Alright gang, we've got the man himself in the house today.... Brooks Dame, founder of the ever growing and incredibly popular sustainable eyewear brand, Proof Eyewear.
If Proof Eyewear sounds familiar, you're rad and you're already a customer, you're from Idaho, or you might remember seeing them on ABC's hit TV show - Shark Tank. Where and how did this all start though? Well that's right where we kick off today's episode of Forge Your Potential.
We start right from the beginning, diving into what spurred the initial idea of creating eyewear from durable and sustainable material, how they first started sourcing those materials, and what the foundations of Proof were built on.
Brooks created the very first prototype in his garage, made entirely of wood. Given that the Dame brothers' grandfather was an entrepreneur himself and owner of a sawmill, the art of working with wood and operating a business is in their blood. The rest, is history. In a relatively short time afterwards, they attended their very first trade show where they were essentially reassured, "Don't worry if nothing big happens for you guys this year, it's your first time...". Needless to say, their booth overflowing with logs, bits of wood, and saw dust placed right in the midst of everyone else's clean tidy booths... created quite the buzz and they stood out like a sore thumb. Before they knew it they were talking with some of the largest retailers in the country. Proof Eyewear began gaining serious momentum and was soon found in retail stores and boutiques all across the country. There had been a lot of late nights, early mornings, and trips to the post office to ship orders, and there would be many more to come. Their legacy was in the making.
Brooks shares with us the in's and out's from the beginning garage grind, to where the company now runs generating millions of dollars in sales per year. He talks about the early development and adaptation to the product and marketing when they found out that the demographics they could reach were much larger than initially expected. We go into the importance of getting to market quickly, failing "cheap, fast, and often, and focusing first on building personal success to then be able to launch massive philanthropic efforts. Brooks also shared what it was like to prepare for and be on ABC's Shark Tank, and what the days, weeks, and months following were like after their episode aired. All business aside though, this episode is full of fun, laughs, and stories about hanging up on a Shark Tank producer because he thought it was a prank, jamming out to Drake's 'Started from the Bottom' late at night while filling orders, how his childhood hip-hop idol ended up in Boise wearing Proof gear on stage during a performance, and more.
Brooks, his brothers Tanner and Taylor, Proof, and the incredible team they've built is truly inspiring. They stand as Proof... (quite literally), that with an idea, some innovation, and hard work, that we can accomplish whatever it is that we set out to do.
Today is the day.
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