Razor Sharp Success: Gareth Everard on Launching Rockwell Razors

From a classroom lesson on viral ads to a globally recognized razor brand, Gareth Everard’s entrepreneurial journey demonstrates how persistence and passion can lead to success. 

Despite early manufacturing setbacks that led Everard to sleep under factory tables, he remained dedicated to making quality razors and delivering for customers. Everard went on to expand Rockwell internationally, develop new grooming products under Mr. Gladstone, and co-found Lomi which generated over $100 million in revenue in just two years.

 

Now running his own agency businesses, Everard shares insights on product innovation, branding, marketing, building crowdfunding campaigns, and scaling startups. Listen as he explains key lessons learned across his diverse entrepreneurial experiences, from the importance of intellectual property to focusing on pre-launch planning for crowdfunding. Tune in for Everard’s razor sharp perspective.

 

Gareth is the Founder of Rockwell Razors, Lomi and many other consumer brands. As the CMO of Lomi he generated over $100M revenue in 2 years. He is also an angel investor, board member, and partner in several other technology companies, agencies, and local businesses.

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Transcript

Intro  

Welcome to another edition of inspired stories where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity, and explore current challenges they’re facing.

 

Anthony (host):  

Welcome to another edition of the inspired stories podcast where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity and explore current challenges they’re facing. My name is Anthony Codispoti and today’s guest is Gareth Everard co founder of Rockwell razors. It’s the company that Men’s Health called Best tested safety razor. And GQ called it real shaving innovation in their grooming awards. He’s also the founder of Mr. Gladstone, a line of natural wax based colognes. And as someone who’s geeked out on innovation, I can’t wait to talk about some of the innovative projects he’s worked on. He’s also the former CMO of Lomi. That generated over $100 million in revenue in two years. And he now has a flourishing agency business where his clients get to benefit from his diverse skill sets. Now before we get into all the good stuff about Gareth, today’s episode is brought to you by my company’s AddBack Benefits Agency, where we offer very specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team and fiscally optimized for your bottom line. One recent client was able to save over $900 per employee per year by implementing one of our programs, another client is going to save over $1,200 per employee per year, by implementing a different program, a patented construct that we offer. Results vary for each company and some organizations may not be eligible to find out if your company qualifies. Contact us today at add back benefits. agency.com. Now, back to the good stuff. Our guest today, Garrett, thanks for joining us appreciate you making the time. 

 

Gareth (guest):  

Hey, yeah, great to connect. So let’s go back to the beginning of your career, you graduated university. And did you immediately start Rockwell? Did you have a job in between? Or how did that come about? Yeah, actually, Rockwell started before I graduated university. So the kind of quick version of the story was I was doing an environmental science degree with like a business minor. And so I was taking this business course one day, and we did a class on advertising. If you remember, the Dollar Shave Club ad, was basically there’s like two hour business class. So we spent the entire class celebrating this Dollar Shave Club ad. But you know, the big one, the big, famous kind of viral ad,

 

Gareth (guest):  

and broke it down and how it was such a wonderful ad and all these ways and how the video went viral. And, and then in my very next class, which is more of an environmental science class, that entire class was on the incredible damage to wildlife, that Partridge razors going into landfills caused. And there are all these pictures of birds bleeding out and choking to death on razor blades, not to open up the podcast to on to sunny a note.

 

Gareth (guest):  

But yeah, that that, that was definitely a bit of a conflicting moment for me. So I was having trouble reconciling those two things that I just spent two hours celebrating,

 

Gareth (guest):  

learning about advertising that it turned out was actually doing some pretty meaningful environmental harm. So I looked into the space and I remembered that there were these Razors, kind of old timey razors that used fully recyclable razor blades that don’t go into landfill. But that people had stopped using those razors because it had been marketed that they were not easy to use. And that was the perception. So long story short, while I was still in third and then fourth year university,

 

