In this episode, we talk with Tifosi co-founder Joe Earley about how he and his wife started a sunglasses brand that almost immediately changed the game for performance sunglasses sales in independent bike shops and running stores. While it looked easy from the outside, they had to leverage their retirement accounts to buy their first run of 24 different models. And they had to leverage their peers in the independent rep community as they shifted from being one of them, to being a brand those people repped. They had to start by repping to the shops themselves, which is something they’d done for years for other brands, and started building out their network by showing what Tifosi could do.
Joe talks about his early hires, setting up warehousing, and how he found manufacturers and got the sunglasses designed, all the way through their current management of a growing company. He discusses their go-to-market strategy, how they find good sales reps, retail versus direct-to-consumer sales, and the changing retail landscape.
We also talk about their marketing, which is void of any paid advertising, and how they get the word out. You could argue that their price point is the main marketing message -Tifosi sunglasses are a great deal compared to the competition- but it takes a heck of a lot more than that to move the volume they do.