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“Buy Things from My Store” and Other Entreprenurial Thoughts

Feather Three

Hello, dear readers!

You may have noticed, (and then again you may not) that I’ve been fairly quiet for the past several months. When I say fairly quiet, I mean not much writing has come out of me, at least not that you have seen. In reality, the amount of creative work I am doing has in fact increased! Indeed, I’m doing more writing and designing than ever before.

The difference has been my focus.

Check it out at featherthree.com!

In July I took a trek from here in Southern California up to the Windy City of Chicago, where I met up with friends from Minnesota (many of whom help produce Sheer Dance!) and we attended a Tony Robbins weekend, Unleash the Power Within. It’s hard to say exactly what all of the far-reaching effects of this weekend will be, as some elements of the weekend are still growing from the seedlings that were planted there, but the weekend motivated me like few things before and changed my perspectives on myself and the world.

One thing I definitively realized: it was high time I actualized my long-held dream of creating and owning my own business. Having read Tim Ferriss’s ‘4 Hour Work Week’ many moons before (and, truth be told, re-read it at least twice since then), I’ve long thought wistfully about creating a business venture. For years I languished as a ‘wantrepreneur,’ a wannabe. What held me back was the litany of stories I told about myself:

The timing isn’t quite right and I didn’t have the financial reserves to really start something.
If it’s such a good idea, why hasn’t anybody done it?
Am I really going to be able to do the work necessary to make it a reality, or will I let myself down halfway through, business unfinished and time and money wasted?
I’m probably not good enough anyway…

And so on.

One of my favorite designs and shirts so far! 🙂

That pattern of thinking is what Tony and that weekend (and my upbringing, social status, and a host of other predatory things) helped me break. I realized that, even if I failed, I stood to gain tons of experience from just trying in the first place. With a simple business model and some clever bootstrapping, the costs to enter were quite low as well.

What did I really have to lose?  My pride. And let’s be real, I’m a pretty prideful guy, I’m sure if I lost some here I’d be able to dig up some more somewhere else in my life. Definitely not a good enough reason to quit.

So ever since August I’ve been head-down working on this newest of projects, Feather Three. It’s a brand of casual and practice apparel for Ballroom Dancers. Everything from T-shirts to bodysuits, and many things in-between! I created the brand to scratch my own itch: when I first started ballroom dancing back in 2012, I remember looking for Christmas gifts for my partners online. I searched for some t-shirts, a natural thing for an 18-year-old college freshman to do.

I couldn’t find a single one I liked.

To a one, they either looked too corny or too garish in color or font to be ever worn by a self-respecting competitive dancer. Mostly they were downright ugly. Disappointed in all the choices, I turned to other gifts and gave up on dance apparel.

Until now!

Wielding a few clever phrases, a notebook full of ideas, and the ability to search YouTube for tutorials on just about anything, I set to work building my store. I selected Shopify, a popular store building platform and web host, and contacted a designer friend for some help with the logo. I got a copy of Adobe Illustrator, signed up for Instagram, and took care of the legal and financial pieces. Then, it was off to the races.

Probably my favorite design yet in terms of aesthetics!

Now, I thought the race would be a sprint or at least a nice mid-distance run. A burn to a finish point. As it turns out, and probably little to your surprise, it’s been much more of an endless marathon. The effort needed to create this has been massive. It’s a one-man show at this point, so I personally handle everything: product creation, design, marketing, advertising, customer service, and long-term planning. I do use what’s known as a 3rd Party Logistics company (3PL for short) to handle the actual printing and shipping of my clothes. While this means slimmer profit margins for me, it removes 90% of the tedious hard part about starting a business like this, which is managing inventory and fulfillment, so I’m just fine with that.

I’ve got tons of thoughts, lessons learned, and discoveries that I’ve made along the way, and I’m excited to share them all with you over the coming months! I’m going to get back to consistent writing as Feather Three begins to fly under its own power (an exciting thing to begin seeing!) so you should see me peek my head up from above the computer every now and then with a new thought piece. I’m glad to be back at the keyboard for my thoughts, not just my product descriptions!
Speaking of that…

If you would do me one favor, please go check out the site and let me know what you think! You can find it at featherthree.com There’s tons of products to be explored, and a blog, Instagram, and charitable giving section to boot.

Everything you see has been written, designed, examined, redesigned, and stressed over by yours truly. It would seriously mean the world to me if you’d take a look. If you’ve got any feedback, just send it to joel@featherthree.com or, better yet, send me a message on your favorite social media channel.

Oh, and if you see something you like, you could always buy it. That would be pretty neat too! 🙂

Until next time!

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