Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast, everyone. I am your host, Arlen Robinson. And today we have a very special guest Dan Demsky, who is the founder of the e-commerce brand, Unbound Merino, which is a maker of quality merino wool clothing. The company was started as a crowdfunding campaign, raising $380,000 in its first 2 months. After just 3-years in business, they are doing $4m in revenue.

Hey, how are you? I’m doing awesome. And thank you for joining us today.

It’s my pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me. Yeah, not a problem. And today we’re talking about a subject that I think I may have only tackled one time before in the podcast, and that is crowd funding, because I think you’re an excellent case study in how it works and kind of a success story as well, because as I mentioned in the intro, you guys have really jumped in just three years of business to four million in revenue.

And that’s not an easy task. You know, I deal with a lot of e-commerce businesses these days and just getting to a million is tough. And then so getting beyond that in just three years is an awesome accomplishment. So I definitely applaud that. But before we get into the subject of today, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and specifically how you got into what you’re doing today?

I never really had a job in my career life. I had a lot of jobs since I was a teenager working at the grocery store or movie theater and things of that sort. But right out of school when I started school, I started doing some freelance video production just for fun and to make a little bit of money. And that grew, I guess, inadvertently into a decent business that I didn’t intend to start a business. So my life as an entrepreneur, I sort of I think it was in my nature, but I stumbled into it and I did the video production for many, many years.

We grew kind of fast. You know, I was in my early 20s and we became a seven figure business and we had 18 employees and we had a downtown studio here in Toronto. And I was loving the journey. I was loving the ride. But at one point I stopped loving it and I felt kind of stuck in it, you know, learning a lot of lessons the hard way, being a little bit disillusioned with what I was doing.

And I really was looking for something else. I felt from having met so many entrepreneurs in my own journey, I really wish I would have started a business that was a product, not a service. I wish I were selling this product online.

So I had this vision in the back of my head that I don’t think I want to create a business. And all I know about that business is I want to sell a product and I want the customers to find us on our website, not through wholesale. That’s all I knew. And so began this journey of ideating. And I would get together with my business partners who are my best friends, and we would have a whiteboard or a chalkboard or a scrap piece of paper.

And we do this every couple of weeks where we just come up with a list of ideas of what we could sell. And we came up with countless ideas and most of them terrible. Some of them may be good ideas. We never took them to market, but perhaps they maybe could have been good. But we were looking we’re looking for something.

And it wasn’t until I found a need for merino wool clothing to help I discover its benefits in helping you pack light when you travel. But I didn’t love anything that existed. I felt like no, I discovered merino wool and this miracle fabric, which is antibacterial and it’s odor resistant, it’s antimicrobial. And I was able to go travel overseas with just a carry on because instead of packing 14 t shirts, I could pack just a couple and even if I couldn’t find a larger machine, you could wear them and they would stay clean and fresh.

I think this is a miracle fabric, but everything looked like athletic wear or outdoors wear. And I felt this strong neither like I wish that I could get a nice black V-neck or crewneck tee shirt that fit nice. I could wear a nice pair of pants with that and put on a watch and go to a cocktail bar instead. Everything that’s out there looks like I’m supposed to have a canoe over my head or I’m supposed to be riding a bicycle.

And then that was like, bam, that’s the idea. Now, this took I was probably thinking for about two years of ideas without really pulling the trigger or anything, but because I had this strong want of this product for myself, I felt like no one’s doing it.

I was looking everywhere for it. I’m like, maybe we could be the people that bring this to market. And so was born the idea of starting on Camerino, but the challenge was I had this other business with it cost a fortune to keep the lights on in that business. And I had to be in boardrooms, pitching and closing deals all the time. And I just didn’t have access to extra capital to start a new company. I also didn’t really have time because I was writing this business and I had no energy.

I had nothing I had nothing to offer in order to start a new business. And I couldn’t sleep at night because I just felt like how often this is after years of searching, I have this idea, I have this idea that I think is timely. Nothing exists like it. I believe in it. And I want it I want it to exist just for me. I want it to exist. How can I do it, though, and I don’t have the time, I don’t have the energy and I don’t have the money and also I don’t know how to make clothing, that was another thing.

