Jennifer Zhang started a watch company six months out of college. She was broke and had just quit her full-time job. Within two weeks, she had launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and turned a $1,000 investment into $91,000. Her company, Rotate Watches, which offers novice engineers all-in-one kits to build their own mechanical watches, went on to sell $400,000 in its first year during COVID-19 and it continues to grow today. In today’s episode, Jennifer shares how she discovered that there was a market for DIY mechanical watch kits and takes listeners through the process of building her business, from development to building a prototype, finding supply chains, and launching during a pandemic. We also discuss how Jennifer is introducing STEM to a larger audience, her focus on selling a learning experience, not just a watch, and the pros and cons of being an Asian woman entrepreneur in the male-populated watchmaking industry. Tune in today to learn more!
Movement Kit – Build a mechanical movement.
Emily received her BA in Women’s Studies and JD from Temple University. Early on, she worked as a legal advocate for women in domestic violence cases. After practicing law, Emily began working on the business side of things. She is the co-owner of AAA School of Trucking, a truck and heavy equipment safety training firm, which she has spent the last 10 years growing into a thriving national business through government and military contracting and corporate partnerships.
As an executive in the transportation industry, darting from client meeting to trucking range required safety boots that met her style standards, and when she couldn’t find them anywhere, she created Juno Jones Shoes. Emily trained in shoemaking in Cuernavaca, Mexico and at the Brooklyn Shoe Space, and assembled a powerhouse team of designers, consultants, and industry experts to bring Juno Jones to life. Through Juno Jones Shoes, Emily is fulfilling her dream of not only providing women with safe, stylish footwear options for their jobs but of helping to normalize and empower women in traditionally male-dominated fields.
Jennifer Zhang started a watch company six months out of college. She was broke and had just quit her full-time job. Within 2 weeks, she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and turned a $1K investment into $91K. Her company continued on to sell $400K in the first year during COVID, and continues to grow today!
We’re so thrilled to be releasing the first movement kits of its kind. We hope you find your next favorite hobby and share this centuries-old passion with us!