On this week’s episode of Establishing your Empire Elliott Weeks. Elliot created the company Old Enfield Supply Co., which creates and sells these really cool travel bags and distressed totes and other gear. On this episode we take a deep dive in how Elliott got started. From just an idea to creating prototypes to the whole manufacturing process.
Welcome to the Establishing Your Empire show. A podcast that inspires entrepreneurs, creatives and future business owners to pursue their passions, grow their organizations and build their empire. My name is Daran Herrman and creatively I’m best known for my photography. But business wise my claim to fame is growing a company from $15K per month in online sales to breaking the one million dollar a month barrier. And I’m sitting down with interesting people to talk about their process, the lessons they learned and how they have Established their Empire’s.
I love gear, I love outdoor gear, bags and harnesses. Being in the Marines, we’d have gear and all this stuff and I loved having all that kind of stuff. But I would also love to just to go to REI and be around the different materials and I would spend hours in the backpack section just being around the different materials, seeing what this is made of and what that made is out of. And I was like, okay, I really like this stuff . But what I would do is I’d get like three of the 75 liter bags, like the big hiking packs.
And so to a true hiker, you know, they’re gonna look at those three bags and there’s something, it’d be some small element that’s gonna make this bag better than this bag. But in this bag it’s usually in these small little details. Or maybe it has pockets on the hip belt, or maybe it has some kind of, you know, D rings right here. We can hang your, you know, it’s just like little bitty detail like having a D ring right here, pockets here or something that’s gonna make this back saying out to you as opposed to other bags. I realized, okay, I want to like do this. I want to like figure out how to do this. And so I was like, I guess I need to learn how to sew.
All right, Elliott. Well, I really appreciate you coming here to be on the podcast. Yeah, man. So why don’t we start with a little background of who you are and what you do and your story.
Perfect. Okay. Well my name’s Elliott Weeks. I am the founder and CEO of Old Enfield Supply Company. I’m from here in Austin. I grew up in Austin, one of those rare Austinites. And yeah, so this is my hometown and Mmm. Aye. I was in the Marine Corps for four years. After high school, I’m in the Marines. And then after the Marines I went to UT got a communications degree and then eventually rolled out into a [inaudible].
And in the Marines, Just read a little bit about your story. So you were deployed, correct. Can you just give us any background information on there?
Yeah, sure. So I was an infantry rifleman and I was stationed out in Hawaii, which I didn’t know the Marines had a base in Hawaii until basically I was getting told that that’s where I was going to be. That was cool. That was really cool to live, to kind of like experience whipping in Hawaii. Mmm. I did deploy twice, Afghanistan in 2005, 2006 and Iraq Oh six Oh seven. So that’s my background. And with that. And how, and how long were you deployed for? Was it a long period of time or at dance standard was eight months and then I rack was, I think just over just about seven months. Wow. That’s a long time to be gone.
So you go from Austin, Hawaii, you’re thinking probably lives pretty grand. Yeah. But yeah, that time period, a lot of conflicts. So, all right, so you come back, you come back to town and you went to UT any kind of future plans, ideas going on there with you going to UT or just, Hey, I got to get a degree?
No, I have plans. My, my dad is in kind of advertising space and I, no, it wasn’t sure what I want to do, but I’ve always kind of helped him out and here and there. And so I, I thought I’d do communications. And so I went to UT to get a communications degree and it was a general corporate communications studies. And when I left UT, I was looking for, you know, kind of a per step job and it takes department of public safety. Mmm. Had a position opening for a digital media person and it was the first person they’ve ever hired for this.
And so, DPS, you know, people usually think of like driver’s license or whatever. It actually consists of, you know, like highway patrol, Texas Rangers, there’s an intelligence unit, there’s all kinds of stuff. And so a lot of these guys are former military and you know, it’s kind of a West, you’re used to that kind of like law enforcement, military type, you know, bosses are what are people around you. It’s, it can be difficult to kinda just go into it. And so it was a perfect fit for that role, having just been in the military and then having a communications background. And so I went in my, so my first job was, you know, mainly social media and you know, any kind of
digital media that they needed done, I would do that kind of stuff. And that was, it was a, it was a fun job.
I did that for like two years and in that led me I didn’t decide I want to get out of, out of the state agency kind of world and I enter art. Then I got a job at Dell peers within their business services as a business consultant, digital media business consultant, and essentially within the services division of Dell, you could, you know, keep bought, like say you know, a thousand for your company or whatever. You use Dell and you’re in their system. Then they kind of say, Oh Hey, by the way, we have this a business, you know, consulting side too. He’s in charge, are in the system. It’s easy to kind of like work up. Mmm. You know, whatever you need done. And so it was a small group of us and I was at Dell for I think four years and mainly worked from home in that timeframe.
After dough, I got a job at a startup as a branding person, a brand strategy person for right. Two or three months. And then the startup kind of went under. And at that point I was like, okay. Orlando was getting pretty close to [inaudible] [inaudible] well, you know, watching it. And so I was like, I’m just going to go full time with it. Fantastic. So before we go into the story of how you launched, why don’t you give us a brief overview of what old infilled is. So if somebody would just hearing about it the first time, maybe give it, it was the idea of what you guys do and what the brand means. Cool. So old infield is a, it’s a lifestyle brand and it primarily, it’s what we primarily make is travel goods or travel bags and accessories right now. And so we make duffle bags of two different sizes, tote bags and dock kits.
And then we also have like hats and stuff. But it’s mainly right now travel bags and accessories. The style of voting field is very much like a, and with Phil Sydney, a wax canvas, I call it a heritage style. It’s that kind of old school hair, you know wax canvas, you know, the, it’s SIM simplicity, durable, durable, durable materials, wax payments and nylon. And you know, it’s durable materials. That’s made to last may too. Whether the elements, and I like to thank that people that buy my bags in, pass them down to multiple generations cause they’ll last that long. No, I wish I would have actually had known of you before our honeymoon. We went to Africa. Fantastic. Did Safari both in Kenya and Tanzania do the Serengeti. Cool. But so you can only bring Duffers Oh, cam bring hard sided bags.
