Third Most Funded Startup in Kickstarter History: Original Grain Wood Watches

Time is eternal, so is the value of watches. Overages, the constituents and total overlook of time have undergone evolution. The evolution has been quite drastic, keeping up with this trend, Original Grain aims to take this enhancement to an all-time high. Original Grain redefines classic modern with a watch collection designed for style icons by featuring 100% exotic and sustainable wood as chief constituent of their watch styling.

Brothers Andrew and Ryan Beltran founded Original Grain; the innovative watch company has raised over $400,000 on Kickstarter and continues to rise. Original Grain, the third most funded start-up in Kickstarter history, celebrates its three-year anniversary.

“We had a dream to create a brand that combined our love for natural elements and an elevated sense of style”, said, Andrew and Ryan Beltran, Co-Founders.

The USP

Success rests on innovation. Original Grain watches are unique as they incorporate real sustainable wood with state-of-the-art design. Prior to the Kickstarter, Ryan spent three years in China meeting suppliers, building buzz, and developing a precise product. Kickstarter amplified their growth, and the company quickly caught the eyes of investors.

One of the wood watches from recent collection Original Grain wood watch

One of custom built Original Grain retail displays, made with all natural bamboo

Original Grain product dispaly

Challenges

 “Our number one hurdle was quality control of the final product and also how to design a watch with imbedded wood that wouldn’t waste a lot of wood during production and also that the watch wouldn’t break after it was finished and being worn. So we did a bunch of different renditions of the watch’s band and the design allowed the wood to be fully inlaid and not exposed which protects it.” Ryan Beltran said.

Further he points out “During all of 2014 we experienced inventory problems, we kept selling out of the watch, which was great, but we couldn’t keep up supply to meet demand. It was very difficult to find a good manufacturer that could cut the wood precisely and it was also tough to find a manufacturer willing to innovate and develop something new with us. Our most recent supplier was introduced through an agent that works with different watch suppliers and we met with 3 or 4 different factories to find one that worked”

Growth Via Collaborations & Online Marketing Strategies

Kickstarter has been an catalyst for our success. Since debuting on the platform in 2013, we’ve raised close to 1 million for our collections. Moreover, the platform has also served as a promotional vehicle for our brand from the get-go. 

“Originally I wasn’t even going to use Kickstarter (for our 2nd campaign) because they take a 10% cut of sales and as an established brand we already have a decent following and confidence about the design process.  But we also saw a big opportunity to capitalize on the success of our first campaign and the buzz generated on Kickstarter.”- Ryan Beltran

Today, Original Grain continues to be driven by innovation employing the latest social media and soliciting national partners to fuel growth. Instagram, for example, has been a turnkey platform for the brand with over 67K followers to date. Moreover, collaborations with Jim Beam Whiskey and Yankees Stadium are expected for Summer 2016 where the company will reclaim wood to deliver exclusive timepieces.

Venture also has strategic PR initiatives in place, such as seeding watches to key influencers, editors, journalists, and stylists across the world.

Giving It Back To The Environment

The origin of Original Grain relies heavily on the vast forests of the Pacific Northwest. As a company rooted in nature and the outdoors, limiting the impact it has on the environment is an essential part of what the venture stands for. By using reclaimed wood, the team continues to focus on preserving the environment.

Every Watch is sold = 10 Trees

Original Grain has launched ‘Trees For the Future’ in 2016— a partnership with Trees.org to plant 10 trees for each sale, with the goal of planting 1 million trees by year-end. With over 120,000 trees already planted, venture is hoping to surpass the goal soon.

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