I first spoke with Braxton Manley for this podcast in early 2021. He had began Braxley Bands, an Apple Watch band maker, 4 years earlier whereas a university scholar in Texas. The enterprise rapidly grew.
He and I not too long ago caught up. We mentioned the evolution of his enterprise, successes and challenges in 2022, and plans for increasing the product line.
The complete audio of our dialog is embedded under. The transcript is edited for readability and size.
Eric Bandholz: Give us an summary of the Braxley Bands.
Braxton Manley: About six years in the past in school, I made an Apple Watch band out of a sock for a category mission. I spotted it was a strong product and pursued it into my freshman yr. By the point I graduated, it was a full-fledged enterprise. I have been constructing it ever since.
We make Apple Watch stretch bands in varied prints and patterns. Apple colours and patterns from the period encourage model. We wished our bands to be funky and impressed by the enduring Apple look of the Eighties.
Bandholz: How was 2022?
Manley: It has been good and dangerous, the hardest yr but. Our revenues had been at a stage that I’d not have thought doable three years in the past. That is the great half. We bought round 60,000 watch straps.
However the dangerous aspect was our overhead. It was extreme. We have now considerably decreased our bills, together with our advertising and marketing, which we now have introduced in-house. We labored with a number of companies and freelancers. We wanted to clean up and run issues like a cottage farm.
E-mail advertising and marketing was big for us, accounting for round 45% of our income. SMS accounted for about 15%, and the remainder got here from our personal natural channels.
Our mailing checklist hasn’t grown a lot over the previous yr. We have stayed at round 100,000 engaged subscribers in 2022. We’re attempting to develop the checklist, nevertheless it’s difficult with out spending 1000’s to amass visitors. Subsequent, we have to convert these subscribers into clients. We do that with emails, texts and feeds.
Bandholz: How one can encourage guests to subscribe?
Manley: We use Justuno for cool pop-ups. We labored with an company to construct them, and have since been A/B testing them. I am excited to launch the Fondue app, which provides cash and reductions to new subscribers as an alternative of reductions. We will be shifting away from a reduced mannequin, which we have at all times been fairly beneficiant with.
I’ve heard lots of chatter in regards to the fondue and the way nicely it really works. It is good from a branding perspective, as a result of we do not continuously supply reductions.
Bandholz: What are Braxley’s objectives?
Manley: We need to enhance gross sales channels. A month-to-month earnings of $200,000 would clear up all of our issues – on paper. Apple sells round 40 million watches a yr. We have now to promote 6,000 teams per thirty days.
We have now clients who acquire our bracelets. So we’re attempting to get them to return again sooner. We now ship internationally and hope to arrange a UK warehouse. We have now an Amazon retailer and have began getting into bodily retailers. And we’re launching new merchandise for a wider market.
One in every of our advertising and marketing challenges is discovering the proper viewers. Apple sells many watches, nevertheless it nonetheless solely represents a small proportion of complete shoppers. Most individuals do not. Promoting on a podcast, billboard, and even through influencers will solely attain a couple of leads.
We’re due to this fact increasing our product vary. We’re launching a fanny pack made out of our signature recycled elastic used for watch straps. It is a tremendous snug and stretchy belt with a sliding magnetic buckle.
I see myself having an organization – a household of manufacturers – targeted on bettering the world. I see Braxley changing into a life-style equipment model, working and innovating with sustainable textiles. There’s lots of greenwashing within the sustainable business, particularly with clothes, which is especially dangerous to the atmosphere. A lot is wasted.
Our wristbands use 100% recycled PET polyester, which is principally clear water bottle plastic. It’s simply reused.
I am taken with working with different stretchable and recyclable supplies. I see us making elastic chairs, shorts and boxers. We’re contemplating a yoga mat strap and canine collars and leashes.
Bandholz: How can listeners contact you and purchase your content material?
Manley: I’m @Braxtonmanley on Twitter. Our web site is BraxleyBands.com – quickly Braxley.co. Individuals also can examine us out on Amazon.
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