You also have extreme low weight limits. I’m a photographer, videographer, difficult. So basically I used up all my weight and I think a little bit of my wife’s weight just with equipment. So, but searching for a duffle that you know is going to have to last for 16 days, throwing it around a lot. Plus you’re like, you know, I’m photo referred photographer and videographer, so I wanted to look cool. Right. So, you know, I did way too much searching on the internet and all this and I ended up just doing a normal canvas bag that it wasn’t sexy at all. But it was, it was a difficult process because I have all this a luggage. Yeah. But I travel duffels a different deal. Yeah. Whole different world. Okay, so working at Dell, yeah. Getting paid a biweekly paycheck or how are they paid?
A real paycheck all the time. Exactly. What made you pull the trigger to go out on your own? Oh man. Well, so, you know, I felt like kind of the stars were aligned in a way, you know the startup kind of went, kind of doubted in the start up, but Mmm. Everything just kind of like, was just like the stars were aligning. I was ready to go with old Enfield and you know, it was, it was kind of scary to be like, okay, now I’m going on my own with this. But I decided, you know what, right now is the time. And you know, I can’t think of an excuse to not do it. Oh, I could think of actually plenty of Jesus to not do it. But, you know, I tried to put those in the back of my head. Like, you know, the fears of not doing it.
Why are the fears of, of doing it and you know, what fails? How I’m going to all these kinds of, all those types of thoughts. I kind of just put it back in my head instead of, you know what, this is something I felt very passionate about it. It was right. You know, it felt right and it was really Mmm. I mean I, I felt very confident in its success, so I was just like, art, here we go. Do you have any like recommendations for somebody that would, that’s on the cusp like that? Cause it, I feel like I’ve talked with a lot of friends and family that always want to do that stuff, have ideas but never jump off the cliff. Right. Any recommendations or ideas there for some people? Yeah, I mean, again, if you feel really competent in what you’re in, what you’re, you know, kind of working on or potentially gonna start if you feel very competent in, you know, that’s the main thing right there I would say is, you know, really kind of take a step back for a second and say, yeah, all right, I think it’s a good idea.
I’m competent and then, you know, kind of prepare yourself. Okay, is it going to be maybe long, maybe a period of time where it’s going to be a little tight, but if at that point and you’re still feel very competent about it and okay, I can deal with a little, you know, cutting back a little bit and you know, really you know, investing myself in this and going all in. It just, honestly, it’s a matter of put the spheres away that you may have and say, you know, if this is right time to do it, this is right time to do it. And you’ll know and you know, you’ll internally know that, okay, this is the right time to do it. So you know, you just got to put those other fears away and be like, alright, here I go. I completely agree.
What about money did you think that you do? Was it a point where you said, okay, I got enough to live for awhile? [inaudible] Cause it to be, it sounds like Dell was starting to either dwindle out or that career was, got it go through a shift anyway. So that’s always a nice little push. Right. So then a lot of times money is a always a concern for people. Like is there, I don’t know, was there a thought process there where Hey, you know, I’ll be good for three months type of thing or something like that. Was there any of that? I’m just trying to get some value out of some people that want to start their company, right? Yeah, no, I did have a a nest kind of saved up. And so that was also part of the, okay, I have this, you know, nest saved up and you know, based on I’m, you know, what I need right now and going forward, this will, you know, get me through however much time you, you know, that an ESCO project you to get through as well as living, you know, in the the kind of the great thing about being an entrepreneur you are now is that you can take on jobs like Uber.
You know what I mean? There’s these kinds of things that there’s many things you can do to supplement maybe some bills or some grocery pays. Mmm. You know, in [inaudible] Uber and all these other different types of just, all right, I’m going to sign in and drive for it. Especially if you’re working, say you’re working from home, starting this up and you can find the time, you know, eventually if not at first, cause you’re just grinding to get everything just going cause you really want to get it going. But eventually you’ll find, be able to find that time to, okay, now I can do this. This is a great value add that we have nowadays is literally you could say, all right, I can do a part time job like Uber. Anytime I want a need to do, I need an extra $200. I actually, my company and my Marta company Covata we, I hire a lot of photographers and videographers part time because I also hire them for videography and photography.
But I’ll hire them to do like admin work, spreadsheet work for clients, low end stuff, just for extra income for them. Because as you know, when you get on your own, it’s the, the revenue is in waves. Yeah, exactly. It’s, it’s difficult sometimes to spruce, you know, get good enough at all times. Mmm. Well, talk to me about selling cars. Let read about your story. You’re a seller, right? So I taught my, I’m a self-taught sower. And to back up about, you know, a few years for about four or five years ago when I was working in Dell OG and I was working at home [inaudible] if I found some time to myself or, you know, really a lot of times I would. Mmm. You know, in the evenings or during my free times, I would still be, you know, kinda just at the house and the kind of rest was in.
Mmm. I’m someone who’s likes to be doing something or we’re learning how to do something. And I, you know, I decided I was going to teach myself how to sew. I, when the reasons how I got to that point is that I love gear, I love outdoor gear bags and and you know, harnesses are best or you know, being in the Marines we’d have like gear, you know, all this stuff. And it was kinda, I loved all it having all that kind of stuff. But I would also love just to go to REI and I can go to REI and like people around the different materials and [inaudible] ours in the backpack section, just, you know, between the different materials to one with this and made out of this team and this and made out of, and one things I would do is it was kind of a fun exercise that I was doing on my own before you can walk.