Gareth (guest):  

my business partner and I kind of invented a easier to use double edged safety razor, which is like the old timey safety razor, not the straight razor, not like the Sweeney Todd cotton, but between that and cartridge razor. And that ended up being Rockwell. So we did a Kickstarter campaign that raised $150,000, back in 2014, which was, at that time quite a lot on Kickstarter. And we made all sorts of manufacturing mistakes. And

 

Gareth (guest):  

actually, our first manufacturer based in Milwaukee went bankrupt right in the middle of US manufacturing that first run and we had to

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah, pivot pretty quickly that the main with the product that they had made was also not very good. So I actually had to go pretty deeply into personal debt. To find a new factory we ended up making razors in a gun factory in Medina, Ohio and I was sleeping on on the under the conference table at night because I had no money for hotels and I was still doing fourth year university but like at this point remotely obviously

 

Gareth (guest):  

to to just get these Razors quality controlled and checked in and ultimately ship those out and

 

Gareth (guest):  

And those, that second round of product was really well received. And since then, you know, everyone else from my environmental science program. Turns out the job offers you get from that, from that degree is actually oil and gas jobs, which are a little bit of a tree hugger. So that that wasn’t that wasn’t fully resonating with me. So I went full time on Rockwell. And I’ve been been a founder ever since. 

 

Anthony (host):  

So what was the big innovation that you guys introduced to these old timey straight razors, and I remember these Razors, because this was the kind I saw my dad and my grandfather’s shaving with. And so it’s, you know, it’s a thin piece of metal that screws into kind of a metal handle that that opens up in the middle, what what was the innovation that you guys brought to this old style product? Yeah, super simple. There’s, there’s two elements of a razor that sort of affect what sort of hair thickness it can shave, and how smooth, like how easy to use, how careful you need to be, when you’re using that razor. And then the double edged safety razor space, that’s called like the aggressiveness of your shave. So up to a kind of in the early 2000s, there were a couple predominantly German manufacturers who are kind of the main players in the space. And they all made this very standard razor, which was kind of just in the middle of aggressiveness.

 

Gareth (guest):  

So you have to be a little bit careful using it because there’s the blade gap as in the space between the blade and the plate. So the thing that actually pulls on your skin and hair, so that gap was medium wide. And, and the blade angle was fixed at a blade angle that was somewhat difficult to shave with if you didn’t know what you were doing. So we innovated on a razor where the blade gap was adjustable. And, and therefore, so it was the blade angle. So you could kind of switch from a setting that was for sensitive skin all the way to if you wanted to try to shave, this is burly beard of mine at the moment. So I actually own some of your products. And I think I might have an earlier version of the razor, where correct me if I’m wrong, the earlier version, they had plates that you you removed, depending on that gap that you wanted. And then eventually you guys progressed to a dial. Am I remembering that? Yeah, so those are those are just two different kinds of models. So we have the Rockwell Model T, which is the dial, Model T is in turn,

 

Gareth (guest):  

turn the dial. And then we have the Rockwell SIX series. So that’s the six s which is in stainless steel, and the six C which is in chromed from zinc alloy, which is just the same razor but one is made with slightly more affordable materials.

 

Gareth (guest):  

So yeah, those are the differences. So some people actually prefer the plate system that you have. Just because it’s got a little bit more inherently like the balance of it is different because it has no eternal components. But of course the dial one has internal components. So the weighting of the razor is a little different. And that’s one thing I was going to comment on is when you pick it up, there’s a nice wait like a nice heft to it. You’re like, oh, this this, this feels like good. It feels very quality and it’s the lines on it. And the finishing on it’s beautiful. But what really struck me actually was the

 

Anthony (host):  

the shaving cream. Do you call it cream? Because it’s in the little container? Is that the right term? Oh, yeah. The shaving soap shaving soap. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And the, the luxurious feel of it. It was like kind of reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with George and he wanted to be ensconced in velvet. And I just, I wanted to be ensconced in this, this shaving soap because it’s just unlike anything I’d ever felt before. But yeah, beautiful quality.

