Let’s start from the beginning. Randy Gervais grew up in a corporate environment. Being surrounded by business men and attending high end events where dressing up was a must. He saw a gap in men’s apparel and to be quite frank, found the fashion in the corporate world dull. He wanted there to be more expression and individualization. Randy wanted to stand out and wanted other people to stand out as a way of showing their personalities.
Growing up, Gervais was well versed in the world of travel. Since he had the opportunity to visit different locations at such a young age, it inspired him to explore various design trends. He took influences from around the world to craft the uniqueness of the CheckerBox aesthetic. His travels allowed him to realize how special of a city New Orleans actually is. By looking at the brand’s social media feed, you can get a sense of the passion for a fresh look, mixed with the elegance of his home, New Orleans.
At the Age of 18
Randy began concepting CheckerBox when he was 18. At the time, he thought, “What does everyone need? What is inexpensive to produce while attaining high profit margins? Socks.” At 18, he was fortunate enough to have received a loan from his parents that helped him start his first business.
Randy grew his company in three years by focusing on brand awareness through social media, trade shows, and selling his socks in brick-and-mortar establishments including high end hotels.
“In the Beginning, we didn’t have enough revenue to produce two full collections, (because in the accessories market you at least want to be a season ahead), plus pay a marketing company to build an online presence and then pay salaries. So, it wasn’t about being patient, it was about spending money wisely. I stayed persistent by filling the orders of the current stores we were in and consistently sending follow up emails to stores every day.”
He got to the point of where he was able to hire his friends in the summer as sales reps. In turn, they would receive a 10% commission on every new property that would carry CheckerBox socks. So now triple the emails were being sent out on a daily basis. This is why he encourages every entrepreneur to chase their dreams. “The opportunity is right on your fingertips, figuratively and literally. There are so many great platforms via social media, Shopify, and WordPress (just to name a few) to showcase your brand and/or products, we are such an image conscious generation.”
At the Age of 21
Three years later, Gervais took CheckerBox from an idea to producing six figures in annual sales revenue. Because of this rapid growth, he was able to decrease the price-point from $30 to $18 by selling direct to consumer via e-commerce.
“This was a goal of mine, to create a product that was accessible to a large market. $30 for a pair of socks isn’t cheap, but out of the gate I had to create realistic profit margins so I could continue to produce more styles. I was kind of stuck, I emailed, called, and even walked into countless retail stores showing off my product and why it should be sold in their stores. I would be lucky to get 5 out of the 100 stores to take me seriously, the brick-and-mortar stores weren’t very friendly to the new kid on the block, but it was worth it because I was able to build up enough revenue to produce my next collection.”
Now after three years of hustling with no outside funding, no marketing and no partners CheckerBox is financially able to focus all of its efforts on building online brand recognition. This is a proud moment for Randy because so many stores he contacted didn’t take his company seriously. Now that he has gained a profit, CheckerBox is able to sell mostly online and in a few select stores.
“I want all my customers to feel a part of the brand because I have tried my best to make it attainable for everyone. We have a small team over here at CheckerBox but I am proud of that because every CheckerBox member has an important role. I want to continue making CheckerBox fun for everyone.”
What Does the Future Hold for CheckerBox & Randy?
When Randy was growing up, his friends and peers had dreams of becoming professional athletes. Some of his friends actually made that dream come true. Randy on the other hand wanted to become the one who paid the athletes. Now he’s the owner of a successful business that continues to grow. He too, made his dreams come true.
“Personally, I believe if more teenagers changed their train of thought from being the athlete, there would be a drive for more young entrepreneurs. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud everyone’s ambitions and dreams but there comes a point where you have to be realistic.”
Having this ambition at such a young age helped mold him to the person he is today. The owner of his first company and I’m sure it won’t be the last. In fact, CheckerBox is the ideal first company in his eyes. Randy learned many lessons along the way including revenue management, client acquisition, social media strategy, and self-management. What he has accomplished with CheckerBox has opened doors to other business ventures.
Young Randy was once told, “It takes 15 years in the fashion industry to be an overnight success.” So far, the early success of CheckerBox is paving its way to become a household name. From the company’s online presence to its market value, the future looks bright for his first company, CheckerBox.
What started as a fun accessible fashion brand has transformed itself into a viable network of opportunity. Meeting with many entrepreneurs, business executives, political leaders, Randy has the vision to grow beyond CheckerBox. Follow Randy Gervais (@randygervais) via Instagram to stay up to date with this exciting fast moving young man.
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Source: Main home business mag
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