Sorry, 100. So, and I was like, okay, I really like this stuff cause I’ll, what I would do is I’d get like three of the 75 liter Mmm. Bags with the big hiking packs. And so, you know, you that you have like three different brands, top brands making these bags that they care the same amount of gear. You know, but [inaudible] they’re all [inaudible] same lightweight, same amount of gear. But to a hiker, I could, true. I, you know, I’m not, I’m going hiking. This bag is going to be on me for three weeks and it has to be perfect and living out of it, it’s going to be on me. And so to a true hiker, you know they’re gonna look at those three bags and there’s something, it’d be some small element that’s going to make this bag better than this bag. But in this bag it’s usually in these small little details and maybe it has pockets on the hip belt or maybe it has some kind of, you know, D rings right here.
We can hang your, you know, it’s just like little bitty detail having a D ring right here, pockets here or something that’s gonna make this back sane out to you. I suppose the other bags and somebody else would come around and say, I like this bag better and this one, it was fine. Have fun. Finding those little details of design that would attract to a certain person to be like, okay, this is what I need. I like this. And I would do that. I would, again, I’d just go to REI and just look at the packs. The other mates, he was different about this pack and this pack. And so I realize, you know, okay, I really love this stuff. I’ve always known I love stuff, but I realized, okay, I want to like do this. I want to like figure out how to do this.
And so I was like, I guess I need, don’t have to. So, and so I went on eBay and bought like this industrial sewing machine and my mom and my grandmother grew up Mmm. Sewing their own clothes. You know, like my mom probably could have been, you know, clothing designers really wanted to, cause she was doing it basically your entire life. So I invited my mom and my grandmother over and I was like, how do I work this thing? Like, how do I get the, you know, I didn’t know anything about very intimidating. Yeah. We would have a couple of songs shoots here. My wife likes to sew, so yeah. I, you’re like, Oh man, this is actually kind of intense. Yeah, it is. Yeah. I know. It’s kind of funny. When I first got it, I was like, Oh cool. Yeah, it’s here.
Machines here and got all this thread and I got some, like I went to and Patrick’s got some fabric and I was like, all right, cool.
Well, and I got this. I was like, and I think it’s sat there for like maybe four months before I even like, okay, I’m doing this now. You know what I mean? And so, you know, I taught, I brought my, my mom and my grandmother over and they taught me the basics of how to, you know, have a thread kind of thread in some very basic cause they were also like, we’d never done bags, you know, so that’s kind of beyond us. Mmm. But they taught me the basics of sewing and then kind of YouTube kind of took care of the rest. I would just, I’d go watch videos and I would try something and it would just, you know, bench. We got the points where I was pretty good at it. And I was working on [inaudible] hunting and fishing best was my original idea I was working on.
And I’ve eventually got that. So I was wearing a hat. So I was working on this hunting, fishing bass, and I’ve, when she got to a place to where, all right, I can’t make this any better. And so I thought, you know, I’m going to go ahead and find a Mmm, I can manufacturer to prototype this, the rest of the department. And so I found this manufacturer in North Carolina and started working with him on this fast to prototype. And once I got rid of that, or once I move to that project onto the manufacturer, Mmm. Also I wasn’t having any intention of really maybe making this with the manufacturer. I just, you know, one of the things he did was prototype and I was like, cool, I’m gonna get this kind of prototyping. And so at that point I didn’t have anything else to work on.
The best was my entirety of my sewing projects. And then so aye got a pattern for backpacks and in double bags. And so I just kind of started, okay, I’m gonna start making the backpacks and up the bags. I’ve kind of been wanting to make since I’ve started in by this point, I was pretty good at sewing and I was playing with different types of materials, wax, penises, nylons. And have you done a pattern before or was this your first pattern? Cause that sounds like a harder place to start. Yeah. so I had to get the patterns for this at first and that’s kind of where I started when I was doing the best. It was just totally like, Oh in my head and you know, make it up. Yeah. I was actually was very, it was a, it was a, it was a tough process because I didn’t know how the process of sewing worked and kind of just funny made me look.
So I’d get fabric and, and weigh it out. And I, in my head I knew what I wanted to look like. And so I started sewing it. And then once I got towards the end I realized, Oh man, I had to do this as first or second step and I would have to go and I would take the entire thing apart. And I started from scratch. And and so did the vest fit you when you’re done? Yeah. the best dating actually only fit me. I would have someone else come, Hey, come check out this best and back. I don’t know. Done. I was like, Oh man, I made that specifically for myself. I know a lot of times there’ll be slightly too big cause a lot of times you’ll, that’s what, how is my life? Which doesn’t make something a lot of times it’s like slightly by day.
Yeah. I think you’re leaving the error room for error or something. But yeah, continue. Yeah, absolutely. So anyway, I got to the points where I was not working on the best anymore. I was working these duffle bags and I had the Mmm. I had the, you know, the, the patterns form and I was working on them and at the same time I was working to get an actual like legitimacy to the business. I was like, you’re thinking, okay, this is kind of cool. I want to like at least start this out as I’m, you know, I’m going to go ahead and get the LLC going and DBA is going and all that, all that stuff. Yeah, make it real or at least be like, okay, you know, the, the idea that he could become real, you know, kind of thing. And so I’ve got that going and I ask my friends like, Hey, I’m making these double bags now who wants a duffle bag and here’s some options from coworkers that you can kind of pick from.
They all kind of pick the same bag. That’s a cool and like five of them, you know, we’re like, Oh, you know, I want to back in. So I was like, great. I ordered all this fabric [inaudible] and a bunch of fabric and bunch of materials and webbing to make these five bags. I got it all in and I was like looking at it, I was like, Oh man, this is going to be tough. I didn’t realize how tough it would be to make all these pie bags because the time it took me like maybe two weeks just to make one, cause I was still just not a very good, you know, I was better at sewing. I was like, good point where I feel like I op enough to where I will sell these bags to my friends and be like, all right, cool. But it’s still waiting like two weeks to make a bag.
