Christian Zeron founded Theo and Harris, a vintage watch retailer, in 2015. 4 years on it is a thriving online store and vlog which now does $2.5million sales per year.
About the Business
- Located in New York and New Jersey
- Nearly 40% of the business is international
- Typical prices $1,500-$12,000
- Uses Vlogging as a main avenue of communication
- Platform: Shopify
Favorite plugins: Christian delegates ruthlessly and doesn’t spend his energy on the website, but knows that google calendar has kept the team in line and google analytics has been their best asset in negotiating advertising rates.
Getting Started in eCommerce
Christian says he got into eCommerce when he was in college simply because it was an easy platform to access. With such easy accessibility, ease of use and for so cheap, it didn’t take much for him to want to start a site of his own. He made the decision to pick a product he was passionate about and focus on creating a great eCommerce experience around it. Christian was a passionate watch ‘geek’ and says he had a pretty substantial knowledge about watches. He started with $10,000 in capital and has grown the business substantially in the past few years.
Listen to learn how Christian used the low cost of entry to get rolling with eCommerce.
About Theo and Harris
Theo and Harris offers exclusive, vintage watches to their customers from all over the world. Christian says he develops a close relationship with many of his customers which helps build trust and brand loyalty. The sourcing, he says is his favorite part he regularly looks at hundreds of watches a month in order to buy only a few. Christian sources the products himself and is the only one on the staff designated to buy watches. Christian practices what he preaches and says that much of his own net worth is tied up in watches.
What Makes a Watch Vintage?
‘Vintage’ is typically classified as 25 years or more, but Christian says that any item (including a watch) that represents an era with real distinction is considered vintage. The principal he says is finding items that represent an era in a real and holistic way. He jokes that while he doesn’t roam the streets wearing acid washed jeans and singing Backstreet Boys, some people do—and having personal objects that reflect that lifestyle is crucially important to identity.
Besides watches, the company also sells accessories and ancillary items like straps and wallets.
Vlogging for eCommerce growth
Theo and Harris is distinguished by their substantial online video presence. Highly accessible and fun to watch, these videos have set Theo and Harris apart in a competitive and high end market. Watches are a fairly niche product and watch enthusiasts aren’t very common so Christian says connecting them via vlogging made a lot of sense. When the company started, Christian says they got into vlogging specifically because they didn’t have the kind of money or experience their competitors had. He admits that he wasn’t as educated as some of his competitors and that by doing video they set themselves apart and were able to develop their own individual voice.
As far as generating traffic and buzz, Christian admits that casting a wide net is important and says it’s still important to stay on the beat of all watch news. Even though they sell exclusively vintage watches, their their video content focuses on all things watches.
Key to Vlogging Success
Consistency: For Christian, consistency is the number one, absolutely crucial piece for creating a vlogging presence. Christian says that if you are going to insist on building a large presence you have to be willing to put out good quality content on a consistent basis and figure out what is working and jiving for you audience. Two or three videos a week over a period of time will build an audience.
Self Awareness: The other critical element for vlogging success is being self aware. Listening to your audience, being aware of what they want and balancing that with what your goals are will help you make content that is driving you toward your goals.
Creating good content: Christian says that good quality messaging with ‘objectively lower’ video quality is a perfectly fine solution for the kind of casual dialogue that vlogging has with their audiences. Messaging that is honest, educational and relatable and that speaks to your target audience is a great way to connect.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Capital of the World by Ernest Hemingway.
One of his short stories which you can find in this collection
An unusual choice, Christian emphasizes that reading something that makes you relax so that when you return to work you’ll be as aggressive as you need to be is too often overlooked and incredibly important.
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Be Poetic—being poetic or giving beauty to your content on any medium will make people resonate with your product.
Tool Top Tip
- Google Calendar – Keeps everyone on the team organized
Growth Top Tip
- Consistency – Conquering all the mediums isn’t necessary—be consistent and double down on the platform that is working.
- Launching a different type of watch shop
- Doubling down on Content with Hello Fresh‘s Content Marketing manager
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