OK, so we decided, you know, and I was I was laying there. I remember I was laying them. I have no problem sleeping. That’s not never been one of my big issues. But in those days, I had my back of my head on my pillow. My eyes are wide open and just thinking, OK, I need to start this thing, but how do I do? And then I thought, what if I did a crowdfunding campaign, you know, and a crowdfunding campaign for no obvious reasons.

The first obvious reason is if people are preordering your product so you get the cash that solves the cash there. But the other thing was it also just it validates the idea. You can put your whole pitch forward, you can develop prototypes. You could try to get people to buy into this idea, preorder your products. They believe in it, and you let the market decide if it wants it. So as much as I wanted it, as much as I felt like the market, this would be a great to market this idea and to create these products, it’s worth nothing unless people actually agree and they buy it.

So we could validate the idea. We could make the money to buy the inventory, which I didn’t have. And on top of that building, the crowdfunding campaign, I could bucketed in time that I had. So on Friday nights, I’d get together just Friday nights for a year and a half. That’s how long it took to build the whole thing out.

But we were able to run my business and live my normal life, but squeeze in developing this crowdfunding campaign, these small bits of time. So with all things against me, that was the time I lost it. And if it worked, it worked. If it didn’t, at least I tried. So we did it a year and a half of work. We got the crowdfunding campaign up. We tried to sell thirty thousand dollars in preorders to meet our funding goal, but we got almost a four hundred thousand.

And they’re like, well, there we go. The market has told us that they’re ready for this idea. They like this. We bought a bunch of inventory and we are off to the races. And since then we’ve been growing steadily and it’s been a great journey and that’s how I got to where I am. That’s awesome.

Well, thank you for sharing that. And a couple of things I wanted to point out. From what you indicated, I definitely can sympathize to your journey from going from that service company and then thinking, you know, I just want a product on a product. And I understand that because my it started off as a full service web development agency. And it’s tough running service businesses because you’re always searching for that next deal in order to keep the lights on, you got to have those deals coming through no matter what.

So you’re constantly pitching, you’re constantly doing proposals and you’re constantly trying to meet the needs of your clients. So it’s tough. It’s really tough.

The proposals were the thing that put the nail in the coffin. Know, I remember toward the end of this one, I’m just like had enough. I remember there was one project which were like I felt there we are. So this is like a project that was made for us because of all of our history, all of our experience. It was for Tourism Toronto and we made a ton of Toronto focused content, but we made stuff that went viral here on Toronto blogs.

And we just were so good at capturing this city and we had so much example footage and all this stuff. And we’re like, we’re going to nail this because this is going to be a fun project. We like it. So we put about sixty hours into a proposal and we’re like, this is a show. And I’ve never been so confident in a proposal. And then we did get it and we didn’t get it. And I you’re allowed to go.

It was through the local government. So they have this all these processes in the application.

They found out why they were it was awarded to another company was because there was supposed to be, I think, ten videos and they priced it at two hundred dollars less per video, which was like, if you would have just said make yours two hundred dollars, because otherwise we would have gone with you for sure if you make it two hundred dollars less than would be yours, that we had a problem like no problem at all.

They didn’t even come back to you guys, they didn’t care. And just like all of that. And then when we saw the videos, it was like a lot of the thinking that we put into this that was adopted into their campaign. They used. So I was just like, I can’t do this.

I hear you kind of just threw in the towel.

There’s nothing more deflating than doing sixty hours of work on something for zero four zero outcome.

I’ve been there, definitely. No, you’re paying for sure.

So do you know what the the real change was? I’m like, I don’t want to have clients anymore. I want to have customers. Right. Right, exactly.

As a customer, they spend a little bit of money. If they’re unhappy, you could say, well, I’m sorry, you give them a full refund. If I were to give a full refund to any of our clients, we’d have to close our business right where they meant to bust us.

