Who says the family business can’t be innovative?
That’s the goal of Boman Farrer and Ryan Krantz, founders of LunoWear, a company that is currently collecting orders for modern watches made of wood.
The idea started with Farrer’s great-grandfather, who began making watches over 100 years ago. Four generations later, Farrer wanted to find a versatile wooden watch and decided to design one himself. With help from his grandfather, also a watchmaker, LunoWear was born.
The founders launched campaigns on several crowdfunding websites, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they expected. “We knew we had produced a great product that people would love, we just wanted to make sure it was seen by the masses,” Farrer told Opportunity Lives.
Lunowear co-founders Boman Farrer (left) and Ryan Krantz. Photo: Lunowear
Though LunoWear’s Kickstarter campaign was suspended (the website accused the co-founders of reselling wholesale watches), Indiegogo has been much easier to work with, said Farrer. The founders showed Indiegogo their conversations with their manufacturer and clearly addressed the issue on their Indiegogo campaign, demonstrating that they were in fact designing the watches themselves. As a result, over two thousand people have preordered watches so far on the new campaign.
Of course, with so many people interested, one of the biggest challenges for LunoWear will be producing enough watches to fill all of the orders. After they hit their crowdfunding goal in just five hours, the founders realized this idea was taking off. But Farrer said, “We are confident that production and fulfillment will go quickly and smoothly.”
LunoWear has been in constant communication with the manufacturer and even hired a fulfillment company to make sure the orders will be processed quickly.
“We have big plans for LunoWear as a lifestyle brand,” said Farrer. “We love watches and I’m sure that will always be a large part of LunoWear, but we believe we can take that same excitement for a unique product and expand that into many different products.”
The LunoWear watches definitely are distinctive. The faces, made of bamboo and ebony, are a perfect blend of classy and durable. The bands are made of leather, and each watch weighs less than an ounce.
The founders said they also wanted to create a watch that was able to withstand the elements. After testing them rock climbing, biking, and in other various sports, they were convinced the watches were tough enough to market to people with an outdoors lifestyle. “We threw everything we could think of at them… and they passed with flying colors,” they said on their Indiegogo campaign.
Farrer’s advice to other entrepreneurs may sound counterintuitive. “My advice would be to fear failure, and let that fear drive success,” he said. He believes fear can be a powerful motivator. “I believe without a healthy fear we can become too passive about things that need to be done.”
Daniel Huizinga is a columnist for Opportunity Lives covering business and politics. Follow him on Twitter @HuizingaDaniel.