And I was just like, Oh man. So after that process I was like, okay, I, if I’m going to go at this, I need to go at this with a manufacturer. I can’t, you know, I had this idea that I make in making myself in stone. And I was like, well, okay, that’s way too much. And so that kind of started the process of I went to my manufacturer who was making the best for me prototyping. I was like, Hey, by the way, I’ve been doing these double beds, you guys manufacturing? He’s like, yeah, sure. And so that started that kind of that at that point where I was like, you know, Hey, can you do duffle bags? Can I manufacture? That’s about the point where though these, those corporate gigs were kind of dwindling down in about the time, you know, we had the prototypes done and everything ready to go to production.
That’s about the time when I said, okay, this is all, if the stars are aligned [inaudible] it’s time to go forward with this. So talk to me about prototyping first and then I think we’ll get into the whole manufacturing and all that process. Cause I will have some some experience with this and some native experience as well as, as positive. Maybe some recommendations or some lessons learned around when you, okay, you have this bag and pattern creation prototyping. Like talk to me about that a little bit as in what you wish you would have learned, what you know now some recommendations for somebody who would like to start that process, how to find one anywhere that you would like to provide some value there. Cool. Yeah. so, you know, if you’re, you know, if you’re designing in, Mmm. So for someone in my, in my what I do, they can approach the design and development of a bag and kind of two different ways.
One is that they, they know how to sew or even they know how to, so they prefer maybe not. So I prototype design, prototype and they just sketch it out and then they send these sketch or they do like a digital render, you know, like a, a CAD file, cat file, all that stuff. And you know, either you know somebody who can do it or you can do it yourself or you maybe you pay somebody to do or whatever it is. And you know, send that out so you can do it two ways. The way I do it is I, so because I will have an idea, and at first I just, I, you know, kind of aye. I just, I saw it out first and she usually two or three, Brian’s on my end to kind of get where I like it.
And that point I’ve, what I’ve learned in that process is also not to be too, too much of a perfectionist with that prototype in the sense of like, I want it to be exactly, you know, perfectionist in the sense of it’s going to change a few different in these slightly, either slightly or it could change a lot in the process of you handing over the, the, the patterns and the prototype to your manufacturer to get there prototype going. But you’re almost kind of like given them a, a very good representation of what you want but not exact dropped visitation. Right, exactly. Cause you know, there’s going to be some back and forth. We do this a lot and then the design world and I always tell people like, don’t spend a crazy amount of time, the first draft because it’s not, we’re going to be anyway, we’re just trying to get back into a back and forth here.
Started to the way we can it’s much easier to discuss when you have somebody, there’s something physical or visual as opposed to just trying to tell a story or something like a, but anyway, continue. No, you’re absolutely correct. It’s, I mean that’s absolutely correct because Mmm. I’ve learned that if I’m trying to be perfect with that first run is going to take me months and months and months and way wasted effort. And so I just kind of get a visual reputation representation of what I want and Mmm. A pattern, you know, then, you know, my, my manufacturer requires a paper pattern. If I have a, you know, a bag already done, then he will ask for the pattern. And so I just, I stopped trying to make that first run perfect. And aye stand up to him and say, Hey, this is what I’m going for.
And sometimes I can seem like maybe if there’s some inspiration behind it, some pictures or whatever of the inspiration and this is what I’ve made and these are the kind of size dimensions and these are the reasons why these like this. And then, and I always always tell him you know, change it up in the [inaudible] in ways if you need to change it up in certain ways in order to make it [inaudible] more easily manufactured kind of you know, it may make the manufacturer process easier. He, I may not have made it something on the bag. That’s if as a manufacturer, we’re kind of like, Oh well that, you know, it’s going to take like an extra day to do or you know, just because of this and take an extra day or depressed or if you were to change does slightly, then the [inaudible] manufacturing process would be a lot easier to be less expensive and everything like that.
And so I always tell him like, Hey, change up where need be for manufacturing to optimize manufacturing process. And so that’s always the first, you know, change. And then he’ll give me prototype and I’ll be in, sometimes it’s, sometimes it’s awesome. Even what I, if I give them a, you know, a visual or an actual prototype and it’s off here or there, you know, there’s sometimes, maybe I can’t, so as certain my skill level wasn’t quite, you know, they are to do certain types of like maybe gusseted pockets or something like that to where I’m like, Hey, we’re gonna make these [inaudible] and then I’d get that first round back and it’s way off because even their gusted but that’s not what I had in mind or whatever it is. But it always is going to change. And you can’t be perfectionist with that first run.
I understand that what you are doing really is you’re just creating the, the conversation flow
With you and your manufacturer on Mmm. You know, getting that going, getting that process going at conversation, going and in. So getting bogged down in that first step is hard sometimes because you want it to be perfect. You have to realize it’s going to change and it’s better to just get it out the door. And then start working on a process to to get the prototype right, per for a main provide for the manufacturer line. Yeah. So how many back and forth, I guess you’d call them prototypes or drafts or what are you going to call them is common for, to launch a new product for you? Well, so the one advantage of being able to, so, and I do kind of hand them you know what I want Aaron, what I’m going for. It’s usually [inaudible] back and forth. I would say if you hand over a, he’s paper with a sketch and like this is what I’m going for.
It’s probably gonna be like four or five maybe back and forth. And so that’s the one advantage I have with sewing. It’s, it’s, you know, too usually and Mmm. Sometimes like I said, like if I’m doing Mike, I’ve have had it to where I got the first prototype back from my manufacturer. I was like, okay, this is, this was way off than what I was going for. And actually put it on the back burners. I don’t, I can’t, I don’t have time to do two or three more back and forth right now. I’m going to come back to this product a little later and when I can actually dedicate more time with this design process cause we have more, you know, working on something else here. I’m like okay, I gotta I’ve got to put that on the back burner. I mean I was making these briefcases for example, and that’s what it was and I wanted to have them out for winter.
