E295: Building The Great Fantastic from the Tough World of RetailDecember in Ecom-Crew-Podcast
It’s just two more weeks until we close the chapter of 2019 and open up to another exciting year for 2020. 2019 has definitely been a great year — full of ups and downs, but definitely a lot more positive than negative now that we’re at the end of the year. Before 2019 ends, we’ll be having the last full-length episode of the year, since we’ll be having a little bit of a surprise for you listeners on next week’s episode of the Ecomcrew Podcast.
On today’s podcast, I’m pleased to welcome one of the people I’ve helped out through KickFurther, Kyle Bergman. Kyle started out in the tough and hectic retail industry, and clawed his way to the top at one of the biggest retails stores in the US. It was only until he came up with a great product of his own, Swoveralls — a mix between an overall and sweatpants, that he decided it was time to leave and do his own thing by building a brand that is now known as The Great Fantastic. However, getting to this point in his business didn’t come easily.
Tune in to find out how Kyle started in ecommerce, how he used his experience to succeed in the world of retail, and how he came up with his own product. As always, there will be a list of topics below, with timestamps:
- Kyle’s Story before Swoveralls (4:28)
- One Piece of Advice for Beginners in the Industry (06:12)
- Academic Experiences and Using That in Business (07:05)
- Why Bloomingdale’s? (07:50)
- Where did the idea of “Swoveralls” come from? (09:45)
- What does “The Great Fantastic” mean? (12:45)
- The Chicken or the Egg Problem; how did Kyle make his first batch of inventory? (14:06)
- Swimming with the Sharks (16:21)
- The Greatest Challenge in 2019 (19:12)
- Risk vs. Reward in Ecommerce (23:16)
Full Audio Transcript
Mike: [00:00:00] This is Mike and welcome to Episode 295 of the Ecomcrew podcast. This is gonna be the last, full-length episode or standard episode of the year. Next week, we have a little special episode lined up for you guys, but this is gonna be the last one of the year. And so we found a good one for you guys, I think this was one of the best episodes we’ve done in a long time. Just really hit it off with this guy from the Great Fantastic. And he has this product called Swoveralls, which is basically an overall that’s also sweat pants. So it’s like sweat pants combined with overalls. And it’s kind of a gimmicky product, but it’s also a real thing. And he’s doing well. He’s sold quite a few of these things. He’s made it onto Shark Tank. It’s a business that I invested in through KickFurther and just kind of reached out to introduce myself and say hi.
Mike: [00:00:50] One thing led to another and now he is on the podcast. And I just thought it was a great interview, a really cool guy, doing some cool stuff. And I think that this is the kind of person you’re gonna see on the front page of magazines or being mentioned in the most important movers and shakers in ecommerce over the next few years, because I think that he has the ability to combine previous expertise with, you know, the market demand and has the 10,000 hours already coming into this over at Bloomingdale’s and Birchbox, and just an amazing story.
Mike: [00:01:22] I love seeing how things come to fruition, come full circle. Things that you never would think would happen. So anyway, I don’t want to say too much more about it. I don’t wanna give anything away. We’ll save the rest of it for the episode. Do want to just mention real quick that if you haven’t had a chance to, leave us a review over an iTunes, we’d really appreciate it. Think of it as a Christmas gift or a Hanukkah gift or a New Year’s gift or whatever you want to call it for Dave or myself, for both of us or Dave Couillard, as well, Abby and the team, anybody you want to think of to do it, we really appreciate it. And we do ask reviews from time to time. But thought it would be a cool time to do that. It would be a great gift. I’d love to get a review from you if you listen to the podcast, it means a lot to us. These reviews help us rank within iTunes and other podcast mediums. I do read every single one of them.
Mike: [00:02:11] We’ve been actually putting a review now as the first thing we say on the podcast for most of the episodes because they do mean so much and I guess I do read every single one of them. It’s kind of, one of these things that helps keep me motivated so doesn’t cost you a penny. We don’t want anything that’s of monetary value anyway. That’s not how we are. But if you get a chance, go over and leave a review, head over to iTunes. Leave us a review, whether it’s iTunes US or Canada, wherever you might be. It really, really does help. And shoot us an email if you want and let us know you left to review and let us know any other comments you have. We’d love to hear from you, you can send that over to [email protected] if you like. Alright, so again, today’s episode is going to be Kyle from Swoveralls from the Great Fantastic. And he talks about what the heck the Great Fantastic is and how he came up with that name in this episode as well. Just a great chat with a great guy. So right after the break, we’re gonna get right into it. See you there.
