No guy actually enjoys carrying around a bulky wallet. It gets in the way when you sit down, ruins your pants and encourages unnecessary clutter and hoarding. It does however, make a pretty good deadly weapon. Romany and King, this week’s Vancouver Entrepreneurs feature, is a local company that designs thin, fashionable and durable wallets for men. They make pretty funny videos too!
Who are you? Tell us about your business and what inspired you to create it.
My name is Dominic Hill and I am the founder of Romany + King, which offers better quality, well crafted leather slim wallets designed for smart, modern people.
Say hello to simplicity and sophistication in one perfect little handsome package. Our two-sided slim wallet embraces necessity with top notch Italian leather on one side, and a hardy double slot elastic on the other. Gone are the days of the bulky billfolds, bulging back pockets, and the pack rat mentality that weighs down your waistline. Fact is, you deserve to walk home with an amazing slim wallet designed to include both everyday function and premium quality, without the gimmicks.
The inspiration to build Romany + King and a #BetterSlimWallet was simple. There are a handful of good slim wallet players in the market today but we feel like most of them either lack the premium quality you deserve or offer gimmicks that make little or no sense. Sim card and key slots within a wallet? Last time I checked, we have pockets for keys. How many sim cards do you actually own? Faux leather? Ugh, don’t do it.
We believe quality is paramount and we back it up with a solid three year warranty. Our carrying goods are carefully crafted from premium full-grain vegetable tanned Italian leathers and flex elastics. The eco-friendly leathers spend 60 days in the sun during the vegetable tanning process. And by the way, they’re super easy to use, feel great in your hand, and fit snug in any pocket.
Our slogan is “#SizeMatters. Buy a #BetterSlimWallet” But don’t take our word for it…
Watch how women REALLY feel about the size of your…
What has been the most challenging part about running this business and how have you addressed it?
Great question! Let me share some unsolicited advice: get (good) partners. It’s my pleasure to work with three talented business partners: Ben Lau, Patrick Borrelli, and Roger Kuo. Our leadership team have varying strengths across global ecommerce, content marketing, paid media, and investor relations. Having a strong core team can really help to simplify and streamline some of the complexities you face in a fast paced startup.
With respect to challenges, I’ve founded a content marketing agency and a slim wallet company. They both have their own unique challenges. But the most challenging part about running Romany + King has probably been refining the product for our customers. We spent over a year and a half testing and sampling italian leathers and elastics that could endure modern life. We stand by our three year warranty.
Our ultimate mission is to provide carrying goods that offer you function and fashion without compromising the premium quality you deserve. We want you to come back and buy another wallet from us in a year or two because you couldn’t imagine buying anything else.
How has Vancouver’s rising startup community played a role in the development of Romany and King?
Fortunately, I have shared experiences and conversations with some of Vancouver’s top entrepreneurs and leaders. Guys like Rob Craig (3TierLogic) Manny Bahia (Vancity Buzz), Dario Meli (Quietly), and Ryan Holmes (Hootsuite) have all indirectly and directly inspired my entrepreneurial journey. I am a big believer in listening, learning, and absorbing from anyone who is willing to share their experiences with me.
What core problem is your company specifically solving and/or what’s the main value you provide?
I’ll keep this short, sweet and, share in very simple terms.
There are a handful of good slim wallet companies in the world but for the most part we feel that they either lack quality, offer ineffective function or rely on gimmicks (that make little sense) to earn your hard earned dollars.
We genuinely care about the wallet you take home and use in your everyday, modern life. We provide carrying goods of superior quality to the products you have already been spending your money on and give you peace of mind that your money is actually giving you everyday-function and fashion without compromising the premium quality you deserve. No more stretched leather with our double slot flex elastic. No more gimmicks. Only the best leathers you can find on this big, beautiful thing we call Earth.
How did you end up becoming an entrepreneur and what challenges did you personally overcome to succeed?
Entrepreneurship was ingrained in me at an early age. My father has always worked for himself and encouraged me to do what I love. My mother always let me know I could do and, achieve anything I put my mind to. (Thanks mom!)
A friend posted a great quote on Facebook from another young Vancouver entrepreneur.
“It’s all about the journey and making sure you are enjoying it. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so if you can find joy in what you are doing every day, and do it with people who make you happy, then you are leading a successful life.” – Dave Frey.
Earlier, I mentioned choosing good partners. That doesn’t always happen and can be a really challenging experience. Unfortunately, I had a former partner who was negative on a daily basis, which became exhausting and counter-productive. We decided to go our separate ways and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I retained the company but I struggled to gain momentum in the following months. Through perseverance, a shift in business model, and a focus on positive thinking, I managed to secure a few annual contracts with some really cool companies. My content marketing agency was re-born, finances were in order and most importantly, it was a joy to wake up and go to the office everyday.
In summary: If you feel you need a partner, try to choose a great one. Look for positive traits like integrity, kindness and confidence.
What entrepreneur has inspired you the most for running your business and what makes them so special?
There are many great entrepreneurs I look up to but, a few Richard Branson quotes sparked my confidence and drive, early on.
“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” – Richard Branson
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure how to do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” – Richard Branson
“Listen. Take the best. Leave the rest.” – Richard Branson
What Vancouver celebrity/influencer would you most be excited to have as a member of the team and why?
Ryan Holmes – Founder and CEO of Hootsuite. I had the good fortune of working for Hootsuite and learned invaluable lessons and processes from the team he built. Ryan’s entrepreneurial success story actually started with a retail business. Plus, he throws epic private parties. #HootCamp.
What are some accessible resources used and winning habits you have developed to learn and grow as an entrepreneur?
Listen and learn from those that have more experience than you do but, never ignore your instincts. Have integrity. Be humble. Be bold. Be in a rush, but do not be in a rush. Quality is paramount. Be customer focused in all that you do.
If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
My younger self would get a good laugh out of what I am about to say. Meet a good woman and get married, sooner. My wife Alicia has been by my side through the highs and lows of my entrepreneurial journey and provided that essential balance and women’s perspective. Having a partner to support and give you the strength to push through in times of uncertainty is priceless.
What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
“A year from now you will have wished you had started today.” – Karen Lamb.
Simply put: The time is now. Get started and learn as you go. You can do it.
Visit Romany + King at www.romanyandking.com and use the promo code VANCITYBUZZ to save 20%.
Vancouver Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs and startups that are making a local and even a global impact. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send an email to casey(at)vancitybuzz(dot)com to explain why you’re a fit.