MIT Grad Reinventing Clothes with $7,000,000 Raised and $500k on Kickstarter

aman advani

Summary:
In Episode #295, Nathan interviews Aman Advani, a man who’s bringing technological innovation to the fashion industry. Aman’s the founder of Ministry of Supply, a company that’s employing engineers alongside fashion designers to bring performance technology into the wear-to-work clothing space. Listen in as Nathan and Aman talk minimum wage, which numbers to focus on, and just how Ministry Of Supply made 14x their Kickstarter goal.
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Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – Good To Great
  • What CEO do you follow? — John Carlson
  • What is your favorite online tool? — Boomerang
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —In building a business, all the easy things are hard and all the hard things are easy

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:30 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:58 – Welcoming Aman to the show
  • 02:08 – Ministry Of Supply generates revenue through selling products
  • 02:40 – Company launched on Kickstarter in 2012, raising $429k – 14x their goal
  • 03:34 – Sampler package sold for $150
  • 03:53 – “We didn’t factor in packaging or shipping…we joke that we probably lost money”
  • 04:24 – Shipped over 100k units
  • 04:55 – Started with a repeat rate of 10-20% over 22 days – that’s now doubled
  • 05:50 – Team of 20 people
  • 06:00 – Taken $7 million in outside financing through 2 priced rounds and 1 convertible note
  • 06:40 – Currently focused on growth: they aren’t profitable
  • 07:05 – Hoping to be profitable later this year
  • 07:30 – Made $500k in sales in 2012
  • 07:35 – Nathan guesses around $4 million in topline revenue in 2015
  • 08:40 – Aman would rather focus on numbers like margins and repeat rate than revenue
  • 10:05 – A direct sales model; not subscription
  • 10:44 – Around 50k customers so far
  • 11:00 – Focusing on optimising gross margin
  • 12:00 – “We’re infusing technology into a fairly stagnant fashion business”
  • 13:00 – Acquisition: currently investing in podcast advertising and direct mail
  • 13:40 – Currently have two brick-and-mortar stores that are a significant investment
  • 14:15 – “What’s your position on $15 minimum wage?”
  • 15:30 – We’ll automate certain tasks and re-allocate humans to higher-value tasks
  • 16:10 – Optimising inventory turnover – “A good rate for us would be 4-5 turns a year”
  • 16:57 – Connect with Aman on Linkedin
  • 19:25 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Choose to focus on numbers that mean something to you.
  2. Put people in the highest-value positions you can. Make the most of your workforce.
  3. You don’t need to be immediately profitable – but know when you’re going to be profitable

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.