Hero Within – Tony B Kim Inteview
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Interview with Tony Kim the founder of Hero Within.
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This is digital marketing Fastlane. This podcast will show you how to build launch row and skill a wildly successful online businesses. Listen to real conversations with cheese and success stories. You’re going to learn how to generate more traffic for sale more profit and customer lifetime value for your online store coming to you from the online marketing experts at voi media. Here’s your host Kevin urrutia.
Tell everyone I’m here today with Tony from hero within hey Tony, how are you doing today? I’m doing great. Thanks for the call. Yeah, my name again is Tony, and I’m from Orange County California, and I started to eat fashion brand called a cure within about three years ago and it here within Greek stories that its fashion store. Yes. I will create subtle and sophisticated fandom apparel. So specifically in the pop culture space and so far those fans out there that love to start of representing their love for all book related properties like Marvel and DC Awana kind of wear something that’s beyond just your typical t-shirt or hoodie where the company for you, so we create more higher-end apparel like Blazers.
Cheat codes jackets bombers dresses that sorta thing that’s how to subtly and integrates the and I’m into the clothing and so it doesn’t leak shouted but I know it’s there and if you don’t start with a son of a nap in the marketplace and I was a fan attending a bunch of comic conventions Comic-Con affectionately known as and going to these different shows. I was also involved in the industry as a price and open spaces and I just kind of realized that there really wasn’t anything beyond what I already mentioned like the typical t-shirt hoodie and so it was kind of a dawned on me that
What was once part of in the closet or basement for fan now all those Geeks and nerds like me are out in the market place in this world artist creators influencers and yet if you want to wear your fandom it’s kind of reserved for the nights and weekend, but you can’t really wear what she loved the work or out socially or whatever. So I started looking out in the market to see what was out there that’s provided more sophisticated clothing in there wasn’t at the out there. So I felt like maybe I was the one to start that my background is intense. Is it again fashion, but I am it isn’t designed so so I have a lot of experience in the design space, and yes, we launched.
Fill the void, and the create something that’s never been bed before the first of the new movie Captain Marvel. So you have Danvers bomber jackets accept it or nice style. But then on the second look, you like all that’s something from a movie you something that’s I love, and so we wanted to make it fashion first and then fandom seconds and people ever responded to it. Yeah. Let’s talk on here. It looks great. I even like the Black Panther car coat that you have going on here. And then you ever tie. Where you promote. How do you sleep?
Well for years before this. I mentioned that I did a lot of Presa con. I was a blogger a pop culture blogger. And so I had built up a falling over the years, and I was able to real openly. Can I share my this new Venture with my followers on my blog which is called crazy or Comic-Con number for Comic-Con and her as well as open with? Hey, I had to tell me what you think, and I’ll bring some prototypes of some shows and tell me what you are thinking so great feedback. I think just sort of sharing my idea and involving just the community to interact with me has sort of help get it off the ground and really because of the support of the fans are they able to launch it and then when you first
What was that like to feel when you kind of was released in your new company to the world is Verde the memory was 1st, July 4th weekend in 2016. And yeah, it was super stressful, you know, because I got laid off from my company in the February Pryor, and I’d already been tinkering with this idea for about a year and so basically said if this is going to happen, then it’s going to take me full time, but I can’t do it because his other job and of course the universe or replied and kick me out of that job. So for five months or so, I’d put everything into this the launch of this company. We had pitched the idea to Warner Brothers. They were very excited that granted us the license for the DC Comics license and then we lost in July and put during this whole time. It was like just got to work at their years ago at the Fashion Market with my
Different there wasn’t anything in her life like this. And so it was very scary thinking that we put all of our eggs in this basket. I put everything financially all my effort. I’m everything into this, and I would like another still work, but we won’t be launched cuz you’re just sitting there waiting for the first purchase. And after that first purchase came in after a few minutes. It was like, okay, it was some validation there and then we are going to off and running, and so it’s been a roller-coaster ride, but that you had that first day and moment was an exhilarating and terrifying monster company. Its sort of you doesn’t know what he should regain expect like I’m going to love it or than it needed. Are they going to be mad about it in such a thing like marble such a big fan base? How big should look like for the
Pintrest.com we basically have risky for us because we’ve lost with just ideas because it was a pre-order model, which meant that’s all we had were the samples. So we took photos of models, and we put him outside. We’re planning to deliver in 4 months when the shipments arriving, but it was just preorder and with no money nothing you sort of
I hope in a dream so fortunately within the first month that was enough pre-orders to the sort of know that we’re headed the right direction. And then I went to San Diego Comic-Con that the show we didn’t have a booth that I basically was showing different vendors that there were there, and we are fortunate enough to wear one of the vendors pick us up loved its place a big order and that they were really got us got that page that shipment be able to help us launch within the next to liver the product with the next few months. So the White Knuckle experience all along the way but you create something that it’s not for everybody. But if it’s for certain people, then they will love it. They respond to it, and they did.
