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NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?


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Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur

 

Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

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Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

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Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of LittleThings.com

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of Edmunds.com

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of Reputation.com

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

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Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

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Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

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Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

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Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

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Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

Tuesday
May122015

Tim Talley: Founder of U-Lace

My NativeAdVice:

How did you get into the Retail industry?

Been at his since I was in High School.  I created my first product/company Tim-ting Buttons as a sophomore in high school and created a sales network of other kids to sell and distribute them.  Since them I have always be interested in product and retail.  I ran a successful apparel brand in New York City in the mid to late 90’s.  After working for brands such as New Era Cap  - who are in the product and retail business - I decided to take my show on the road again and here I am.

Tell us about U-Lace. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

U-Lace is currently the company/brand I founded and run.  It is also the name of the first product we launched - a modular lace for customizing sneakers.  But the company is rapidly becoming so much more and that was always the plan.  Our design platform is simple: create products that consumers can use to customize product we don’t make and product that that customers can customize again and again.  So it’s pretty wide open for us.  I see us making customizable furniture in the future.

The initial inspiration for the company was a trip to Harijuku, Tokyo to find inspiration for a product.  I saw something in the window of a sneaker shop that sparked an idea.  The more i looked and though about the concept more and more cue’s appeared telling me it was the product to develop and launch.  3+ million packs later and we’re not looking back.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to U-Lace's success?

Certainly working with Mark Cuban - having him as my key mentor and advisor and partner is a major partnership.  We don’t reveal a lot of marketing strategy but I’ll say that we are brand and consumer focused.  We bend over backward to keep customer happy and fans of our product.  Making sure that our product is affordable is also a huge plus for us and our business.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

Things (products/Apparel/Footwear) are becoming so homogenous that we’re already capitalizing on it with our design platform.  We’re empowering people to turn mass produced products into limited editions.

Life Motto?

My motto is something i say often to the teams that work and have worked for me in the past: “Ok, what’s next?” I don’t like to look in the rear view mirror too much, I  don’t like to celebrate in the end zone.  We celebrate wins quickly and then move on.  We are always looking to the next challenge, project, product, opportunity.  

U-Lace's Motto?

We challenge people to "Color (their) World” by telling them: “It’s your world, col it your way”  That’s how life should be lived - colorfully and in the colors that matter to you.

Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of U-Lace? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

Keeping the business alive during a very, very tough time in 2012.  Predictions were that we’d be out of business in 6 months.  In all honesty I prayed, and god directed me to look at our product configuration, pricing and packaging - it was all wrong for explosive growth.  We immediately made the adjustments needed and in mere weeks the business started to turn around.  What i learned from this is that you have to be willing to accept failure and make needed changes to keep your business thriving.  The mistakes we all mine but I accepted my role and responsibility but also took on the challenge to fix them.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

An aspiring entrepreneur once asked me, what I thought then was an odd question, but which turned out to be a brilliant one: “When will I know it’s time to quit my start-up?”  My answer was this: Entrepreneurship is like a real-world game of chess.  There’s strategy, thinking ahead and battle with the enemy.   As long as there is still a move that you can make that can change your companies position for the better - make it.  This is what we did with U-Lace in 2012.  In chess it’s only over when your opponent says “Check and Mate!”.  At that point you haven’t quit, you’ve been beaten.  Keep making moves.

Describe the ideal experience using U-Lace.

We have so many markets we serve but in the core market a kid scoops a new pair of kicks and buys U-Lace to trick them out in school colors.  After lacing them up in a cool pattern - in just a couple minutes  - the kid also realizes that his kicks are now slip-ons that never need to be tied.  Tomorrow they are rocking a new hat of t-shirt and they re-lace them in a new set of colors - we have 50 colors - to accent their look.

How do you motivate your employees?

We try to keep things fun and casual and we buy all employees/interns pairs of really cool kicks to lace with our product(s).

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Pizza and Beer - though after losing 40lbs last year I consume very little of either.

What literature is on your bed stand?

Business books & Magazines and Golf Magazine. 

Role model - business and personal?

My dad and mom taught me about respect and hard work and keeping my word - those are both Business and Personal.

Current passion?

Building this brand.

Favorite travel destination?

Anywhere with great food and culture. 

What's next for U-Lace?

Oh you just wait and see.  We’re meeting with our patent attorneys this week about a really hot new development.

http://www.u-lace.com/