What does it take to create an 8-figure business? When it comes to brand growth, most of us tend to focus on the massive wins. But what was the journey? What processes and risks were taken to get there?
In this episode, Scott & Ray are joined by Threadheads Co-Founder, Ace Reunis, to detail how they went from printing custom T-shirts on just 2 printers to becoming a powerhouse, 8-figure DTC clothing brand in 2021. Right Hook Senior eCom Strategist Brett Leggett also joins the chat to share how he helped scale the account from $500K to consistent 6-figure months in 2021.
This jam-packed episode details how Threadheads bet big on their idea and played offense to continuously scale their brand, while also sharing the often unspoken tribulations of being brand founders. The conversation also delves deep on the right mindset needed to scale an eCommerce brand, how moving fast but retaining the brand’s overall vision is part & parcel of scaling to the moon, and when to worry about ROI, performance, branding, and when to best combine them all.
You also don’t want to miss Ace & Brett’s unfiltered deep dive on the tools & processes that skillfully blended Threadheads’ calibrated workflow & strategy with Right Hook’s help and expertise.
To cap it all off, Ace gets real about the culture and growth opportunities Threadheads provides its employees & team members and what the future of the brand looks like beyond 2022.
This is a must-listen for brands who want to scale large, maintain a strong brand vision, and determine if it’s the right time to partner up with an agency. So sit back, grab your notepad, and listen in – we’ve got an EPIC new episode in store for you!
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Full episode transcript & chapter markers for this episode are available on the Growth & Greatness eCommerce Podcast Buzzsprout page!
0:00 – 0:27 – G&G eCommerce Podcast Theme
This is the Growth & Greatness eCommerce Podcast, powered by Right Hook Digital, with your hosts Scott Seward & Raymond Johnston. If you’re an eCommerce brand founder, entrepreneur, or marketer looking to accelerate profitable growth for your business, then listen in ‘cause this is the podcast for you.
0:27 – 13:50 – Introduction of guests Ace Reunis & Brett Leggett
Scott (0:27 – 0:38) – Alright, welcome back! We are here with another episode of the Growth & Greatness eCommerce Podcast. Ray, good to see you, man! Different approach today, this is gonna be fun!
Ray (0:38 – 0:57) – Good to see you too. I can’t wait! We’ve got a heavy hitter on our call today. I think what’s gonna be so applicable to the people listening is that this person has been through every trench you can imagine, to growing his brand to 8-figures. I think, if there’s one person that can really dissect what it’s like on that journey, it’s gonna be the person we have on the call.
Scott (0:57 – 1:10) – Yeah, we’ve got a bit of a, here we go with a bit of a cheesy Right Hook thing here, we’ve got a bit of a one-two punch – we’ve got Ace Reunis, who is the CEO of, the CEO? Co-Founder?
Ace (1:10 – 1:11) – Co-Founder.
Scott (1:11 – 1:38) – Co-Founder of Threadheads and HeapsGood, 7- and 8-figure brands, respectively. And, we’ve also got Brett Leggett, who is a strategist here at Right Hook, who works with him on the side. Ace and his team have formed a really, really strong partnership over the last year or so. Ace, let’s kick it off with you, man. Give us a bit of a background into how you got started in this space. You’ve got a bit of a marketing background as well, and how that evolved, and how Threadheads came to be.
Ace (1:38 – 2:20) – Yeah, epic introduction – thanks, Scott! I guess it all started with me just traveling, university, just, I guess, really not having a marketing or business background. You know, one thing led to another; I, sort of, started to look at digital marketing. My friend, Alex, was in software and tech and I, sort of, thought it was interesting. I grew up with my dad owning a computer store, and he was always an entrepreneur, so he was a big influence on me. I thought I might give it a go. My background was, I thought I was gonna go into politics, and then I found out that that was a really slow burn and that you couldn’t really have much impact.
Scott (2:20 – 2:22) – Good choice. Good choice, my friend.
Ace (2:23 – 8:52) – Very good choice in hindsight, whereas, entrepreneurship, I felt like, you know, there was really a lot of freedom for creativity, self-expression. Yeah, it just worked out, but after some time, working freelance, I started to really get involved in the space. I met my now business partner, Marcus, on what would be our first venture. We got our first venture out – a lot of people, you know, say, you might fail 1, 2, 3, 4 times before you reach success but it was just the right place, right time. Marcus had a background in direct-to-garment (DTG) printing and, you know, with his, you know, basic marketing background, was the perfect fit. We just started to, you know, work on this Threadheads project. We, you know, had so many iterations of the business. We started doing custom T-shirt printing, we had a little retail business on the side where we would make some very basic designs for graphic T-shirts and apparel. We had a little storefront that was embedded in a train station; frequently, we’d just have drug addicts walk in, some dude, one time, like at 11:00 at night, just coming in, smoking a cigarette, he’s like 6’7” tall, just like, having to try on a shirt out – turned out he was an alright guy, but, you know, we have some real stories of people… You never would’ve expected us to achieve the kind of success we have in such a short timeframe. There’s been a lot of opportunity that lent itself to that, but you know, it’s just really strange to think about it. We were working on trestle tables, Marcus likes to say. We had 2 very old printers that probably, shouldn’t be, yeah, they’re not in operation anymore. Yeah, it was just about learning ourselves, educating on the topic. I did, at the same time, a masters in marketing at Melbourne Uni and, honestly, I say that I watched a video on Facebook ads that was 12 minutes long and that had a way bigger impact on me than $100,000, $150,000 degree. So, you know, just shows how the times have changed and it was all about self-educating, just immersing yourself in the space, and really doing it by ourselves, it was just me and him. Everything was bootstrapped, we didn’t have, really, a lot of money that we put in the project. It was fortunate that we were print-on-demand so that allowed us to scale without necessarily having to go through the cash conversion cycles that come with inventory. That’s something I’ve had to experience with my second project that I started with my brother Adam, HeapsGood Packaging. That’s an eCommerce brand, I’m sorry, a packaging brand for eCommerce. So, yeah, like, in the first case with Threadheads, it was learning all of these things you know – Shopify, direct-to-consumer, the channels around that, whether it’s Facebook Ads, Google Ads, email, SEO, how you get traffic to your website, basically, and then when they get to your website, what’s your offer and how do you convince them to buy what you have to sell. And then, yeah, basically, through that, I sort of noticed that there weren’t many good packaging options for Threadheads, particularly with regards to mailers, and I did notice that a few brands, who were sort of pioneering in the space with compostable mailers, the idea being that these bags will break down, not into microplastics, but they are biodegradable and even better when they’re composted. We’ve looked into it, my brother had a background in product sourcing ‘cause he worked at a company that my dad started named Zazz back in the day. Basically, before Catch was Catch, it was Catch of the Day, and Zazz was the competitor to Catch of the Day, which was based on a business in America. But, anyway, my brother came from there, and so he knew Alibaba very well, and he knew importing from China very well. Soon enough, he found the best factory in China for these compostable mailers. You know, that was our first product for HeapsGood, and we used that for Threadheads as well. There was, you know, I guess, use case for Threadheads in that I wanted custom compostable packaging. And then, it allowed us to spawn another business on the side, as a result. So, yeah, now, a couple years on, HeapsGood is 2 years old, Threadheads is about 3.5 years old, and you know, HeapsGood did 7-figures in 2021, Threadheads did 8-figures in 2021, so just, you know, going from strength to strength, riding on, I guess, the wave of COVID, definitely, which, you know, were so uneven in its distribution of good & bad for people that some people were, really, they lost their jobs and they were hit hard by it. And then, on the other side, we’re incredibly fortunate so I think, all in all, on my journey so far, there’s been, just, a combination of three things – hard work, definitely, is the number one thing, a bit of talent & skill, in terms of ourselves but also the people we met, and then opportunity. Whether it is the pandemic or just the chance encounters that, you know, led us to find people like our first lead illustrator, who’s an absolute legend, named Fulvio from Colombia. We just, we met a lot of people that just shaped our journey, and we’re just so grateful for that. I think a lot of it is what you put out, you know; if you put yourself in the right space, you know, good things can happen so, I think, part of it is, well, if I didn’t even invest time into digital marketing or I wouldn’t have been a good fit with Marcus in the first place, likewise if my brother hadn’t gotten into eCommerce early on, we wouldn’t have been able to source our first product, you know? So, I think you have to put yourself in the right position to have that opportunity. That pretty much summarizes our story so far, at least the early part.
