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Maker of Apple Watch Bands Seems to Diversify

Maker of Apple Watch Bands Seems to Diversify


I first spoke with Braxton Manley for this podcast in early 2021. He had launched Braxley Bands, a maker of Apple Watch bands, 4 years earlier whereas a school pupil in Texas. The enterprise rapidly scaled.

He and I not too long ago caught up. We mentioned the evolution of his firm, successes and challenges in 2022, and plans for increasing the product line.

Your entire audio of our dialog is embedded beneath. The transcript is edited for readability and size.

Eric Bandholz: Give us a background on Braxley Bands.

Braxton Manley: About six years in the past, in faculty, I created an Apple Watch band from a sock for a category challenge. I noticed it was a strong product and pursued it into my junior yr. By the point I graduated, it was a full-fledged enterprise. I’ve been constructing it ever since.

We make stretchy Apple Watch bands in numerous prints and patterns. Early-era Apple colours and designs encourage the fashion. We needed our bands to be funky and impressed by the enduring Nineteen Eighties Apple look.

Bandholz: How was 2022?

Manley: It was good and unhealthy, essentially the most difficult yr but. Our income was at a stage I wouldn’t have thought potential three years in the past. That’s the great half. We offered about 60,000 watch bands.

However the unhealthy half was our overhead. It was extreme. We considerably pulled again on bills, together with our advertising and marketing, which we introduced again in-house. We have been working with a number of companies and freelancers. We wanted to chill off and run issues like a cottage farm.

E mail advertising and marketing was enormous for us, accounting for about 45% of our income. SMS was round 15%, and about 60% of income got here from our personal natural channels.

Our e mail checklist hasn’t grown a lot within the final yr. We’ve stayed at roughly 100,000 engaged subscribers throughout 2022. We’re making an attempt to broaden the checklist, however it’s tough with out spending 1000’s to accumulate visitors. Then now we have to transform these subscribers to prospects. We try this with e mail, textual content, and flows.

Bandholz: How do you get the guests to subscribe?

Manley: We’re utilizing Justuno for cool pop-ups. We labored with an company to construct them, and we’ve since finished A/B testing. I’m excited to launch the Fondue app, which affords money and rebates to new subscribers as an alternative of reductions. We’re going to step away from a discount-heavy mannequin, which we’ve all the time been fairly beneficiant with.

I’ve heard quite a lot of chatter about Fondue and the way effectively it really works. It’s good from a branding perspective as a result of we’re not always providing reductions.

Bandholz: What are some objectives for Braxley?

Manley: We need to enhance gross sales channels. Month-to-month income of $200,000 would clear up all of our issues — on paper. Apple sells round 40 million watches yearly. We have to promote 6,000 bands a month.

We now have prospects that accumulate our bands. So we’re specializing in getting them to return again sooner. We now ship internationally and hope to arrange a warehouse within the U.Okay. We now have an Amazon retailer and have began moving into brick-and-mortar retailers. And we’re releasing new merchandise for the broader market.

One in all our advertising and marketing challenges is discovering the appropriate viewers. Apple sells many watches, however it’s nonetheless a small share of complete customers. Most individuals don’t have one. Promoting on a podcast, a billboard, and even by way of influencers will attain only some prospects.

So we’re increasing our product line. We’re releasing a fanny pack constituted of our signature recycled elastic used for the watch bands. It’s an excellent cozy, stretchy belt with a magnetic sliding buckle.

I see myself having an organization — a household of manufacturers — targeted on enhancing the world. I see Braxley changing into a way of life equipment model, working and innovating with sustainable textiles. There’s quite a lot of greenwashing within the sustainable trade, particularly with attire, which is particularly harsh on the setting. Quite a bit will get wasted.

Our bands use 100% recycled PET polyester, which is principally clear water bottle plastic. It’s simply repurposed.

I’m considering working with different supplies which can be stretchy and recyclable. I see us making bungee chairs, shorts, and boxers. We’re contemplating a yoga mat strap and canine collars and leashes.

Bandholz: How can listeners attain out and purchase your stuff?

Manley: I’m @Braxtonmanley on Twitter. Our web site is BraxleyBands.com — quickly to be Braxley.co. Of us can examine us out on Amazon, too.



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