Yeah, exactly. Like I think it from here to get lost in there. We just had to end with any private service in you make it you probably know either going to love it or not. And it’s usually the best friends or even like the best Nisha brands have the raving fans and B-Legit don’t like it when people love Nike people of Adidas and that’s just a certain type of demographic bake a turkey with the advertising or the products. They sell. Yes. I do people really love like the real over the top and real obvious screen print graphic. If that’s very obvious that some people want subtle and nice and quality Deca I staying and so it’s not for everybody in that again. I think he was as great as we want to make it for as broad as possible which some people had that ability like apple or something like that. They had that ability but for many of us really just being Niro and focused at ends up bringing in much more response from the audience.
Yeah, for sure. And then I think the other viewers like to know to is on your website, you do support, you know, the fostered Youth of Orange County. I know you have my do I know you on your lunch that you have kids if I came when you guys do their business? What is it called when you guys that’s a very personal cause for me because my family we’ve been sponsoring and we’ve adopted two children to foster care of David Foster for the past 10 years now and whatever they found was that the stories that are ostriches have is very common in the story that is found in, but he’s ideas of like kids who are separate from their parents or kids that are orphan or kids that are come from some sense of abuse and they’re alone in this world and they’re trying to find their boys and trying to find their purpose you really see that and characters like Superman.
Batman and the Sky Walker and Harry Potter and someone Spider-Man and so on and so I found that kids in foster care really resonated with the stories that are found in comic books. And so we’ve been involved with Orange County Social Services basically sporting events, whether it’s providing comic books or any other books for kids are in foster care or helping to support local events. Are we just want to be able to get these books in kids hands to help them understand that they’re not alone and we see them and they are valuable and they have a great purpose in life. There’s a whole idea of here within you know, we started at like we all have inside of us that needs to come out and I can’t be any more true than the kids that are in foster care because they’re gone through a great deal and they all have potential to be
And culture a great thing even more because you have the freedom to go get back to your community in Orange County and help people out with your business and some of your ideas and your products are the team like how we thought about team building. How big is your company other North after you start as either one person over the years.
Thalia start at 1 and there’s five of us now and then we also have a number of a contractor that we use from position in social media to people who helped us in different cities. There are some trade shows and so the product can be great and marketing can be great without a great team then you’ll go nowhere and so we’re a very fortunate that we have people who are not just committed to create a great product of people who just love the properties that we work with Marvel and DC, you know, they’re all and boys and girls and nothing makes us more happier than to know that we’ve created something of value for a community that we love now. We want we only want to cry stuff that we ourselves would make we would sell Starwood. We’re so the fact that you know, we’re all fans and we literally just go would I wear that out and that’s very important to us. And so we want to represent the fans. Well, honestly,
So it’s like to grow up and being bullied to be picked on being harassed and be made fun of and now because I just kind of see in order in and all that you want to bring a level of like respect and something that people want to watch the bed. They’re proud of so, it’s very personal for either team sees it Through The Eyes of our customers. So yeah, they’re great sand or small But Mighty team and I were hoping to continue to grow there’s never enough hands on deck and we’re constantly stressed out but grateful for you know, we have to make sure that the right candidate and even just like that sometimes Norris the first time hiring somebody they don’t really know what to do when just really tough
You’re that didn’t work out and if you letting go of your first person is like really tough because the first time I was like, oh my gosh, like somebody actually wants to work with me like that. They actually want to join this crazy cause and so when something doesn’t work out, honestly the most difficult thing about this business is when there’s not a right fit as a team member fatfire fast. You don’t have enough hands. You need people that yeah. Yeah when your hands are strapped for cash resources, then you’re like, this is busy season right now. I can’t give up with someone even though they’re only for me at 70% better than nothing.