So definitely, definitely, yes. It is a big difference. And so it’s interesting also because we wanted to highlight the fact that when you decided to come up with a product, you thought about a need that you had. You said you were traveling a lot of times you hated packing 10. Fifteen t shirts and then, you know, going through that hassle, why can there be a product that’s affordable and you can just wear over and over again where you have to worry about rewash, you know, all of that and then carrying all of this stuff and sewing, which I think which I think is the most important insight about why this thing worked, because people say, how do you dare get into the clothing business?

It’s like the red ocean. There’s a million T-shirt companies almost. And how do you even dare to want to do that? A footnote. I didn’t talk about this. I told you about my video production business. But in between that, I tried creating a funky sock company and I never really was able to get that off the ground.

But it was a I really love doing that. It was creative.

And and I liked what we did. But the reason why we created that business, it was in between Unbound Merino and our old business. I my body was starting it. I was helping him a lot. And he just wanted to help me become a partner in this. And you could make this thing happen.

I was like, OK, and he ended up leaving, so I ended up doing it on my own. But funky socks became like really popular here in Toronto. They were popular in a lot of cities. But, you know, with brands like Stance and Happy Socks, there was this huge trend of funky socks becoming a thing. And he said, well, why don’t we create socks that are so popular now? If anything ever becomes really popular, that is a bad time to start a business.

It’s you’ve already missed the boat. And that instructed us that it’s because merino wool t shirts, if I ever thought wool t shirts, people say, are you? That sounds itchy. You don’t realize it’s super soft. It feels softer than cotton, but like there’s not a lot of awareness of this. This is not a trend. This is not popular yet. So I think there’s a huge thing to timing. So one of the great insights that I’ve learned from my friends, I’ve started successful e-commerce businesses and I’ve seen this pattern over and over again.

Is that the real desire for you to want to have that thing in the market? Like I have a friend who started a business that sells hair extensions and massively successful, and he ended up exiting and it became like a multi a huge success. And the reason they created that business was because they were getting married there. A couple that started it and they had a destination wedding and she was looking for hair extensions and they didn’t have a lot of money at the time.

So she was looking you didn’t want to spend a ton of money for it. She was looking for hair extensions that were affordable that she could get for their destination wedding so she can have her hair stylist she wanted for her wedding. So she started looking at all these online businesses and she found a few, but all of them were out of stock, terrible customer service, terrible customer experience.

And they thought, like, you know, we could do that. And it was more from our product and our customer experience standpoint, like we could do this better. They felt the need to do that. And there’s a couple other stories of friends that had that they just hated what already existed. Why is no one doing it this way? And from that consumer level, they understood something that was missing.

That is the time to start if you feel it’s not because like, oh, I want to create a cool fashion brand like that might work and it might be cool. But why does the customer care if you feel that you need yourself to really you want something and everything else sucks, ask them, well, can you be the person that make it the way you want it?

Because that’s a good opportunity. And I think is the single thing timing wise that I think is the reason why that bad merino works.

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And that whole kind of sentiment is, you know, if you feel that passionate about it and there’s a net need, most likely others are going to have that same need. And it’s just about who’s going to bring you to market. And that’s kind of what you did. But what I want to really now dove into is the whole crowd funding aspect of it, because I know there’s a lot of business owners listening that are selling things online or they’re thinking of selling things online and are wondering, you know, how how to go about doing it.

Everybody’s heard of crowdfunding and the whole concept. And why don’t you just kind of break it down for us and specifically how it works. And then if a business wants to kick this off and get it off the ground, what do they need to do? Like step one?

I am passionately into crowdfunding. I think it is it levels the playing field for people who you know, there’s a lot of ways that you could start a business if you have a lot of wealth. That makes it very easy, if you have a lot of connections and make it very easy for industry insights. And inside, you know, you’re an insider to an industry. There’s a million ways that they starting a business easier. But when you have none of that, crowdfunding is something that gives you everything that you need to launch into a market and to do it in a way where the market will tell you if did you do it right, did you do it the right time?

