I love bringing you guys new companies. One I ran across on Facebook is Fly Boy Apparel. They are just launching a kickstarter and are making some really cool undies. I got a chance to talk to the guys behind the site and get more info for you guys!
Tell us about Fly Boy Apparel, What made you create it?
My now business partner, Joshua Carlson, and I were discussing men’s clothing and as to why I had not taken off into the idea I had held for a few years now. I explained to him that the cost of wholesale and screen printing was simply too much with the funds I had available at the time. It was simply not a sustainable business in my eyes. We then moved the conversation onto men’s underwear and were discussing our favorite brands but that each had one issue or another, be it the fit, longevity, styling or price. He jested, we should create our own underwear line with the best parts of our favorite brands, and sat and thought for a few moments and said ‘Yea, uh……..actually, why don’t we??’.
We then set out from that initial conversation to slowly turn our idea into reality. Over the next six months, we started with basic photo shopping and sourcing. The logos and design started out drastically different as we realized some things, such as specific waist band stitching, were not feasible. We then turned it into having samples produced and shipped to us to which we thoroughly analyzed every inch and measurement to start tapering the design to provide the best fit possible. After a few weeks of tinkering we were able to place the first small order.
What makes Fly Boy Apparel different from other brands on the market?
Our premise for starting this line was to provide high design, premium quality underwear at a non-premium price. We wanted to use this opportunity as a chance to create our own style, incorporating the best features of our favorite brands, and leaving out the bad or fixing issues we saw in them.
We have been basically grass roots since we started. We have been beating the pavement, showing friends, acquaintances and anyone who was interested our product. We fully believe in our product and that we needed to just get it in front of people for them to as well. I have actually even hand delivered multiple order, jokingly calling or texting the customer that their “flyboy order has landed”.
We really take pride in what we have managed to do. And for Joshua and I, this is our baby, we want to nurture it and see it grow into something great.
I saw your styles you are going to offer, they look great, what made you pick these styles?
Josh and I took a real hard look at this. We wanted something that would last and not become worn quickly with washes. We immediately ruled out cotton at that point. We wanted something that was going to convey an image, a brand, a lifestyle. We feel that what we produced fully conveys a FLYBOY mentality of stylish, athletic, and on the go. The material is highly durable, breathable, smooth, and comfortable. We were actually pretty amazed when we got the final samples in at the quality and fit we were able to produce. Neither of us had really any experience in the garment industry prior but we fully stand behind and believe in these athletic style trunks and jocks.
Sizes listed are small to large. Are you planning to make XL and XXL listed on your Size chart?
As of right now, with our small inventory, we only have the sizes small to large. However, as of the first 48 hours on kickstarter, we are over 50% funded and hopeful we can exceed the goal to provide many options. With the next order, with kickstarter’s help, XL will absolutely be available in many of the options. We started with a small investment and unfortunately, we had to do what we could manage with the first order. With funding of kickstarter, we will have at least two XL options available and if we exceed it there will be more XL colors.
You mentioned in your video you wanted to create a sexy line but ended up with an Athletic line, what made you pivot and change?
We still went with the men’s sexy underwear line actually. Through sure fluke, we didn’t realize until we got them and wore them to the gym ourselves, we realized they were great active wear. We originally did the mesh just to appeal to an “athletic, sexy style” but once we had tested it, it was like “wow, these didn’t stretch all out from all the exercises, they’re not damp, and I don’t feel dirty after my workout”. We looked at it like a huge plus that we ended up dual purpose.
Starting a company is stressful what are some things you have learned?
I’ve learned a lot! Quickly! There are methods you will try that will fail. Ebay was really tough for us. We simply could not compete with the saturation of the overseas market on there. We didn’t let that get us down though, we started investing more time into our website, and are currently still working on improving, as well as our social media. We have been working hard to establish ourselves; we truly want to be more than just another underwear brand, we are aiming for lifestyle brand. Keeping a positive attitude about it all helps, you can’t let the day to day stress you.
