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Community Highlights: Meet Darren Madrigal of iDOME Shelters

Today we’d like to introduce you to Darren Madrigal.

Hi Darren, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My parents divorced when I was 7yrs old, and the only good thing about it, was that my mother moved my brother and I to Laguna Beach California. My mom was a teacher earning $800 a month, a single parent and raising two boys on her own… Needless to say, money was tight. I quickly realized that if I wanted something like a skateboard or a surfboard that I would have to make my own money. At one point along the way, I was 11yrs old and working three jobs. At age 14, I landed a job working as a retail sales kid at Laguna Surf and Sport. The coolest thing about that job, was that it never felt like work.

Fast forward to present day, I am still working with surf and skate shops like LS&S – but, now, as a sales rep selling cool action sports brands like Volcom Clothing. Thru my 30+ years as a sales rep, I learned a lot about the art of sales and marketing, and I always knew that one day I would tap into those skills when the time came for me to launch my own company.

On November 1, 2020 – that day finally arrived when I launched my own brand – iDOME SHELTERS on the crowdfunding platform – Kickstarter. With a fundraising goal of $33,000, I successfully raised over $100,000 and had enough money to pay for my first order.

In March of 2021, I shipped out the first orders to my Kickstarter Backers – officially bringing iDOME into the world, a project that I have been working on for more than 11 years.

I have always known that the unique design of the frame would be ideal for disaster relief. Mainly because the weight-bearing frame is portable, easy to set-up, has no parts to assemble and holds hammocks and all your gear off the ground.

iDOME’S long-term goal is to provide shelters to anyone displaced by humanitarian hardship. After all, everyone deserves to be in comfort, off the ground, in a dignified sanctuary.

We recently donated a bunch of iDOME RESCUE shelters to the fire victims in northern California, and last week we donated iDOME RESCUE shelters to house the victims of the earthquakes in Haiti.

Our newest item is the iDOME Custom Canopy. The iDOME Customs are sublimated canopy tops that can be customized with any logo, color or pattern.

We are currently making custom canopies for Volcom, Volcom Eyewear, State of Ethos, WLF Enduro, Troy Lee, Roark, Electric Eyewear, Moonridge Ranch, Thurston Surf team, Coast Film Festival and The Maui Ola Foundation.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road as an entrepreneur is never smooth – especially when you launch your first product amidst a global pandemic.

Communications with the factory overseas proved to be a huge challenge. I actually planned to be in China when the product was being produced – but, the covid travel restrictions shut that down.

We were challenged with massive delays with the shipping containers, supply chains were broken and the tariffs on overseas production skyrocketed in 2021.

But we pushed through and came out of it – all the wiser.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about iDOME Shelters?
iDOME Shelters is the brainchild of a Darren ‘Dags’ Madrigal, an outdoor enthusiast from Laguna Beach, California. As a veteran adventurer, his love for the outdoors is endless but, the days of cramped uncomfortable camping are long over.

He grew tired of small flimsy tents that would break during set-up or blow away in the wind, and he was finished being frustrated by lost parts, time-consuming setups, and daily discomfort…

His list of demands was long: he sought something sturdy, spacious, and completely customizable; a relaxing retreat where he could stand upright, feel safe and sleep soundly.

Darren wanted the ability to hang hammocks and supplies off the ground without worry.

He desired a versatile, dependable base camp that could protect him from passing weather at the same time feel like home.

The end result is the proprietary, weight-bearing frame – made of aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel. The geodesic dome offers 91sqft of floor space and a towering 8’2” ceiling.

Make no mistake, this is not a tent. It’s a shelter. And it’s a game-changer.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I meditate every day.


  • $600 – $2000 US

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Photo 1 – Mary Hurlbut Photo 2 – Tyler Lyden Photos 3,4,8 – Rndm Media Photos 5,6,7 – Dags

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