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This week, we are meeting with Jeff Abrams, he is the Creative director and founder of Rails. Founded in 2008, Rails has grown from a small label - started with just a single hat - into a full collection of women's, men's, and children's apparel. Sold at top international retailers and worn by a loyal following of celebrities and tastemakers, the brand has come to define a classic heritage and relaxed sensibility.
TO FIGURE OUR WHERE YOU ARE IN THE EPISODE
00:31 Jeff present himself and come back on his pathway.
10:24 How he choose the retailer, his positionning, his strategy, his difficulties.
22:00 How he find his manufacturer, the milestones of Rails.
31:44 What to start with when you launch your brand, the copycat and how he protect himself, how he became a good manager.
39:43 How to grow and protect your brand’s DNA, his rolemodel, the work-life balance, his biggest mistake.
46:20 What would he start with if he launched his brand today, his creative process, his fave place in Paris, how he choose its employees, the PR agency.
58:06 His next challenge, what does he recommend for people who are launching their brand today, the sustainability side, what would he do differently today.
01:05:53 His ultimate goal, the most inspiring thing for him, what would he say to Jeff, 20 years old, who he would like to listen to in this podcast ?
This is not a good longterm strategy to give everybody consignment because at some point you need to be paid for your product.
My self strategy is always to be more understanded, not to be very agressive. I think sometimes if you going « selling selling selling », somebody says « wow too agressive, let me say no ». So I think, you need to try a build a connection with the person. First build connection with that person. And let them feel my passion.
You have to believe your own story. You have to have the passion. Sometime people say, « oh I need to find a sale representative to help me sell the line » . No! You need to go a sell the line. You need to have the passion for anything. There is now short cut. And I think this is one of the main lesson for anybody trying to start a business: there is no fast track. For more than ten year, every single day, almost everyday f the week, I am doing this business. But of course on every social media, on Instagram, everything looks easy, but there is a lot of hard work going into building a successful business.
I think this is a huge part of why we all have been successful, is that the type of business I am running is very family style, and very emotionally connected to our employees and to our customers, and our customers have an emotional connection to our brand because they feel the fabric and they feel something more than just a product, there is something that give you a cerebral then an emotional feel about our brand. So I think everybody who works at Rails also feels that. And we are driving toward a common goal together. And I think once you started to grow your business, you really need to think about culture, your business culture, like what do you stand for as a company.
To me the most important think is what is your product. Do you have an amazing product that people needs to buy? Because you have to have an amazing product that is going to resonate with your customer.
I never borrowed money, we never took investment, just keep reinvesting the money slowly and now we have made over the course of 10 years 350 million $ in sales, in a 5000 $ investment.
People are so important to be able to build a sustainable business.
Rag & Bone