Mmm. For the, with the winter line, new products being towed, bags and briefcases. But the tote bags, I got back the first one pretty much. I was like, Hey, just move the label here and we’re good. So the next one he came over with it, it was label was moving. That was that. But the briefcase was just way off and I didn’t prepare them well enough for that one too. I wasn’t, I knew that was my fault and give them a good representation of what I was kind of going forward. And I changed it up a few times. It’s a briefcase is a difficult one where it’s like very specific to the person who’s going to buy it. They want this many amount of pockets or they don’t want any pockets or they need this type of envelope sleeve in the back that can hold just the amount of paper or whatever it is.
It’s very specific, a person. So I kind of was like, all right, I’m going to put that briefcase on the back burner because these can be two or three more back and forth that I don’t have time to do right now. So it sounds like the ability to so saves you, sounds like about half price on your prototyping, right? It does. So if somebody wanted to start the prototyping process, what kind of a budget do you recommend them to? Just just one product. Well, product I would recommend about about average $1,500 if you’re going to be doing three. That’s about, that’s about three back and forth. Yeah, we spent more than that on, on a swimsuit, but didn’t, I think we weren’t prepared. There was a lot of learning cost in there. Mmm. So, all right, got you. It sounds like you’re well versed in the manufacturing process, prototyping, you’re sewing.
Talk to me about like, okay, you’re going to launch a company here, I’m going to sell these things. Like how did you do that and how do you do it? Well, so yeah, it’s, that’s also the like part where it kinda comes just after you decided to go full in with it and you’re like, okay, now I’ve gotta you know, present this in a way that’s going to be, you know, the, the style you’re going forward, the look, the feel, the aesthetics of the character of the company, the brand. So that’s where my background actually was beneficial to me personally because my background is in communications. I did some social media, I’m like great at it. I did some social media business strategy, digital business strategy and [inaudible]. So I kind of was able to take, you know, kind of my background and that helped me out a lot with old infield cause I knew exactly what I was going for in the style.
And I knew kind of how to bringing that to life with the website and the wording, the copyright and everything or the, the, Mmm, you know, all the wording on the website and everything. But that is a difficult process because it also was actually, I had that background was also sometimes difficult for me to do [inaudible] do it for myself. If I’m going to write, write a bio or something, it’s like, how do I write a bio for myself? It’s like, or like, or if I’m going to do something, I’m, you know, I’m, I’m more, I found that out that I was very invested with being so invested with, you know, going forward with old infield and having a very clear idea of what I wanted. I’ve found it difficult for me to actually sometimes accomplish that. So I would hire some creative help and with photography and with creative direction here and there, but for the most part I had it pretty well, you know, in my head and I was able to get it to where I was, you know, Mmm.
Bring it to life, eh, in the style, in the look that I wanted to. However, I think that that’s extremely important part when you’re first starting out like this. And I actually, you know, I, my first photo shoot was a big photo shoot. It was all day and we went out to Fredericksburg and Mmm. You know, and I had, you know, photographer, photographer, assistant videographer, VR assistant, and it was the biggest budget item I basically had done at that point almost besides the actual lines. And I think it was completely worth it because that was just the foundation to where, you know, where I was going, where I wanted and a lot of people and also within the product shots, you know, I, that’s been a lot of money on product shots for that time. And it was, I think it was string important because a lot of people think, okay, I got the product, I got the website up, I got the you know, the wordings braid and Mmm.
But they’ll think, okay, I can be, I can kind of go put a low but lower budget on the photos maybe. And maybe anything I can take with my iPhone or I can like, you know, at one point I even was like, I can just get a, a, a white cheat and put it in the backdrop and I can just put my product on an, you know, white table and take photos. And I tried that first. I was like, it’s horrible, you know? Yeah man, you’re preaching the cry choir here. Being a photographer myself, a videographer, how did it feel when you were out on that photo shoot? Like was that like a prideful moment? Cause it was made it really real. Huh? Was, it was really cool cause always people came together even though, you know, I was paying for them all to come together, but all these people were coming together with the one kind of objective to, you know, based on this vision that I’d started two years ago and, and it was fine and it was cool and it was very, it was, it was, you know, very kind of proud moment in and everything to get it, it felt very real.
And then when I got the photos back, I’m putting them on the website and I was like, man, this looks great. This is exactly what I was going for. And you know, so not only did it felt great, but it was exactly what I wanted. It was really that first step to really to, you know, he’s a confidence booster and as a first step to again, to, I am on the right page, I’m on the right track here. Yeah. It’s almost good that you weren’t good at the photography yourself because then you might’ve kept going at it and not had that feeling of that. It is when you get out, you have a whole crew there. It never has these great ideas and they get excited and you have these cool products. It’s a lot of fun. Well tell me about your first sale.
Like, like real one non friend, like online and you just sell online. Is that correct or do you have a brick and mortars? I’ve done a few stores. I’ve been either in a few stores or here or there. I was in Huckberry for awhile, which it’s a big a retailer out of San Francisco that does online retail and that was a big deal for me to be in Huckberry cause I’ve always kind of model or I’ve always kind of wanted it to be, I’ve always followed them regardless before I even started field. But so that was a place you could buy it, you know, here and there shops, I haven’t done a big push into wholesale, but essentially, yes, it’s, it’s online on my website is primarily we’re going to buy it and the first sale, you know? Yeah, that was kind of cool.
