Four years have passed like a spring-time glint in a grizzly bear’s eye. I have no clue where the time has gone! Four years ago, I was getting lost in the Alaskan wilderness and riding my pet bear (not really—but I was sleeping inside one, Skywalker style). Now, I’m the CEO (Chief Energetic Officer) of a 100+ member company in Nashville.
What started out as a desire to make the best gear for my active lifestyle has turned into building a company that has become the #1 silicone ring company in the world. #1! In the whole, freakin’ world!
I often wonder how one little Kickstarter launched from my garage has turned into an 8-figure company. And honestly, I’m not totally sure, other than I never take anything on expecting less than changing the world. If we expect less, why would we waste our time?
So today, we celebrate the 4th birthday of Groove Life. Happy Birthday to us! *throws confetti*
Here at Groove, we don’t really do birthday cakes and happy birthday sing-a-longs. Our style is more along the lines of drinking some good bourbon and reminiscing around a fire (yes, HR department, responsible levels of alcohol consumption and excellent fire safety). *insert shameless product feature* By the way, did you know Groove Life silicone rings can withstand up to 400 degrees??
So, as a thank you to you guys for helping us explode into our fifth year, we have a little birthday sale going on right now (that ends tonight, btw, so get moving).
The Groove Life Story
Groove Life is exploding now, but the story of how I got here might surprise you. As I mentioned earlier, in early 2016, I was working as a wilderness guide (i.e. trying not to get people lost in the middle of nowhere) in the Alaskan wild. After realizing how uncomfortable and downright dangerous wearing a metal wedding band was (but knowing my wife, Katie, would probably prefer me to lose my finger than my wedding band) I ordered a silicone ring online.
Although my digits were now safe, the ring sucked! My finger was constantly sweaty and gross. I even started getting a rash from wearing the ring all the time. When I called the company to exchange the ring, I spent a half an hour on hold while they deliberated whether to give me a refund.
This was my lightbulb moment. Surely there was a way to design breathable grooves into the band so that air could flow in, while moisture from sweat flows out?! Surely a company could be built, not on profits, but on providing the best damn customer service possible?
We didn’t invent the silicone ring, we just have the best one on the market.
The next few months were spent freezing my a** off in my garage prototyping the Groove Ring design. After creating the first few mockups, I knew I had a stupidly awesome idea on my hands (see what I did there? You’re welcome). I had no money and no investment, so I launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised $17k… just enough to market the ring and pay for tooling.
As with many things, I underestimated how quickly this whole thing would grow. Starting in my garage, it spread into the house (sorry, Katie) and it soon became clear that I needed some help and some more space! By the end of the first year, I had my first couple of employees and Groove had become a 6-figure company. *insert panic emoji*
As Groove Life continued to grow (despite me having to learn everything), I realized that Middle-of-Nowhere-Alaska might not be the optimal place to run an e-com business. This realization tied in with a desire to relocate my family to Tennessee, where Katie and my parents lived. In 2018, I headed to Nashville and, along with a couple of Alaska team members and two new Nashvillians, set up shop in an old high school building (chalkboards, dead rats, a sign shop, and southern food cafe included). Mid-2018, I added 65 people and Groove Life hit 8-figures!
2019 has been a crazy busy year! My team constantly innovated with new ring designs including custom prints, laser-engraved patterns, and even the world’s first anti-stretch silicone ring, Zeus! After so many customer requests for breathable watch bands, we developed the first truly breathable watch bands for Apple Watch featuring the same breathable technology that sets Groove Rings apart. Fitbit, Samsung, and Garmin versions will all be coming soon in 2020!
Why did Groove Life grow so fast?
Somehow, we are one of the fastest-growing brands out there. So, how did we do it?
Our Motivation is different.
I believe the Groove Ring is just the vehicle to carry the Groove Life mission. It’s very simple. To serve people, inspire adventure, and to reflect God. I want every area of our business to scream this mission statement.
If I woke up in the morning thinking I’m just selling silicone rings, I’d rather go to the grave. The mission is everything...it’s why I get up in the morning.
Our audience is different.
Hunters are wearing our rings, CrossFit athletes, marathon runners, tradesmen… you name it! The truth is, we aren’t simply selling rings and watch bands. We’re equipping adventurers to live life fully without being held back by sub-standard products.
Our leadership is different.
I never wanted to be constrained to a box and that is reflected in how I run a business. I love to spend my morning paragliding over Nashville with a giant propeller strapped to my back. I want my four kids to grow up to be confident individuals who passionately love God. I want to spend the weekends with my wife, Katie, and my kids. I want my team to look at me and see the flaws and the mistakes, but be inspired by what I do and say. I want people to work hard and give their best, but to prioritize their families above all else. I hope that this passion for life rubs off on the rest of the company and truly sets us apart.
So, what’s next?
I can honestly say the last four years have been the craziest of my life and we’re only just getting started. Over the next few months, we have some exciting new and innovative products launching, along with some awesome new content that I think you’ll love.
Groove Ring has become so much more than a product. Groove Life is an active lifestyle accessory brand and I am passionate about continuing to build our culture while creating premium products that you will love. I’m very focussed on converting our loyal customers from being fans of our rings to being followers of the Groove lifestyle.
To celebrate our 4th birthday (in addition to the bourbon and roaring fire), we’re offering you a huge promotion. Go check out our birthday sale and grab a ring and a watch band while the discount lasts!
Founder of Groove Life