Scott (8:52 – 9:11) – Man, there’s so much to take away from there. We’re gonna go back and go down a few different channels there. My head’s, sort of, going in various directions, but we’ll jump over to Brett, give us a bit of an intro, how did you get started into this space, Brett, & how long have you been at Right Hook, and what are you doing?
Brett (9:12 – 9:26) – So when I got started in the space, it was, like, 2016 or 2015. I was actually, basically, working in a kitchen full-time, and I was power-lifting, and I wanted to be the strongest person ever in the world.
Scott (9:27 – 9:28) – That’s a big goal.
Brett (9:28 – 12:04) – Yeah, like 23 or something. I realized, you know, there’s actually not that much money in picking up things and putting them back on the ground. So, I wanted to start, it was all about IG influencers and stuff like that at the time, so I started learning about marketing through there, and I also wanted to make more money on the side. I’ve, previously, done video editing and podcast audio editing stuff before, working on Upwork, that’s when I, sort of, started making money for myself around that time and investigating digital marketing. And then I saw a Sam Ovens consulting accelerator course on Facebook, it was a Facebook ad, I bought it, it was like $3500 dollars or $4 grand, which at the time, was heaps of money for me and I just did it in 2 hours, like I watched this guy’s webinar and I just bought it. I was like, ‘If this guy can convert me through Facebook ads, like there’s something to it, right?’ I went through that course. I quit my job, I moved back home, like with my parents, and I studied this course full-time. 6 months later, I moved up back to Adelaide with my friend, Terry, she owns a website design agency. And so, I started trying to get some work for free, like, with her, trying to find some clients. I just basically did a whole bunch of freestyle for like 6 or 8 months until I got hired by a supplement company as a store manager. I was like, ‘Dude, can I just start running ads? I just wanna start running ads for you.’ I’d work in the store, doing all the store managing stuff, and then I’d also do the Google, the email, and the Facebook side as well, plus I design landing pages so I really had a full stack, sort of, experience. From there, I made my own little agency called Empowered Marketing where we did, like, it’s basically a product tie set, I would set up Google top-of-funnel, I’d retarget with Facebook, and I’d set up the email flows as well. That’s, I pretty much did that exact same thing. I was doing that for, probably, a year and a half. And then, Ray reached out to me on LinkedIn, and I was pretty sick of the whole business side of things, worrying about finances, I just wanted to run ads, I wanted to have more experience with building brands and working with larger budgets and stuff like that. I jumped onboard with Right Hook and that was, probably, 2019 in November, and I’ve been here ever since. I think, honestly, I would say it probably changed my life, the experiences I’ve got here. It’s really awesome.
Ray (12:05 – 12:12) – I think it’s important to say that Brett was one of the first people I ever used for LinkedIn recruiting so I’m happy that it worked out.
Brett (12:12 – 12:23) – Yeah, I’m so glad I actually worked on my LinkedIn profile too, I was reaching out to clients, and so I actually made my LinkedIn profile, like, very respectable. Else, I don’t know if you’d ever reach out to me.
Scott (12:23 – 12:27) – Then we got to know you. Shit.
Brett (12:28 – 12:29) – Big mistake!
Scott (12:33 – 12:58) – It’s interesting hearing that common theme. Pretty much everyone we know in the space who loves it or are self-learners, and I can hear that, like, as a common thread, definitely between myself… and as you said, you need to get a marketing degree… it’s obsolete in 2 months. We don’t even know what’s gonna work in 2 months’ time from now and it’s like, you can’t learn, especially on the media buying side, how to do that in uni.
Ace (12:58 – 13:01) – We were learning, like, print advertising. It was obsolete 10 years ago.
Scott (13:02 – 13:12) – It’s crazy, I don’t know how marketing degrees really still work, unless you are going, more down that corporate type of side.
Ray (13:12 – 13:22) – I would say it’s not even relevant then. It’s not even relevant in the corporate world anymore. It’s because universities are good marketers, frankly. That’s how they get people.
Ace (13:22 – 13:35) – Pretty much. They trade on their brands & reputation and, certainly, yeah, it wasn’t the most inspired decision. And my undergrad, as an arts degree, gave me a lot more practical skills like writing and communication, for example.
Scott (13:36 – 13:50) – Which is key, you know. At the core of what we do, really, is being able to be good advertisers and write good copy, and combining that with the creative, which you guys have done. We can dive into that because you spoke about finding that illustrator that you need.
13:52 – 21:47 – The early stages & evolution of Threadheads
Scott (13:52 – 14:09) – Let’s go back to the early stages of Threadheads. What was your focus when you guys, okay, seed, ideation, to scaling to mid 6-figures – what did that look like? What was your focus and the mindset you needed throughout that phase to grow that quickly, aggressively, and profitably?