Mike: [00:03:26] Hey, Kyle, welcome to the Ecomcrew podcast.
Kyle: [00:03:29] Thanks for having me, Mike, happy to be here.
Mike: [00:03:31] Yeah, this is awesome, man, and there’s so much to talk about, so much to unpack here, but I always like to let people know, right off the bat just in full disclosure land if necessary, which I feel like it is here that I have invested in your company through KickFurther and the guys at KickFurther are always careful to say it’s not an investment. So I’ll say I bought some of your inventory through a co-op I guess is the technical way to put it. And so that’s how we originally found each other. And I appreciate you being awesome and paying back on time, it’s been a great investment for us. But the reason I wanted to reach out and get you on the podcast, some of the things I’ve invested in on KickFurther are just awesome stories. And, you know, so it’s twofold – have an awesome content for Ecomcrew. And I think what tens of thousands of listeners out there, hopefully some of them will go check out your site and buy your products, which I think they should, they’re pretty neat. So before getting into all that, man, you have just such an interesting background. So before even starting your company, The Great Fantastic, which produced its first product, Swoveralls, you did a bunch of other stuff in non ecommerce land at first. And it’s the interesting beginning. So let’s start with that.
Kyle: [00:04:34] Yeah, sure. I have had a career up till this point, mostly in retail. When I graduated from undergrad, I interviewed and was lucky enough to be accepted into the Bloomingdale’s Buying program where I was an assistant buyer, associate buyer and then merchandise planner in different departments within Bloomingdale’s. I wasn’t working in a store. I was in the corporate headquarters in New York City and learned a lot about merchandising there first on the brick and mortar aspect of the business. And then when ecommerce started to grow and things became more omni-channel focused, I started to learn more about the ecom side. And shortly after that, I went to Birchbox and was there for two years as the men’s grooming buyer, overseeing skincare, body fragrance as well as some lifestyle apparel products.
Kyle: [00:05:28] That’s kind of where I grew up in. Around two years into Birchbox, I started to take off with this idea that I had with sweatpant overalls now known as Swoveralls. Around the same time I started at NYU’s business school and really took the full leap into entrepreneurship about two years into Birchbox and haven’t really looked back since.
Mike: [00:05:53] Yeah, crazy and it’s interesting. I love these background stories because often times you’re training for something, you didn’t even realize it, right. So I mean I think your time at Birchbox and all the things that you did, probably set you up to have the experience to even be able to do this to begin with, because you certainly didn’t come out of high school or college with that knowledge.
Kyle: [00:06:12] Absolutely. And to your point, the question that I get asked often times is what’s the one piece of advice that you would give someone who’s looking to start their own thing and it’s look at what your strengths are, maybe not your specific personal strengths, but what your experience is in or where you have resources. And so for me to develop a product, a tangible good within the fashion apparel space was not coincidental because I had had so much training in that area and also just knew people. So a lot of the questions were things that may have tripped me up, were almost intuitive to me or subconscious because I already knew what to avoid or what to look deeper into.
Mike: [00:06:54] Yeah, so I mean you already– in the Malcolm Gladwell Outliers world, you already put your 10,000 hours in and had that expertise coming into it.
Kyle: [00:07:02] Exactly, I was like the Beatles in Berlin when I was at Bloomingdale’s.
Mike: [00:07:05] (Laughs) Awesome. Right. And so did you go to college?
Kyle: [00:07:10] I did, yeah, I went to Drexel University in Philadelphia. I went there, I played lacrosse for Drexel. I was fortunate enough to be offered a scholarship to play there. I started out actually as a business undergrad, but wasn’t that interested in business at the time and transferred over to psychology.
Mike: [00:07:28] Interesting.
Kyle: [00:07:28] So my undergrad is in psychology. I was always fascinated in the way our brains work, specifically within consumer behavior and kind of used that as my pitch as to why Bloomingdale’s should hire me. And from there, certainly started to get more interested in business and ended up wanting to get my Master’s in business administration at NYU, which is what I did.
