a relatively confined space, you might as well make an investment in that.
Luke: Yeah. So that's where you start and end your days. You spend a third of your life in bed. In a lot of ways, if you, if you look at the lifespan of the products that we sell and you kind of break it down into like a, how much are you spending per day? It's really not. It's a, it's a relatively trivial investment when you compare it to kind of other verticals like apparel, like you're not changing out sheets like you changing out shoes or other kind of goods in your closet. And so, ultimately, I think what's important, why we care so much about telling the product story is that things that are high quality that are made to last cost more money. I think, you know, as people look, we kind of like to think about our customers as quality seekers and that they're seeking out, they care about how things are made and how they interact with them. Because there, there is this desire to kind of move past like the trends, the fast fashion, the kind of, you know, to things that are more durable and have greater longevity
Adam: For sure. Becoming the, as a seeker of that type of value or at least on that dimension is always important and it's gotta be important when you have folks saying it and then as you said, have other random people, strangers who see it and get enticed to act similarly as a halo effect is obviously important. You mentioned word of mouth is a good way to build the business in the beginning. Uh, but I'm sure it is always a part of it. Um, with that, I want to jump to a quote that you recently gave them in talking perhaps about these, these, these passionate followers brands, uh, followers of the brand, consumer of the brand. You said this, “nothing is good as as somebody saying, I really love this brand without it saying #ad or #sponsored”, which I totally agree with by the way. And you said, “you know true authenticators genuinely loving your brand is what we want.” So I know that it's happening through #myparachutehome and I know that there's sort of content going up around that and that people see it on their packing slips as we've determined. What are some of the other ways or perhaps newer ways or maybe even ways that you're thinking about in which Parachute can help to foster environments in which those experiences can be told, which would encourage this kind of endorsement. Cause it's, as you've just stated, it's, it's incredibly important both as a, an organic but intentional effect and also in maybe unintentional halo effect beyond it.
Luke: Yeah. So I think offline that the best kind of representation of that is our stores. You know, it's like people giving a physical manifestation of the brand is important. And you know, this whole trend of URL to IRL for people who are interested in touching and feeling the product, for asking questions, for getting a glimpse into what a quote unquote parachute home looks like. We see the stories as a great vehicle for that. Um, they aren't just places where you have to buy things you can hang out. Increasingly we set up store programming in a way that they're gathering places and they can example that I frequently get is that we have house-warming parties to launch our stores, which includes partnering with local vendors for food and wine and entertainment and kind of inviting the community in to kind of see what we're all about. And you know, it's incredible at these events to see people buying things because it's like you're kind of intermingling amongst the product and it's like I, if you have, you know, played a food to one hand and a glass of wine and the other, I'm not in any way expecting you to spend money, nor are we, there's no hard sell that. And yet people get excited and they like, they feel like they want to take something home with them. And I think increasingly it's like the way that you foster that is avoiding the hard sell. I know that there's this really popular concept within performance and growth, marketing of direct response, but increasingly you need to think about the human element of it. You know, people, especially for the our kinds of products, it's a considered purchase. Like I'm not expecting you to see an ad and buy something immediately that just doesn't feel genuine. And so I'm increasingly looking at marketing and looking at the different touch points and the messaging opportunities and making sure that I'm not over messaging or overselling or you know, chasing you around the Internet. And if I am, let me know. Cause I, you know, these are more goals and aspirations. It's like, you know, in a lot of ways as marketers, we're limited to the data that we have available. And I think our goal is increasingly getting out of customers' ways. You know, it's like we want you to feel good and intrinsically motivated about the purchase. We understand if you're like, it's not for me or it's not for me right now. Um, and it's like, how can we set things up so that you know, when you do feel comfortable or when you are, when you do think it's the right choice that we can help you.
Adam: Totally get that and glad that, uh, you know, you're of that mindset that you want to be, I mean, I think I've heard it a bunch of different ways, but the best way to sell is to try not to sell anything. And the fact that you embodied that is also good that you're not going after it. And sort of the quote unquote hard way. What are some of the, I mean I have to imagine that you're, you're, you're trying to separate yourself from other folks in the space on that. Because our listeners are largely marketers and students of the craft. When you see a brand or maybe a campaign or even a social post, do something that looks to be too much like a hard sell. I mean, what does that tip off to you? What are some red flags that you see? Um, that I guess perhaps unconsciously you try to steer Parachute away from, but some of the ways in which people like try to act authentic or try to act like, oh, this is just a good experience. But really, you know, they're just trying to get you to buy something.
Luke: I mean, it's a fine line. That's the hard thing in all of this. Cause and you know, inevitably every business has revenue goals, growth goals, and you know, a lot of businesses have investors and with any form of investment comes a series of expectations. Um, you know, we're not necessarily trying to run a, not for profit. So it is, you know, being able to balance the expectations of the executive team and the board with that of the customer. And I think it's, as long as you understand who you're speaking to and how you'd like to speak to them, whether it be internally or externally, you can start to think about how you kind of broach that issue. Cause, I mean I think it's a challenge that never goes away. And I think that's what makes the job interesting is that it's not perfectly linear or straightforward path to growth and success.