Ace (14:09 – 18:19) – You know, when I reflect on it, I actually don’t even remember what I was thinking. I don’t remember the, sort of, struggles I was going through or, you know, the idea that, you know, on certain days, we’d make less than $100 dollars. I do remember that there were doubts along the way and that I wasn’t sure if we would achieve success, but I think that when you have a business partner, and you have each other, you’re on a journey together and you’ll succeed together and you’ll fail together. So, it can go one of two ways – you can drive each other on & remind the other person, when they’re not feeling good, that we can do it, or, you know, you can fight and it could collapse. I think in the case of Marcus and I, our personalities balance really well. Through having really different skill sets, it allowed him to be so focused on product, and me on marketing & strategy, that we just gelled and it just worked somehow. So, I guess, as we started to get into early 2020, it was around January, February, the pandemic hadn’t quite hit yet, but it was just starting – I remember thinking, looking at our Facebook ad account and looking at Shopify, ‘Okay, I’ve sort of worked something out here.’ You know, we were getting ROAS of 5, 6x, increasing the budgets on a lot of our campaigns. We were, sort of, I wouldn’t say at the scaling phase, in hindsight, it was small money, but we were able to grow revenue profitably. For us, you know, that was a turning point. I had Google ads running, we had basic flows set up in Klaviyo, we had quite a performance whereas before, we built and that was built on Shopify, before we built it ourselves with my friend Alex. So, suddenly, we have, you know, contact management system, we have back-end taken care of. It was just focusing on the front-end user experience. So, you have all the basic elements of what you need there, combined with a good offer. We focused on the content, the products, the designs, the graphic T-shirts’ designs and everything, and because of the success there, just in that Shopify store alone, we started to wane off custom printing and it’s almost like, because we started to achieve success on the retail side of things, that dictated our strategy and we realized that that’s the direction the business had to go in. I think it’s often the case with these brands, when you’re starting the brand and the strategy comes after the actions. For example, I don’t think, when Google started their search engine, they were thinking about GMail or Android or Chrome or any of their products, not to, you know, compare Threadheads with a company like that, but the point being, you often do things and, then the things that work, it would give you ideas on what to double down on and what direction to take the business in. There’s more examples of that along the journey, but yeah, everything started to click with Facebook ads. We entered into the pandemic and things went insane. And so, I’d be running the ads, but also, with my friend, we’d be printing t-shirts all through the night. It was, like, one of those classic things, you know, or pandemic stories where everything was closed and, you know, you’d be driving down the road and there’d be a huge billboard that says Stage 4 restrictions in place. It was like a totalitarian society. At the same time, you’re, sort of, insulated within your eCommerce business, rocking up everyday with the same people and it just was this crazy time where I probably just worked for a year and a half, and was so fortunate to have that, while other people had to stay at home, some of which could work and others, obviously, couldn’t.
Scott (18:19 – 18:23) – Were you allowed out to the warehouse?
Ace (18:23 – 21:44) – ‘Cause we had a production component, it was like a warehouse, pick and pack, we were able to do that. It was great for us as a group, you know, we were able to bond and grow. I brought more people into the team at the time as the dollars started coming in. One thing we’ve done, and we did that in those early days too, Marcus and I have probably, in one way, that we’re playing offense. So, you know, there were times when it was probably stretched a bit far and it was quite risky, but we were, at times, forced closure due to COVID to probably putting ourselves in an awkward position, cash flow-wise, but we played on in offense, we hired a lot of people, and a lot of people that came from really random backgrounds, like we’re talking about marketing degrees and stuff like that. I didn’t hire anyone that I studied with in marketing, except for one person who really helped us a lot. Instead, I hired a guy who was a teacher, you know, who’s studying to be a teacher, and now he’s our email marketing specialist, and he’s on-brand, he’s across everything, he’s an absolute gun. People from diverse backgrounds, obviously, I mentioned Fulvio, the illustrator from Colombia, he’s transformed the business. Some of his designs have, you know, sold upwards of half a million dollars. So, all this people came into the business, we kept working on Facebook ads, Google ads, email, fundamentals, having a really strong Shopify experience. Yeah, I guess, probably leaning a little bit too much into performance, we know that we need to focus a bit more on creative and brand, and the type of capabilities that I’m building out, but throughout the whole pandemic, just grew the business, you know, from 4 million in 2020 to 12 million in 2021, and now, since Brett has come onboard, we got ambitions to do 25 – 30 million this year, enter the US market. We’ve done a lot on the tech side, in terms of how we do our production. If you buy a Threadheads t-shirt, it’s gonna be the same in every single market. It’s a really good, quality direct-to-garment product. We really understand the technology and our software engineer & our operations manager have worked together tirelessly on, sort of, getting that right. We’ve got a lot of things that are happening. And then, the final thing that’s happening, I guess, more recently is we’ve just worked out that licensing is a direction we wanna go in. We’ve struck some pretty big deals – Warner Bros. is our latest deal and, obviously, you get Rick & Morty, Harry Potter, a bunch of brands that come with that. So, you know, we’ve got ambitions to become the biggest direct-to-consumer pop culture clothing brand in the world. Yeah, I just, I think, I met, even along the way, a lot of doubters and people like, ‘Oh, it’s a t-shirt company,’ particularly on the first year. Friends and family, they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s a nice side-hobby. Keep doing your marketing degree.’ Slowly but surely, I turned them, you know, I’ve convinced them. There’s other doubters now, at this next stage, it’s like, can we make it to that, you know? I’m sure we’re gonna encounter that a lot. We’re talking with investors and stuff like that too, but I think we just have to believe in ourselves and just take it on, and do the best we can & trust each other. The rest will follow.
Ray (21:43 – 21:45) – Ace…
Scott (21:43 – 21:47) – That pivot… oh, you go, Ray.
21:47 – 26:09 – What’s the mindset needed to build and scale the business?
Ray (21:47 – 22:12) – You mentioned believing in yourself. Me & Scott, we talked to a lot of brands over the years. I think a lot of brands, they struggle with just the offense, they really struggle on the offense, right, because they wanna be risk-averse, they wanna play it safe, they really care about the P&L when sometimes, maybe, they shouldn’t. What would your advice be on the, kind of, mindset that people need to have to grow aggressively like you guys have at Threadheads?
Ace (22:12 – 23:59) – Yeah, I think there’s merit to being conservative in some cases. I think you need to look at it, you know, relatively. How much debt do you have? You know, what’s your burn rate? How much cash is coming into the business? What sort of, you still have to be, you know, I guess, pragmatic about it. If you’re operating at a 1.5x ROAS, probably sort your shit out before you try and go for broke. I think you have to find product-market fit, I would say is a big part of it. If you think you have product-market fit, then it, sort of, backs everything you do because, at the end of the day, on the performance side, it’s like, alright, you can only have the right mindset, you can only believe in what you do if the product-market fit is good first, unless you think you’re just amazing at ad creative and selling a product that, maybe, people don’t want. I think you need to have the fundamentals right, and then, that just supports your thinking because you’re like, ‘Okay, we have a vision, we have a roadmap of what we want to achieve. Let’s go and do it.’ If we didn’t believe in our vision, that would’ve been a problem. If we didn’t think there was a gap in the market, that would be a problem. I think that’s allowed. Coming back to opportunity, there’s an opportunity here and we can recognize that, and that’s what gives us belief. I think, yeah, you don’t wanna be, you need to have good self-awareness and you don’t wanna be deluded about what you’re doing and just burn money, essentially. At the same time, the riskier you play it, the faster you can grow, you know? That’s the nature of things. You can grow more slowly, and that might work for a lot of people, but we’ve just chosen to take this route. Hey, Marcus, my business partner, he’s 49 years old, so he’s like, ‘Let’s fucking do this now! I wanna go chill at home sometimes.’