And they’re not friends. I mean like I’m looking back on it and I can’t, Oh, I checked. Do you remember? And they popped like three bags. I was like, what in? At first I thought I had of known this person. You know, but, you know, maybe they somehow knew me, but I didn’t know him there in Houston I think. And I thought that was like, just amazing. And you know, speaking of like also looking at sales, it’s great to see, Mmm. Sales come from like different States. I’m like, okay, there’s another check off the box. You know, Arizona got me, you know, or whatever you were like, you know, I think at this point all 50 States have purchase bag. Someone from offered to States to purchase the bag, which is cool. And or product, maybe it’s just a hat or something.
But Mmm. That was actually really cool to see the, the kind of how it evolves with sales and you know, people in like Brooklyn buying one bag and put people in, you know, San Francisco by my bag. And then people in, you know, Wisconsin or Washington state. And then the South and Southeast is actually a really big, is my kind of my Texas in the South and the Southeast are kind of my main markets and cause the stuffy nose that I, one of my products has like that old school Kamow and it’s very, you know, Dade is pretty, you know, [inaudible] right now, but it’s really popular in the South and East. And I kinda hunting, I, you know, I’d say my, my primary customer is, you know, 25 to 45 in Texas or in the Southeast. But again, I get a lot of, Mmm.
Northeast you know, and also some random ones. I think Pennsylvania or something is, I ran away, has not a lot of bags. I was, you want some analytics so they, as a man or at Indiana, I was like, wow, Indiana. No, I didn’t even notice that they bought some stock by some people from that state provided so much to my staff. I was like, wow, okay, that’s kinda cool. You know with being a veteran, do you ever think, do you think that there’s any positives there with your company and your branding and all that? Yeah. Branding, you know, well, with bringing, I didn’t want it to, when it comes to approaching the, Oh, the, you know, the brand style and feel of it. There are a lot of veteran owned companies that there know, they’re very veteran board I would say in terms of the, the look and feel of the character of the company. And a lot of times I would, they had also is they kind of sell to the veteran community and or you know, people that like that kind of stuff. You know, I, I can, I can say, you know, tee shirts with like you know, kind of slogans or veterans or it’s not always t-shirts, but, and I think there’s a great companies. But when I was making mine, I wanted to be, again, the, the, the look and feel of this heritage kind of style a, but then I
Wouldn’t hospi Oh. And, yeah, I’m a veteran and you know, and that’s kind of just plays into the story as opposed to being a, you know, th the bleep focus of it. And that’s always kind of how I approached the idiots. And it’s also a veteran owned company. And you know, in part of my stories is, you know, being a veteran in the gear I used in places, I’ve been in the United part of it and it’s kind of part of the experience what led me here, but this is what I’m presenting and it’s it’s more of a heritage kind of wine as opposed to a better and forward line or a company and brands. And so, but it does, so in a, in a branding way, in a marketing way. Yes. That is it does help. And, you know, in other things it, you know, there’s, Oh, so, you know, I get some, sometimes I get attention because of that.
And even though it’s not the board thing, that’s why maybe somebody will approach me to do a collaboration or to do this or that. And then in terms of you know, also another thing too is actually my manufacturer in North Carolina is a veteran too. And so it’s actually, that’s the reason why I use that a manufacturer. So take me back my bags. I can say they’re veteran designs in Austin and veteran made in North Carolina. A great little community there. Yeah, that’s, that’s fun. I mean, I, well thank you for your service for one. Thanks. talk to me about the name. So we live where I, we’re recording this here. Infield road is like down the street and we were chatting. We forward, you said you grew up in Tarrytown area where we’re at right now. Does that have any way, is it part of the, you know, tell me about the name.
Yeah, it does. So the name old Enfield is for anyone not familiar with Austin. It is actually a neighborhood in Austin, in West Austin. It’s small neighborhood. It’s right off infield road, but the neighborhood’s called old infielders right up infield road. And it’s not the neighborhood I grew up in. A group just, you know, right next to it. And these is a West Austin neighborhood. I grew up in West Austin. They’re very close to each other and there’s really not much difference when it comes down to it. But you know, when I thought I was thinking of names I was at first I was, and I was like, I had a source up in dictionary up and I was like, trying to think of all these crazy, not crazy, but I was really trying to basically at first I was really, I’m putting a lot of effort into in the name in trying to think of something and then all of a sudden oldie and bill just kind of clicked and it was like, there you go.
What I like about orient field is that if you, you know, if you are familiar with Austin or from Austin [inaudible] or Odin fueled bill remind you of the streets or the neighborhood. And so it, you know, it has that kind of like shout out to Austin. It has that like recognition to Austin, you know, but if you’re not from Austin, it’s not so unique to where it’s like, you know, what, what are you trying to say by input? A lot of will ask me like, Oh, I like the rifle. Or the [inaudible] is a British company called infield rifles. And then there’s another British company called Royal infield. Motorcycles. They’re very like old school, like perfect. Yeah. I mean like the rifles I think were like, you know, pre world war II and then they use three war to the motorcycles.
There’s just one of the oldest, you know, motorcycle manufacturers I think out of the U K and so it has like this old school British feel to it and that, you know, infield itself has an old school, British feel, old infield kind of, again, old school, you know, so it kinda just, it has everything. I was kind of going for H can I nod to Austin, but it kind of, it also, Mmm. Took on the heritage kind of style that I was going for with, with my bags in the, and you know the character of the brand that I wanted to present. And again, so I just, that old school, British kind of heritage wax canvas, you know, kind of stuff just goes all together. So my wife now, we live here, but she, when I met her, she lived on infield road, an exposition in that area.
