Meet founder and CEO of Cajun Lures, Zach Dubois, '14

Written byAmanda Burleigh

“In the process of developing yourself as a designer, you learn various skills and knowledge of manufacturing that can lead you anywhere you want to go, and that’s what I enjoyed about the industrial design program at UL Lafayette.”

Zach Dubois
Graduation Year
Class of 2014
Industrial Design
Kaplan, La.

Where I'm From

I’m a lifelong fisherman from Kaplan, La.

Where I Am

I’m the founder and CEO of my own company, Cajun Lures.

Where I'm Going

I’m going to continue to grow my company with the knowledge and skills I learned from UL Lafayette.

Zach Dubois paired his passion for fishing with his degree in industrial design to become the founder and CEO of Cajun Lures, a fishing lure company he started in his family’s garage.

Cajun Lures can now be found in 50 stores throughout Louisiana and Texas and sells online nationwide.

UL Lafayette industrial design graduate Zach Dubois designed this Zydeco Shade lure through his company Cajun Lures
Cajun Lures handmade Zydeco Shade lure

“On a daily basis, I manufacture and create my products, market my products and work on sales, keep up with my website, maintain equipment, package the products, deal with any business issues that may arise, ship and fulfill orders, answer emails, messages, and phone calls, and even work on photo and video content for advertisement purposes,” Zach explained.  

Zach says industrial design can be simplified as “product design” but that it is so much more.

“It’s constantly creating something, innovating, and becoming a problem solver,” he said. “You learn the process of design and everything in between. In the process of developing yourself as a designer, you learn various skills and knowledge of manufacturing that can lead you anywhere you want to go, and that’s what I enjoyed about it.”

Zach always imagined himself attending UL Lafayette. His parents were both alumni, as were other family members. However, his journey into industrial design was far less predetermined.  

“I didn’t exactly choose industrial design — it kinda chose me,” Zach said.

After attending freshman orientation, he was still undecided about his major. Zach recalled his mother reading a brief description of the industrial design program. He decided to see what it had to offer.

“While starting classes and beginning to learn the fundamentals of design, even though I joined on a whim, I found myself always enjoying the classes and wanting to learn more,” he said.

Connecting His Major & His Hobby

Zach’s passion for the program grew as he connected it to his lifelong passion for fishing.

“I designed my own bass boat from start to finish,” Zach said of one of his favorite projects.

“I wanted to create a bass boat that was designed strictly for tournament competition anglers and as efficient as possible for that need. Considering bass fishing was my passion at the time, being able to work with a big-name company in the industry — Skeeter Boats — felt surreal.”

Zach’s industrial design experience has been invaluable to the development of his business.  

“Considering I operate my business all on my own and when getting started, not having the capital to pay to outsource various services, I relied on my design knowledge to get things I needed done on my own and ultimately it’s saved me a lot of money while operating my business,” he said.

“Everything from graphic design to prototyping to manufacturing products, I am constantly reflecting back to my design skills I learned.”

In addition to building his business, Zach’s experience at UL Lafayette has shaped his personal life as well.

“I’ve met some of my really good friends to this day at UL Lafayette, met students from all kinds of other backgrounds and cultures, enjoyed all the sporting events, represented my school doing something I loved, fishing, and even met the love of my life there,” Zach reminisced. “I even proposed to my now-wife, Kayla Dubois, on Cajun Field at one of the football games!”

Zach says he will always cherish the time he spent at UL Lafayette.

“When your parents say, ‘This is the best time of your life so enjoy it,’ they are 100% correct,” Zach said. “Sure, it seems like such a grind, always studying late nights, running late, getting to class, last-minute projects, working, etc., but if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, you’ll appreciate what you are working on.”

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