Scott (24:00 – 24:01) – I haven’t got long.
Ace (24:01 – 24:24) – No, no! But yeah, we’re both, kind of, manic personalities, you know? It depends on your personality type. I’m organized in, obviously, some ways, but at the same time, we do things quite quickly. I think that’s also quite key in entrepreneurship – how fast can you move? Just do a lot of things, see what works, see what doesn’t, and just keep going, basically.
Scott (24:24 – 25:09) – I think that’s how, and how it shifts as well, because I agree with that. Like, my perspective is, you wanna get to, at least, 100K, if not 250K a month, as quickly as you can. That’s where you can afford to take risks. Then, you can, sort of, bring down the risk a little bit to protect what you’ve got and you can slow things down and make them manageable. Even until you’re sort of doing, in my mind, 100K+, it’s hard to pay yourself, even just as one founder, a good salary and grow the business. I think I see way too many people paying themselves way too much too early. If you’re making 15 grand a month in profit from 100K, or 20 grand a month in profit, and you’re paying yourself 5K, 10K, you’re reducing your ability to reinvest and scale so much.
Ace (25:09 – 25:57) – Absolutely. Marcus and I didn’t pay ourselves anything. I moved back in with my mom, I was doing this degree at the same time, which I didn’t really put too much attention or love into, so it was all about the business. It was all about taking those profits, putting them back in the business, and giving it the best chance of survival. If you don’t give your business, in the early days, the oxygen that it needs, which comes from profitability, you’re gonna struggle. It compounds. Okay, you take your wage, but every dollar that you take out and don’t reinvest, it’s gonna take longer to get that return on investment. If I can put, I don’t know, at that time, I don’t know if there’s any investment that I could make with, you know, a low-level of risk where I could put a dollar into it, and get $6, 7, 8 dollars back. What am I gonna do with that? I’m gonna buy some smashed avocado or something from a cafe, it’s not gonna work out.
Scott (26:00 – 26:01) – That’s $40 down the drain.
Ace (26:01 – 26:09) – $40 down the drain! Don’t take money out of your business too early and just live like a pauper. You’ll reap the rewards down the track.
26:09 – 28:11 – The balance between business performance & branding
Scott (26:09 – 26:29) – Do you see the balance, ‘cause you mentioned it before, the balance between the performance and the brand side? There’s a little bit of a similar spectrum or journey, ‘cause the early stages, right? You need ROI, and there’s no point in focusing on branding when you’ve got no business or brand to worry about. As you’ve grown to where you are now, that becomes a more important component.
Ace (26:29 – 27:35) – Yeah. I think it’s also a matter of doubling down on what works, as we’ve discussed. You know, in the early days, for me, at least, it was the golden era of Facebook ads. It was just like, ‘Okay, this is an easy way to make money quickly,’ whereas if, you know, play the long game with content and brand, it’s really, we probably should’ve done that a lot more, but at the time, it was just like, ‘Oh, this is just too easy.’ I think, you know, if you’re starting your brand now, if we’re starting Threadheads now, fire out. There would have to be emphasis on SEO, on content, on building email and SMS as foundational. And then, on the performance side, you know, obviously, you’re running your Google ads, but we’d be slower, I think, it would always have to be, just because the returns wouldn’t be there. We’d be more content and brand in the early days, rather than performance. Now, it’s the case where, we’re at this stage where Threadheads is at a certain, we’ll keep scaling performance anyway. There’s probably no need to stop doing that, ‘cause it allows us to grow our data acquisition. You know, we’re gonna have…
Scott (27:34 – 27:35) – More controllable.
Ace (27:35 – 28:11) – More controllable. We’re capturing email, we’re capturing SMS, people are getting to know us. Every time they see an ad, you know, it has Threadheads or ‘Threadheads x this,’ so I, honestly, feel like on performance, there’s always a branding opportunity too. There’s a reason, you know, we have 15,000 people every month searching Threadheads in Australia, and that’s because, through Facebook ads! It’s the only top-of-funnel awareness we have and, maybe, Google, but this idea of brand only being built, you know, through traditional brand channels, that also happens on Facebook too, but it depends on how you play it.
28:11 – 34:46 – The bottlenecks Threadheads experienced when scaling the business
Scott (28:11 – 28:34) – Let’s fast-forward to where you felt like you needed an agency to help get to that next stage and where we started to, sort of, get in the mix and how that, from there, it’s an interesting story. What were the bottlenecks that you were facing as an entrepreneur, internally, that felt like you needed some outside help to take that next step?
Ace (28:34 – 29:42) – So, I think the bottleneck is talent acquisition. It’s very hard to bring people in the company when you’ve only hired 6, 7, 8 people, and a lot of those people haven’t been in professional services. So, you know, if they haven’t been in the space, you’ve barely been in the space, you know, I’ve been running a business for 3 years at that point, 2.5 years at that point, so I had no idea what I was doing. I was effective with Facebook ads, but in terms of actually then bringing someone else in and teaching them how to do it, and then them being able to do better than I did, it was probably gonna be difficult. So, you know, with an agency, it’s always, you’re bringing people in that have immediate impact on the business. It’s a pretty good shortcut to getting results. The tradeoff is, it’s more expensive, that’s always gonna be the case, but yeah, basically, I got an audit from a person in the US named Andrew Foxwell, and he gave, ‘cause I’ve been following, you know, I’m immersed in the space, basically. He gave…
Scott (29:42 – 29:47) – He was the first person that gave me an audit too, when I had my brand.
Ace (29:47 – 31:20) – He loves it, he knows his stuff! I trusted his referral. You guys were in Australia, which worked out nicely for collaboration. Ever since working with Brett, he’s just a legend. He’s just very easy to get along with. I would’ve liked to see him in his powerlifting form, to be honest. I wish he was a bit more burly, like in the early days. But, aside from that, even him coming into the team now, and working our project management tool, the sort of experience and wisdom that he’s passing to the members of our team, it’s awesome to see the kind of impact he’s had in such a short space of time. You know, I’m interested to see what we can do for the rest of the year together. But, certainly, it’s yeah, it’s the account that, when you go to agencies, it’s about accelerating that process of bringing skills and knowledge into an organization, you know, on a given channel or area of expertise. You know, the account, when I handed it over to Brett, you would say it was in good shape, but I hadn’t scaled it so, you know, I’d spend $200,000 – $300,000 dollars on ads for about a $2 million dollar return. So, those were the days of amazing ROAS, but you know, when you guys came in, it was more, like, ‘Okay, how do we take this to the next level, or how do we scale the account?’ Yeah, we managed to do it quite well so far.