 

Gareth (guest):  

Thank you, I feel privileged to have indirectly in Scotstoun bill, but I’ve never I’ve never heard that compliment, but it’s going, it’s going in the lexicon.

 

Anthony (host):  

I want to dive into some of these manufacturing mistakes that you talked about, because these are the kinds of things that can kill a young company, especially for somebody still in college, not making money going into like these are the kinds of things even for experienced business people where, you know, they could be like, let’s enough like I’m gonna walk away. So first let’s let’s go into a little bit of detail about what was one or more of these problems and why were you so convinced that this was worth working through?

 

Gareth (guest):  

Great question. So, the the problems are easy to talk through not easy to remember, but are to revisit, I should say. But basically, there are two different ways you could hypothetically manufacture or that we perceived you could hypothetically manufacture at scale. A fully metal fully stainless steel product. And that is through, there’s either investment casting, which is cheaper and has a smaller minimum run. And less, slightly less precise tolerances, which is just the exact measurements that you would get, as you put something together, either like still very precise, but like slightly less precise than the alternative, which is metal injection molding, which is much more expensive to set up, you have to set up molds, which for stainless steel, which was our first product is made out of stainless steel, very, very expensive to set up those molds. So we chose being 19 year old first time founders, we thought that investment casting would be appropriate. And that was the factor I mentioned in the lucky that did not survive. And the tolerances just simply were not good enough, we should not have chosen that manufacturing method, we did not consult enough engineers. And we should have had better quality control procedures in place because about half the razors were actually great, they were a little ugly. You know, first run of a new product, not just me, you could forgive that is a little

 

Anthony (host):  

sorry to interrupt, but just to clarify, when you’re talking about the razor are talking about the handle or the blades, which Which one were you having,

 

Gareth (guest):  

sorry, so the the the top part, so the handle was always made through machining. So that’s just like taking barstock running that through machine which which turns it into the kind of as a knurled handle. It’s the the part that needs precision. And thanks for clarifying the part that needs the precision is the cap and the base plates. So everything that isn’t the handle. And yep, so then what we basically had to do is consulted after, after only about half the razors were good. We went back and consulted with engineers much more deeply, ultimately decided that we have to go the metal injection molding route, there simply are not very many metal injection molders in the United States. So we didn’t have a ton of options, and there was one that would talk to us. And so we worked with them. And then it took quite a lot of work. And I actually hand checked hand QC personally, every single one of the first 5000 Razors that came off the line, we had to reship. So I have my own cost. We shipped 2500 razors to the people who had first ordered and whether they were happy or not with the first raise at the investment cast razor that we had shipped them. I took it upon myself to to personally finance and quality control, and then ship 2500 replacement razors, which was not cheap. But it did allow us to prove to do I think the customer base in this segment of the market, but we were committed to making great products. And certainly making it right with anyone who was not a who was understandably not stoked about the first brand or product. So yeah, no, that was it. It was it was like 5000 products times 5000 pieces, sorry, times five pieces. So 25,000 total pieces that I had to individually quality control, while also doing my final year of university and writing honors thesis on, like, the profitability of wind turbine projects. Anyways, that’s a whole other story. It was it was a it was a crazy fourth year,

 

Anthony (host):  

how does a still in college student come up with the funds to do the initial product run, then hire engineers then to do another production run and ship customers a whole nother set? I mean, you got some money through the Kickstarter. But I have to imagine with all the product rework that you were doing that you’re still going in the hole.

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah, we did. So it was a lot of debt. There was. So there’s like a little bit of traditional bank debt. There are banks in Canada, where I’m from and where Rockwell was based to do small loans to startups. So we tapped every single one of those programs. And then we did we did fortunately get some vendor advances because this was this is a it’s still is a very novel product. And so there were a lot of wholesalers in the space who were interested in stocking Rockwell and we kind of reached out to them and they reached out to us and we said, hey, that’s great that you’re interested. If you do want this, we’re just going to need to take a deposit on your on your order. And so we collected quite a lot of those actually were really fortunate that I think there was so much demand for Rockwell for the success specifically that between the Kickstarter funds the small loans and the vendor advances. It was we were able to make it work. Just barely.

