The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
Tell us about your company?
ISlide was founded in 2013 by Justin Kittredge, former head of Reebok Basketball, and has emerged from footwear start-up to innovative leader in the slide sandal space. ISlide creates high-end, completely customizable slides allowing consumers to “stand in what they stand for.” ISlide appeared on the season eight premiere of ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Though offered a deal by Robert Herjavec, Kittredge declined. ISlide has recently secured an investment from NBA star Evan Turner and continues to drive collaborations with popular celebrities, athletes, and influencers.
What do you love most about your job?
I love working with the great team here at ISlide. Because we are still a small business, it is also very easy to see the direct return on programs implemented from the individual level, which is often difficult to see at large or enterprise corporations.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I’m motivated by the drive and willingness of everyone on my team and in this company to make ISlide better and better every day.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
There is an innate willingness to get the job done. No one here strolls in at the starting bell and checks out at 5pm – everyone here has the work ethic required of a small business, and it inspires me to continually go above and beyond for them in return.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We run quarterly off-site events to help build team spirit, as well as taking time on Friday’s to kick back, relax, and socialize with everyone else in the office before heading out for the weekend. Oh, and did I mention we have a basketball court in the office, open for use throughout the day?
What are some of the challenges of your job?
It can be challenging managing the full spectrum of marketing channels while working with the limited resources of a small business. We have never paid for followers on social, and all of our collaborations are partnerships, not paid ads. As we continue to grow this will be a more challenging line to toe, as we work with larger venues and partners with traditional sponsorship packaging.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Not all partners are equal! Even when working with influencers in the same space, there simply is no way to accurately forecast how great (or not) a partnership or collaboration will be. We strive to drive high returns on all of our collaborations, but it can be surprising (pleasantly or with disappointment) to see the end results of a campaign.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Footwear apparel is a beast and has multiple large barriers to entry. Have a great business plan in place, prepare your marketing strategy, and forecast based on as much real data as you can dig up – but most of all be flexible! The old saying rings true- “Man plans, God laughs.” As much as you can prepare, you need to be able to pivot at a moment’s notice to respond to the market changes and needs.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: