If you have been following my Instagram account you definitely have seen a few posts including stunning watches from About Vintage. Like myself, my followers like you and the followers of About Vintage have been following their rise on the watch market! And luckily enough, between al their new releases, Thomas Andersen, one of the founders of About Vintage was open to answer questions from you! So after running a pool on Instgram story, let’s dive into the questions you guys sent in and see Thomas his reaction on them!
Q&A with About Vintage co-founder Thomas Andersen
Before starting About Vintage which career path where you pursuing?
Sebastian, my companion, and I, were both doing very different things from what we do today. Sebastian was working with digital marketing in a large agency in Copenhagen, and I was working in real estate investment.
How does one move from a great idea on beach in Mexico towards building a thriving brand in a very competitive market? What are the key elements you need in your business plan?
You need to be able to execute and take action. Honestly, we didn’t create an actual business plan. We simply had too much passion and eagerness to prioritize that. Some might state that as reckless, but we both agreed to what kind of brand we wanted to be and from that we defined our design path. We also defined our ‘why’ and purpose in order to communicate our brand in the right way.
My advice to anyone who wants to start their own business, is: Define your brand. Define your purpose, your ‘why’. And then execute!
Everyone is a rookie in the beginning. As long as you have the drive and passion, you’ll be OK. Try and error and try again. That’s what will take you there. Persistence and patience are key.
Crowdfunding is a popular way to fund the start of your brand or product development. From you experience would you advise starting brands to use a platform like kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a good platform for some brands and industries but in my experience, it needs to be combined with other initiatives. In order to succeed, you really have to also put in a great deal of marketing, ad spend etc. It’s very rare to see a successful Kickstarter which hasn’t also been pushed by a large lead-campaign.
We actually did create a Kickstarter once, but it wasn’t really a great success. We found that we had much more success in launching our own pre-order campaigns. For the early stages, Kickstarter is a great tool and it creates a lot of brand awareness, but it also comes with a cost, especially financially. To some startups that might not be the best strategy.
When you launched About Vintage I assume you had some expectations on how your first year would go from a sales perspective. Did that first year work out as expected and what did you learn in that first year that was crucial for future success?
We learned that nothing ever goes as predicted; that’s something we’re still learning. We also learned that we had to do everything ourselves in order to make it work. There’s no other way around. You are every single position / role in your startup, and that’s all a part of the journey.
Based on your experience starting About Vintage, what would your advice be on how to market yourself? Should you focus on social media or the more traditional channels like trade shows?
Again, it all depends on the brand and the industry. For us, trade shows haven’t been the right channel. It’s simply too expensive. Social media, content creation and Guerrilla marketing on the other hand, that’s made a big impact for us. Those tactics are really good, especially for the ‘new, exciting guy in the class’.
How do you find the right partners/suppliers when starting out as a young small brand?
For us, product have always been the top priority when it comes to being able to execute. We are both product-oriented people. We would never do what we do if our products weren’t fricking great.
Our motivation is to create timepieces that you want to keep for a lifetime. Our tagline is; we help people keeping track of moments in time. To state such thing, you need to be sure that your products exceeds all the expectations. We brought on the right suppliers from the start. It wasn’t easy to find them, but for us it was important that no one could question our quality.
Can you give us more insight in where you find the inspiration for your watch designs?
According to you, what is the secret to creating a design that pays homage to the past but is a modern interpretation?
There are a lot of secrets. But I’ll tell you this one: Get inspired and then make it your own with respect to the original design.
What have been some of the most challenging issues you have faced in creating a new watch?
It takes time to create a prober watch and design. There are no shortcuts. Patience is key. For me, that is also the most challenging part, as I’m super eager to just get started, so maintaining patience is definitely a big challenge.
Beside the watches from your own collection, what is your all-time favourite watch?
That would be the Rolex GMT Master 1 with plexiglass. This was also my first real watch, and the watch that started this whole journey.
Which About Vintage watch is your own favourite and why?
I love the entire 1926 AT’SEA collection. It cares for every detail and design element, the material is meticulously selected and the functionality is thought off. To me, that’s the perfect combination.
What can we expect in the upcoming year from About Vintage?
The next year is going to be super exciting. We have so many things in the pipeline for you guys. We will grow. With passion and heart. No compromises – just a lot of awesomeness!
Will About Vintage move into smart watches at some point?
All photo’s courtesy of @Koiztra & About Vintage