There’s the old apartment complex. I heard like five other friends. I’ll have little one bedroom apartments. We call that Melrose because yeah, it was like pretty kind of fantastic situation to have a bunch of friends who live in the same little PACOM Plex. But yeah. So what does the future hold for you and old info supply company? So, you know, I, you know, for me it’s, it’s continuation with orient build, road gone, you know, continuing to drive it and continuing to to grow it and to, Mmm. Remind myself to, again, not kind of have those fears because those fears sometimes come back later on and it’s like, Oh, well now I’m actually being kind of successful with this. I don’t want to mess up. Or now I’m, you know, it’s kind of, again, you have to
a little, you know, you gotta kind of push away those Spears too sometimes going forward like no other things come up in terms of, you know, now you’re looking at real business stuff and you’re really look at looking at profits and losses and you’re looking at forecasts and all that stuff as opposed to your first year just trying to get that business out there.
So am I on my end needs continuing, you know, the growth of on infield while also, you know, try not to allow those fears again or new fears to come up in bog me down. In terms of old infield, so right now we’re mainly, we do travel bags and accessories one of the future, but I really kind of see, Oh, feel going into is more everyday product, not just more everyday practice. Still being a base of travel and accessories, travel bags, accessories, but going into more everyday products. I mentioned like the briefcase. I mentioned the tote bag was kind of on the first elements of every day stuff. I mean, even though I told you that can be either or it was awesome. The first female oriented product I’ve come out with and so, Mmm.
Going forward with Odeon field, it will probably be more everyday stuff, backpacks, briefcases, but also the travel stuff and as well as getting more into hunting and fishing kind of gear as well. You know, I see our foresee ode infield, you know, we’re still it in a kind of an infancy of it, of the company and going forward, you know, I like to think I, you know, I’ll have like a, well w w I envision it being, you know, a brick and mortar. Mmm. You know, kind of headquarters somewhere in Austin. That’s kind of a cool place. Maybe on an unfilled road. Yeah, right. That’d be kind of cool. I’ve got to find some business areas there. Right. It’s getting more expensive. Unfortunately, I’m road is a, it’s definitely a great place of town here in Austin. So what does success look like for you?
Success looks like now as the same as it does when I first started and I’ve always seen [inaudible] I’m not, I want my, my, my goal personally. Ah. [inaudible] No, I’m not trying to, you know, become like extremely wealthy office or anything or, well, you know, I’ve always, I said I want to do something I’m passionate about that I like doing, that’s mine and that will provide [inaudible]. And so that’s what success looks like for me. And so continuing to be able to provide, doing something that I want to do that I’m passionate about. And that is also something of my own creation to an extent, Mmm. Is what I consider personally success. So any mentors or books or anything that kinda has guide you gotta do along this path? Yeah, I’ve had actually play mint. I’ve actually had a lot of mentors through friends people.
Can I just say, Hey, you know, you should talk to this guy. I took this guy or I’m this person, whatever it is their background may be very close to what I’m doing, or their background may just be entrepreneurship or something, or are they, you know, it’s some extent. I’ve had a lot of mentors and also kind of getting, once I got into this space of the outdoor industry kind of lifestyle brands, well all of a sudden you’re kind of a part of the group now. And so like, Oh, you’re the old info guy. Yeah. That’s, you know, my company. And then so, Hey, you know then you start talking to them or, you know, we do this and, and you know, it’s, you kind of become part of this community. So I gotten mentored from, you know, people in the industry and then also people that are just generally entrepreneurs.
Yeah. I don’t, I didn’t really relate to exactly like a book or something that I read. I was like, okay, that’s, you know that was very helpful. But it’s been a lot of just connecting with people in talking them and learning about their experience and, Mmm. And how best to approach either starting a company or starting a company that’s also in the outdoor industry. Is there anything that you wished you would’ve known when you started that you might know now? Well, you know, yeah, there’s few things in there. Little things that are like, you know, the, the very business sides of things where it’s like, okay, you know, my background isn’t it in business, you know, or, you know I’ve been learning that process. Mmm. But yeah, there’s certain things here and there where it’s like, okay, she’d be like, should’ve been accounting for this maybe the entire time.
Or like, okay, I probably, you know, it’s like certain, you know, I don’t know. It’s, it seems like there’s a lot of little things that I maybe wasn’t accounting for at first, but now I’m like, okay, well I need to account for that now and track it and monitor it and everything. So if you’re not big on the business side of it, things, you know, I would say when were first going to say you’re creative, you’re creative with, with branding down and you got, you know, product down, I would say put a little more time and effort into that business side. Yeah. I had to completely agree. So has your, you know, let’s talk about like when you were growing up and all this, have you, how’s your life turned out kind of the way that you thought it would in a way?
I mean, say like in past, since I’ve started out in the field, yeah, I would say it has probably turned out in the way I’m expecting it to. But you know, 10 years ago if you, you know, somebody would’ve come back and said, Hey, this is, we’re going to be doing, before he even learned how to solve where I had the idea before any of this stuff I’ve been, I’m like, you’re crazy. There’s no way I don’t even know how to, so how would I get into this? So it’s, it’s kind of funny how it has turned in that way cause I hadn’t, you know, I would’ve never thought that I’d be doing basic what I’m doing now say 10 years ago because it’s just like mind boggling to think, Oh, I’m going to learn how to, so do all this stuff, start a company, do this, you know, and be in this brand and being this, I always want to do something creative on my own and start something.
But I would never thought it would be been this. Even though it’s not the biggest shocker cause I’ve always been very passionate about all this stuff and, but it’s still, I never thought I would be in this space. Like I, yeah, it is interesting. So any advice that you’d give someone wanting to intro to enter the world of like apparel or you know, anything kind of in the retail space, I suppose, or manufacturer or anything in, in your areas? Yeah, I would say, you know once you, you know, I would say probably, again, don’t get bogged down on being a perfectionist with your initial designs. I would say, you know, getting, getting something out there is the most important. When that first step of contacting manufacturer, finding the manufacturer, contact the manufacturer, and then getting a first run going, our first prototype going, I think that’s, that step is the hardest I think for in this apparel or kind of space where you have the idea you’ve, you know, you know, but you’re kind of going forward.