Adam: Yeah. Not at all. It's completely fluid. It's amorphous it's, it's, it's not homogenous. Yeah. I totally, I totally get you there. Um, and the way in which people will interact with you and share their stories, whether you like them to or not is always going to change. And so it's good to see that, you know, by doing these like sort of, let's call it soft sell tactics and um, different ways in which you are promoting the experience. It's good to see that you're diversifying there. And I want to talk about one of the new ways in which you are doing that because of course you have these housewarming parties, uh, in, in your locations, which by the way I think is a really, really cool idea. And we've talked about #myparachutehome, no need to belabor that, but another place, another online property and just keep going there where people are increasingly showing their style. The personality expressing themselves is the platform which just recently crossed 300 million members in Pinterest. And I know that you're getting actively involved with them when it comes to some of the new and broadening catalog feed, uh, suggestions that, that they're doing and partnering with brands to do that. How do you see Pinterest going forward as, as part of Parachute’s mix?
Luke: Um, yeah, I think I touched on it briefly before. Um, we see it as being an important part of the discovery experience. You know, Pinterest as a platform was built around kind of discovery and inspiration and kind of sharing the things that like almost like curating a sense of your style and what you would like to surround yourself with. Um, and as a result things like DIY and home have been very important categories on the platform. So we've always seen a need to be present there. I think, um, you know, it's an interesting platform in terms of like their goals with monetization around advertising and fitting that in within the, the customer journey. And then for our, from our side as an advertiser, making sure that, you know, when we do show up in either an organic, in someone's organic feed or within an ad that it feels one in the same and it feels a part of the broader brand.
Adam: We'll look forward to seeing what happens there. I know it's early in development and of course Pinterest is going to do a lot more with that. Can't wait to see where Parachute goes in partnership with it over the coming months and perhaps even longer. Um, let me shift gears a little bit. We talked about offline a little bit so far. I'd like to get a little bit more of your take on it, but, but by doing it in the following way, and this, because you've talked about Parachute in the wider expanse of this, of this industry and when, especially in comparison with larger market players and the tactics that you all use as, and you've mentioned it as being like two ships passing in the night because you see larger or perhaps different players shifting into tactics that you're potentially shifting away from a little bit. I know you've said that you don't just want to be a Facebook brand, you don't just want to be doing those sorts of things. You're moving more into offline where we see majority offline players moving into online. We see bigger, larger players using people like influencers and celebrities and a lot of #ad a lot of #sponsored. It certainly seems from your quotes that you're, you're not doing that at least as much as some of these other methods. What are the other things that you're just thinking about or maybe trends that you see that the larger players are doing? Um, that maybe you'll be, you know, you'll be doing the opposite of, so again, and again, it's been like moving into offline is one example. Moving away from just Facebook and Instagram is another, but I'm curious what else is on your mind and what's just floating out there in the ether as perhaps a preview as to what parachute might be doing next?
Luke: I mean, I think for us, store expansion is still really important. So I guess like the dichotomy of the quote unquote retail apocalypse and you know, us and other DTC brands wanting to open stores to kind of further their, um, customer relationships is interesting, uh, for us, you know, continuing to look for opportunities to interact with customers in interesting ways. I think, you know, whether it be experiential with events or partnerships with other brands, you know, we see those as being ways to essentially supplement your, your paid media budget. You know, it's like in this day and age it's easier than ever to spend money, but I think it's, it's increasingly harder to stand out. And so we're, we're trying to think about ways that we can leverage the brand equity we've built up to do more interesting things. You know, it's like we're, for some people, we're past the point of awareness and more in consideration and for other, there's still a large swath of the market that still is yet to learn about us and kind of understand our story.
Adam: Got It. Well, uh, certainly, uh, can't wait to see what happens there with the offline expansion and, uh, and more of those experiential things because again, we, we touched on the, the house warming thing and I did read about that prior to our conversation and I do think that's one of the more unique ways in which you're doing it. Uh, especially if it has people soft sold.
Luke: We, we, we like to think we sell the softest things. And so soft selling is part and parcel with the Parachute experience.
Adam: Very good. Um, all right. I'll figure out where to transition out of that. Um, so, so I, okay, so then let's, let's talk about this because, uh, we're getting again towards some of the questions that I ask a lot of my, a lot of my, uh, a lot of my guests. I'm going to go back to the umbrella topic of authenticity and I'm also going to ask you about tips or advice. Uh, and so here's the first thing that I want to ask you. Um, and I've asked a few people and haven't even published the answers in a lot of cases, but I just want to know what your take is. So here on the show we define roughly, I would say define authenticity as a, as practicing what you preach and you know, you really caring about cultivating those personal relationships with consumers and really caring about being a loud speaker in your content and your messaging, whatever else you do back into the community to foster this authentic influence per the title of the show. So if you think about a scale of zero to 10, where zero is just, we're not authentic, we're not doing that at all. And 10 is like we're doing it all the time. We're very, we're totally authentic. Where do you think Parachute falls on that right now and, and perhaps where do you see it going?