All of that stuff. And I almost feel like it can replace having to do a business plan. You surely don’t have to raise any money, get venture capital or anything like that because you’re selling the product of preorders. But what we had to do in creating a crowdfunding campaign is not only go and figure out. How to make the product itself, we had to have actual prototypes of our product, so we had to go source manufacturing. Figure out how to make t shirts, do all that stuff.

At the same time, we had to go and build the brand, come up with brand name, come up with the logo, come up with the tone of our imagery. Then we had to come up with our marketing and all of the sales copy. So when you piece together a finished crowdfunding campaign, what you have is a product that you’ve developed because if you don’t develop the product, then you’re not going to sell this thing. You have to show that you’ve actually like can make this thing and deliver the same.

You’ve developed a brand and like what your brand is from the brand ethos standpoint, you’ve wrote all of this marketing, you’ve created a video and you’ve done your best pitch to sell this product. If you can’t sell it through the crowdfunding campaign, you have to question whether you can sell it ever, because you now have this audience of people that will look at it. And if you do all of the things and you have all of the pieces done right and you can create some real value through what you’re selling, the thinking from the thing could work.

And it gives you the money, it gives you the product market fit validation and it lets you get started. So it is like a business plan within itself. So you sends you on this path and it takes a lot of hard work. It’s not easy, but in order for it to work, no stone could be left unturned and it forces you to do that.

Did you know that you were going to do crowdfunding initially? You always kind of kind of set out to go that route or did you seek other routes? Because, you know, a lot of people thinking of other routes, investing, getting private money, tapping friends and family, going that the traditional routes or you just kind of knew you wanted to go that way.

We knew that that was our direction, because the reason being is let’s just say, you know, we needed at least thirty thousand dollars to start this, to buy just the minimum order quantity isn’t to just a couple other odds and ends, really. We needed more than that, a little bit more than that. But we felt like thirty thousand is kind of like that sort of ballpark of where we’re at the very minimum we can get we could squeeze by and give this thing a shot.

So if we ended up selling thirty thousand, we’d like get the thing up and running and then see, you know, give it a little side hustle year or other business and see where it goes, you know.

But if I were to go and find friends and family or find an investor and take some money in and the thing didn’t work, there’s the risk. You burn all of this. Plus I’d have to have a slice of a piece of the company that doesn’t exist from the beginning. And if I had the money, which I did not, it’s high risk. I don’t know if I could sell T-shirts. I have no I have no reason to believe I could.

So crowdfunding. So do you know how much we of our own money we put into this was less than two thousand dollars. Oh wow. So we started a multimillion dollar business for less for like a couple that was like postage, paying suppliers for prototypes and a couple other odds and ends.

Having said, it would have cost us more if we didn’t have a video production business because we create a video could it could be expensive, but we had so we did have an unfair advantage with the photography and the video. We were able to sort of just do it ourselves. That was that made it easier. And one of my business partners is a copywriter, is a creative director at an ad agency. So all of us, we have to go.

We had like a lot of stuff internally that we’re able to do that. So there is that.

But it was like we don’t have the the money and we don’t want the risk. You know, if we if we did, it’s like too much of a risk. So crowdfunding was right from the beginning the way for us to mitigate all of the obstacles in which we had ahead of us.

Yeah, that makes total sense. And that’s an awesome testimony. Now, one of the things I wanted to tap into now is you’ve got the product. You prove that you can make it and you’re ready to get this whole crowdfunding campaign out there. How do you do it? Did you guys use a specific platform? And what marketing channels did you use to just get it out to the world?

So I don’t know if there are any other crowdfunding platforms other than Kickstarter and Indiegogo. And we had to make a choice between the two. Kickstarter is the behemoth with all of the people on it. Indiegogo is like the second place, you know, the one that has to work a little harder. And we went with indie gogo for that reason. They had to work a little harder. And what they did, the difference between the two for us was when you create an Indiegogo campaign, they assign you an account person that helps you.

And we need all the help to help you with anything that you need, you know, in terms of understanding what works and what doesn’t. And best practices, they’re there to reach out to you. I remember one of them was even in Toronto and said, let’s go and have a coffee. You know, he was in for some event. And like, there are that level of personal. So we felt more comfortable because we had the support of people, whereas Kickstarter still big that they don’t like.

