April 6, 2011
In the 50’s and 60’s, the bachelor pad was thought of as a professional man’s ultimate possession. Circa now, some still suggest that a man’s home is a direct representation of the man who lives there. More often than not, men consider the need for an aesthetically pleasing home or an ultimate bachelor pad, however, the idea generally stops there.
It has been said that a man is the king of his castle. So, what is the modern guy to do with no castle? Or better yet, when function trumps style and comfort is prioritized over design? Taylor Spellman, launched August Black in 2008, after recognizing that the upwardly mobile, time-constrained male was in desperate need of a well-designed home, befitting a king. Spellman’s “painless and easy design experience” concept grew quickly, meeting the needs of well-meaning yet misguided décor tastes.
Learn how one entrepreneur grew her brand to serve a niche male customer base and managed to capitalize on success and build a brand extension for women’s home décor needs.
Company: August Black
Founder, Age: Taylor Spellman, 27
Location: New York, NY
Industry: Interior Design
Startup Year: 2008
Startup Costs: $2,000
How I Got Started: After living in New York City for nearly a decade I met countless men who had a great job, went to a top University and dressed impeccably. However, as it pertained to their apartments – it was an absolute nightmare. Soon I realized that these guys wanted help they just had nowhere to turn.
Best Success Story: A client who purchased his first home was so happy with our work he recommended August Black to five friends, all of whom we ended up becoming clients. For a small business owner, there is nothing better than a satisfied client, with a big mouth and a lot of friends!
Biggest Startup Challenge: The biggest startup challenge is a combination of two things: First you have to find a person who’s willing to give you a chance and then you have to capitalize on that single opportunity and gain momentum – fast!
#1 Tip for New Entrepreneurs: Remember, you’re not dealing with your family or friends. Naivety will get you absolutely no where. Make sure when you sign a contract you know exactly what you’re signing. Also ensure you have all of your intellectual property secured before you and your business become well-known to the public. Work hard to stay even-keeled. Train yourself to have higher lows and lower highs because there are more road blocks than you’d ever imagine. If you get bogged down by all the things that attempt to stop your success you’ll be moving back into your parent’s basement in no time.
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