HUSTLE HARD, DON'T GET PLAYED & REMEMBER WHERE YOU CAME FROM - ANDREW & RYAN BELTRAN
Inspiration is the key to creativity and creativity is the key to success. The section 'In Focus' brings to the table some highly creative individuals, from different creative fields, who are sharing the secret recipes of their success. 'In Focus' is also an attempt to inspire people to chase their dreams, by sharing stories of people who've done so and found their calling.
In Focus - Andrew & Ryan Beltran - Founders, Original Grain
1. Let’s meet the founders of Original Grain.
Andrew & Ryan: Original Grain is inspired by the Pacific Northwest, where brothers Andrew and Ryan Beltran spent a large part of their youth. After college, Ryan spent a year in Hong Kong, while Andrew served in the Marine Corps. On his return home from the Corps, Andrew made a stopover in Hong Kong and coincidentally re-united with Ryan who had been experimenting with a concept for wood x steel timepieces. Their rendezvous was the onset of Original Grain which today is an international sensation with over 80 K followers.
2. Do you remember the first time you got inspired about your current field of work; how
did you follow your current path of setting up your own brand?
Andrew: During my stopover in Hong Kong, Ryan shared a few watch samples of his wood x steel concept. He wasn’t sure what to make of them or if he wanted to pursue the business. Once I saw them I knew right away this was something we had to do. It paid homage to roots and love for the great outdoors and so we went into business together. Our designs are inspired by region i.e. Green Sandalwood for the Pacific Northwest, Maple Wood for its resemblance to sand in Southern California, etc.
We launched our first capsule on Kickstarter and the rest is history in the making. In 2016, we partnered with Trees.Org to plant 10 Trees for every watch sold, continuing to evolve our brand and its ethos for great outdoors.
3. What keeps you motivated & what is the best piece of advice you’d give to someone starting their own brand/label?
Andrew: What keeps me motivated day-to- day is our history - past, present and future. My life completely changed when I decided to drop everything and do this with my brother. Every minute is a blessing from the design process and working with wood, to our fantastic international team we now have in place and our thousands of consumers who appreciate our product. We’ve come a long way from our Kickstarter, and I’m excited to see what’s ahead. Best advice - keep going, and don’t stop.
4. Which was the most challenging part of your journey?
Scaling. How do we take a concept to production and be able to generate a profit? We’ve had to adjust our business model, production timelines, and staff over the years but sooner or later, it all starts to click.
5. Who do you design/create your watches for?
Andrew & Ryan: Like all designers, we’re driven by our inspiration and for us that’s the great outdoors. Our watches are designed for people like my brother and myself (outdoor enthusiasts), but also for the those who want a piece of this lifestyle in their wardrobe. The wood x steel combination on a watch makes for a refined statement that everyone can embrace.
Another important factor to us, is our passion to preserve nature. We’re always on the hunt for interesting collaborations that reclaim wood such as our recent partnership with Jim Beam to reclaim their bourbon barrels in a limited edition watch.
6. Can you walk us through the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in running a business.
Planning. Being ahead of your calendar gives you time to perfect; adjust if needed and gives you a buffer to make clear sound decisions. It’s extremely important in fashion to stay ahead.
7. Please tell us your life motto:
Hustle hard. Don’t get played. Remember where you come from. By pushing my limits, we’ve been able to accomplish things we never thought we could. It’s a tough world out there, especially in business, so keeping a keen eye is intelligent. And of course, remember where you come from - it’s what made you, you.