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To find out more behind how Nomadik Box got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Nomadik Box co-founder, Pat Hines
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with Nomadik Box co-founder Pat Hines. The original idea for Nomadik was sparked while pat was attentively listening to a podcast that was discussing the new bustling business of subscription boxes. It wasn’t difficult for seasoned marketer, and action sport enthusiast Pat Hines to put two and two together and see the potential for this type of business model in the outdoor space. Now Nomadik Box is one of the leaders of subscription based business in the action sport and outdoor space. Join us as Pat gives us a little more details on what it’s been like building one of the most widely known subscription boxes in the action sport industry.
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 Nomadik’s website
- Follow Nomadik on Facebook and Instagram
- More about how Nomadik works and some of their past boxes
How did you get into the subscription box business?
“I was actually just driving in my car listening to a GaryVee podcast and he was talking about Birch Box and Faith Box. I grew up in the action sport and outdoor space and my background is in digit and e-commerce. I saw that no one was applying that model to the niche I knew best…”
What’s your background in?
I grew up competing in surfing and traveling and camping...I spent a lot of time in the ocean and a lot of time in the mountains and that’s definitely a big inspiration in creating this…”
What were you doing before you started Nomadik?
“I was in the ecommerce and digital marketing space. I helped launch a waterproof speaker company and I worked for another ecommerce company…”
Did you know you always wanted to start your own business?
“...I always kind of had a feeling that I would do something on my own but, I never had a clear vision…”
How did you go about building nomadik?
“...we just really wanted to focus on putting out a high quality product in terms of the software and how people use it..it by and large picked off mostly from word of mouth…”
How did you come up with the initial idea of Nomadik Box?
“We put up a landing page about four months before we launched and just drove some traffic there to see if people were interested in it. From there we just popped up a site and drove some traffic there for people to buy…”
How did you develop that idea?
“We did do some initial research and feedback surveys to point us in the right direction. After that it was more about getting the site up, shipping boxes, and talking to are users to see what they liked and what they didn’t like…”
How do you stand out from other outdoor subscription boxes?
“One of the main things that we’ve done is created the ‘Nomadik adventures.’ They basically help us source and test products. This is a group of diehard adventurers that are going outdoors, camping, and exploring on a regular basis…”
How did you come up with this idea of a curated focus group for testing products?
“It actually came kind of naturally. From my background in action sports and the outdoors I had a lot of friends that were diehard adventurers...”
Is the test the ultimate test to bring on a brand?
“Exactly. In the beginning we were reaching out a lot to brands and now that were have a little bit of traction brands find us…”
What criteria do you have when picking a brand that might be a good fit for Nomadik Box?
“First and foremost the company and their brand image has to be inline with our branding. From there they have to be environmental conscious, their image has to be similar to ours, they have to be known for making high end products and their product testing and product development has to have a solid process…”
Who would be a perfect customer for Nomadik?
“So we have a couple different primary customer segments. Our main customer is 21-34 years old and it’s a male female split. It’s your outdoor enthusiast who likes to do a lot of different things outside and is not an expert…”
Did you know that would be your target demographic when you started?
“We sort of knew that going into it but, it definitely shifted a bit. We have a lot more female subscribers than I thought. We thought it would be primarily male and it’s actually a lot of females and it’s a lot of people purchasing it for gifts…”
Do you have any mentors that helped you develop Nomadik?
“Yeah I did. Mentors are really really important I think. There are a couple that I have that are a little more behind the scenes. One of them has a lot of experience in outdoors and tech and building distribution channels…”
What is the dynamic of your team?
“So I handle a lot of the marketing side of it and the customer acquisition. MY co-founder Grant Conzaman helps on the procurement side of things and the sourcing…”
Is there a specific thing that you would accredit your growth to?
“To be honest I think it’s a little bit of everything. We tried to do a couple of things really well. In terms of our marketing we’ve just been really focused on things like social and do a really small amount of marketing channels really well…”
What made you willing to commit 80-90 hours a week?
“One, the opportunity at hand. When we first had the idea about a year or two years ago, there really wasn’t anyone applying the subscription model to the action sport/outdoor space that I saw…For me, honestly, I love being challenged...”
How does Nomadik tackle the issue of sustainability?
“We’re in a unique position in that we’re a distribution channel. We don’t make any products but we do source and buy the products from brands. Within the outdoor sport industry we basically have the gear from all the major brands and when we’re talking with them were constantly emphasising sustainability…”
How does this business model function in relationship to brands?
“So on the consumer side the value proposition is the dollar amount. They’re paying $20-$30 for $50 worth of value...on the brand side it’s really just a unique distribution channel…”
What does the growth look like from when you started to where you are now?
“We’ve grown about 12x since we started last year and we’re growing at a pretty solid rate. This next year we’re going to be really focused on bringing on some additional pieces of key personnel…”
What has been the hardest parts about building Nomadik?
“The hardest parts have been scaling in general. Now days getting up a proof of concept or something like that is really easy with technology but, it terms of scaling that it’s been hard…”
How is Nomadiks distribution set up?
“We have a partnership and our warehouse is in carlsbad. They definitely help out alot on that side of business…”
What are some of your biggest fears with Nomadik?
“Fears are tricky for sure. Personally for me, I am most afraid of having an idea and not executing or testing it. I’d rather try something out and fail and not try it and have that regret or not know what might have happened…”
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made with Nomadik?
“I think definitely I could have focused on building out the team faster and planning ahead but, honestly I didn’t know it would grow as fast as it did… I look at mistakes and I use mistakes to help me but, I think mistakes are just the raw material that goes into being successful…”
What does an average day look like for you?
“I wake up and the first thing I do is check out emails for five or ten minutes to see if there are any fires I need to put out and then I go into a workout…from there it’s just focusing on the marketing, figuring out new creative ways to test and get new users...”
What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to start a business?
“The main advice that I’d want to give people is to know the space you’re playing in. If you’re going into action sports or the outdoors, it’s a super competitive space…”
What are some of the areas that you needed help with that your partner's help balance?
“For me it’s just the finance and operations/accounting side. MY background is in marketing and social. I’m super creative and really into analytics and numbers but, in terms of finance and margins and cash flow that’s what I needed help with…”
What’s in store for the future of Nomadik?
“The next year we’re going to be really focused on laying the foundation internally to scale. But, on the customer end we’re really laser focused on delivering super high quality boxes that get people super super excited…”
What’s the best part about running Nomadik?
For me the best part about running it is just the constant challenge. I’m the happiest when I’m challenged…”