How Mykes Lab started a streetwear project while studying at University

How Mykes Lab started a streetwear project while studying at University

How Mykes Lab started a streetwear project while studying at University

👏 E-Commerce

Myke

Founder

Mykes Lab

experimental and psychedelic art blended with contemporary streetwear

🇬🇧 Norwich, UK

📅  Founded July 2019

🏆 1 Founder

💵NA 

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Intro

Who are you and tell us about Mykes Lab.

Walk us through the process of creating your first product.

Marketing Strategy

How do you acquire customers?

Final Thoughts

Do you have any general advice for other entrepreneurs?

What are your plans for the future?

Where can we learn more about Mykes Lab?

Intro

Who are you and tell us about Mykes Lab.

My name’s Myke and I’m the founder of Mykes Lab. While I’m currently studying Environmental Science at UEA, I’ve always had a passion for art and digital design. My desire for an artistic outlet eventually made me create Mykes Lab in July 2019.

Mykes Lab was initially made as a portfolio to showcase my hand-painted “1 of 1” clothing designs and was not intended to be a startup. The idea behind hand-painted clothing is that each piece is completely unique, and no one else in the world can have the same garment. As my project progressed and gained traction, I decided to open a shop with printed designs and occasional hand-painted 1/1 pieces. While I had no previous experience with business, it seems to be going great so far and I’m learning a lot every day.

The hand-painted Denim Poncho.

Walk us through the process of creating your first product.

Some of my first products were simple pieces hand-painted on vintage clothes found in charity shops. However, the first product that I manufactured was the Dissociation Tee.

The Dissociation Tee.

The process was quite simple – I had drawn the design on paper and when I created a digital version, I was confident that it would look good on a tee. I then did some research on blank tees and local print shops in Norwich. I think it’s important to stay local when it comes to manufacturing/printing tees as that way you can both support local businesses and reduce the carbon footprint. It is also easier to negotiate and come to a deal in person.

Anyway, shortly after the initial arrangement the manufacturer provided me a sample and then we agreed to print the remaining 34 tees. It was a great experience having done a project like this front to finish, and even more satisfying having sold out all the tees within a week of releasing.

Marketing Strategy

How do you acquire customers?

Black & White Dissonance tees.

Key to acquiring customers is always going to be high quality, different, and interesting content. This is especially true for clothing startups, as the market is huge and competitive. Since Mykes Lab is a deeply personal project, I’m very passionate about the things I create for it. In fact, I’ve created all aspects of it such as website design, clothing and graphic design, product photography, and even modelling. I don’t prioritise the business aspect of it, I don’t force the advertising and I mainly focus on artistic direction of the project. Customers will always be able tell between the work that is forced (too much advertising can be annoying) and the work that is genuine and created with a passion.

Secondly, social media presence is essential. I do not invest in ads at all, and most of my customers come from Instagram. I’ve noticed that each time I post an interesting hand-painted piece that I made, the traffic in my website increases. Instagram also has some important features for growth, such as hashtags, which can be utilised well. Therefore, it’s important to be consistent with your content and to also identify what your followers like.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any general advice for other entrepreneurs?

Understand that the start will usually be slow but you have to trust the process. There’s always ups and downs when it comes to being an entrepreneur. Make sure to create a vision of the future of your brand and always plan your next move. Also, engage with your followers and customers and have a strong social media presence – create a community!

“Pneumonia” hand-painted denim jacket.

What are your plans for the future?

While my university degree is currently my priority, Mykes Lab is more of a side thing. Although I’m very happy with the progress I’ve managed to achieve in just a few months while keeping it a side thing. I’ve currently released four batches of printed tee designs, most of which have sold out. The most popular among them has been the Dissociation tee. I’ve also sold multiple hand-painted garments for the customers who value more novel pieces.

Currently, I am making a move towards more sustainable production. I’ve researched the blanks that I want to use next, which are 100% organic cotton. As an Environmental Science student, I believe that caring about the environment and ethics behind clothing manufacturing is very important. My Eclectic Picks collection also focuses on sustainability by re-inventing vintage garments.

