Loz and Alex cruise around this lucky country in a Volkswagen, entertaining their legion of social media fans with cool pics of themselves sitting by campfires, swimming in deserted beaches and camping by the shores of remote lakes. They look like they’ve fallen off the cover of an Angus and Julia Stone album! Oh, and did I tell you they run a three-year-old hat business called Will and Bear that’s turning over a lazy six-figures annually. And they’ve done it all by slowing down!
A little bit more about hat entrepreneurs Loz Williams and Alex Knorr …
In just three years, ex-mortgage broker Lauren Williams and her product designing boyfriend Alex Knorr have built the online hat empire Will & Bear, from the back seat of their Volkswagen van while touring across Australia.
To do so, they’ve adopted an innovative, digital-first business model, which has enabled the Will & Bear brand to experience triple-digit sales growth year-on-year.
They use social media brilliantly amassing a loyal tribe of hat lovers across Insta and Facebook, they’ve got a team that spans the globe, and a sustainability initiative that sets them apart from the competition.
They also give some pretty good insights into how this generation of millennial business owners see things. And here’s a tip … it’s not all about growing an empire.
Here’s what caught my attention from my chat with serial entrepreneur Carl Hartmann:
- It’s so refreshing to hear a business owner acknowledge that it’s OK to slow things down. To ask themselves “How much is enough?” “How big do we really want to be?” And how funny to hear that the minute they did this … things took off!
- I like the way they’re using their Instagram feed for the more polished visuals or “art” as they call it, and their Instagram Stories for the real life stuff like the chat with the mechanic after their van broke down. What behind-the-scenes stuff would you like to see from this show? Hot me up on Twitter @TimboReid.
- Loved the way they launched the business by sending their top 100 favourite photographers a hat each. No hard sell. Just a genuine gesture in the hope that the photographers may respond with a hash-tagged photo on their own feed.
“We don’t need to keep growing. We’re just two individuals and we did make a decision to slow things down. And that’s when things really took off!”
Will and Bear
Loz Williams and Alex Knorr Interview Transcription
Loz and Alex from Will and bear welcome to the small business big marketing show.
Thanks for having us.
Now big question to start with where did you guys meet?
On Tinder. Actually.
- Tye official Will and Bear website
- Will and Bear on Instagram
- Will and Bear on Facebook
- Finders Keepers Markets
- The Idea Exchange powered by American Express (you’ll find Timbo’s new podcast here mid-July 2019)
- Last week’s interview withThe E Myth’s Michael Gerber
- Interviews I’ve done with other entrepreneurs who started off selling just one product:
- The winner of this week’s Monster Prize Draw is tennis coach Shaun Scrutton of Eaglemont Tennis Club
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