Being in the early stages of a startup, I typically work 12-15 hours a day, so it is important for me to clear my mind in the morning with some exercise and set an energetic tone for the day ahead.
Sumit Batra is the Founder of The Snowtorious, a company that creates original Ugly Christmas Sweaters and urban influenced apparel.
Traditionally, Sumit had been a Sales Manager in the corporate world, and if you asked him if he would be pursuing Christmas Sweaters a few years back, he probably did not see that coming. What began as a side project to bring some originality to the market, has gained traction and is now growing to shake things up.
Sumit is an incredibly hard worker, has strong ethical values, a creative spirit, and a good sense of humor. He began the company on the foundation of producing a quality product and giving back to the LA community that inspires him. The company believes in working with other US based startups that have similar principles. For each garment sold, the company donates a pair of socks to a local non-profit partner serving the homeless of LA.
Sumit feels truly blessed to be able to put his all into something he loves – making fun Christmas Sweaters and T-shirts.
Where did the idea for Snowtorious come from?
My birthday is right next to Christmas, so I did a Birthday/Ugly Christmas Sweater Party in 2014. I spent quite a while looking online and went to the local mall, and I noticed most of the sweaters were the same designs, some were mediocre quality, and others cost more than I wanted to spend. So, I thought… hmmm. I am going to come out with a few next year.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Wake up early, walk the dog, and go for a 20 minute run to give me a boost. Being in the early stages of a startup, I typically work 12-15 hours a day, so it is important for me to clear my mind in the morning with some exercise and set an energetic tone for the day ahead.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The artistic process cannot be forced, so the design ideas come to mind randomly. Working with a team of trusted artists, friends, and family has allowed a lot of the ideas to come to fruition. We produce a lot of art, but only push forth those that we feel will resonate with the consumer.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Ugly Christmas Sweaters! Right now, this is the focus of our business as we will be launching many new designs in 2017. I really enjoy making them and the passion makes it a lot easier to work late to tie up all the loose ends in operating the business.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Choosing how to allocate time and resources. I wrote down some key principles I wanted to follow daily and created a mantra out of it. I read it every morning – MADEHIGHER
High Level Work
Health and Energy
What advice would you give your younger self?
Build a business that you are truly excited about. I had a previous venture that I was doing with the main focus being to make money. Eventually, I burned out at operating that business. It may not come to you right away, but finding the right project with passion and purpose is so important. This is not to say that making money is not important; there needs to be the correct margins set in place to run the operation and succeed financially. However, that should not be the only thing that inspires the business.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I don’t know if I can say nobody, but I think it is important to quickly get to market and test to see if there is a demand for your product or service.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Work, work, work, work, work, work. Like Rhianna says.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Putting out a quality product. The early stages were strictly focused on having high standards in terms of product quality and customer experience.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Spending too much time on the little things. They do count, but driving the business requires me to focus on execution and growth oriented work. Delegation is a key part of time management.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A grilled cheese sandwich food truck. No joke, I love grilled cheese! I usually make mine with jalapenos, and I can only imagine all the kinds that could be created. It is a business the can be scaled, and I think the lesson here again is finding something your passionate about.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I flew to San Francisco for a $100 roundtrip to discuss my business in person with a successful mentor. Getting advice from a trusted friend and startup investor gave me the confidence to go all in on our business.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
ShipStation allows us to centralize our order management and automate our shipping from a simple cloud based service.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
4 Hour Work Week – Lots of good advice on how to streamline your productivity
What is your favorite quote?
Never let the fear of striking out get in your way – Babe Ruth
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.