Mike: [00:07:50] Very cool. Yeah, so, I mean, why Bloomingdale’s? I mean, it kind of– you answered it a little bit, but you had this psychology degree. I mean, was Bloomingdales one of the many things that you applied to in various niches and you just happened to land the job there and then it kind of brought you here? Or was it something that you were ultimately just like super interested in, and being a buyer and working at Bloomingdale’s? Was that something that was not necessarily like a lifelong dream, but something that you had an interest in coming out of college?
Kyle: [00:08:14] So Bloomingdale’s, there was a reason behind Bloomingdale’s specifically I mean retail is in my blood. My grandfather was a tie salesman and my mom has had a career in retail that spanned 30+ years. And back when she was actually pregnant with me, she was a buyer at Bloomingdale’s.
Mike: [00:08:30] No kidding. Awesome.
Kyle: [00:08:32] Yeah. And so when I was a junior in college and I’ve always been almost to a fault, very future oriented. I’m a junior. I’m stressing about what I’m going to do when I graduate. I knew I didn’t want to be a lacrosse coach and I didn’t want to work in finance like a lot of my friends ultimately did.
Mike: [00:08:49] Right.
Kyle: [00:08:49] My mom said, why don’t you throw your hat into the ring at Bloomingdale’s? I know you don’t know that much about buying and merchandising, Kyle. However, it is really equal parts, analytical, creative and interpersonal. And so really that was the only retail job that I applied to. If I didn’t get that, I was– I said to myself, I’m probably `just going to go into advertising or something.
Mike: [00:09:13] Interesting. So it wasn’t like you were gonna go to Nordstrom’s or Macy’s or any of the other companies. It was just like if this doesn’t work out, I’m going on a different direction.
Kyle: [00:09:20] Exactly, exactly.
Mike: [00:09:22] Interesting. Yeah. I love stuff like this. It’s just so interesting how life is such a game of connect the dots, right. And just these like interesting moments that happen along the way. And if this didn’t happen, who knows where you’d be now.
Kyle: [00:09:34] Absolutely.
Mike: [00:09:35] Yeah.
Kyle: [00:09:35] Absolutely crazy.
Mike: [00:09:37] So Bloomingdale’s leads to Birchbox. Eventually you get kind of sick at working Bloomingdale’s or whatever happens there. And you’re working at Birchbox for a couple of years. Does the “sweatpants overall” idea like come to fruition then or was it something you thought of even way back in Bloomingdale’s? When did that idea start to pop in your head?
Kyle: [00:09:55] So when I was at Bloomingdale’s in my 4th year and final year there, a friend of mine, colleague, Helena Hay, she sent me an article, a Buzzfeed article that was written about Overall Jeggings. They looked like denim overalls. They’re made from a Sweatpant Material.
Mike: [00:10:12] Okay.
Kyle: [00:10:12] For reasons that I can’t really articulate, I’ve always loved overalls since I was a kid. I’ve always loved them and Helena knew about my affinity for overalls. And so she sent This to me And I Said To myself, “Wow, sweatpant overalls, I love that. I wonder if they just have regular looking sweatpant overalls out on the internet that I could buy and I couldn’t find them anywhere. I kind of had one foot out the door already at Bloomingdale’s. Bloomingdale’s was an incredible environment to learn about retail. It’s more corporate owned like the Crown Jewel of the Macy’s organization. I was constantly kind of being told to stay in my lane, focus on your specific task. I wanted to do more things, the opportunity to work at Birchbox came up from a colleague who had left there about six months previously and so Birchbox, having pioneered the subscription box industry, smaller, flatter organization.
Kyle: [00:11:06] It was really a breath of fresh air to go over there and at the same time, I was beginning at NYU’s business school. I was in a part time program to start. So a bunch of things are happening at the same time. I go to Birchbox, I learn that I like Sweatpant Overalls, but they aren’t offered anywhere and at NYU, I learned about two really important things as it relates to my story. One is Google’s Keyword Search planner, which is a tool that’s free, that Google offers where you can search the demand for any keyword during a given timeframe and so like the end of 2016, I discover that around 500 people a month are also searching for Sweatpant Overalls online.
