“If you build something that people want, you're going to get paid for it.” Jeremy Parker
There is no straight path to success, especially not in entrepreneurship. And as he navigated through the entrepreneurial path, Jeremy Parker discovered something else of importance— that success follows action which is focused on bringing value to people.
Jeremy is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and serial entrepreneur. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Swag.com (Acquired by Custom Ink, Nov 2021). Swag.com is the best place for companies to buy and distribute quality promotional products that you'll actually want to keep. They work with 5,000+ companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Spotify and Tik Tok. Swag.com was listed as the #218 on the Inc 500 (2020) and #368 (2021) - fastest-growing private companies. Jeremy was also named by CrainsNY as one of the 40Under40
In today’s episode, Jeremy talks about his journey in entrepreneurship, and why it is important to embrace failure as a part of the entrepreneurial journey.
- I went to Boston University, and became a documentary filmmaker, and I thought that that might be my passion.
- I was always fascinated and interested in business, and started a T Shirt Company which helped me learn all the different aspects of business through that.
- When the recession hit, we lost our customers because they had to close up shop, and I ended up writing an article to Mark Cuban that was shred on his blog for inspiration.
- I met the CEO of NV sport, we became friends and we hit it off, and ultimately ended up starting a business underneath in the sport umbrella called Vote For Art.
- I was always so interested in the promotional product space still, and realized that the industry was only getting bigger.
- We went ahead and built the right platform for today's buyer who are millennials, understood the customer and made it the right experience for them.
- We have sold over 30 million this year, and are on track to over 60 million, doing over 100% growth since we launched.
- We're just really trying to help companies make the experience of buying quality swag, and then allowing them to actually distribute the swag to all customers.
- We hold the inventory for them, manage it and give them the experience to connect.
- I started swag because I had this love of promotional products from my early career, plus this new knowledge of how to build something in the right way that I thought was sustainable.
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- I am motivated internally to build things, and I think if you do a really good job of giving value to your customers, you'll ultimately get there.
- If you build something that people want, you're going to get paid for it.
- When the pandemic hit, we put all of our attention to building up the most robust platform for individualized distribution which allowed us to not only survive but to thrive.
- As an entrepreneur, you have to be okay with failure because that's a constant when you're building a business.
- When somebody doesn't want to work with you, it is a stepping point and a way for you to get better.
- When I thought of swag and I started the business, it was all about offering stuff that people actually wanted to keep.
- It's powerful when you get someone picks up a high quality product that has your logo in it, and have them get those impressions every single day.
- A lot entrepreneurs starting off have a vision which makes them obsessed with the details of the product, and get the fear of launching it because it's not perfect.
- With swag, I didn't build anything until I really understood the customer, why they're buying, why we were different and how we positioned ourselves.
- We then started building the right platform and it made it such a better experience because we were focusing on the right buyer and we had the right solution for them.
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