But it’s getting into like that first step of, okay, I’m going to move forward in this. And it also kind of gets rid of any kind of jitters that you may have of like, I don’t want to know how to talk to manufacturers aren’t actually looking for, you know, I’m just starting this. But for the most part the main factor is know if you’re like just starting out. It’s like, okay, it’s fine. You know, if you just want to scribble design on a piece of paper on back napping, send that to me and we’ll get started with that. And a lot of times that’s what manufacturer prototypers will you can work with and making, you know, not being like, so kind of like overwhelmed and kind of scared and this daunting task of, of a line and a design. And it’s really, I think the first, cause if it’s in your head, you know, you want to go for, Hm, the first step of just contacting somebody saying, Hey, what’s, get a prototype going?
Can you do that? What’s, you know, just those first, that first step and then contracting that first prototype out. And once you get that first prototype back or you know, or that first, that first prototype is perfect wherever you, I’d say it’s two or three runs of prototyping and you’d get that first bag back that’s like, and you’re like obviously exactly what I was going for. And it’s really cool feeling to go from there to there. And that’s that first step that’s really difficult. It’s really cool because you have actually got like this real product too. You can see it, touch it, feel it. Right. That’s got to be a great feeling. And you’ve mentioned YouTube before, which I’ve, I’ve loved to learn things. Any other like resources that you would recommend to help people kind of in this process? You know, Mmm. Or just keep practicing, practicing, you know, like I said, YouTube and there was some, you know, learning about learning about fabrics is, was difficult.
And the other thing too, in this, in the world of like of manufacturing and, or whether it’s either apparel or if you’re going from a textiles company that’s selling the fabric to the manufacturer, that entire process, usually the companies are kind of antiquated. They’re kind of older. There’s not a lot of companies that are really easy that you can just go on the website and maybe click Ajit card and then, you know, I mean, there’s very few of these companies. A lot of times it’s, you know, there’s a rep, you email me, email your order, I went 50 yards of this one, 50 yards that, so it’s a very, like, that’s a difficult part. [inaudible] And it gets started cause it’s hard to find the spec. Where do I find these people? Where do I, you know, but you know, there are resources, like there’s a resource called maker’s row that I used.
It’s an online resource that actually, Mmm. Puts designers and manufacturers and everything together. And so I use that at first, but then I used ’em Mmm. Maker’s row and what else? Anyway, it’s a difficult process to get going. But once you get going and you kind of get those contacts, then you understand how it works and, Mmm. Yeah. So what about fabric? How do you find fabric? How do you decide what fabric to use? Like walk me through that. Well, that’s again, something that you can do, put a lot of research into. And why? So like, I knew I want to wax canvas in nylon, but still in that, just saying wax games, nylon, there’s, there’s so many different options. So what, wait, what, you know, and then die or we won’t cause every manufacturer. It’s kind of funny that if I went brushed Brown wax canvas and I wanted an 18 ounce weight, or I wanted a 20 ounce weight, the colors are way off.
Sometimes they’re not. Yeah. Something about the dye process, you know. Anyway, so I’ve learned a lot about fabric in that entire process, but I learned all this also in my initial stages. I’ve learned how to sew. So really the one of the biggest benefits I had was warning how to sew because in that process I learned about fabric and weight and where to get it. And you know how it reacts with other fabrics and weights. And so in that initial process of when I, he didn’t have a clue of what I was doing, but I’ll just put putting fabric underneath the sewing machine and going with it, you know what I mean? That process was the most beneficial because I didn’t spend nothing. I didn’t learn it all. And so I went all about fabrics and went all about, you know, hardware and, you know, the entire, you know, every bit of it.
What about routines? So you have kind of a lot going on. You’ve gotta you gotta get new, you got to design new products. Gotta deal with the business side, you know, do some analytics and some sales there is, do you have any kind of a consistent or constant routines that you do on a regular basis that is helpful for you? Yeah, I tried to break down my days and in times a days. And what’s where I’m most productive doing what usually buy, what do I do? And my personal kind of routine is in the mornings I’m usually more productive with design work. You know, you know, maybe check my emails and then after I checked my emails, if there’s anything media that I needed to send out, I send it out, you know, or I do initial con, you know, emails sent out initial emails in the morning first thing.
And then I go into design work for a few hours in, you know, I got kind of broken down by the times, you know, and at about two o’clock [inaudible] Mmm [inaudible] when I, you usually stop doing design work and then I start doing, you know, more business related stuff. And well essentially my, my morning time is my creative time, whether it’s either writing you know, something for the website or for Instagram or for product, you know, description where I want to try to be more creative. That’s kind of my creative time. And then the later part of day is my life, you know, kind of a time that I have to like, you know, look at numbers and analytics and research or whatever. And then, you know, so that’s how I kind of have to break down my, yeah. Like they block it out a little bit as opposed to just a free flow. Right. And sometimes you get caught up and never getting a design work done. Cause that’s something that isn’t not immediate typically that’s future forward stuff. Mmm. What would you title this chapter of your life?
Beginnings. Love it. And last question how would you like to be remembered?
You know, onside rec remembered as kind of someone who didn’t let to be bogged down my fears and they didn’t for whatever, you know, joining the Marine Corps for not allowing, you know, fears to stop them from grading something that they wanted to do or something they feel passionate about. Or, you know, so kind of, you know, I guess, you know, just [inaudible] no going forward and doing something that it’s kind of different, but it takes a little more courage, I guess.
Yeah. I love it. Makes complete sense. Well, yeah, really appreciate you coming on the podcast. Cheers, man. Thank you.
Thanks for having me.
Reviews for Creating Gear that will Last for Generations