Kyle: [00:11:50] And just like me, they’re not finding anything. So that was insight number one. Insight number two was I was learning about Amazon Fulfillment technology and one of my professors, Robert Seamens, said, you can have your inventory at an Amazon warehouse. It’ll be prime eligible and you could do all of this remotely. So I said to myself, wow, what a nice little side hustle as I go through business school. I apply and fill out an Amazon Seller’s Central application. And it says you have to be incorporated, you have to have a company. And I thought I could kind of do this as an eBay seller. And so at that moment, I am really glad I did this. I said, you know, I can’t– I don’t want to call it Sweatpant Overall Inc.
Mike: [00:12:34] Right.
Kyle: [00:12:35] I want to give myself a little bit more breathing room. And so I called the company The Great Fantastic, knowing that there would be other things down the road. I don’t know what they were at that moment, and that’s kind of how it all started.
Mike: [00:12:45] Interesting. And so, I’ve been curious about this one, definitely wanted to ask you as it’s a good time. Why the name “The Great Fantastic”, where’d that come from?
Kyle: [00:12:52] So going back to my mom again for a second, The Great Fantastic is a term that she would say when I was younger when alluding to acts of risk taking or exploring the unknown and so the Great Fantastic has a few different meanings for me. That’s what I was doing at the time and I’m still doing. And that’s also kind of the vibe that I want the brand to invoke in customers. It’s like my purpose as a brand, which is really just an extension of my own personality, is to create the world’s comfiest apparel products that are sustainably sourced and are also a little quirky. And so, Swoveralls being our one and only product right now really embodies that and everything that will come out after that is going to be within that realm of kind of taking a trip into The Great Fantastic and being comfortable and kind of zigging when everyone else is doing a zag.
Mike: [00:13:51] I love it. Awesome. That’s a great, great story there. So it’s 2016, 2017ish, you go out and create The Great Fantastic LLC I assume and go apply over to Amazon and get your Amazon account up and running. But there’s like a chicken and egg thing here, so I mean you got the Amazon account, but did you have any inventory yet? And how did you get those initial first few Swoveralls made?
Kyle: [00:14:14] It’s a great question. What I did find when I was Googling Sweatpant Overalls was a supplier located in Guangdong Province in mainland China that had a sketch of SweatPant Overalls, and I reached out to her, Mandy Zang. We communicated entirely through Alibaba’s messaging platform and with my experience at Bloomingdale’s, I knew that if I bluffed and said, I’m looking at placing a big order, but I need a sample first that I could get a sample and at that point, that was really the only problem I was trying to solve, I just wanted a pair.
Kyle: [00:14:50] Mandy and I went back and forth for months, I eventually had to pay for the shipping cost, but I got them and they were incredible. 100% cherry cotton and at that moment, I said, well, I need to make more than these, especially because of the insight I had from Google. I took out too much money from the United States government for my first year at NYU. I thought I was going to take nine credits. Nine credits while working a full time job is insane if you like sleeping. So I ended up taking, I think, four and a half my first term and I got a deposit back from NYU to my personal checking account for the money I didn’t need for tuition. Instead of sending it back to the government, I sent it to Mandy.
Mike: [00:15:33] Nice.
Kyle: [00:15:33] And that’s what funded my first order.
Mike: [00:15:35] So a student loan funded your first order.
Kyle: [00:15:37] Exactly, yeah.
Mike: [00:15:38] Awesome.
Kyle: [00:15:39] Within 60 days, we were in the black. The margin has been really strong. And so we’re essentially profitable from the first purchase, was able to pay that back and have since then just been continuing to grow. I don’t pay myself currently through the company. I have a couple of side hustles, so I’m able to invest every penny back into the business. And sold my first pair in September 2017. So a little over two years since then. And we, thanks to you and other members of the KickFurther community, were able to fund our most recent holiday order and have just passed half a million dollars in sales and selling our first pair two years ago.
Mike: [00:16:21] Awesome. What an amazing story. I absolutely love it. And along the way, you got on Shark Tank and so that helped as well get some exposure for you.
Kyle: [00:16:29] Yeah, that didn’t hurt.
Mike: [00:16:30] Yeah.