Ray (31:20 – 31:46) – Question for you, Ace. When you were scaling, so after, a little bit about when you started working with Brett, and you guys started to really hit your stride together, ‘cause I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, over a 5- or 6-month period, you guys went from, like, $500K double, triple, even quadruple during that time span. During that time, I’m sure on the back-end, it was, probably, really hectic to try to maintain that kind of growth. What did that look like during that gap?
Ace (31:46 – 34:46) – Yeah, so, operationally, we’re pretty cooked. We hit, because we’re print-on-demand, you’re only as fast as the amount of machines and labor you have. So it’s like traditional manufacturing. Basically, we needed to get more people on, we needed to extend our hours, you know, we were buying machines. It took us a while to, sort of, catch up. Again, I think it might be a similar thing when you’re working as a performance marketing agency with a company that needs to buy inventory – that brand needs to import its inventory from, you know, far away, it might take 2 – 3 months to arrive, depending on whether it was manufactured or not. Yeah, you’re always gonna, there’s a bit of a lag there, so it does require some planning and adaptation, but basically we brought a lot more people in. We purchased more machines, and we found a production partner in September, which, sort of, changed everything and it timed perfectly in the lead up to Q4, where we know things went out of control. And every single Christmas, consistently, we have been able to match demand so I think, you know, coming into this year, we know exactly what we have to do. We have a really sound production strategy, or operational strategy, more broadly. On the customer experience side, we had issues in November – December with the amount of, I guess, queries we had. We just, we know what we’re doing now, basically, and we’re in such a good position to attack this year. Now, it’s actually, ‘Alright, how do we generate even more demand?’ Now, not on the capacity side anymore. Alright, we know exactly what we’re doing. We have so much capacity, let’s just blow the roof off this and work at what exactly the mix of channels is, how much performance we’re doing, how much brand we’re doing, let’s push out more content, you know, on the organic side. Let’s make way more ad creative on the paid side. Let’s audit all of our copy. Let’s just do everything best practice as much as we can – let’s build out more flows, let’s optimize existing flows. I’m always coming back to fundamentals. I’m not as exploratory as I, probably, should be, I think I need to bring someone in who’s a bit more like that. We should be across YouTube, Pinterest, definitely, we’re trying TikTok so TikTok has to happen, there’s no question about it. We need to be exploring and testing new channels, but at the same time, we just need to nail everything we’ve done. We need to take it to another level, and I think that’s probably where the success is. And then, obviously, on the product side, you gotta put so much into our licensing program, into our Threadheads Originals brand, so we’re investing in our illustrators and we’re trying to think of not just, you know, we just started marketing sprints with Brett in terms of the ad creative that we produced. But, on the product side, we probably should be doing product sprints for certain brands or certain campaigns. It’s just the thinking on the product side as well to see where we can take it.
34:47 – 45:34 – The fundamentals and internal processes that worked for Threadheads in collaboration with Right Hook Digital
Ray (34:47 – 35:05) – Yeah, with Brett, during that gap, I wanna bring you into the conversation. You’re working so closely with Ace during that gap to scale aggressively? What were some of the fundamentals that were working well for you, on your side? After he’s done, Ace, love to hear from your side – what were the fundamentals that were clicking for you during that gap as well?
Brett (35:05 – 35:16) – When Ace handed me the account, it was, essentially, all DPAs, it was nothing but DPAs. And it was working, there were no exclusions, no DPAs or anything like that.
Ray (35:16 – 35:18) – But that’s why Ace said it was so easy.
Scott (35:20 – 35:24) – Total Chad. First budget, DPAs.
Brett (35:24 – 35:30) – I mean, it was working, man! Like, what, the month that we took over, it was, like, we made $500K or something?
Ace (35:30 – 35:34) – More than one way to skin a cat, guys. We should’ve taken that methodology.
Brett (35:36 – 36:20) – We kept all the DPAs, definitely, because they’re working and the CPAs were, sort of, low. We’re talking, like, $3 dollars sometimes, still with, like your top-of-funnel ad campaigns, crazy-low CPMs on the DPA campaigns. Because it’s, the product is shown so clearly and it’s just the design that people are buying, it just makes sense to do that, but we did add in a lot of inclusions so we just structured the funnel a bit better. I just wanted to bring in best practice structures that we put in the middle-of-funnel; bottom-of-funnel, we did some time-based segmenting. And then, top-of-funnel, we really wanted to exclude everyone else that wasn’t, like, strangers, essentially, so that I could start filling that funnel for the new people and scaling that way. And then, it was just, basically, spending more money. I think that’s…
Scott (36:20 – 36:24) – You gotta make it sound way harder than that, dude.
Brett (36:24 – 37:30) – Well, I mean, it was good. He’s got a great product. I think, most of the time, when it comes to scaling a brand, if they have good product-market fit, exactly what Ace said, it’s much easier, right? You just have to put the product in front of people, and that’s what we did. For, like, many, many months, it was like that until we took it from $500K to, like, $2.3 million in November. Most of that was just DPAs, like the same sort of funnel structure, and then, obviously, scaling horizontally by bringing in new products as well and adding that to the mix. Now, we’re, sort of, seeing, like Ace was saying, we need to actually set up a creative testing structure where we’re bringing those creative sprints into his team and then we’re getting that creative done. We’re gonna have a good creative testing system, and also with TikTok as well to start building and scaling TikTok as well. But from my side, I think that was what had the biggest impact – already seeing what was working, and doubling down on that, and then just putting in some of our best practices and seeing if that works. ‘Cause if that hadn’t worked, I would’ve gone to what he was just doing before, and I would’ve just scaled vertically with budget and scaled horizontally with new products, so yeah.
Scott (37:30 – 38:34) – The product part just makes life so much easier because even with your designs, the angle is almost, it’s pretty much baked into the product, right? You’re building the angles around the designs, which makes things so much easier. What does, and I think this is a really good insight, like, building and scaling a brand, that agency partner or relationship, what did that look like through that period? What did that look like – communication, how many touchpoints, how regularly you guys talk to each other? And it always helps when you guys just get along on a personal level, like that’s so critical at the core of it. Whenever we’re pairing strategists with potential partners, you know, we’re always trying to look at that, like who’s gonna vibe with the right person as well, I think that’s such a key part. From both sides, just some insights in terms of what the workflow looks like and how we’ve tried to integrate as much in your side, as much as you into ours because both businesses have their own ways of operating and we gotta find that middle ground, right?
