Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in apparel and fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Engle Saez, Founder & CEO of Atlantic Rancher Company, located in Seattle, Washington, United States.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We design, develop and build rugged outdoor apparel, footwear and gear. We refer to our products as "ideas"...Ideas From A Lifetime At Sea® is how our brand is positioned and differentiated in the marketplace. All of our "ideas" are built with the usefulness and integrity of a knot tied right!
Our customers become our friends, as we are a family-owned and operated business, and they regularly interact with me and my team. It's not unusual for customers to call me just to chat it up and discuss adventures they've been on and how they've deployed our outerwear and gear. They love to tell me how our products perform and, on occasion, volunteer their thoughts on what we should build next!
We've been in business, in one form or another, since 1995, when I launched Atlantic Rancher out of a sail loft in Marblehead, MA. Customers often send me photos and stories of gear they purchased back in the old days and how our products still serve them well today.
Tell us about yourself
I started the Atlantic Rancher Co. to fulfill my passion for building superior products...products made to perform the job for which they were intended. Nothing gives me more pleasure than knowing our customers appreciate the thought and consideration that goes into the fabrics and trim, the fit and finish of every garment or piece of gear we build.
I absolutely live for the interaction with our customers, and that is why my mobile number and personal email address are published on our website. First-time customers will call me just out of curiosity to see there really is an Engle, the founder, that answers the phone. Unless I am hunting, fishing, or sleeping...I answer the phone. And if by chance you go to voicemail, you'll hear back from me the same day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We are proud of many things, but our relationship with customers and our suppliers is at the top of that list. We never forget that we are in the relationship business...not the sales or commerce business. We believe that if you are committed to building a superior product and that if you do right by your customers and deal honestly with your suppliers, everything else falls into place.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a family-owned and operated business, we are also self-funded. We could grow much faster if we were willing to take on outside investors. We are not. We'd rather put our own money on the line in order to maintain control of our company, do things the way we believe they should be done, and live our lives with authenticity, purpose, and intention.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Differentiate...no one needs anything that's not demonstrably better than everything that already exists.
- Spend as little time as possible with those that tell you you're thinking too big.
- Have faith...and acquire as much of it as possible...you're gonna need it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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