I release my tees in very limited availability to make sure that my clothing stays exclusive. I’m a person that values novelty, and I believe my customers do as well. Also, I’m currently working on new designs that will be released early 2020. Very excited for those!

Where can we learn more about Mykes Lab?

My website where you can find all my pieces currently for sale is

https://mykeslab.com/

I’m also on facebook and Instagram, where you can find the evolution of my art and the pieces I’ve made in the past.

https://www.instagram.com/mykeslab/

https://www.facebook.com/mykeslab/

Alternatively, feel free to email me at info@mykeslab.com 

I’m open for ideas, collaborations and commissions!

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Crowdfunding with Grant Stimmel and ProductHype

Crowdfunding with Grant Stimmel and ProductHype

Crowdfunding with Grant Stimmel and ProductHype

💵 Kickstarter Newsletter Service

Grant Stimmel

Grant Stimmel

Co-Founder

ProductHype

ProductHype showcases the best new products on Earth in an absurdly unique way.

🇺🇸 Charlotte, NC

📅  2017

🏆 3 Founders

💵$5.1 million in tracked sales since January 2018.

Who are you and tell us about ProductHype!

What services does ProductHype Offer?

Who is your ideal client?

What kind of results can you expect working with ProductHype?

What are your best Kickstarter Tips?

Where can we learn more about ProductHype?

Who are you and tell us about ProductHype!

Look, I don’t like to talk about myself.

Ok, yes I do.

I’ve been the Managing Editor and lead contributor for ProductHype since we launched at the end of 2017.

We had no idea what we were doing and generally sucked at most everything we tried.

But man were those early days FUN.

In October of 2017 we posted our first article.

I’m sure it was very interesting to the 4 people who clicked on it.

Growth was frustratingly slow.

But eventually we started figuring things out, seeing what worked and what didn’t.

When you’re first starting out, the stakes are super low.

That’s great because you’re not afraid to try things. 

You’re not afraid of turning off your readers because you have no readers.

We had a little over 600 site visitors over our first 3 months, COMBINED.

Now we attract over 2,000 visitors a day.

Our first newsletter literally went out to 7 people (yes, that number includes my own mother).

And now we’re closing in on 195,000 subscribers. 

Obviously we have a long way to go before we get where we want to be, but that success is super exciting to see knowing where we came from.

What Kickstarter Marketing Services does ProductHype Offer?

At ProductHype, we try to keep things really simple for Kickstarter creators.

Our main driver of sales is definitely our weekly newsletter called The HypeSquad.

(You can see a sample of the newsletter here.)

Most crowdfunding newsletters include one sentence about the product and a single image with a link to the campaign.

Why?

Well I’m not going to talk sh*t about our competitors…

Ok, yes I will.

BECAUSE THEY’RE LAZY.

They shove as many campaigns as possible into every email and do about 3 minutes of prep for each campaign they feature.

For us, it’s all about quality over quantity.

We only feature 5 projects per week and spend hours crafting compelling text that’s actually entertaining.

That last part is key.

I don’t care what you’re selling, if you don’t write in an entertaining way, nobody’s going to click.

Who is your ideal client?

Right now, ProductHype is mostly focused on helping large Kickstarter projects maximize their funding.

Campaigns that have raised at least $100,000 do exceptionally well in The HypeSquad.

We’ve been fortunate to feature 25 $1 million+ campaigns since 2018, and have excellent working relationships with most of Kickstarter’s serial creators.

Like any parent who’s asked which child is their favorite, I’ll have to go on record saying that I love all Kickstarter creators equally.

Buttttt as any parent knows, that’s complete B.S., and I secretly have my favorites.

Bubba and Amber from Give’r are AWESOME to work with.

Dom from SmartHalo rocks as well.

After working with over 500 campaigns, I’ve sincerely enjoyed getting to know every Kickstarter creator we’ve partnered with.