Throw another question I have for you is what do you think of your passes help you succeed with a business to be like you’re flying through years of Comic Con at the hustle. I think the fact that before I did all this. I think I really felt like that. So if you have a great idea it’ll just sort of spell itself. And I really found that 90% of success is just being the first person that showed up and being the last person to leave and whether it’s online or it’s at a tradeshow or it’s some sort of event. It’s really the person who really is hustling the most really worse than who’s really like showing up the present invested really connecting trying to be a person that connects other people really being flown to tell the compelling story and who really cares deeply like, I think just when someone says Hospital like
Kind of like the used car salesman or something like that, but I really do think it’s like really helping people find but they’ve always been looking for it really helping people make that connection and I think just like the biggest thing is that you need to have a good product of course, but I think really you like hustling showing up like being there being available being a person that is really committed to make this thing happen. I think that has been made more of a difference to me than anything else and you’re passing your house or what’s going to be moving your business. Even when you think that like the founder you have to have a super high highs then some days you like on top of the world other days you like. Oh my God, what’s going on?
I am for sure my first year I woke up everyday and said this is the dumbest thing ever and I’ll never work and then I would go to bed at 9 SoDo it works. And then the next hour wake up at the same thing all over again and then and then our beginning year 3 and I only had that thought every other day. So you better you don’t really know what’s going to happen the next day, you know, you can get really lucky and you don’t catch a big p o a big break or epic feel that you wanted to fall and then you’re back at square one again. I have two more questions for you Tony. What’s in one good advice you would give us like a new Oxford or. Just starting out.
I’ll try to say that the loads are not as low as you thinking the highs are not as high as you think and so I mean my dad is especially that first year when you are barely hanging on is like that every obstacle is going to kill you and it doesn’t it seems really hard difficult, but you can work your way through his work the problem and Trust good people and the solution will find a way and so the things that block you or things that really sort of knock you down. You can make it through that but I’m not on the converse side. There are so many things that you think all this is going to totally like save us because holy like fix everything is going to totally like Propel us stratospheric through levels this never quite as high as you think it is never quite stalls all the problems that they’re never quite enough money. They’re never quite enough. The ROI is never quite as much as you think it is and that’s okay. And so it is a roller coaster ride.
And don’t worry too much about the low are the high and refocus on what’s happening in the middle and you’ll be okay. So I think just remembering that the lows are never had luck making the highs and Everest height. Thank ya for The Great Raid lesson. Therefore, I think we’re people it’s sometimes like your low it can be very different a year from now and then you’ll be like that was not as bad as I thought it was and the last question. I actually have two more questions. Actually I have to ask you this. What is your favorite Marvel or DC Comic movie or character or hero is Superman because I grew up as that my parents were emigrating from Korea and I was born about a year later and I was raised as a primarily Caucasian community and didn’t know.
We wuz restaruants identity recycled find his voice. He knew he’s made for greater purpose and I really Superman is like the ultimate immigrant story and then probably bread made with him at a young age. So ever since I was little like reading his comics and all the movies and everything like that. She’s been Last by Sleep favorite and then right on the marble side like Captain America. I always just felt like that that character probably very related to Superman just that sense of Duty and honor and sacrifice. I I like you like I sell or where you’re writing nowadays yackira within store.com and then on social media Tierra within Inc Inc goes to follow me on my personal Pages, which is on Twitter.
Denver for Comic-Con as well as crazy for Comic-Con. Com where I’m at to be at the Emerald City Comic Con booth for March 14th to write. Thank you so much and hope your day. I’m as will be bringing you more tips techniques to know how to make your online business the very best that it can be if you have any questions comments or feedback see love to hear them on Twitter. Voy a media. Thank you.