Sustainable Shopify watch brand plants 880,000+ trees AND sells $3m a year – meet TruWood (episode 414)

Bishoi Khella is the founder and CEO at TruWood, a Canadian wooden watches brand. Selling on Shopify they’re on a mission to provide as much value to the world as possible, which includes planting over 880,000 trees so far! Founded in 2016 they now are doing about $3million a year.

Bishoi Khella TruWood on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Bishoi’s eCommerce Journey

It was during their last semester in university that Bishoi and his friends tried to figure out how to be their own bosses instead of taking on 9-to-5 jobs.

They started a few stores before starting TruWood, and what they realized was that if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you’ll lose motivation when things don’t go well.

They eventually stumbled on wooden products and quickly fell in love with the uniqueness of different grains of wood. Combining their newfound fascination with wood and their love for watches, they launched TruWood.

The Watch that Gives Back

For every watch they sell, TruWood plants ten trees, and this came from their desire to have a net positive impact on the environment by giving more than they’ve taken.

Bishoi believes this initiative is part of the reason customers buy their watches. It’s not their main motivation, but it’s definitely an added value that attracts their audience.

Expanding the Product Range

This year, TruWood has been busy redefining themselves and be known as a brand that’s more than just watches.

They’ve expanded their line to include other accessories and even came out with Apple Watch bands in keeping with their initial focus on watches.

Bishoi says expanding their product range not only creates an ecosystem of wooden accessories but also ensures that they’re future-proofing themselves with 

Becoming a Better Marketer

Bishoi says that because of iOS 14, they’ve taken a step back from advertising on Facebook and Google and placed more focus on their actual messaging and content.

This means there’s a chance to learn how to be a real marketer instead of just an advertiser. What Bishoi has been doing is reading marketing books and understanding the psychology of marketing. From identifying their target audience to clarifying their message through good copywriting, he’s putting in the work to really be better at formulating their brand story in order to solidify TruWood as a real brand.

And this has been paying off for Bishoi and the company not only through an increase in sales but also in terms of personal fulfillment.

TruWood’s Goal in 2023

For the last two years, TruWood has been working toward its Million Tree goal.

Next year, when they hit the mark, they’re launching a limited edition collection to commemorate the milestone. This will be available to their loyal fans, and Bishoi is pretty excited for the collection’s release.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Bishoi, it’s word-of-mouth marketing and having that direct one-on-one communication with real people.

Tool Top Tip

  • Trello project management tool

Growth Top Tip

  • Focus on learning and being a real marketer, not just an advertiser. You have to learn how to market yourself and your brand and understand your audience so you can create highly-focused messaging with a great offer.

Interview Links

Thank you to Yotpo SMSBump for recommending TruWood and Bishoi!!

Related episodes 2

  • 393: Story, content and partnerships for growth with James le Compte from To’ak Chocolate
  • A truly inspiring sustainable startup – Marc Bucci from Social Socks (episode 407)
  • Why Customer Research and a Slow Startup works for Gusto Snacks with Giuseppe Baidoo (episode 409)

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