“Our simple philosophy is that we build the most beautiful, luxurious product that also incorporates the highest level of functionality so that we’re the go-to handbag or accessory that our fans will carry when they travel when they go out for some coffee with friends, when they go to the office or for the evening to have a little fun,” Tony says.
The brand is 15 years old and is now carried in more than 950 retail stores around the country, along with two of its locations in Southern California. (A third is about to open.)
Tony says he moved to SoCal from Ohio with the goal of incorporating his love of art, architecture, and entrepreneurship.
“The fashion industry just fit,” he says.
In Manhattan Beach, he was introduced to a fashion designer looking for an investor.
“I fell in love with her designs, spoke to some people in the community that also loved them,” he says. “I thought, let’s just do this thing.”
Tony says fear and failure are vital parts of an entrepreneur’s life – it’s just how you deal with them.
“If you choose the life of an entrepreneur – everyone needs to understand – you choose to fail,” he says. “Nobody really can call themselves an entrepreneur if it’s successful the first time they do something. That’s just luck.”
The key is turning the fear of failure into positive energy.
“The purpose of fear – going back to the earliest times – was fight or flight. It was to make you aware of a danger of a predator,” he says. “As an entrepreneur, the danger of the predator can come in many ways, and the fear to me, that’s the battery. That’s the charge that keeps us all moving.”
For Hammitt, Tony says the factor that has set the brand apart is the focus on the brand experience.
“We want everyone to walk away from meeting Hammitt, touching a Hammitt bag, encountering a Hammitt fan – just really understanding what we’re all about and what we’re all about is we’re this little brand out of Hermosa Beach, California.”
In Part 1, Tony talks about:
* Gratitude for a Father’s Day gift from his young son years ago that he still displays today.
* The company focuses on building the brand one relationship at a time.
* His background in art, architecture, and entrepreneurship.
* How to stare down fear and failure.
* The focus on the brand experience.
* Why making a high-quality product is better for the environment.
For more on Hammitt, visit: https://www.hammitt.com/
This episode is brought to you by Sendlane.
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