You can’t talk to a human being if you tried.

Right. Right. But what we were able to do was cut a deal with Indiegogo that if we were to get 30 percent of our funding goal within the first forty eight hours. Then they would feature us in their newsletter, which is a huge piece of marketing, which gets a lot of sales and a lot of traffic according to them.

So we thought, OK, well, here’s the first little thing that we did that set us on our like our little growth hacking journey to getting this thing to work. We need 30 percent of thirty thousand dollars in the first 48 hours. So all we need to do is make sure that no matter what, we have ten thousand dollars in sales in the door in the first day. If we do that, Indiegogo is going to promote us and then we’ll get more sales from that.

So you start talking about friends and family. What we did is we said, let’s figure out we need ten thousand dollars. Let’s reverse engineer how we get ten thousand dollars and sales from friends and family. Now, this is not getting them to invest in the business. This was asking everyone that we were comfortable enough to ask to purchase a pretty relatively expensive T-shirt. Can you please support our dream? Can you please, if it’s not a good title for you, if you can’t be spending your extra money on something?

No problem. We don’t want to take it. But if you can, please, we’re working really hard on this and it means the world to us. So that was the sole focus that we had in launching this thing, was getting enough momentum. And this is like, I’d say, the second biggest lesson when creating a crowdfunding campaign. What you need is momentum. When it starts and you have to manufacture that momentum, it’s not something where you build it.

They will come. They will not come. People will come to a crowdfunding campaign. And if it’s one hundred percent funded in the first day, they’ll build. This triggers people’s buying behavior. Something about this campaign is exciting. Yeah, definitely. And it’s already validated by you. Think about it.

I want to tell you, like, if you were to go and see some t shirt which really spoke to you for whatever reason, let’s just say you love is t shirt is perfect. It’s like a traveled. If you bought into our whole thing and you saw our product and you wanted our t shirt, if you came to the campaign and it was seven percent funded and it’s been active for two weeks, you might think I would think this is a loser campaign.

I’m not buying it exactly.

But if you came in at the it was two days in and it was three hundred percent funded, you’d be like, there’s something exciting about this. Kind of like a new restaurant opens up and there’s lineup’s down the street. Everyone wants to know.

Everyone wants that pizza so that people see so that we manufactured our own momentum. And that is the key. And from all the people I know that have created successful crowdfunding campaigns, this is a best practice. It’s absolutely necessary.

So basically, you tapped friends and family to base to really just purchase product as quickly and as much as possible that the whole thing and there’s an art to getting them to actually follow through because you go you can do that because you can mass message.

All of your Facebook fans say, please wait. No one’s going to do anything for. Exactly.

Exactly. How did you get them to pull the trigger is the question.

I’ll tell you how. So a month before the campaign, I started sending individual messages. I tried to include it inside. I tried to make it personal enough that they knew I was talking to them. But it wasn’t it didn’t feel like a mass message. I told them that in a month from now we’re going launch this thing. And I said, can I bug you when we launch it? And maybe if you’re OK with it, can you support it?

And if not, I totally understand. Almost everyone responds to yeah. Yeah, hit me up when you’re there. Whatever. It was low pressure because it wasn’t like asking them to do anything. Now I was getting like whether they would do it or not.

If they said yes, they said to reach out. I put their name on a list. And if they were on that list right before the campaign, what I did is I went I created a video, I hit record on my webcam.

And I’d say, like, let’s just say I spoke to you earlier and you said, yeah, hit me up when your campaigns live and I’ll buy a t shirt. Yeah, I’ll support you. Sure.

Now I’m going I’m recording a video a month later and I had to do this, maybe one hundred of these. And the video went something like this. I’d be like, ah, that it’s me again. How are you?

You know, remember we did that podcast. I want to thank you again for that. It was so awesome to be on your show. It was so awesome to talk to you. Remember I told you about this crowdfunding campaign? I’m doing well. It’s launched today. And you said you’d buy if it’s not a good time anymore.

