All good things happen when you are NAKED... that's exactly what the three founders of NAKED Optics, Flo, Chris and Phil, thought. Well, or something like that... In the second part of the story behind NAKED Optics you can find out how things went after the first few years of business.
From the room in a shared flat in Innsbruck to internationalization
Time frames: 2015, 2016
What happened during this time? First major order, first pair of sunglasses in the range and product development for ski goggles
Quote from Christoph about ski goggle sales "If you could sell one goggle a day at some point, it would be AWESOME!"
A lot has happened in the years that followed. In the winter of 2015, the purchases were a little larger and 750 pairs of glasses have already been ordered. In order to grow as a small business, it is of course important to take risks and invest. For this reason, all income was always reinvested in the products and product development in the first few years of business. There was no salary or payout for Flo, Chris and Phil - and that shouldn't change until the end of 2018. Another milestone was not only the large order, but also the first photo project with Frank Wimmer. Since the boys not only like to be out and about in winter, but also like to be outside in summer, the first sunglasses were ordered. However, the Bamboo Sunglasses were not as successful as the ski goggles. During this time, there was also a photo project with Florian Schüppel, the website was relaunched from nakedoptics.at to nakedoptics.net, the "NAKED Optics" brand was registered and the first employee, Maxi Brückl, was hired, mainly to support Flo with marketing. FINALLY 🙌 The main highlight of these years was product development. There were the first ski goggles with a pressure design on the strap and ski goggles with the SnapTech magnetic exchange system. Your all-time favorite since the beginning: The TROOP Misty design. In addition, the press also became aware of us and we were on the cover of the Kronen Zeitung and the Bild Zeitung 💥
Let's make NAKED bigger
Time frames: 2017, 2018
Quote from Flo due to the inability to pay: "Oida, it can't be real that we get broke because of the car?!"
Do you know what NAKED was still missing at that time as a student and part-time entrepreneur? a car. The guys chose the car based on their personal characteristics: young, sporty, dynamic and successful. As is so often the case, imagination and reality diverge widely. It ended up being a Renault Kangoo van, which at least had a lot of space.
Unfortunately, the boys then found that the purchase seriously affected the company's creditworthiness. NAKED quickly became insolvent or bankrupt for three weeks. 😱 There was great concern that the dream of having my own company was over early. After a few discussions with the bank, a bridging loan with 100% personal liability was agreed.
As is well known, after every low there is a high and things also went uphill for NAKED. 3880 pairs of glasses were ordered for winter 2017, the manufacturer in China was visited and further product shoots and large photo projects with Frank Wimmer were on the agenda. In addition, the GmbH was founded. NAKED retains 100 percent of the shares and does without investors. From the desk in the student shared room, Chris also went to a co-working space in Innsbruck. In addition to his studies, he also received his first salary of €800. Another visit to suppliers in China was on the agenda in 2018. 🙌 Highlights in these years were the order in 2018 from the manufacturer with 8450 glasses, the first Free Lens Weekend, the focus on young athletes, Matej Svanver 🦄 and the growth among our opinion leaders with stevefuckingschneider 🐍.
What's next for NAKED?
A Renault Kangoo delivery van almost shattered the dream of NAKED Optics. Luckily only almost 🙌 In the third part of the NAKED story you can find out how the company moved from Innsbruck to Salzburg and why the 3D printer Sepp became an important team member.