Luke: Yeah, um, I, I'd like to believe that we're authentic. I think it's something that like similar to brand equity, it's not something you build up and then it's done. I think it's consistently maintained and in a lot of cases involving, right. Um, you know, who our brand perception and how we presented our brand has changed over the years as a result of both changes in the way that we do business, but also changes in the broader marketplace. You know, a good example is in the early days you could just say we're cutting out the middleman and we're direct to consumer. And that was enough, you know, because especially in the home space, that was novel and unique. Whereas now I think it's a pretty familiar trope. And so it does force you to think a little bit more clearly about what does make you different and what, what is special about the brand. And I think, you know, consistently revisiting that and making sure that that aligns with who you believe your core personas is. Um, really a key to success. Uh, because not being able to articulate who you are means that it'll be much harder to stand out.
Adam: Yeah, totally hear you there. Um, so I will, I'll let you go on the number there cause I see you kind of where you're going. But this, this made me think of another question actually not, not entirely, was very related to what you just said. Um, I mean, where do you think other players can be emulating Parachute’s success in how to stand out? You just mentioned that purely let's say 2014 or 15 or maybe even 13 announcing that you were directing to consumer was enough to have everybody falling over you. But I think about specialty retail and folks who have their own lines and had their own lines already. I mean, that was sort of direct to consumer just in a majority offline world before this wave came in. So I'm thinking, what else are you doing that maybe those bigger players should be emulating? And if you don't want to give away any secrets, hey, that's fine. But I'm just curious.
Adam: I 100% agree with you. Like in, in our space, especially as specialty retailers had a much larger offline footprint and increasingly, you know, still meaningful online footprint at the time that we launched. I think, you know, point of view, it goes beyond the messaging and it kind of flows through the whole brand experience. So for us it's like not having a very large assortment of products but instead a very curated one with clear reasons as to why we produced them and what makes them special. That's important. You know, it's like for us investing in all of the consumer facing touch points, whether it be customer service or marketing or creative or, um, even the web experience has been important because ultimately having that institutional knowledge in, you know, everything that's front facing for the customer pays dividends over time. And then I, I think, uh, yeah, just making sure that you're investing in consumer insights. You know, we smaller companies have the ability to be nimble and flexible and you know that agility is one thing but being able to use it requires understanding what you need to change about what you're doing.
Adam: So I got one more question for you and it, it turns the focus from, you know, that of a brand or an organization to to that more of a, a personal stance as as a leader of the, of an organization as you are now, again, as I mentioned earlier in the show, the podcasts listeners are largely marketers and students of the craft and folks generally interested in this topic. So I'm curious from you directly based on your varied, but now directly within marketing experience at Parachute, what are some of the ways in which people who are just starting out or maybe marketers at established brands can become more authentic in the way they do business? More authentic in the way they tell stories? We’re always good for advice here on the show and I bet you have some had based on what we've talked about. So I'm curious perhaps based on values that you carry with you, things that you have started at Parachute, but I'm curious what are some tips that you might have there?
Luke: Well, I mean, I think it's just like from my perspective, making sure that you like the product or the service offering for the company that you're working for. Make sure that you like the people because in a lot of ways the culture of the business translates into the external brand. Um, and make sure that in some cases you're doing things for the right reasons, not just for economic reasons, because it's like, again, the brands that stay true to their mission and a can end up succeeding. I mean, obviously you have to be responsible and you know, everybody has different parameters that they're optimizing towards. But I think if you start with the premise of like, is this something that my brand would do, it's a lot easier to make decisions as opposed to saying, is this something that somebody else is doing or is this something that I read about, you know, it's like make sure that it fits within your brand framework.
Adam: Got It. Well great, great, great advice. I appreciate you know, all the time you spend here. I'm gonna, I'm gonna throw you one extra credit question here and it's one that you probably know well, you as you said, you got to like the product in order to be passionate about it. What's your favorite one? What's the favorite thing you got right now? Parachute’s got in stock?
Luke: I’m a big fan of the cloud cotton quilts. They're a newer fabrication that we launched earlier this year in both bedding and bath. And I think customers would agree. It's really nice. It's, it's soft cloud like qualities are make you, you know, drift away to dreamland.
Adam: All right folks, you heard it from the man himself. Go get yourself a quilt. Uh, thanks so much to you. Uh, Luke Droulex and everything that you're doing at Parachute. Uh, thanks so much for coming on the show.