No pressure, but we have worked a year and a half tirelessly and it’s here and I appreciate it. So it would mean the world to me if you support this, blah, blah, blah, then I export this video I uploaded to YouTube as a private link. So Arlen got movie or whatever. So now you’re giving a thumbnail in your Facebook Messenger box, you’re seeing my face and there’s a play button and it says your name, Arlen MLV you’re at you’re going to click play.

And you click play. You see I talking to you, so if you don’t want to buy the shirt, you don’t have to, but the amount of personalization to it at least elicited the need for you to respond. It wasn’t like it didn’t feel like a mass message. This was a message to you. And they got kind of funny because we had to do so many of them that we were up all night drinking whiskey like some of the ladies of the night got unruly, like some of them were crazy.

But but what we did is we really, really made sure to personalize this. And that was effective in reaching these people. Now, they felt a need to either go and make good on their their word, which was to buy a t shirt or whatever, or say, hey, you know, some people did say, Dan, you know what?

I really shouldn’t be spending money right now. And I don’t want anyone to feel pressure or feel bad. And I made sure to be clear that they can have that out. But what I noticed, we launched this campaign, one of the first orders, Brian Damski, that’s my brother. See that? And then the next day, I see Sand Camargo. That’s my friends, my business partners, cousin, my friend from high school, another friend.

And I start seeing all these people started supporting and they don’t care if the thing is at five percent, they’re not buying it for that reason. But we got to 30 percent of our funding goal in the first hour.

So we already locked in that newsletter that was going to come in. But then something interesting happened because we had this momentum where at 30 percent, we then started to trend on the platform. We’re in the trending hot new campaign.

Right, right. So then I noticed I remember this clearly, like I remember seeing this name and that and know this person. I know that person. I know this person. I know that person. Then there was a guy, your harness from Berlin. And I. I don’t know who Your Highness is. This is our first sale from someone who wasn’t like a friend or family. And then another one, one from the States and one from Canada and South Africa and all over the world.

These orders are coming in and we’re like, wow, this is amazing. We’re treading them. We’re within a day. We’re at one hundred percent of our funding goal. Now we have that campaign that looks like it’s hot. Yeah. It’s not like people aren’t afraid to like they feel there’s social validation in this campaign so more people start buying, you know, and we’re like, OK, what we need to do from here is make sure that we stay in this trending or hot campaign as long as possible.

So do we do.

So we engaged a Facebook ad or like an ad buying company, and we kind of deal with them because just flood traffic to our campaign because traffic helps keep it trending.

But also it looks like a hot campaign. So there we were flooding traffic to it and then the newsletter came out.

The newsletter was a massive success and there just this like momentum. But it all started with locking in that first 30 percent, which is all our own friends and family.

So that’s the key. That’s key. You have to make the momentum yourself. And without the momentum, it’s going to be a dead campaign.

That makes a lot of sense. And I’ve seen that time and time again. And you’re totally right about seeing these crowdfunded products. And when you see that they’ve reached their funding goal and, you know, it’s just something about that. You’re just like, wow, they reached in like two days. It’s like I this has got to be a solid product.

I’m going to go ahead and do something psychological about it. Like five is a new thing, right? Yeah. Yeah. I’ll tell you a funny story.

You know those Instagram contests where it’s like tag three friends and follow this page and you can win this prize. Right? I got tagged as a friend of mine. John tagged me in a post on Instagram. So when I clicked on it and I was like PlayStation five thing and I said, tag three friends to win a PlayStation five. Now, John is one of my buddies who’s done really well for himself.

He’s made a tornado. And like this guy can go buy a PlayStation five. No problem. Actually, no, he can’t he can’t buy it because they’re sold out everywhere.

And I am convinced that there are people that otherwise would not buy a PlayStation five that my brother, he bought it because of the thrill and the like. It’s hard to get. And I think when people want something, it makes other people on it. Yes, there’s something psychological, but that’s so they get a new pizza place, opens up down the street from you. If something you might you might. I’m not going to go give them a shot.

It’s a new pizza place.