 

Anthony (host):  

And where did the razor blades get manufactured?

 

Gareth (guest):  

The razor blades are manufactured in China. So we import Swedish stainless steel to a dedicated facility in, in China. And they’re made there. There are very few razor blade factories left in the world like the old timey razor blades, I think there’s like one in Turkey, one in Egypt, one in Russia, I believe there might be one in the US. But it’s actually it’s a it’s it only works with one company that will remain nameless on this podcast. But then there are a couple options. In China, we didn’t really love any of the options. But we felt that we had figured out how to make a very good razor blade by importing a specific kind of stainless steel from Sweden, into China. And I think they make razor blades out of that steel instead of kind of regular off the shelf steel.

 

Anthony (host):  

The other thing I wanted to hear about because it sounds like a good story, how did you end up spending the night on the floor of the gun factory? How did you end up with a gun? To manufacture your razors?

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah, it was not just one night like I couldn’t afford a hotel. Like on the weekends, like the Motel Six or whatever, was like that was my luxury. So yeah, no, I couldn’t afford anything. So they were very timed. And let me sleep under the conference table. And the gun factory. Honestly, it was. So we’d looked around for like metal injection, molding facilities, and found one that very clearly marketed that like it predominantly made stainless steel gun components. And in my mind, I was like, Okay, if you can make components for guns, I imagine that like those tolerances, those tolerances are very precise. And like, we also translate over into what I’d need for razors. So there was a lot of work that had to go into actually getting the appearance of the razor, right, like the finishing, took a lot of trial and error to get correct. There’s something you deal with in metal injection molding, called elephant skin. If the if the moisture levels in the facility aren’t perfectly right, your product will end up because there’s no coating on our razors. It’s just it’s, it’s just a bead blasting polish of a stainless steel. But if the moisture levels and temperatures and a whole bunch of other settings are not right, you actually end up it looks exactly like elephant skin. It just looks like kind of this, this crackling type appearance on the top. Doesn’t look great. So it took a lot of trial and error to get that right.

 

Anthony (host):  

So I’m looking at your website here get rockwell.com It’s beautiful site very clean navigation is this just looks like direct to consumer kind of a brand is that your your only channel is online through your site, maybe some Amazon?

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah. Interestingly enough, no, we’re probably just under 50%. Direct to consumer, if you include kind of Shopify and Amazon. It’s actually it’s predominantly wholesale. And more than half of our wholesale is through international distributors. So like we sell to a distributor anywhere from Australia, to Brazil, to Spain to Sweden, and then they’ll sell on to barbershops or men’s clothing stores or what have you. And their local territory. It’s just it’s a it’s a very niche market, but a very global niche market. So we’ve been pretty successful differentiating through through international wholesale.

 

Anthony (host):  

How did you come up with those accounts? How was it that you found these distributors?

 

Gareth (guest):  

I wish I could tell you that it was some sort of like brilliant insight. But it wasn’t it was then reaching out to us. So because I think Rockwell launched on a on like a global visibility platform like Kickstarter. And that was like in 2014, the numbers you would raise on Kickstarter were necessarily huge. But the visibility you would get was actually pretty meaningful. So I think people would look at Kickstarter a lot and not buy so you’d get kind of some some buzz. And the other thing is we went our Kickstarter because it was the first shaping Kickstarter, there’s a subreddit called wicked edge, which is kind of where people who are traditional or classic shaving enthusiast hanging out. And they were talking quite a lot about our product launch. And so I think distributors were likely looking at those places because distributors might be in fact organic members of those communities. So I think they were looking they reached out and then once enough folks that reached out through through that were like okay, hold on. So if we’ve heard from someone in Sweden, someone in Greece Someone in Australia, maybe we should start proactively googling for more of these. And we found out that almost every country or territory or region has a small like a boutique, classic shaving product distributor. And now many of them are our customers. And so here

 

Anthony (host):  

we are almost 10 years later from the initial launch of the product, and have you had other people come in and try to mimic what you’re doing?