I also learned that business never ends; there is always more to do, more to talk about, and more planning. It comes up in conversations a lot organically; it seems to be new and exciting for them. So I have to flip the switch and go right back into FLYBOY mode.
One of the best things I have learned though, is the power of building relationships. We were fortunate enough to partner with two great businesses that are fully supportive and parenting with us. It is still a bit of blur as to how it all happened so fast, but it grew fairly organically. TIPSY Phoenix has offered many avenues of promotional events that we can team up on. Their CEO, Eli Chmouni, has been great! He is planning with us events that FLYBOY can cater to and he legitimately want to help young entrepreneurs. He has been working with us on our business needs as well, such as trademarking. Tan United/TUC Shops helped us to find a home for FLYBOY to grow in. The owners, Keith Klemoy-Gurley and Randy Eddlemon, offered up some of their store space for our products to be in. It felt like a huge achievement to be in a store. They have been a huge factor in our development, and give us some outside guidance when needed. They really believed in our product and genuinely care to see us grow.
You started a Kickstarter for the brand, what made you do crowdfunding?
Honestly, it was something we were unsure of if we could succeed. The idea scared us to put our product out there for others to basically judge. I had backed a few my own in the past so I was semi familiar with it. I spent a few weeks contemplating over every aspect of our kickstarter. We thought we had nothing to lose by trying to convey our idea out there for people to see. I just keep the positive mindset that it will fund and overachieve so we have a lot of available options for backers.
The video was the scariest part for me. We didn’t have the sources to film something professional. So I just decided to keep it as real as possible. It took me probably 300 takes to get something I was ok with. It’s still not perfect, but kickstarters to me aren’t meant to be super professional. It’s about funding an idea and if you can convey properly, not perfectly, people will see the value.
What are you reward levels for the Kickstarter?
- $1 – Thank you for the support. Every dollar helps!
- $13 – A jock in your size (S,M,L) and choice of available colors.
- $15 – A Trunk in your size (S,M,L) and choice of available colors.
- $26 – A Trunk and jock in your size (S,M,L) and choice of available colors.
- $40- 3 Trunks in your size (S,M,L) and choice of available colors.
- $50 – 2 Trunk and 2 jock in your size (S,M,L) and choice of available colors.
- $73 – 3 Jocks and 3 trunks in your size (S,M,L) and choice of available colors.
- $105 – 9 pair you call it. You pick the styles! (we will contact you once funded with a list of color options available in sizes S, M, and L)
- $150 – 13 pair you call it. You pick the styles! (we will contact you once funded with a list of color options available in sizes S, M, and L)
- $250 – 25 pair you call it. You pick the styles. (we will contact you once funded with a list of color options available in sizes S, M, and L)
- $500 – 55 pair you call it, and honorable mention on the website. (we will contact you once funded with a list of color options available in sizes S, M, and L)website and permanent VIP status with FLYBOY. (we will contact you once funded to set up an appointment and with a list of color options available in sizes S, M, and L)
- $1000 – 115 pairs of your choice and live meeting via zoom or skype where you can ask the two co-owners about FLYBOY and anything else that comes to mind. Well, almost anything. You will also receive an honorable mention on the website and permanent VIP status with FLYBOY. (we will contact you once funded to set up an appointment and with a list of color options available in sizes S, M, and L)
- $2000 – Design your own pair with our color pallet and waistband options. Receive personal webcam session for consultation. Have them named after you. Receive 50 of them as well as 150 of other options available. You will also receive an honorable mention on the website and permanent VIP status with FLYBOY. (we will contact you once funded to set up an appointment and with a list of color options available in sizes S, M, and L )
Where can our readers find you?
- Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1635981423/flyboy-underwear-for-men
- Website: www.flyboy.us
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flyboyunderwear
- Instagram and Twitter: @flyboyunderwear