I feel bad for them is empty, you know, whatever. But if there was a line up down the street or like, I got it. Why are these. Why? What is it about this pizza place that I don’t know? You know, there’s the curiosity and it’s the fear of missing out, you know, it’s the phone.

So I’m convinced, like Nintendo, when Nintendo switch came out, you can buy one for the life of you or a new video that comes out Sauza. I’m convinced they can meet the demand they’re holding back because it creates a ton of hysteria around the product. Now it’s the classic thing.

It’s like the nightclubs. The nightclubs can easily let everybody in that line and all at once. But, you know, they’re not going to do that because if somebody drives by the front of a nightclub, they don’t see any there. They’re going to keep going. And so it’s it’s that same concept. Yeah.

People like the social validation. So we sort of created that. In fact, that was pivotal to the momentum that we had. That’s awesome. And yeah, I’ve definitely learned a lot. I mean, you’ve motivated me to start thinking about some products. I can come up with crowdfunding because I myself and my business partner were entrepreneurs and they were always tossing around different ideas. And, you know, we’ve been, of course, successful in our own with our business.

But, you know, outside of this, we are same partner for all 21 years. Same partner. Yeah. We went to college together. And Buddy is good buddy. Yeah. We actually are from the same town. Evanston, Illinois, went to high school together but weren’t friends in high school. It kind of is kind of a strange story. Became friends because we went to the same college. We went to Howard University in Washington, D.C. We like I’ve seen you before, I know you and your rest is history.

We’ve been going strong ever since. But, yeah, definitely motivated me. And I’m sure you’ve motivated a lot of our listeners. And so I definitely appreciate you coming on then. And I’ve learned a lot and I know our listeners have as well. But what I like to always do is just kind of switch gears here just so our audience can get to know you a little bit better. You don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact that you think our audience would be interested to know about you.

I don’t know about where they’d be if they would like to know. I don’t know. I’ll tell you how this all started. We love this American band, Phish. You’re here. The band Phish. Is that with a P? Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen them fifty nine times. OK, and the reason we became entrepreneurs is because we in high school, when we started seeing this music, we started seeing this band, we wanted to see shows and they played in all these different smaller towns and bigger towns all over the states.

I don’t come from ludi. I didn’t have any dough at the time, but we need to figure out how to see more shows. So my business partner today, he was my best friend through high school. He’s pretty artistic. He painted the band and we make prints and we used to go around into the parking lot before our shows and we’d sell posters of art of the bands and that would make us enough money to go from state to state to see shows.

We did an entire tour once. Oh, wow.

So the entrepreneurial nature came out of a need to see this band. Well, they still see it like with the same people, my two business partners.

I think the business is just an extension of our desire to see as many fish shows as possible.

I fifty nine shows in and you know, I probably would be a lot more if it weren’t for a pandemic or so.

But I can imagine that to me the peak of life is, I mean some cool city.

I like going to the Milwaukee’s more than I like one of the Chicago’s, you know, I like, I like a slightly smaller city, like I just love it. I love the vibes of some of these American cities.

And going for a good dinner and having fish show that to me is the peak of living.

And that’s what I think drives us. So started high school. It’s why we became entrepreneurs. And to this day, it’s sort of what still drives us.

Wow, that’s awesome story. And thank you for sharing that. And so it kind of sounds like it wasn’t for the band Phish Unbound Marino may not be existence. It seems like that’s really kind of what’s behind this whole thing. So one hundred percent. That’s awesome, man. Well, thanks again for sharing that and thank you for joining us today. And lastly, if any of our listeners want to reach out to you and pick your brain any more about crowd funding and just how you kind of got going with that, what is the best way for them to get in touch with what?

Love that. So you can just look up my name. Dan Damski. Dan DB ask why it’s Dan Damski on Instagram and Twitter. And yeah, I love if people reach out, I’ll be great. OK, awesome.

Well thanks a lot then. We definitely appreciate you coming on today. The E-commerce Marketing podcast.

Thanks so much, Arlen. Thank you for listening to the E Commerce marketing podcast.

Podcast Guest Info

Dan Demsky
Founder of Unbound Merino