Ace (38:34 – 40:30) – Yeah, well, I guess I had to learn Asana. But Asana is the same as ClickUp, basically. I think Asana’s a little bit more corporate, ClickUp’s a bit more start-up and there’s obviously more features in ClickUp, but you know, in Asana, it was all about just project managing new campaigns that came through. Having different tabs for copy and for other, you know, call notes and things that we went through, and so just having all of that organized in front of us… And communicating, I love to communicate inside a project management tool versus, you know, what do they call it, a Slack or a Teams. I think they’re persistent comms or something like that, but it just works better because you’re always task-focused whereas, I think, in conversations that happen in Slack, for example, can be ambiguous so they don’t actually lead to outcomes so I think we’re always outcome-focused. There’s always a pragmatic approach to any discussion for any given task within Asana. And then, it would be, you know, your fortnightly calls, and we could’ve gone higher on the frequency, but the problem was Brett & I would have a call and we’d end up going for about 4 hours so we’d have, we’d just like, it’s probably not the best use of our time. So, we just do that. I think we’re getting better now as a result of you guys being integrated on the creative side. So, I think there will always be a difficult part of running a performance agency, particularly if we didn’t have the DPAs to rely on. It’s just getting that steady flow of creative and content. If, you know, the agency does it, there might be issues on the brand side and stuff like that. I think we’ve hit a nice mix where, you know, as I said, Brett is bringing all of this knowledge to our creative team. We’re able to synergize and get, tie the feedback loop and test more variations of content. That’s, kind of, the workflow for us. Wasn’t it, Brett?
Brett (40:30 – 41:19) – Yeah, definitely. And I think one thing that’s important to note about Asana as well is that it’s not just me that’s working on the account as well. I have a lot of people to support me – a media buyer, project manager, a creative, copywriters. So having everything in Asana and the project management means that if I don’t see something, somebody’s gonna see that, somebody’s gonna be able to action it. Things aren’t gonna get left behind. If you’re just talking in Slack, even in Teams now, we’re talking on Teams, a lot of the stuff that we discuss there, it’s hard to action it because it’s not, it’s just in the moment, and then you leave that and you kinda just forget about it, right? If it’s in project management, it can be assigned, it can be tasked, it can be followed up, and it just makes a lot more sense, definitely. On the call side of things, when we have a call, we’re just making sure that there’s actual action items on point and that is then tasked out in the project management software as well.
Ace (41:19 – 41:36) – It has to happen after every meeting, that you break out those notes into tasks. You know, maybe not all the things discussed, but I think you make decisions on what sort of direction you want to take the account in, on the call and then what are the steps to actually achieve that direction.
Brett (41:36 – 41:56) – Yeah, because you can talk about something loosely on the call as well, but then if it’s in the project management system, and then I can come back at a later time, look at it – I have more ideas, I’ve had more time to let it simmer in my head a little bit, and then you can structure it out. Actually, the implementation of it, who’s responsible for what, set a timeline, just to keep things moving forward.
Ray (41:56 – 42:20) – On the project management side, Ace, so you guys have the 8-figure mark, you have very ambitious goals for 2022. How does a person like you, like the co-founder, how do you structure your team? How do you manage all the moving parts that you guys are trying to move very quickly ‘cause I’m sure, entrepreneurship’s not made, it’s not for everyone. You have to be a different type of person or different type of breed of person. How do you organize all your different teams and all your different partners?
Ace (42:20 – 45:07) – So I’m glad to say, as of last week, I’m now a ClickUp verified user! I’ve got the tick the same as Instagram verified. I’m just copying it for my team because it’s like micromanaging. I’m handy in project management tools. I think I like to structure out organizations. I think, you know, you need to, a lot of the management happens within these apps, particularly with remote work forces. There’s less of those conversations. You do need to have meetings, but a lot of it can be done there. So, you know, we’re just structured out by department – marketing, product, operations, tech, customer experience, for example, people is the other one. And then, you might have some lists that are shared or tasks that are shared between lists ‘cause they’re cross-department. And so, yeah, I think that’s what I spend a lot of my time doing at the moment. From a higher level, there’s three things I have to do, and I set my OKRs along this line, for the quarter. One is to build a great team: it’s how I find and attract talent to Threadheads. The second is build incredible processes that allow people to gel and understand what they’re doing. And the third, I think, is just around, just around culture and, actually, just being there for people & working with them & making… it’s, sort of, similar to the 2nd one, but it’s more on, just the emotional side and understanding where they’re at in their careers, what their goals are, what motivates them. It’s less, maybe, on the systems & processes, and how we’re achieving the results at Threadheads, and it’s more on, like, okay, what do these people need to succeed and really do well at Threadheads. I think that’s, kind of, my mix at the moment – you can see it so much focused around people, training, and that sort of thing. And then, you know, part of all of that is, what’s the strategic vision of the company? Where are we actually going? I think all of those, there are components in that, right? You know, you need to find the right talent to fill holes in a team, you need the right systems & processes to implement it, and you need people to have a fucking good time when you’re working together. And then, I think it’s like, day in day out, it’s actually, like, patience and you’re seeing that happen overtime, and that development of the team, that would be so critical. It’s new for me because I feel like that’s where it’s gonna go. I do feel like these things take time and it’s not like everyone will understand all of the systems & processes right away or what their roles are, and those sorts of things. It takes time and patience to get there.
Scott (45:07 – 45:33) – There’s always a really, often, a very long lag time between cause and effect, especially with those types of things. You might not see it for months and months and months, the impact of those processes, those systems. The one that you mentioned there that just doesn’t get talked about much with eCommerce entrepreneurs, I find, is that cultural side, the people side. For us, that’s a huge part because our business is people.
Ace (45:33 – 45:34) – People.
45:34 – 51:25 – Hiring the right people for your team and building an inclusive, fun, & growth-oriented company
Scott (45:34 – 45:44) – On the day-to-day basis, what are some of the things you do to build that inclusiveness, that place of safety, growth progression within the company?
Ace (45:44 – 46:07) – Yeah, I think Marcus, my business partner, is very good at this because he makes it a genuinely fun place to work. He’s so weird, like we have a door of shame where he cuts out pictures of people and all sorts of random stuff, it’s a shocking door to look at. And, you know, he collects flyers, puts them in a container, and then he pranks people with them.
Scott (46:07 – 46:10) – That one’s weird. That’s weird as shit.
Ace (46:10 – 48:15) – That’s weird as fuck, right? He’s top-level weird. He’s like, you know he’s like a CEO, but he’s so relatable & fun. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit in the place because of that. I’m probably more systems and processes and stuff like that, and he balances it by just being a bit more gung ho. I think, you know, part of it is touching base with people. I’ll have one-to-one calls with my direct reports, but now, prior to that, I was probably having too many calls with too many different people. I still wanna touch base, but I’ve now come around to realizing that meetings are important whereas before I was just like, let’s just keep doing things. And then, it’s, yeah, listening to people instead of talking all the time, you know? When I have conversations with people all the time, I probably just listen for cues and things that are important to them and, sort of, allow them to find what they should be doing as well, rather than say, ‘Hey, these are all the things you should be doing.’ It’s like, when you listen to what people think they should be doing, first of all, it develops their strategic mindset. They’re able to make decisions for the company without necessarily me holding their hand. The second thing is, they actually will tend to work on things they like doing as well, and that’s not always a bad thing. If you tell people a bunch of things to do, but they don’t like doing all of them, they’ll do some things they don’t like, some things that are laborious, but on the other hand, when they do things that they’re passionate about, typically, the work is better. And so, I think it’s a lot about having calls with people, listening to them, and then, at the same time, just having a fun environment where people feel comfortable coming in to work. I think it’s a newer thing for us, but we’re trying to make sure that as this company grows and we bring more people into it, it’s still as fun and as silly and as juvenile as it was in the early days. We don’t want to turn into some corporate, you know, behemoth. It just doesn’t, that’s not what Threadheads is, and we don’t wanna lose that side of our personality.
