You’re getting married, but you already have a casserole dish and a nice set of silverware. You don’t really need a new set of towels, either, but what you could use is a wine tasting tour when the stress of wedding planning is behind you.
So why not ditch the Bed Bath & Beyond wishlist and ask your wedding guests to chip in for experiences you can share with your new spouse?
Twine Registry will let you do just that. Here, co-founder Kelsey Coffrin, a Concept Stage finalist in OEN’s Angel Oregon 2017 Program, tells us more:
What was the spark that inspired the birth of your concept?
There were a few sparks that inspired the birth of Twine Registry, but it would be nonexistent without making the firm decision to follow my entrepreneurial drive and reflect upon my areas of expertise and passion. Being an expert in the wedding registry space, I observed a gap in the market for our current marrying generation, Millenials. Most registries are set up to give them things, but not local experiences. Once I had that aha! moment, things started heating up and soon our co-founding team—made up of Erin O’Brien, George Song, and myself—was formed.
What problem does it solve?
Compared to previous generations, Millennials are marrying later in life. That means they have already accumulated the various home items traditionally seen on a wedding registry. They also prefer to spend their time and money on experiences over things. By understanding both of these opportunities, our solution was pretty clear! Twine will help couples register for unique local experiences so when the wedding is over, the fun has just begun.
What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
The very best thing has been meeting other people in the entrepreneurial space, whether they are other “ideas” people, investors, or local businesses. People who are passionate about ideas offer an incredible amount of energy and excitement. It’s been a wonderful and supportive community for our co-founding team.
What has been the biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date?
If I’m honest, the biggest surprise is how long something can take to launch when you’re bootstrapping your efforts. I knew that we wouldn’t launch our product for a year or so, but now we’re going on a year plus. It’s very hard being in the concept stage when all of us have full-time commitments in addition to Twine.
Your biggest success?
Our biggest success has been making it through each round of OEN’s Concept Stage Angel Oregon program to the FINALS! We couldn’t be more thrilled with the warm reception to our idea and how we’ve been able to present it to the selection committee, pitch after pitch. We have an amazing team with an amazing idea, so receiving this validation from the program has been exciting. OEN’s Angel Oregon Showcase is up next, and we’re very excited to add that to our list of successes! Visit our display table and hear our pitch on April 27 at Castaway.
What is the best entrepreneurial advice you have received?
Back in January 2016, as I was exploring this idea of entreprenuership, I had lunch with an old co-worker and entrepreneur, Marcelino, who founded at Uncorked Studios. He told me to enter competitions to validate the idea and also to start blogging. We’ve taken those words to heart!
What is your #1 piece of advice for a budding entrepreneur?
Don’t launch your startup in a silo. Find your community. Fellow entrepreneurs will lend an ear when things are tough, toast to your successes, and generally understand what you’re going through. Friends can sympathize but entrepreneurs can empathize.
Imagine your venture becomes wildly successful. What does that look like?
It means our co-founding team can fully commit to Twine and invite other passionate individuals to join us and help it expand. We’ll be curating amazing, unique experiences across the country and perhaps for other gifting occasions beyond weddings.
What’s your favorite local business and why?
Considering what we’re doing, we have a lot of favorite local businesses! One of our favorites is the BrewGroup (owners of BrewCycle and BrewBarge). Andrea, the owner, has been an incredible supporter and I’ll never forget the very first time we reached out to see if she’d be interested in learning more about partnering with Twine. Her enthusiasm for our businesses was a big motivator to keep going.
Do you think Oregon is a good place to start a business?
Oregon has been a fantastic place to launch a business, and our state motto, “She flies with her own wings,” couldn’t be more appropriate. Oregonians have always bravely moved to their own beat, which is why launching a startup here is so compelling. We want to be with people who strive to experience more in their life and their work. Passionate people who bravely open new businesses, host startup competitions, and start meetup groups, as well as the locals willing to try them out. We want to be with people who value each new experience and value sharing it with one another. We’ve found all of that here.
Do you have any other fun facts or tidbits to share?
We’re always on the hunt for great experiences! If you own an experience-based business or have a fun idea, don’t hesitate to drop me a note! firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelsey will be pitching at OEN’s Angel Oregon 2017 Showcase on April 27. See the other presenters and get your early-bird ticket!