Welcome Ashley! Tell us a bit about yourself & Mohala?
I founded Mohala eyewear. We are the only inclusive eyewear brand, with 3 different nose bridges to be a perfect fit for all.
We also donate one week of school to a child in need for every pair sold. With that initiative, we've donated over 100 years of school so far.
For context, most eyewear in North America and Europe is made in a one size fits all manner, working around a single standard of beauty. That standard of beauty typically excludes many face shapes from other people of different origins and body types. We solve for that. And since launching 4 years ago, we’ve been making great progress towards our goals. Mohala became the 2nd best selling eyewear brand in the Nordstrom store we launched in and then started ranking #32/100+ eyewear brands for nationwide sales from just one store and nordstrom.com. I attribute all of that to our inclusive designs.
What have been some of the biggest unlocks on the business in the past 9 months?
Hiring a team of real marketers has been huge.
Before hiring in that role, I was doing it all on my own as a bootstrapped entrepreneur. I didn’t have a marketing background, my experience was in the business operations world. It was tough to do the job justice. But I recently brought on a former Branding Director from Nike, and also hired a brilliant copywriter as well as a graphic designer with experience from Marie Kondo.
Seeing what a real marketing team can produce has been a real win.
We're launching prescription lenses this month on July 24th. I can’t wait to enter that new space and create truly custom eyewear for customers.
As we were gearing up for the prescriptions product launch, I struggled to find web developers which I enjoyed working with and within a realistic budget.
I asked everyone I knew, and eventually found Storetasker. My first match didn’t quite meet my requirements from a communications standpoint, but then I got matched with a developer with Alejandro who I absolutely adore working with.
What makes Alejandro such a great Storetasker partner for you?
Besides being a good web developer. He's just like a really kind person who I enjoy working with. He cares for our brand and is excited to see our business grow. It's more than just a purely transactional relationship. He’s super dependable, responsive and feels like a real teammate.
One last question: What would you attribute most of your success to so far at Mohala?
There are so many things that contribute to success and I honestly feel super far from where I want to be someday, but one thing I would attribute to what has helped me get to where we are is – building relationships.
Business is all about people really. Whether it’s connecting with your customer, building your team, getting accepted to an accelerator program or connecting with the Nordstrom buyer; it’s all about building relationships with people. And the relationships that I’ve built with fellow entrepreneurs have helped me tremendously.
The other part of that is asking for help: Reaching out to successful entrepreneurs who you admire has also been a tremendous help to me. I have learned so much valuable advice from other successful founders. That’s priceless.