When did you start Raccoon Brand and where did the idea of a raccoon mascot come from?
We launched Raccoon Brand in 2012. We are a premium streetwear clothing line offering graphic tees, tank tops and sweatshirts focused on night adventures and mischief. Raccoons are not only nocturnal, but also mischievous, often causing trouble. In addition they are extremely adaptable and can live anywhere.
The theme of mischief and troublemaking is a big part of your brand, and is repeated in your designs. Can you tell us about the importance of branding?
It’s important to be consistent in branding, especially in design creation. We’ve decided to discontinue several designs that aren’t as relevant and to focus instead on those that share our brand’s overall theme.
Can you explain your creative process? How do you come up with the ideas for the designs?
Our goal is to bring happiness to our customers through the joy of laughter, and that is where our design process begins. Working within the medium of raccoons causing mischief makes it very easy to create new designs because there are countless ideas to choose from.
Who are your biggest influences?
Calvin and Hobbes and Where the Wild Things Are.
On your Instagram there’s a few pictures of a raccoon chillin in the house. Is that your pet?
Yes, we stole him from a laboratory when we were in college.
How do you market your brand? You have a huge following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Is social media your main form of advertising?
At the moment social media is by far the most effective method for reaching new customers and it helps increase brand awareness better than any other form of marketing.
What were some of the tough challenges that you faced coming up and how did you overcome them?
In the beginning we had lots of random ideas and purchased too much inventory up front before narrowing the focus of our brand. It’s important to see for yourself what actually grabs the hearts of customers in the real world before investing lots of money in boxes of apparel that might never sell.
What are the biggest newbie mistakes when it comes to starting a brand?
Never actually “getting started.” Talk is cheap. You have to actually take action or nothing will happen. Lots of people say that they are “going to start a clothing line” but the majority of them never do.
In the few years that you have been running Raccoon Brand, what are the top five important lessons you’ve learned?
1. A person’s success in life can usually be determined by the number of uncomfortable conversations they are willing to have.
2. The amount of time that it takes to complete a task is proportionate to the amount of time provided for its completion.
3. You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.
4. 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.
5. 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products.
What can we expect from Raccoon Brand in the future? Cartoons and comic books? Vinyl toys?
Definitely more graphic tees, tank tops and sweatshirts. Cartoons would be great. Possibly vinyl toys. We’ll have to wait and see!