Tokyo Monee is one of the most exciting new stores in Shopify. At Growth Suite team, we contacted Tokyo Monee team to learn more about their journey for this great store. You'll learn their amazing story and vision. Before going to our interview questions we firstly want to thank Tokyo Monee for this great interview.
Yes, my name is Kenneth Woods, and I was born and raised in Southern California. Tokyo Monee is my new clothing brand specializing in graphic t-shirts and sportswear.
One night back in October 2019 me and my then 11-year-old son had just watched a show with business tycoon Marcus Lemonis and I told my son when it ended that we should start a business. That night we decided on a clothing company and the twisted journey began! One of the reasons I wanted to start a clothing business of some sort was that I had dabbled in fashion photography for years and wanted to put my love for fashion photography to good use. I also wanted to use my creativity to create graphics that I liked and hopefully others would like too. Getting to even this early stage has been filled with missteps and a huge learning curve. With that said when you get an email from a customer that has ordered from you five times from Columbia and says they love your store it pumps you up like nothing else. Little moments of great feedback and praise give you motivation to move forward inch by inch. We are in a battle to win customers over one at a time and that is how I see it.
Let us be honest the world is filled with clothing brands striving to set themselves apart and rise to level of the super star clothing brands we all know, and love and we are really no different in those desires. With that said, we probably are different in our path to get there. When I was researching in getting a trademark, I looked through countless established granted trademarks to businesses that were out of business long ago. There was a massive graveyard of defunct clothing brands I was wading through so I realized I would need to design a sustainable business model that would give us the chance to grow over time without massive investment that would put you quickly out of business. Time is needed to establish any brand so I tweaked our business model to give us more time so we can find our way forward down this path day by day, week by week, month by month. This is our business execution “difference”, but to the public the difference all comes down to what is put on the shirt, hoodie, whatever and whether they like it or not? Does it connect with them? Will they wear it? Will they buy it? Our shirts are different because of what we put on a shirt just like any other clothing company could say. If you do look at our shirts you will see the added small details added to different places on the shirt along with the main graphic. Those little details that we do add mean a lot to the end customer and I have had many positive comments about them.
Another difference for a start up like ours is having a fashion photographer presenting these shirts photographed on actual models where I have often seen small startups like ours where the shirts are just generic blank representations of a shirt with a graphic overlayed it. I think there is a higher level of trust in our new brand because of the professional presentation of our product. I think the presentation makes a difference.
The reactions I have had from customers has been fantastic! The real test in these early days of our business is the people that have bought from you and then buy again! When someone buys from you again, they are giving you the ultimate positive feedback! They are saying they love and endorse what you are selling but also that they trust you to execute and provide good customer service and communication. I have one customer I have talked with on several occasions via email and he now says he could wear one of our shirts each day of the week! Feedback like that is a dream come true in these early days of our business.
The people behind any business is what is key. I am in this for the long haul. I know real success takes time and patients. There have already been many ups and downs, but you need to stay focused and believe in what you are doing. This is my passion, and it keeps me going day after day. I know in time the real money will come as this all grows. For the customer that likes what we are doing the advantage of buying something from Tokyo Monee is getting a company that executes and delivers. Any customer can get my personal email directly on the site, so they know they have contact with a real person behind this web store front. In the end it is all about how you treat people. Hopefully in time our company gets a chance to earn a lot of people’s business and treat them well! Best wishes, Kenneth Woods TokyoMonee.com
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