We're based on the famous North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Inspired by nature around us, we created a watch made from all natural bamboo.
We brought the traditional watch look to wood watches. We believe in being authentic and transparent.
What are the key factors that have helped your store be successful?
We did a lot of market research and prototyping before we set out to finalize our product. We also used Kickstarter to raise awareness and funds.
We put in over 200 hours on developing our Kickstarter project alone, and it paid off. We raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter, with nearly 2,000 backers. Many of those backers have become repeat customers.
"Do not let you talk yourself out of success. We do this by throwing in the towel, or letting fear of rejection/failure overcome us."— Ryan Chaffin, Founder
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Do your research. Don't rush to production. Insure quality. Just do it. Just about everyone has this extreme fear of rejection and/or failure. Because of this, many great ideas never leave the human brain.
Sure, you never know which ideas will be successful, but let the market decide that, not you. For example, I had a product idea about two years back. I didn't jump on it, and within 6 months, I saw several companies across North America selling a similar product, and big brands were jumping on the wagon.
I could have beat all of them to market by 3-4 months. It should have been my brand at the front of the pack.
Any Closing Remarks?
Starting your own business isn't easy. There's going to be days you just want to throw in the towel. I can remember two very specific and crucial times this happened to me. Here's what happened:
The first time, we'd just received our first prototypes. They were ok. Certain areas were better than expected, and others were worse than I had hoped for. The bad outweighed the good, and I wasn't sure if it was worth pursuing. I had only spent a few hundred dollars out of pocket, and it was a pivotal moment. Walk away and minimize losses, or push forward, meaning more out of pocket expenses. As a newly married and poor college student, this was a challenging time. I turned to a mentor of mine and after discussing the situation, he said, "Never throw in the towel because of exhaustion. Throw it in because the model doesn't work." Well, I hadn't proven the model didn't work. In fact, all of the feedback we got from showing friends and classmates the prototypes was great. I hadn't proven the model did NOT work, so I pushed forward, as difficult as it was. I'll never forget that advice.
Second, it was a Friday afternoon, and I had put in nearly 200 hours on our Kickstarter project page. I just needed to do a few small things to "have it ready for launch." In reality, I really was just scared to launch it. We had our video done, images up, content filled out and approval to launch. I was afraid of the market rejecting the last 9 months of my life's work. I needed a push, and fortunately it came. I turned to another mentor of mine who is a successful entrepreneur and showed him the project. His response was something along the lines of "Are you kidding me!? Why haven't you launched!? You've done all the work! Launch this weekend! This is great!" Monday morning, I launched the project, and for the first 13 hours, we raised over $1,000/ hour, hitting our funding goal in under 10 hours. I never saw that coming.
The two lessons here are really one: do NOT let you talk yourself out of success. We do this by throwing in the towel, or letting fear of rejection/failure overcome us.
Keep pushing forward until the model does not work. And if you've already done the work, you have nothing to lose. Go for it.