You can tell a lot about a man from his watch, so they say. And Virginia-based entrepreneur Randy Williams was very particular about his watches, so much so in October 2014 he started his own watch company, Talley & Twine. He tells TNJ.com just how.
TNJ.com: What prompted you to start the company?
Randy Williams: I started Talley & Twine because, as an avid collector, I couldn’t find a watch that had the design elements that I wanted that was being sold for under $500.
TNJ.com: How did you fund the startup?
RW: We raised money for our initial product inventory by accepting pre-orders through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.
TNJ.com: What startup challenges did you have and how did you overcome them?
RW: After delivering products to our initial Kickstarter backers, we were faced with the challenge of finding more customers and creating awareness for our brand. We realized that referrals would be a large part of our business, so we began to ask new customers to tell others about us and we offered superior customer service to everyone who purchased from us. We’ve also taken a very personal approach to the brand. As the founder, I try to communicate with as many customers as possible on a one-on-one basis. I ask them things like “What did you like about the product,” “How did you hear about us?” and “What other products are you interested in?” By doing so, I’m hoping that customers realize that this is a real company run by real people who value each and every customer.
TNJ.com: Why watches?
RW: I think that a quality timepiece should be a staple in every man’s wardrobe. I wanted to design something that I would wear in hopes that others would like it, too. To me, one’s outfit is not complete without the appropriate wristwear.
TNJ.com: How do you market your company?
RW: Since we are an online business, we primarily market through online channels via social media. We use both free and paid methods to market our products and we try to focus on creating high-quality and shareable content.
TNJ.com: What are some goals for 2016?
RW: In 2016, we want to continue to grow our customer base and we’re looking to roll out new product models to make us a more versatile company.
TNJ.com: What are some long-term goals?
RW: In the future, we see Talley & Twine as being a trusted brand that is able to offer even more related products.
TNJ.com: What has been your biggest business lesson?
RW: The biggest lesson that I’ve learned since I started Talley & Twine is the importance of understanding and focusing on your target market. That means creating content for them and directing your marketing efforts to them, which is easier said than done.
TNJ.com What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
RW: I love the empowerment that comes along with being an entrepreneur. Every day I have an opportunity to wake up and create. I love the creation process and I love making products that others value.