Why buy overpriced gear that’s built to break?
Break away from the brands dominating the sunglass industry and chase innovation, reasonably priced goods, with fantastic aesthetic. Choose D-Curve
To find out more behind how D-Curve got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews D-Curve founder, Andrew Strauss
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with D-Curve founder Andrew Strauss. D-Curve is a brand that wants to help save the outdoor industry from overpriced gear that’s built to fail in a disposable model. Before starting D-Curve Andrew worked or one of the bigger sunglass companies where he would sow the seeds of his budding business and slowly turned knowledge and experience garnered into a new model for a sunglasses and goggle company. Join us in this weeks podcast as Andrew talks shop about eyewear and exposures some truths that you may be shocked to hear
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
- Check out D-Curves website
- Pick up a pair of D-Curve Sunglasses, Goggles, Snow Helmets, and Bike Helmets
- Follow D-Curve on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
What is D-Curve all about?
“D-Curve is a sunglasses goggles and helmet company. We do both ski helmets and bike helmets...We have sunglasses that can answer any kind of needs from fashion to performance and everything in between…”
How did you get started with D-Curve?
“When I moved to Colorado, a little over 20 years ago, I started working for a sunglasses brand and worked there for about 18 years and then I started my own company?”
What pushed you to start your own sunglasses business?
“I saw some areas where there was a lot of opportunity. I thought I could do things a little differently...I saw an opportunity and I went for it…”
Was there anything in particular that you really wanted to address when launching D-Curve?
“As the sunglass industry goes it’s really controlled by a giant company that owns several brands and then there’s a few other giant companies that control the industry. With that being said, it’s at least 75% of the industry is controlled by a few brands that give you the illusion of choice…That’s where we saw an opportunity to offer really great products at a modest price...”
What lead you into the eyewear business?
“I’ve always been a fan of the outdoors and an outdoor enthusiast...When I did move out to Colorado the main reason was the mountains. Before that I left Virginia for Florida for the sun and the ocean so, I really follow my interested...When I started working for a sunglass company after I moved to Colorado it was a really good fit…”
What steps did you take to develop your product?
“We started with the basics and the biggest opportunity and our number one product that we thought could really make a difference and that’s our goggle. That’s where the name D-Curve came from, which is a double lense curve for a goggle...We’re the first company to introduce a goggle with a removable goggle foam...There’s no product out there that enables a user to wash the foam after you’re finished using it…”
What helped you grow from your start date to where you are now?
“Even before the start date we did a lot of product research and development...after we got the products out and we launched at the ski show, we’ve been doing a lot of direct to consumer events...On top of that we do a lot of direct to consumer advertising. We’re battling a lot of existing brands out there that have a huge budget and a lot of history...so it’s really important to keep spreading the word…”
How long into launching the business did it take for you to go full time?
“It’s been a fulltime job since, even before we launched. Since then, we work as a group to consistently improve the products, develop new products, look for other opportunities, and build our network of consumers so we can continue to get our name out there…”
Did you have any mentors while building D-Curve?
“Working at the previous company I worked with a lot of great people...I had some great mentors along the way, I’ve worked with some awesome manufacturers, and I’ve developed a lot of relationships with everyone that I do work with and that I have worked with in the past…”
Did you bootstrap this business?
“I would call it bootstrapping. We definitely cashed in our life savings to begin the brand...IT’s been a process to get the funding and grow, it’s a lot of initial investment to create something new. The goggle molds, and helmet molds, and sunglass molds are very expensive and that’s why it is kind of an exclusive group of companies that control the industry. It’s very hard to break into the industry as a new company…”
What is your commitment to sustainability?
“We’re trying to answer a lot of those issues by creating a google that isn’t just such a throwaway product like most goggles have been forever. I think as the world becomes more knowledgeable about the impact of all the trash we’re creating, it makes sense that don’t have to go into a landfill just because one part wears out…”
What has been one of the hardest parts about starting D-Curve?
“The saturated market. It’s very competitive, it’s very costly to enter the market itself. The competition has a stronghold that makes it very difficult and they do implement their policy of copy and crush…”
What is one of your greatest fears in regards to D-Curve?
“Well the fear is getting squashed by the competition as they continue to copy our products...we’ve already had several competitors come up with us at trade shows and salivate over idea of the removable goggle foam and some of our other innovations. They’re not looking to have a competitive environment. What they want to do is control it so they can charge what they want…”
What would you say are some of the biggest mistakes that you’ve made since the start of D-Curve?
“It think the biggest mistake is thinking that when we showed up with this excellent product that the industry would embrace it. We’ve realized overtime a lot of people have never realized how dirty their goggle foam is... It’s really a challenge to get our products out there and explain them and, when we do that we have a lot of success…”
What advice would you give someone that wanted to start a business?
“It’s a very challenging market it...you’re dealing with a lot of athletes and really interesting people that I love to deal with...The challenge is fighting your way into that really closed market. If you’re going to show up and start a new brand make sure you have a lot of money or a very compelling unique idea…”
Where do you see D-Curve headed into the future?
“We’re working on a lot of new features. The biggest rave right now is some kind of magnetic lense for the goggles to make it really easy to switch them out so, we’re working on some proprietary ideas along that line…”
What would you say is the best part about running D-Curve?
“The best part is the opportunities, the people we’re involved with...We’re really trying to promote getting outside…”