 

Gareth (guest):  

No, the one of one fairly strong piece of advice we did get early on, sorry, not the only one. But a strong piece of advice was to invest in an intellectual property portfolio, which I always thought was a little high and mighty, it seemed a little bit like overkill, because my understanding now is even having utility patents, which is what we filed for instead of just design patents, which are fairly, fairly loose, they’re, they’re not very strong intellectual property, because someone can just make a slight change to your design, and you’re no longer protected. But we actually, we were able to globally patent the utility of this flippable lace baseplate, which provides that adjustability that we were talking about. So these are the exact flippable baseplate designed to provide adjustability for like the Rockwell success in succeed is we’ve got the global patent, it’s the most niche patent, I never thought that I’d have a patent on something quite so niche, but um, here we are, it’s it’s meant that Rockwell has had the opportunity to kind of, I guess, go global, with a very, very nice product. But it was also appreciated by 10s of 1000s, if not hundreds of 1000s of people around the world, which has been really rewarding.

 

Anthony (host):  

I’ve got a little bit of experience in patents myself, I’m curious sort of arc that you went on here. So did you file first in the US and get that patent awarded? And then use that to apply in Europe and Asia? And how do you remember sort of the flow. So

 

Gareth (guest):  

we did the we did the US patent filing, and we were granted it. But we had also filed for the PCT so the Paris Convention treaty in parallel with the with the US Patent, and then when the US patent was granted, that kind of unlocked, following through with the PCT. And so then we just filed through the Paris Convention treaty in any countries that we were seeking distribution. And I’m no I’m no international, intellectual property expert. But the the my understanding in a very condensed time version of of the PCT of the Paris Convention treaty is it’s basically an agreement that almost every country in the world has signed to recognize a patent filed in any one of those countries that you don’t have to like pay for all the translations and do individual filings solo in every country, but you can at a cheaper rate, after you’ve filed a what’s a US patent then filed for your PCT and been granted both then it’s much more affordable to file in any one of hundreds of countries.

 

Anthony (host):  

That’s terrific. So Rockwell razors alive and well still today still picking up steam it sounds like it. Tell me about Mr. Gladstone. This is solid men’s fragrances. What what is Yeah, it’s a product that I’m not familiar with.

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah, so I just started Rockwell with a business partner. And we kind of agreed that anything in men’s grooming, we would do through through Rocko razors. But then at some point, the art interests and all that diverge over time, and I’m just, I’m a bit of like a fragrance nerd. And at one point, we kind of figured out Hey, wouldn’t make a lot of sense to make like a Rockwell razors, solid cologne, like that’s a very, very confusing kind of branding. So we just agreed on carving out a couple product categories, that each of us that were kind of uniquely more interested in that product category saying, Hey, we’re going to do Rockwell together, but there are certain places that we’re in, within kind of the confines of men’s grooming that we’re acknowledging one person should have the opportunity to explore without necessarily being tied to the other person. So that’s been nice for the partnership that we can continue to kind of have that relationship while exploring other things. So So cologne was one of those those things and Rockwell does so quite a lot in barber shops. And at the end, believe it or not, Anthony back in the day, I did have a full head of hair and you know, at the end of those services, the photos are kind of like pomade or a gel put in my hair and then more often than not I would find myself being up sold that whatever product had just been put into my hair, and I would find myself purchasing it on Windows kind of sitting there thinking like Well, I’m surprised that because you know they’ll apply I assume sort of like aftershave at the end. But that’s not really something that’s so easy to like sell and take home with you. It’s also quite strong and really sticks up the shop. So I don’t think every barber does that. You’re not going to spray cologne. So I was looking around and realizing I’ve got all this network in barber shops, I could make a less invasive cologne smell. So I partnered up with a designer, a local designer in Toronto, Canada, and made this what I believe to be like just a really beautiful, not only branding, but kind of positioning. So we made this specific tin display case for these $20 Very affordable, beautiful smelling colognes. So yeah, now carried in hundreds of barber shops around the world. And really just kind of intended to be we give the give a couple samples away to each barber shop. And then they can purchase the display case and offer it at the end of service to their their clients so that their clients smell great. And then it’s a great new revenue source for for barbers as well.

