How to slow down and build an empire, with hat entrepreneurs Loz and Alex

Loz and Alex cruise around this lucky country in a Volkswagen, entertaining their legion of social media fans with cool pics of themselves sitting by campfires, swimming in deserted beaches and camping by the shores of remote lakes. They look like they’ve fallen off the cover of an Angus and Julia Stone album! Oh, and did I tell you they run a three-year-old hat business called Will and Bear that’s turning over a lazy six-figures annually. And they’ve done it all by slowing down!

 

Will and Bear founders Loz and Alex on Small Business Big Marketing

 

A little bit more about hat entrepreneurs Loz Williams and Alex Knorr

In just three years, ex-mortgage broker Lauren Williams and her product designing boyfriend Alex Knorr have built the online hat empire Will & Bear, from the back seat of their Volkswagen van while touring across Australia.

To do so, they’ve adopted an innovative, digital-first business model, which has enabled the Will & Bear brand to experience triple-digit sales growth year-on-year.

They use social media brilliantly amassing a loyal tribe of hat lovers across Insta and Facebook, they’ve got a team that spans the globe, and a sustainability initiative that sets them apart from the competition.

They also give some pretty good insights into how this generation of millennial business owners see things. And here’s a tip … it’s not all about growing an empire.

 

 

Here’s what caught my attention from my chat with serial entrepreneur Carl Hartmann:

  1. It’s so refreshing to hear a business owner acknowledge that it’s OK to slow things down. To ask themselves “How much is enough?” “How big do we really want to be?” And how funny to hear that the minute they did this … things took off!
  2. I like the way they’re using their Instagram feed for the more polished visuals or “art” as they call it, and their Instagram Stories for the real life stuff like the chat with the mechanic after their van broke down. What behind-the-scenes stuff would you like to see from this show? Hot me up on Twitter @TimboReid.
  3. Loved the way they launched the business by sending their top 100 favourite photographers a hat each. No hard sell. Just a genuine gesture in the hope that the photographers may respond with a hash-tagged photo on their own feed.

 

 

“We don’t need to keep growing. We’re just two individuals and we did make a decision to slow things down. And that’s when things really took off!”
Loz Williams,
Will and Bear

 

Loz Williams and Alex Knorr Interview Transcription

Tim 

Loz and Alex from Will and bear welcome to the small business big marketing show. 

Loz 

Thanks for having us. 

Alex 

Thank you. 

Tim 

Now big question to start with where did you guys meet? 

Loz 

On Tinder. Actually.

Click Here To Download Full Transcription

 

 

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If something in this episode of Australia’s favourite marketing podcast peaked your interest, then let me know by leaving a comment below.

May your marketing be the best marketing.

 

This post was provided by marketing speaker Tim Reid who is the host of The Small Business Big Marketing Show, Australia’s #1 marketing podcast, also heard on Virgin Airlines. Subscribe FREE on iTunes or Android

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