Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Angico is producing designed reflective vests for runners, cyclers, walkers, and other active people. The idea was born from our own desires. One of the company owners is a marathon runner and was looking for a good looking safety vest that will keep her visible during the long evening training. The other owner is a cyclist and had the same need. We could not find a good looking vest that will be safe enough for us. Thus we decided to create Angico vests. We worked together with a fashion designer created 10 prototypes and asked people to choose the most appealing ones. It was so encouraging to hear good feedback about the product and the overall idea.
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
We need to take care of the stock. As a small company, we cannot have a huge stock so we produce the vests almost on demand. It is always important to keep an eye on the finances to be able to see when we can invest in the development.
What are your best selling products, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
The best selling vest is the black-purple vest. People love it so much. Also the blue and green are popular ones.
Out product definitely stands out because of the design. People are used to seeing the common construction site vests with gray lines, but Angico vests look so fresh compared to those.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
The best is to see how our creations are demanded, how people use them. We feel very proud that our vests help people to be safe. The hardest part is marketing and sales as none of us is a good salesperson. We need to call the cycle shops but we are afraid to do that. It is hard to manage raw materials as they come from all over the world. It is also a huge part of the work to introduce people to the concept as this is a new product.
But we have told ourselves – if our vest saves at least one life then all the hard work is worth that!
Who do you sell to (and how do you get customers)? What marketing tools or strategies you use to boost your sales? Are you satisfied with the results?
We sell our products in our own online shop www.angico.eu and also Amazon and Etsy. We use Facebook ads, but so far those have not been very successful.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
One needs to burn for your own ideas and products. We cannot say that we are a successful company yet, we have been working for 3 years now, but slowly the active and sporty people society start to recognize and appreciate Angico vests.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
When we did not have good sales results after the first year, it was a tough moment. But we promised ourselves to keep working, not many of the successful companies had brilliant sales results after the first year of existence.
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
We get inspired by multiple fashion designers. We follow the color and shape trends in the world. All in all, we are sure not everyone will like our designs but we are sure that there are people like us that will appreciate trendy design when doing sports and wanting to be visible.
Our customers also give us great ideas about the new products we should create. That is the best motivation to keep creating.
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
Yes, we ship internationally. We work with DHL express and they have been very reliable in terms of delivery times, even in the Covid-19 crisis. For example, shipping to New York or any European destination takes just 1 day. Other locations take 3-5 days.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
You need to believe in yourself and keep trying. It is always hard in the beginning and the weakest ones give up. Do not give up!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Don’t be surprised that developing products take much more time than expected. 🙂 Also keep in mind that you need to test the new products and your customers will tell you which is the best option. They are glad to share their opinion.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Success is when you are making a profit and you have a team that knows how to sell and handle the orders. For us personally, success is every runner we see on the street that is wearing our vest and being visible. We feel very proud of that – no money can buy this feeling.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
The first part of the days is dedicated to development and production – we arrange the sewing, cutting, and ironing. In the afternoon we handle the orders – package, ship, and communicate with customers. We are located in Europe and one of our main markets are the USA. Our USA customers wake up when it is 3 am here.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
We will dig deeper into Facebook ads, we will create sales tunnels and differentiate the auditories, we will create several landing pages for sales messages and test them.
Profitability depends on the number of orders we receive every day. Driving sales is crucially important.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
Every online business depends on photos. You need to create good ones. Our approach is to take pictures as the product was used in real life.
It was hard to understand that the products we think will be successfully sold turned out to be not so interesting to our customers. That is why we always test our products.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
Safety is a topic that people usually think about when bad things happen. We would like to change that thinking and invite people to think before anything bad happens. Please take care of yourself and your beloved ones! We recommend using the reflective vest when running, walking, or cycling during the dark hours. It is not necessary to be Angico designed vest, the common one will work fine as well. Please be visible and safe!