 

Anthony (host):  

Yeah, the site is Mr. Gladstone as in Mr. gladstone.com. The styling is really cool for today’s unflappable, gentleman. But is this so helped me out? Is this a product category that you basically invented? Are there other products like this? Okay. I’m not familiar.

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah, there were a couple, I think what we took a different kind of approach on was really focusing on barbers and men’s hair stylists, I think everyone else was kind of looking at it, maybe through a purely direct to consumer lens or through gift shops and conventional retail. Not that not that I’m opposed to Mr. Gladstone being in conventional retail, it actually is carried in a lot of just kind of gift stores and wonderful customers, predominantly around North America. But what we really focused in on was the merchandising to be friend that you’ll even see if there’s, you’ll see a picture of the display 10, likely on the on the Gladstone site. And it’s actually was very specifically measured dimensionally to fit into the little in between space in between all the stations at a barber shop. So it just made sure that it would fit into any of those, those stations. So really, really kind of made with barbers and men’s hair stylists in mind.

 

Anthony (host):  

So if I’m a consumer of this product, a user of this product, I take a little out and it’s sort of like a gel or a wax, and am I putting it in my hair or on my skin? What’s

 

Gareth (guest):  

typically put it put it on your neck area, like your pulse points would be typical advice. So either on your wrists or on your neck.

 

Anthony (host):  

Right. Now, the next venture that I want to talk about is one that a lot of people probably familiar with your time at lomi, you were the Oh, yeah. The chief marketing officer, and I think you helped to also like develop the physical part of the product. Is that right?

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah, yeah. So I mean, after kind of years of doing the Rockwell and then a couple years doing just developing Mr. Gladstone on the side, I think I at that point spent six years focused in on just like the men’s grooming space, and I kind of fallen in love more with the product development aspects. And, and I felt that I’d developed a lot of the products that I could that were that were glaringly obvious to me in Morocco. And I’m still, I’m still a sole partner in Morocco. And we’ve got a great team that kind of run it day to day and make sure that our customers are, like overjoyed with the product that they get daily. But there wasn’t a lot more in terms of like product development, or like marketing innovation, that I felt like I was going to be able to bring on a day to day business. And I’ve been having conversations with friends of mine as as you do other friends in the kind of the business space. And I close friend who had pillowcase, which is a biodegradable phone case company. And they had kind of developed the various very earliest stages of a machine that they had thought, hey, wait, this machine could actually accelerate the biodegradation of our phone cases. So their idea originally was to maybe set up a facility. At the very beginning, their idea was to set up a facility that they could accelerate the compost of these biodegradable phone cases, so people could ship them back and then you wouldn’t have plastic going into landfill. And then we just kind of kept, kept kicking the idea around and ultimately realized that if you have that technology, that technology could also process any organic household waste. And, and then you could actually, theoretically look into putting that technology in people’s homes. So we developed a completely new home appliance, which is like a miniature home compost accelerator. So it just kind of creates not not dirt, but you can put all your all your organic waste from your home into it. You push button

 

Anthony (host):  

overnight grants coffee ground. eggshells. Bingo.