(Well, most of them.)

As we look toward 2020, we’re primed to expand into Indiegogo and Amazon to promote popular products on those platforms as well.

VIDEO: The Patrol Pant – Ultimate Hybrid Pants [Kickstarter Review]

What kind of results can you expect working with ProductHype?

We’ll drive anywhere from 2,000-4,000 visitors to a campaign page from a single newsletter feature.

Obviously the more unique a product is, the more our list will engage with it.

In marketing, not every click is created equal.

I could send 1,000 visitors to a campaign page via Facebook ads for about $10.

(They’d all be from Bangladesh and not speak a lick of English.)

Visitors from a ProductHype feature are highly, highly engaged.

They spend an abnormally long time on each campaign page and convert at a shockingly high rate.

For large campaigns, we’ll routinely do $20,000-$40,000 in tracked sales from a single feature.

The HypeSquad absolutely LOVED DreamGlass Air.

ProductHype brought in over $127,000 in tracked sales for that campaign.

While the newsletter is our #1 sales driver, our blog drives a significant number of campaign pledges as well.

We focus heavily on round-up lists like best Kickstarter projects of 2019 and the all-time most funded Kickstarter projects.

We have a Facebook pageInstagram, and YouTube channel, but our focus is on growing the newsletter and blog.

(Mostly because Facebook killed organic reach, those SOB’s.)

What are your best Kickstarter Tips?

Here’s an interesting fact about Kickstarter…

It peaked in 2014.

There were a handful of MASSIVE, high profile projects that propelled Kickstarter into the mainstream.

Which is great and all, except for one thing…

Most of them never delivered the product.

(Most notoriously the Coolest Cooler.)

So you’ve just introduced hundreds of thousands of new backers to the Kickstarter ecosystem and then immediately pissed them off.

Kickstarter will never have another chance like that again.

So what’s left?

A dedicated community of super backers that make or break projects.

There were 29 design or tech Kickstarter projects that raised over $1 million in 2019.

The days of a Kickstarter project raising $20 million+ are GONE.

It just won’t happen again.

But $2 million-$5 million?

That’s still totally within reach.

So, as a creator, how do you get there?

We put together a list of our 11 best Kickstarter tips.

If you’re about to launch a project, they’re a must-read.

Also, take a look at these fascinating Kickstarter stats.

We take an in-depth look into everything from how long your campaign should run to how much the average project raises to your odds of raising $1 million.

(Hint: You’re more likely to drown to death.)

If you’re super lazy like me and don’t want to read those articles, here are our 5 most important Kickstarter tips heading into 2020.

  1. Your product can’t suck.

(If you can’t get your friends or family to PAY YOU for your product, nobody else will either.)

  1. You NEED a high-quality, entertaining video + stellar photo assets.

(No, your cousin Frank shooting with his iPhone 7 doesn’t count.)

  1. Rely on wayyyyyyyy less text on your campaign page.

(Nobody wants to read paragraph after paragraph about your Kickstarter product. A picture (or GIF) really is worth 1,000 words.)

  1. Severely limit your number of rewards.

(Definitely offer an “early bird” reward. But for the love of God, nobody wants to buy a t-shirt with your company logo on it.)

  1. If you fail the first time, try, try again.

(It’s really, really hard to be successful if you’re launching your first Kickstarter campaign. But you’ll learn A TON and be in a far better position for your next project.)

Final Thoughts

Where can we learn more about ProductHype?

For all of its drawbacks, Kickstarter is pretty f*ckin’ cool.

It gives budding entrepreneurs access to an amazing community that they’d NEVER find on their own.

If you’ve been thinking about launching your own campaign, here’s my advice:

Do it.

You have literally nothing to lose.

And as the old saying goes, if not now, when?

Drop us a line at newsletter@producthype.co and we’ll do everything we can to help you out.

GOOD LUCK!

Grant Stimmel

https://blog.producthype.co

grant@producthype.co 

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