Scott (48:15 – 48:54) – Yeah, I think we’ve got a very similar perspective and experiencing a lot of the same, similar issues you mentioned there. Striking that balance between having contact, communication, meetings, but finding enough time to feel like you can get some things done. For most of us, Ray & I will attest to this, you go from running accounts to working with clients as a maker and transition more to a leadership-manager type role where you gotta make those times and it’s more on the people side. It’s such a shift, and such an evolution for yourself and a growth curve. For me, it has been, from a leadership standpoint in the last 2 years.
Ray (48:56 – 49:59) – I think the greatest testament is, one, and you mentioned the lag time, which takes a long time, but the greatest testament is, that you’ve, maybe arrived is that people you brought in have now surpassed you in skill. They’re even better at you in that skill, I think it’s a great testament that you hired well and you also invested in them. The hardest part is that investment, different people, they progress at different time periods, right? Some may have hunger and ambition, in 3 months they may be better at you at, or it may take them 6 months to a year to get them to that point. I think that’s the hardest part, for founders, is being okay with that investment and that time on your plate ‘cause that’s on your job. I wanna ask you a question about that comment, Ace. When you’re hiring your first people, I think this is where a lot of these, people that started off, that had a lot of success, they struggled to let go, what were the things that helped you the most, okay, this person, they now own this space, this is what I hired them from, and I’m just gonna coach in them and invest in them.
Ace (49:59 – 51:25) – Yeah, so, I think it needs to be, it’s a hard one ‘cause for some people, you want a focused role. And then, other people, they like doing a lot of other things. I think the first thing you wanna look at is, okay, what are they actually gonna enjoy doing? That usually, what comes with that is they’re usually good at it as well. So, for example, I have one person who is good at creative & design, but also into the marketing side of things too. You know, obviously, organic social and email lent themselves perfectly to that. It was a need for Threadheads, but also, that person, you just, sometimes the role actually comes from the individual rather than you saying, ‘Hey, this is a role,’ and then you just find a person to fit into that. So, it’s like, what sort of people do you have? I think that’s where a lot of the internal restructuring comes about where you have people that suddenly just, ‘Oh wait, this person can be great at ad creative. And this person can be great at this particular thing.’ And they, sort of, justmove into that naturally, and the company finds its structure as a result. Yeah, I think it’s just looking at what people do, what they like doing, and then they just, you know, you find a nice spot for them in the company. You see if their work is good or not, and if they’re enjoying it, and then that’s your feedback there to see whether you keep moving in that direction or you try something different. That’ll be my answer.
51:26 – 55:24 – Key areas of improvement during the growth & scaling phase of the business
Scott (51:26 – 52:05) – I’ve got a question. Going back to the entrepreneurial growth side, once you, those early stages, you just focus on, you get caught up in the channels, making them work, but once you got to say, mid-six figures and then you scale to 7- and 8-figures, and you also have the experience of the differences in the, I guess, the logistical supply chain side with the 2 different businesses and how you had to learn. Where did your, like, knowledge gaps come up and what were the areas you needed to focus on, you know, resources you were going to learn whether it was around logistics, finance? What were the key things you felt like you needed to level up on through that growth phase?
Ace (52:05 – 54:13) – A good example is right now. I mean, I came out of this period where all I was doing is Facebook ads, Google ads, you know, growth marketing, essentially, for direct-to-consumer. And I knew all of that stuff, and then suddenly, you know, I’ve got Brett, I’ve got someone new doing Google ads, these people who are doing the things that I typically or traditionally did within the organization. Okay, well, what the hell do I do? You go into this transition phase where you work out what the next steps are. So, in this case, the steps are, we need people, we need, as we said, systems, and we probably, also, will look for capital. So, I’m gonna be across all of that. Suddenly, my role becomes structuring the organization, finding gaps in the org with regards to skills, and then making it all work seamlessly. And then, probably, the capital to support all of that, and invest into talent and marketing. And then the final piece of the puzzle is me and Marcus sitting across the table from companies like Warner Bros. and getting deals done; that was the next immediate need that requires a level of professionalism, negotiation, a bunch of skills that, you know, the soft skills. You know, you go in there, you work it out; you might be good at negotiation, you might not be, but it was something that, for me, it came quite naturally, trying to work out, ‘Okay, how much do we want to spend on this deal? What’s the rate in which we want to pay them? Let’s work something out and have conversations,’ and then present our company as a great opportunity for them. So, you know, you can see, already, that you’re looking at company brand there, not just for potential licenses, or licensors, but also for people to come to the company. It’s me pitching the company to people, you know – pitching it to people, pitching it to brands, and saying, ‘Hey, come work with us! Come work for us! This is a unique opportunity for you.’ Now, that’s my role, pretty much, in the day to day and I’m sitting in ClickUp, and I’m meeting with people, and seeing how they’re going. And then, thinking about what’s the future and where the hell are we sailing this ship, pretty much.
Scott (54:13 – 54:16) – Have you got any mentors or anything that you bounce ideas off?
Ace (54:16 – 54:44) – I’ve got a couple of people. Some people are, actually, not more senior than I am, but are really intelligent and have helped me on the journey. Shout out to Luca because he’s just been tremendous for me and he’s just connected us with our production partner, and our copywriter, and a bunch of people, they’re just people that you meet. They’re not necessarily more senior, I do need a mentor, so Scott, if you wanna help me out, I’m definitely down to.
Scott (54:45 – 55:24) – Always happy to help, always happy to help. We’re looking for the same. Dee is very much that, plays that role for us, internally, and he’s younger than me, but he’s one of the wisest people I’ve ever met in my life. It’s crazy. But I think it’s important that you surround yourselves with those type of people and, even within our leadership group, you know, there’s things that I’ve learned from Ray, from Bek, from Luke, Kayla – everyone’s got different skill sets and ways they do things better than I do. I think it’s just trying to absorb as much of the good stuff from the people around you and surrounding yourself with good people as possible. That’s pretty key.
Ace (55:22 – 55:24) – It is, for sure.
55:25 – 1:02:36 – Future plans for Threadheads in 2022 and beyond
Scott (55:25 – 55:42) – We’re getting pretty close to time, but let’s, sort of, talk about where to for Threadheads from here. And, Brett, we can jump to you in terms of where you’re looking at, strategically, what do you think it’s gonna take to take that next step? What does that look like? What do the next 12 months look like for you guys?
Brett (55:42 – 56:01) – I think, from my side, what I would really love to focus on, I mean, as well as just plain customer acquisition, especially in expanding geos to USA, is the customer retention as far as, like, utilizing all of the customers that Ace already has and then, I’m gonna say profiting off them, I know that sounds weird…
Scott (56:01 – 56:02) – That sounds like LTV.