 

Gareth (guest):  

Yeah, and you push a button Overnight, it turns it into something that that looks a lot like dirt that you can kind of it’s very nutrient rich, so you can sprinkle it on top of plants or the garden. And then those nutrients return to soil instead of going into an anaerobic environment in, in landfill. So yeah, so we launched that. I think because it was kind of being spun out of the pillowcase company, there were already quite a lot of customers that we knew were interested in the environmental, environmentally friendly aspects of the products. So it was able to jump out quite a lot. So, so I was I was there for the CO founding of the company, or the brand, I should say. And yeah, was fortunately able to scale it to just tremendous, like, far more revenue than I was, I was expecting, and that was that was fairly early exposure to me of like, the venture capital world as well, which is interesting. I think I learned a lot I learned a lot about, like, different different ways to run businesses and scale them and be able to take away from that some things that I think I want to take into my future endeavors and some stuff that I’m I’m happy to have learned and left behind. But yeah, I did that for a couple years. Kind of like invested your co founding stock, because that’s that’s how it works in VC world. And, yes, it’s still in great shape today. But just it was time for me to go start some new things.

 

Gareth (guest): 

So, we launched that, and I think because it was kind of being spun out of the Peela Case Company, there were already quite a lot of customers that we knew were interested in the environmental, environmentally friendly aspects of products. It was able to jump out quite a lot. So I was there for the co-founding of the company or the brand, I should say. Unfortunately, able to scale it to just tremendous like, far more revenue than I was expecting, and that was those fairly early exposure to me of like the venture capital world as well. Which is interesting. I think I learned a lot and learned a lot about different ways to run businesses and scale them, and kind of be able to take away from that some things that I think I wanna take into my future endeavors and some stuff that I’m I’m happy to have learned and left behind. But yeah, did that for a couple of years, kind of like vested your co-founding start because that’s how it works in Vc world, and yeah, it’s still in great shape today. But yeah, just it was time for me to go start some new things.

 

Anthony (host):

So I wanna dive into a little bit of the details because what you did there, you know, collectively as a team. But you’re the chief marketing officer was incredibly impressive. Correct me if I’m wrong. But you guys had the biggest crowdfunding raise ever in any product category. Is that accurate? 

 

Gareth (guest):

Oh, I don’t know if that’s accurate. I think it was the largest clean tech crowdfunding campaign. So I think it was about like 10 million dollars in 2 months. So I don’t think it was the largest crowdfund ever. Also, like depends. There’s a bunch of different kinds of crowd funds right? You have your product crowdfunding, and then there’s something called equity crowdfunding. I’ve never done that, but I know it’s a thing and then depending on who you ask. Like icos I’ve also never done those but like, if you remember, initial coin offerings those were. Those are technically considered, a crowdfund as well. II don’t know anything about crypto. But yeah. So there’s a bunch of different kinds of crowd funds. But I think I think Lomi was the top clean tech crowdfund ever at the time. I haven’t kept post-ads on it. But it was. It was. It was an exciting press to 2 months. 

 

Anthony (host):

Yeah. What for people who might be interested in running their crowdfunding campaign. What are maybe just 2 or 3 like?

 

Gareth (guest): 

Yeah, yeah. For sure. I think the main thing is almost all the work to have a successful product launch crowdfunding campaign is done before the launch. So building up your list of all, both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, the main product crowdfunding platforms, and what they do is effectively boost your organic visibility, as in people who are just going to the homepage of Kickstarter Indiegogo you will get more eyeballs on your product, basically, the more customers that you drive like more transactions that you drive through your campaign in the first 72 h. So if you’re, for example, able to build up a big email list, SMS, Facebook community, Instagram following, Tiktok doesn’t really matter and that community is able to drive a lot of traffic to your campaign in the first kind of 48-72 h. That’s considered like a very positive signal from Kickstarter and Indiegogo. And so you’ll get more organic visibility on their platform. And then it’s kind of a flywheel from there.

 

Anthony (host):

Build the list in advance, and then get as many people from that list to purchase as soon as the campaign goes live. That is really a big effort to pull. So you decided that it was time to move on from Lomi and move on to some other ventures. So tell us, what are you working on now?

