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Every small business has a unique story behind why it was created. In the case of husband and wife duo, Dan and Anoushka Strange, they founded their WA-based small business, John Taylor Watches to create an additional source of income.
It was a case of necessity when their eldest daughter Isabella was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma at just six months old. This resulted in her right eye being removed and replaced with a prosthetic eye.
The family went through all the necessary chemotherapy treatments and specialist care for two long years. Now eight years of age, thankfully Isabella is cancer free. However, in early 2016, specialists told the family that they were concerned about the impact the prosthetic eye was having on the bone structure on the right side of Isabella face. A specialist in LA was suggested and John Taylor watches was created to help pay for the trip.
The idea for John Taylor watches came from Anoushka and Dan’s passion for timepieces. They had limited time and money but their passion and drive resulted in hours of research sourcing products in the market.
Following months of intensive research they created a Kickstarter campaign to help with the initial stages of launching John Taylor Watches. The couple had enough money to purchase their first lot of stock but were unable to progress any further. That’s when the entire community came together to support the Strange family to start living their dream. The Kickstarter campaign launched in September of 2016. And in just 15 days they raised $25,000. By the end of the campaign, they had raised $32,500.
Anoushka and Dan raised $32,500 in a Kickstarter campain
So, how did Anoushka and Dan start their Kickstarter campaign? They initially got the word out to family and friends by posting it on Facebook and Instagram. Amazingly, the campaign went global! Anoushka, who has shared Irish and Indian heritage, made contact with family from all around the world who helped support the campaign. Thankfully the community connected with their heartfelt story.
Press play to see more of the story behind John Taylor watches
“We had people who jumped on board who didn’t even know us but still wanted to help us. It is the ‘why’ that got people connecting with our products. We weren’t just asking for money. We were asking for support. Many of our friends have children and they placed themselves in our position,” she adds. Thankfully people have continued to purchase their products. The story behind Isabella’s health condition proved very powerful. The local community of Mandurah wanted to help out and do the best they could to support little Isabella.
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The business has created a new path for the family. Dan helps out with the business but still works full-time at the local council in Mandurah. Anoushka was working part-time in administration and at her local church. However, with the official launch of John Taylor Watches in August 2016, Anoushka has now decided to focus her attention full time on the business.
So, how did they come up with the name of the business? “We wanted an important name that meant something. John is Dan’s grandfather’s name and Taylor is our youngest daughter’s middle name. It really worked well together. We felt that people could trust a name like John Taylor,” she adds.
The watch range is inspired by the beach lifestyle
Like any other small business, the Strange family experienced several challenges when creating John Taylor Watches. Anoushka says, “We were aware that we had big competitors in this market and people who have been around longer than us. We were entering into a market that had existing competitors. Advertising in this market had proved quite challenging.”
Another obstacle the family faced was funding. Timepieces are extremely expensive to produce. So when Anoushka and Dan sell out of stock, they are faced with the issue of not having enough cash flow to purchase more stock. This is an ongoing problem they face along with most other small businesses face.
Currently, John Taylor Watches is stocked in two shops in WA but they have an online shop and they are currently seeking more opportunities. Anoushka says, “It’s our goal to spread our products across the Australian market.”
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