Kyle: [00:16:31] Yeah, that was a really wild ride. When I was at Birchbox, I mean, back to your point about kind of putting yourself out there and just meeting people, a brand that I mentioned or excuse me, managed at Birchbox, knew a casting producer and he offered to introduce me cause he knew at this time that I was working on Swoveralls on the side. And a casting producer said, this is amazing. We want to get you on the show. And so there’s really three ways that you get on Shark Tank, you either audition in person, you fill out an online form or you know someone who knows someone. And it was the latter of the three that got me in front of the sharks.
Mike: [00:17:07] Yeah. It’s that little saying that’s not what you know, it’s who you know, right?
Kyle: [00:17:09] Exactly.
Mike: [00:17:10] Yeah. I really wanted to watch the episode before recording with you because I just thought it’d be great research. And I was reading all the notes and I had actually tried to watch it on the plane yesterday and something went wrong. So I don’t know. Did you get the deal or not?
Kyle: [00:17:22] I didn’t get a deal. I didn’t even get an offer.
Mike: [00:17:24] Ok.
Kyle: [00:17:25] And it couldn’t have worked out better. I mean, of course, I would have loved to have received an offer and even partnered with one of the sharks would have been incredible. But the opportunity kind of fell on my plate and to air on TV and still own 100% of my company was really life changing for the business. The kind of bittersweet thing, we filmed in September of 2018 and excuse me, filmed in 2019 and I walked off the set. The producers said, “Great job, Kyle. You made good TV. We’ll let you know if your episode airs. There’s no chance that it will”.
Mike: [00:18:01] Right.
Kyle: [00:18:01] But we’ll give you like a two or three week heads up and so six months went by, it was complete radio silence. I’d given up all hope. It’s the beginning of April and they reach out and say, we’re going to air your episode in two weeks. And I had no inventory just coming off of a really successful Kickstarter campaign.
Mike: [00:18:18] Right.
Kyle: [00:18:19] And so, like, I had burned a lot of cash in marketing and fulfilling orders there. And so it aired and I was only able to offer preorder. But still, still an amazing awareness moment for the brand.
Mike: [00:18:31] Very cool. Yeah. So if anybody out there listening wants to go check this out. It’s Season 10, Episode 20. I’ll definitely watch it later today because I’m definitely curious just to see the episode. Again, I would have loved to have had the opportunity to do it before recording. But this was already set and I just ran out of time myself. So I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re doing there. And so now we’re recording at the end of 2019. You’ve sold a half a million dollars of this unique product. I mean you kinda said like gimmicky almost, right. It’s interesting. And I was kind of curious about that before but you kinda answered the question, was it more of like a gimmick type thing or is it serious? But I guess it’s like a little bit of both. And I love the fact that it’s got that gimmick angle because it lets you stand apart from the crowd in an otherwise, like really crowded space. So what’s the challenge now in 2019? If there’s something I can help you with, I love doing coaching as a part of these podcasts. Like what’s one thing that you’re struggling with that you can use help with?
Kyle: [00:19:31] Yeah, well, it’s because of the Shark Tank moment, created a little bit of a brand existential crisis for my company. I mean, Swoveralls is the product. A lot of people think of that as the company and that’s all we do to no fault of theirs because that is the website, Swoveralls.com, that’s the Instagram handle. And the reason I did that, it was intentional. When I initially pitched the producers on how I wanted to approach the sharks, I wanted to say, my name’s Kyle, I’m the founder of the Great Fantastic and the creator of Swoveralls. And they said, no, you’re the Swoverall guy. You make Swoveralls. You can’t try and pitch a brand. It gets confusing. We want to keep it clean.
Kyle: [00:20:12] And so I kind of sold out to a degree in order to be on national TV, and I don’t regret a second of it. However, Swoveralls is the first product. We have other things that we’ll be launching in 2020. And so being able to take a step back and lead with The Great Fantastic is a priority and a challenge that I’m excited to take on. What’s interesting when people talk about branding, like there’s really three main things that you look at. You have to have a target audience, you have a frame of reference, and then you have what differentiates you. And for me, my target audience is a little unusual because it’s not demographically led.