Brett (56:05 – 56:39) – Basically! Just raising that customer lifetime value, right? By doing things like exclusive launches, getting into things like new technologies like NFTs, for example – any way that we can, basically, use that list how it should be used. I think that’s something that we can do better, and I really love the idea of having these big product drops like we do for a lot of our other brands. Adding in some exclusivity, something unique that people will really, really love and enjoy. So I think, for me, that’s something I really, really wanna see, and the next thing is obviously expanding out into the USA with this new production facility.
Ace (56:39 – 59:15) – I think that makes sense. A lot of what you’re talking about there is product-led growth and, so, I think growth comes in many forms. I think, on the retention side, I think a lot of growth can come from customer experience. It can come from operational excellence. When we’re being proactive about it, product-led growth & marketing-led growth are, you know, 2 of the biggest levers you have, and they’re so connected. If we release, you know, new brands through our licensing partnerships, if we drop new product lines that allow us to have those unique artworks that are printed on them. It makes, it allows you to communicate different things to customers. You’re allowed to touch base with them and let them know, ‘Hey, we’ve just released cropped t-shirts. We’ve just released this Harry Potter collaboration. We’ve got sticker packs, we’ve got, you know, mugs, we’ve got all sorts of different things.’ We’re gonna focus on the product-led growth, new brands coming into the store, and trying to strike multi-territory deals, if not, global deals. And then, we wanna release new product ranges – we print those exclusive artworks. And then, I guess, at the same time, we want to make our products even better so, you know, whether it’s relabelling all our clothes, having that unified product, the same Threadheads graphic tee in every single market, with some new ones for, you know, European customers vs. US customers, for example. But, yeah, so we’re gonna invest in the product and on that side, and then marketing becomes a whole lot easier. Customer experience becomes a whole lot easier if the product’s better. They all work together. Just trying to be best practice in growth across all those departments, and then, it’s the strategy that drives all that, and the people that get it done on the executional level. So, it’s like a big tapestry of all of these different activities that lead to creating value for the customers, which is ultimately the goal. And so, it’s all of that at a higher level. And then, yeah, if we’re talking about data and stuff like that, build the email list, build the SMS list, increase the, I guess, volume of our comms and the quality of those interactions with customers. Leading into that, it’s like, double down on brand. Everyone says that, and it’s a very, you know, generic statement. We need to break that down and see what that looks like for Threadheads. You know, we’ve done, for example, no PR so no one even knows that we’re an 8-figure business, yeah. It’s on my LinkedIn profile, cool, but, like, no one knows that we’re…
Scott (59:15 – 59:18) – ClickUp verification!
Ace (59:18 – 59:55) – I’m ClickUp verified! No one knows about that. It’s unfortunate, but no one knows about it. So, yeah, we have to let people know that we exist and, hopefully, that we can occupy a place in their heads and hearts, ‘cause we can’t just, we don’t wanna just be a small company forever. We wanna be a global business that has real impact. I think, you know, bringing capital and strategic capital, in particular, will be helpful in terms of building brand and growing on the global stage. That’s, sort of, where I see the whole, you know, big picture of the Threadheads business.
Ray (59:55 – 1:00:02) – Last question on my side, Ace, would be, if you could wave a magic wand, what collaboration would you love to lock up with Threadheads?
Ace (1:00:02 – 1:00:08) – Okay, we’re secretly working on the Pokémon deal, I would say Pokémon anime.
Ray (1:00:09 – 1:00:13) – Really, so that’s… if there’s one that’s currently not on the books, so a deal not currently in the books…
Ace (1:00:12 – 1:01:34) – I’m still anime – Dragonball, just give me Dragonball Z. Let’s get some of that going, it’s so on brand for us. Fulvio, he’s just a legend when it comes to anime artwork so we wanna get that in. And then, of course, we go to Disney. You obviously get with that – you get, you know, Marvel, Simpsons, Star Wars, so many of these, you know, brands that we grew up with as kids so there’s so many out there. We have to pick the ones that fit with us. We also have to have a bloody good campaign calendar, Brett, because it’s gonna get fucking hectic. That’s what’s interesting about this company, okay, well, how many other brands will have, you know, let’s say 30 collaborations per year? Not many. They’re gonna do some branded collaborations and that’s where they build brand. We got this opportunity to elevate Threadheads by being ‘this x Threadheads, but over and over again. People see it in a store merchandise with all of these incredible content that they grew up with, that is exclusive because we’re putting our own spin on it. I think that creative license will grow as soon as the business grows and we get more leverage and deals. People will be like, ‘We’re collaborating with Threadheads ‘cause they’re gonna make incredible artwork using our assets. It’s on-brand for us.’ And so, that’s where the whole, yeah, it’s the secret sauce. Let’s not air this podcast so we can just keep it to ourselves, alright?
Ray (1:01:35 – 1:01:41) – I was gonna say, if anyone listening to this, or anyone in our network, if you guys have a connection to Dragonball Z or Disney, please reach out to Ace.
Scott (1:01:41 – 1:01:54) – Reach out to the guys, they’ve got a lot of those licensing deals happening on the NFT side. I wanna see some Monkey Magic and Voltron, man, an ‘80s kid.
Ace (1:01:52 – 1:01:59) – Dude, Monkey Magic! I love it! Voltron, Monkey Magic, that would be massive for us!
Scott (1:01:59 – 1:02:00) – He-Man.
Ace (1:02:00 – 1:02:02) – He-Man’s great. Definitely getting in that.
Scott (1:02:02 – 1:02:35) – Nice! Man, both of you, appreciate so much you guys coming on and talking with us. It’s been an awesome dynamic to watch for me being at arms length, but obviously working in the office with Brett, and spending time with you, Ace. It’s just one of those stories that’s been really great to see the growth and just that relationship work really well, and how both businesses integrated with each other to help it grow. Can’t wait to see what happens over the next 12 months. Gentlemen, thanks so much for coming on.
Ace (1:02:35 – 1:02:37) – Thanks so much, guys! Appreciate your time!
Brett (1:02:35 – 1:02:36) – Thank you!
1:02:37 – 1:03:32 – Episode Outro
Scott (1:02:37 – 1:03:32) – Thanks again for tuning to this episode of the Growth & Greatness eCommerce Podcast. I hope you got a ton of value out of this episode and if you did, we’d love for you to leave us a review on your platform of choice and help us reach as many people as we can. Now, if you’re a brand founder, an eCommerce entrepreneur, or an in-house marketing manager looking to accelerate your growth this year, reach out to us at Right Hook Digital. We’re a performance branding agency and we specialize in partnering with eCommerce brands to help them hit their growth goals with maximum ROI. Now, if this sounds like a solution that you need, then check us out at righthookdigital.com and schedule a call with our client partnerships team. They’d love to have a chat with you and see how we can help you grow.