 

Gareth (guest): 

Yeah, super. Briefly, it’s just I kind of realized that I’ve gotten accidentally quite good at starting companies. And at the same time, after Lomi, you very kindly pointed out it did. It did go quite well. So there were a lot of people who are reaching out, saying, Hey, Gareth, could you replicate that for my product? Could you do some consulting, and consulting was never something that really called to me. Specifically, I just I struggle with like the pure economics of it, like trading time for money. II think there are just a lot of pursuits I’m interested in outside of business, and if I put myself in a life system where I’m always thinking of my hours having a specific kind of value to them, I just knew that I would find that constraining and I just find collaboration with business partners to be really intellectually stimulating. So I had a fairly robust network of people I’d worked with over the years. And so when? Who are excellent at these very specific skills and elements of marketing? So when people are reaching out to me saying, Gareth, could you help us with our Facebook ads, could you help us with our email marketing, designing landing pages, writing video ad scripts growing our Amazon presence, like those are all things ostensibly. I can do. I have done but I also know people who are excellent at those things and had expressed to me recently that they wanted to go start their own businesses. So long. Story short, kind of put together a good leadership team across a couple of different agencies and handpicked some people who I just thought would be the best leaders for different elements of marketing, and collaborated with them to build some simple business systems to deliver these very specific services. And then it just gave me an outlet to kind of point people who are asking me to do consulting work, and they could actually then collaborate with my business partner. So I would take small equity stakes in these service businesses. So I spent the last year exploring that also moving from Canada to the UK. Which is quite an endeavor. So just kind of taking a little bit of time to live life a little bit more. And and 

 

Anthony (host):

Yeah, create a couple of more partnerships and got a couple of other things that are clicking on. What’s something that I’m personally going to fully sync my teeth into. But yeah, details coming on that soon. Okay, for the agency businesses that you have. Now, who would be your ideal client if somebody is listening, and they say, Oh, this Gareth Guy! He seems pretty smart. He’s got a track record. I wonder if he could help my brand? What, what would that brand look like?

 

Gareth (guest): 

Oh, was there kind of you to ask? I think the ones that I’m spending the most time on now are. We’ve got a small kind of media buy and landing page boutique agency called Bake Shop that was led by a guy I’ve worked with forever named Greg Boudenkov. He’s brilliant and just, especially a genius when it comes to ecommerce brands for kind of like sub-10 million dollars or like really aggressively ramping towards that 8 figure mark. So anyone who is kind of on the smaller side, but looking to grow quickly, he’s done great work there and then. Got a really brilliant team making thinking video ads, Loma was actually built on the back of video advertising and great distribution on Youtube. So we’ve kind of productized that video ad making methodology. So Zale and Tess, who are leading that are absolutely brilliant. And they’re really a better fit for brands that are kind of in that like that are over 10 million in revenue, but not so big that they have a full in host creative team. If you have a full in host creative team congrats like you’re living the dream. But we’re kind of in that sweet spot for brands that have big high growth aspirations. But not quite at the point where they’re able to build a full in-house creative team.

 

Anthony (host):

Great Gareth! How can people get in touch with you? They’re listening to this. Gareth is an interesting guy. I would like to contact him and discuss more. What’s the best way for them to find you.

 

Gareth (guest): 

Yeah, I think my email’s just on my website, which is very simple. It’s just my name.com like https://garetheverard.com/. I don’t know what my name.com is that must be a different website. But yeah, https://garetheverard.com/. Feel free to put a link in the description, is that what people say on podcasts, I think? So, yeah, that’s Gareth Everard, E-V-E-R-A-R-D. No H.

 

Anthony (host):

As we learned earlier. Okay, Garrett, thanks so much for making the time today. This was great. That’s a wrap on another episode of Inspired Stories. Thanks, everyone, for learning with me today.