Kyle: [00:20:51] And what I mean is that for most companies, they look at age, gender, household income. Those are all data points that are pretty easy to acquire these days. And I’ve looked at all of that. What’s fascinating about my customer base is that, yes, we have the Brooklyn hipster, but we also have the mother of four who lives in Kansas City. And we have the 65 year old guy who just likes watching Sunday football in a Swoverall that lives in the Pacific Northwest. And so what actually combines or unites my target audience is the psychographics of unbelievably comfortable apparel products that are a little quirky. And so that’s what I have to focus and lead with my brand on as we launch new products in the new year.
Mike: [00:21:33] Yeah. Interesting. Yeah, I guess from the advise standpoint, when it comes to that, I mean, it’s tough. I can tell you like just as someone who’s tried to branch out and run multiple companies. It always seems so easy to like just do Company #2 or Brand #2 and then Brand #3. And it seemingly should be easier like each time you do one of these things because you’ve already done it before and you’re just applying like a cookie cutter approach to it. But for whatever reason, it never works out that way. So just kind of be aware of that. I mean, it’s difficult.
Mike: [00:22:04] You forget where you came from, you know back in 2016 when it was just an idea and just trying to launch these things on Amazon and having no audience yet and it’s definitely difficult. And especially if some of the other products you’re looking to launch have zero search volume to start with. I think you had an amazing leg up and I would have lost a big bet that someone was searching for sweat pants, overalls, you know, five hundred people a month is actually quite a bit when you’re talking about having no competition.
Mike: [00:22:30] So if you’re capturing almost 100% of those sales, it’s a great way to get a brand launch but some of the other products don’t have that initial search volume, it’ll be much more difficult. And then you’re trying to figure out how do I position Brand #2? Is it Brand#2.com? And then I had to also make TheGreatFantastic.com and TheGreatFantastic’s like this website that advertises or discusses like all of our brands. But then Swoveralls.com and Brand#2.com, Brand#3.com become individual websites. It becomes a lot to manage. It’s definitely a lot more difficult than I originally gave it credit for. And then what ends up also happening, which is frustrating, is that one of the brands becomes the leader and gets all the attention and the other ones eventually are tend to languish a little bit. So just something to keep in mind.
Kyle: [00:23:16] Yeah, no absolutely and one of the things that I really admire that your entrepreneurial career is how you have had multiple success stories and continue to take that risk. I mean, even 2 years old and even telling that story about how I spent about $10,000 to China, I’d never met this person in my life. Like to be an entrepreneur, you have to be a little crazy and at times just plain stupid. And as I get smarter, I probably wouldn’t do that today. And it’s something I kind of think about a lot is in some ways I’m learning from my mistakes. But at the other side, that aversion to risk becomes greater. Every day that your company gets bigger and you feel a little bit more comfortable. So it’s that constant balance.
Mike: [00:24:02] Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. It’s actually funny you brought this up because I was just discussing this with someone the other day, they were asking me about strengths and weaknesses and stuff. And I think that one of my strengths before in entrepreneurship is exactly what you’re talking about just like that carelessness or that inexperience and you factor where you just throw caution to the wind and I’m going to go do this and figure it out. And I think that that used to be a strength. Now, the weakness, I feel like is as I’ve gotten older, my risk tolerance has changed and it’s actually becoming like a weakness now. It’s interesting how life changes.
Mike: [00:24:32] And that’s funny you brought that up, because its something that I was just discussing the other day with somebody, because obviously the numbers and the scale is different now. But I wouldn’t take 90% of my life savings, let’s say, and just wire it off and take a shot at something, cause the stakes are higher now and you don’t want to go back to zero after you’ve worked 15 years to get to where you’re at. But when you’re younger, it’s like, no, going back to zero is like just eating more ramen. I’ve been doing that anyway.
Kyle: [00:24:59] Exactly.
Mike: [00:24:59] So it’s definitely interesting how that comes around.
Kyle: [00:25:01] Yeah. Right. I really appreciate the advice and thank you.
Mike: [00:25:05] Yeah, of course. So anything else? We’re getting close to hitting 30 minutes. We try to keep these to 30 minutes if we can. Any other last things I can help you with? Or you want to chat about?
