AMPLIFY YOUR BRAND 2016 is a two-day learning event with a program filled with panels you won’t find anywhere else! Learn how to build your buzz and grow your brand in-person from experts, members of the media and industry pros who will not only share their insight with you, but answer your burning questions live and in person!
This rare learning opportunity gives attendees an all access pass to two days of powerful and engaging education, media and influencer panels, guest experts, tools, templates and more. Consider it years of PR, social media, branding and marketing education and life experience dynamically delivered to you in only one engaging and exciting weekend!
Hosted by industry veterans and experts Janine Just of Janine Just Inc, and the creator of the TechStyle NYC Experience along with Sabina Hitchen, co-founder of TinShingle.com and founder of SabinaKnows.com, the live and limited-space educational event will equip participants with everything they need to amplify their brand quickly and confidently in 2016 and beyond.
We talked to Drew Johnson, Chief Executive Upcycler, TechWears
First of all, please tell our readers about you - what is the company all about?
TechWears is a Colorado based eco-apparel accessory brand founded in 2014. We use recycled electronics and technology to “upcycle” them into stunning neck ties, cufflinks, belt buckles, earrings, pendants, rings and more. Each piece is handmade by Founder and Chief Executive Upcycler, Drew Johnson, in his home studio. The story of TechWears is really the story of an accidental art project morphing into exciting e-commerce startup. TechWears’ values are rooted in sustainability and a triple bottom line (People, Planet, and Profit) approach, so each decision we make is weighed against this standard.
What were the 3 keys to getting the company off the ground - where did you invest your time?
A “recyclopath” at heart, there were things Drew wanted to create using recycled electronics but could only see in his mind. Early on, he invested heavily in skill training and market testing. Looking back, these 3 decisions have added tremendous value to TechWears.
- Silver Smith training – Drew enrolled at the local community college to learn jewelry making and metalsmithing. He was immediately able to apply his knowledge to his product line and started getting a lot more attention.
- Makerspace – Drew joined the local Makerspace and continues to benefit from the collaborative learning of advanced technology such as 3D printing, laser engraving, and computer aided design.
- Art Markets – While learning how to increase value and quality of his product line, Drew was able to build a local following by setting up at art markets in Colorado. By regularly introducing TechWears to strangers, Drew was able to immediately apply the feedback he received to his future efforts while building an email list to stay in touch.
Just having participated in the Amplify Your Brand Workshop with Sabina Hitchen and Janine Just, what role do live events play in your branding and marketing initiatives?
Live events have always been a key part of TechWears success. Drew is a kinesthetic learner, so attending an event in person provides the most valuable education for him. The Amplify Your Brand Workshop proved to be a great investment. Drew was exposed to a network of people and influencers that just aren’t available in Colorado, and Janine and Sabina delivered a hard hitting, high level of value that TechWears will benefit for years to come.
What was a successful social media campaign you hosted that showed great engagement and traction?
In October of 2015, TechWears launched a Kickstarter campaign that was successfully funded. It was great for national brand awareness as well as helping to define what industry TechWears fit in. Plus, it was during the Kickstarter that Drew met Janine Just Inc. which lead to the amazing opportunity to come to NYC to attend #AmplifyNYC16!
Finally, what is your favorite app?
Ahh!! So many favorites. But we must pick just 1, it would be Instagram (@techwears) because it allows us to connect with a global audience so easily. But to support effective Instagraming, we rely on a variety of photo editing apps like Pic Monkey, Flip-a-gram, Pic Grid, and Photo Layers (All of which are worth splurging for the premium versions).