Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dave Ryan Arquiza, co-founder of OFNBs (Only Forwards Never Backwards), a mission-driven clothing company from Kingston, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is called "Only Forwards Never Backwards" (also known as OFNBS for short). We like to see ourselves as a mission-driven clothing company where our goal is to help others look forward to the good stuff of life.
We see our brand as more of a mantra - A Phrase To Live By. Our mission is to bring purpose and help as many people look forward to the good things of life, the stuff that makes us happy, the stuff that we wake up early for; however, you may define that.
Many of our customers are into the mental health & wellness space which is whom we love to centre our products around. I'd say our audience is catered towards individuals who love to wear something that has purpose and meaning behind it!
Tell us about yourself
My name is Dave Arquiza, and I definitely see myself as a creative. From being an influencer back in the YouTube days to starting various Instagram feeds and businesses. I'd also say I'm a huge advocate for mental health and living a balanced lifestyle.
With regards to starting @ofnbs, I was always into designing clothing and had lots of experience with eCommerce hustles and growing businesses online. On top of my past experience in marketing & content creation, @ofnbs became the perfect intersection of doing what I love to do and what I am good at. So when I heard Daniel Caesar sing the song "Entropy" and mentioned the phrase, "Only Forwards Never Backwards," I thought it'd be a great phrase to work around and do something creative with. What started with an Instagram mood-board turned into a full-on clothing company that one of my close friends, Nicholas Gito and I, decided to turn into something bigger.
Through our products and what we design, what motivates us every day is seeing our pieces mean something to people, something that people can relate to and actually use as motivation in their daily lives. Helping others find purpose and happiness in their lives is a huge driver in why we do what we do, and we believe it's the centre of the initial success of our brand.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment as a business owner so far has to be trending on Pinterest & TikTok. As a small business, one of the largest roadblocks is scaling to new customers and reaching new audiences. So one day, when some of our close friends started sending us screenshots of our products on Pinterest & TikTok with thousands of likes and shares, we knew it was just the start of our brand and gave us reassurance that we were on the right track.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Learning everything as you go. We never really had experience with designing, sourcing, shipping, and marketing clothing products at this scale, so it's definitely a learning curve that is difficult at first but very rewarding in the end.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I get this a lot, and I'd say my 3 tips are:
- Just get started. Once you put your one step forward, everything else will come naturally. The hardest thing is actually deciding to start a business & doing things like start an Instagram, website, etc.
- Never be afraid to ask for help. A lot of other founders within this space are so willing to help others out, the more you ask, the more you will learn.
- Do something you love doing. By starting a business that you have a passion for makes it so much easier to stay motivated.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
A little piece of life advice: Do things that make you happy, and everything will fall into place as it should.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.