Kyle: [00:25:14] No, I mean, I guess thank you again for your support through KickFurther. I mean, it’s been an unbelievable experience working with them and anyone who is listening and is unsure about what KickFurther is. I can let Mike add some color, but they’ve been a huge part of my business the last six months and I will continue to partner with them. Another challenge inherently in ecommerce apparel business is cash flow and being able to crowdfund inventory is something that I’m really excited to continue to do. So thank you for your help, Mike. And also anyone that’s listening that finds what anything that I just said interesting. Keep your eyes peeled for another Great Fantastic KickFurther campaign in the near future. And we’d love for you to join the comfy family and continue to help us grow.
Mike: [00:26:06] Yeah and we’ve done a couple episodes about KickFurther. But just since you’ve brought that up, KickFurther’s a platform that allows individuals to purchase inventory through a co-op. And I think this is done from a legal perspective because you can’t have like non-accredited investors and a bunch of other like legal issues investing for equity and stuff in the company. And these are companies that don’t want to give up equity anyway. And so you’re basically lending money to purchase inventory and it’s not a loan. So like if the company pays back slower than projected, you’ll still get your money back. But the interest isn’t ticking necessarily and it’ll hurt the company’s ability to do further Kickfurther projects.
Mike: [00:26:47] But, you know, and so it’s set up this way again just from like a legal perspective. But what’s really happening in a nutshell is you’re lending money for a company to be able to buy inventory and they’re paying you relatively generous interest rate for doing that. And as you were saying, like cash flow is one of the number one issues in ecommerce and certainly obviously in clothing. But in anything that I’ve done in ecommerce, it becomes very difficult. And so, as I was looking at things to be doing Kickfurther was so appealing to me because I know that I’m helping people that were having the same stress points as me. So if you’re interested in KickFurther, you can go to Ecomcrew.com/KickFurther, that’ll take you over and it gets you like a $10 credit.
Mike: [00:27:25] If you do an investment, look for The Great Fantastic LLC over there, the co-op that I did. Just to tell people kind of again how this works. I invested in one that was, the total raise was $22,508.80. You did a 2.1 month co-op, which is actually one of the faster ones, usually they average in the 5 to 6 month range. And it paid 3.83% interest during that time. And you have one payment left on the one that I’m looking at here. I think I might have actually invested in another one with you too, I can’t remember. And so, so far, so good. It’s been paying on time. Actually early, which I appreciate.
Mike: [00:28:02] So again, if people are interested in that and supporting what’s going on over there at the Great Fantastic, go check that out. Go check out Swoveralls.com. Definitely a cool product, a great looking website, by the way, as well. I mean, I’m just so impressed that this is like your first ecommerce site. And obviously you had the experience from Birchbox and Bloomingdales and stuff, but the site looks great for a first crack at an ecommerce business. And it’s definitely a cool product, too. So congrats on everything you’ve done over there so far.
Kyle: [00:28:32] Thanks, Mike, I really appreciate it. And last thing, I just want to mention that I just created this in real time. On my website as well as Amazon, anyone who wants to use Ecomcrew at checkout, that’s going to be good for 20% off your entire order.
Mike: [00:28:48] Sweet.
Kyle: [00:28:48] There’s that.
Mike: [00:28:49] Love it. Ecomcrew, go over to Swoveralls. Don’t go to Amazon, support the guy on the Shopify store. Use the code Ecomcrew, get 20% off. That’s awesome. Support another budding entrepreneur, get him past the 1 million dollar mark in 2020, which would be amazing to have you come back on in and talk about that story. Thank you so much for coming on. And good luck with everything in the future, my friend.
Kyle: [00:29:10] Thank you, Mike.
Mike: [00:29:10] Thanks, Kyle.
Mike: [00:29:11] Alright, guys. That’s going to wrap it up for Episode 295 of the Ecomcrew podcast. If you want to leave a comment or anything like that over on this episode, you can go to Ecomcrew.com/295. We’d love to hear from you and again, as I mentioned off the top, if you do get a chance, leave a review over on iTunes. It means the world to Dave and I and Dave Couillard and Abby and Ben, Muffins, all the people back in the Philippines office. Everyone really appreciates it. So we’d love to hear from you. And until the next episode, happy selling and we’ll talk to you soon.
Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.