With over 2 million units sold in 20+ countries, the Klitch footwear clip is indisputably a successful product. While in school at Rutgers University, the two founders, Kevin Jebara and Liam van der Merwe, came up with this idea, drawing it up on a Panera napkin after a rugby match. The product is a clip for your shoes that can attach to your bag. This simple idea quickly turned out to be a massive success when one of their videos went viral. Ever since then, the company has been growing and expanding both their shoe clip as well as several shoe deodorizer products. Here is our interview with co-founder Kevin Jebara:
*Please note that some of Kevin Jebara’s answers are reworded to make it easier read*
What are one or two books that have most greatly influenced your life?
What is a quote you live by?
Knowledge is power - learn something new everyday.
Who would you most like to have lunch with? (who is your hero?)
What was your first business idea and what did you do with it?
Klitch - We launched it and have sold over 2 million units and sell in 20+ countries. Our video went viral - had over 9+ million views.
How did you know when you had the right idea?
We asked close family and friends as well as strangers. We started selling a lot and growing month over month.
What do you wish you knew before you started your current business?
It ain't EASY.
How has failure helped you later in life? Can you share any specific lessons you have learned?
Learn from your mistakes. We wasted a lot of money manufacturing. I was definitely taken advantage of, but I learned from it. Also, understand the manufacturing portion and find trustworthy partners.
At what point did you know entrepreneurship was for you?
My father was an entrepreneur so I had it in my blood. I was always around his business and was a quick learner. He is my biggest mentor and really guided me.
In your opinion, what traits make a good entrepreneur? How can one develop these traits?
Execute your idea. A lot of people have ideas, but they have no idea how to execute. Read a book or go online to learn. Read forums. Educate yourself about your idea. Do a market analysis. Knowledge is power so if you have this everything else will fall into place and it will become much easier. READ READ READ about other people’s experiences in business, ideas, failures, how they became successful... it truly will motivate you. Don't rush, be patient. Don't get discouraged, for every success there are 100 failures.
What is some of the best advice you ever received?
Keep on trucking. Don't get discouraged, focus on your goals/ the future. If you fail, get up and try again - learn from that experience.
What is some advice you can give to an aspiring high school entrepreneur?
Go for it... If you have an idea do a TON of research prior. Don't throw away your job or school until it is a viable business making revenue or has investments. Work on it 24/7 whenever you are not doing what pays the bills or whenever you are not at school. Read about other people's success and how they executed. Check out the diapers.com founder Vinit Bharara and how he succeeded in selling his company. They were buying diapers bulk from club retailers all around them to fulfill website orders... Do what you have to.
• When you fail you just need to “keep on trucking” and learn from your mistakes
• Do as much research as possible before you start your business
• Devote as much time as you possibly can into making your company succeed
My Favorite Quotes:
• “READ READ READ about other people’s experiences in business, ideas, failures, how they became successful... it truly will motivate you."
• “If you fail, get up and try again - learn from that experience.”
• “Don't rush, be patient. Don't get discouraged, for every success there are 100 failures.”