Co Founder, CEO discussed on Business Rockstars


The co founder and CEO of thank you thanks for coming in thank you for having me so bomb is funny I I told a couple of people that I was going to be talking with you and people said of course out here that everybody knows about you guys but for anybody who doesn't what do you guys do worry about obviously boxes where we got started so were a direct to consumer apparel company with a focus on comfort and for every item that we sell we give an item back to the homeless community we started with stocks so we've been in business for six years and for the first five and a half years there are stocks only brand online on the ground and it all started when I learned that stocks are the number one most requested clothing item at homeless shelters I was really it really kind of struck a chord with me I kind of thought to myself here's an item of clothing that I've never spent more than a few seconds thinking about any day and it's pretty sad that this is considered a luxury item for somebody else so taking inspiration from brands like toms and more be Parker I ask myself if I could basically help solve this problem by creating a business where we don't need a pair of socks to the homeless community for every pair socks that we sell are in there not just any socks the basically what you were faced with as I understand it if you had to really create a superior product yeah in order to ask for a higher price and be able to donate a pair so tell us a little bit about why these are different yeah well the thought process was right you know once we kind of identified that there is this problem in our community that we wanted to solve we knew that if we wanted to donate a lot of stocks we would need to sell a lot of stocks and if we wanted to sell a lot of stocks we had to create something that was really extraordinary and really different from anything else that we found in the marketplace so you know we spent two years on product development having really no background of manufacturing or any experience in that can the world really kind of took it on head on as a consumer so I went to the stores and I tried every stock on a look to try to figure out where the white space was in the market place and what I realized is that there was a ton of innovation and technology happening in the really high and premium part of the athletic market so running socks cycling basketball hiking and and none of that technology was bleeding into the mass market it consumer products which most people consume so you're kind you're twelve pack you buy at Walmart cosco or TJ Max and so I became obsessed with product development and realize that things like seamless toe arch support comfort but bad super high quality fibers articulation in the steel to make it better to your but and all of these little features kinda came in together into this one package that we then marketed in a market all the benefits of these features to the mass market consumer and that's basically our recipe for how we got started okay do we being you and you were you at a colleague were you doing before this so I went just went to school frontrunner ship at Babson I graduated I went into software sales realize that the corporate world does not for me I started my first company which was a colossal failure working right was a social networking start site for apartment buildings this was two thousand six back on Facebook was still kind of you know taking shape and I thought I want to Facebook for my apartment building so I can meet all the other people know my neighbors as my crash course in NBA I got I call it I learned everything there was to know about you know the mistakes and mostly focusing on businesses that generate actual cash and then I went to work for another start up I was the seventh employee at a media company which is where I met one of my co founders Randi Goldberg use the six employee we work together for five and a half years really focused over those years on wanting to start a business together and kind of shared values and ethics in the things that we learned that that the start of it done really well that we were at but all the things that we actually thought could be improved upon some company culture perspective it's ultimately once I saw this quote on Facebook I walked over to his desk and you know is that is in the sad here can we do something about it and he was like yeah this is great let's dive into it and kind of started there and then along the way picked up two other co founders style one happens to be my brother injury he's he was our CFO and see out he's now are cielo and then another one Michael Sanders is their law keys are chief creative officer so he does all the graphic design for the Brandon leads the visuals for the company product development took about two years two years so were you working in your full time job in that time yeah and then so how would that actually work did you set up a schedule with your co founders to basically get together once a week or you don't talk on the phone how did that happen with luck we were all all of us were based in New York City so getting together super easy it was a little bit more ad hoc mean as samples would come in from different factories you know we would have you more as we wanted to start talking about how the brand would take shape you know Randy in there and being kind of the creative side of the business would go off and you know work together on you know take a couple weeks to work on a project coming up with the logo and the name and kind of the origin story behind that and then my brother would you know go away and take time to put together first drafts of financial projections and we kind of whenever whenever there was in you know information or projects kind of came to a surface we would get back together discuss it kind of break down the work and then kind of work on it separately on the side to try to keep the momentum going and you know block and tackle respectively so that we could you know while all four of us were still working day jobs are kind of divided up the work along the way at what point did you feel like okay now is the moment that I need to just cut the cord with my day job surely go all in yeah so I was about six months before we launched we had finally in a really good place from a product development standpoint you know we had at that point I think given out over two thousand samples to friends and family of the feedback was really strong we felt super confident of that we had a really great product and we can that's the you know is this moment where you know we kept saying that we were going to launch in one month and you know this is going on for about you know six months or I will launch next month will launch next month and the frustration of not ever feeling like we had time to actually do the amount of work we needed to do to to get to launch rainy night got both decided that we were going to quit our jobs and Erin and and and you're kind of followed suit you know you know you're too later all time but then you know we really focused on you know getting just like getting all the things we need to do getting ready for launch the building are in go campaign's creating the video telling really tightening up the brand story there's kind of a moment where we were just like we're running out of time we don't have enough time in the day given our jobs and you know just working at nights and weekends it kind of came to this like pressure point of deciding that you know are we gonna like really commit to this otherwise it's just going to drag out longer and longer and longer when you were delayed you know month after month what what was behind the delays and is there any way that that could have been set up in retrospect yeah I mean it was just you know it was really kind of focused on getting our all of like the launch and and and brand story in assets together you know I think you know we're at a point we had a name we had a logo by thinking about how we were going to present the company into the world for the first time really tightening up kind of your elevator patch and then what's the longer form story that you're going to tell what are the things that customers are gonna care about what's the stuff you can leave.

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