BONUS EP. 01:
THIS WEEK’S EPISODE IN A VERY LARGE NUTSHELL:
These listener questions came from IG, and our website.
How did you come up with the idea of using funny names for your glasses? Stephen gets this question a bunch. Flamingos on a Booze Cruise was the first pair ever designed. Once the idea for goodr came about, this was the pair he had in his mind. Pink frame, teal lenses. “These look like I’m on a booze cruise with a flamingo!” he exclaimed to unamused co-founder Ben. The idea happened in 30 seconds and we never looked back. There is something in this story about trusting your ideas and running with them. goodr is a fun brand, and we were also just getting started. And guess what-- these names are fun and they’re free! No turning left from there.
How did the birth of Carl the Flamingo CEO arise from this? If you see goodr’s original branding it was all primary colors, red, blue, yellow-- for those of you that didn’t pass kindergarten. As the brand rolled out we realized that it wasn’t right for our vibe. We had a tropical thing going on. For each pair of sunglasses we do an in depth origin story. That previously unamused co-founder Ben wrote a wild tale about being on a booze cruise with a bunch of flamingos, and Carl was the king of the flamingos. So fast forward, we’re shipping sunglasses out of our apartment, and setting up our return label in ShipStation for the first time, and for fun, Stephen typed in Carl the Flamingo. So when it came time to finally rebrand, we knew we wanted icons, Carl became the icon for Flamingos on a Booze Cruise. A yeti was created for Iced by Yetis, and so on. Ultimately, an amalgamation of things happened at once and out popped Carl.
Your content is a work of art, what inspires your team? Why thank you! Yes it is! We have legit 10 people in-house pumping out our beautiful content. Everyone is empowered to create cool shit. We provide a clear brand outline. By setting these loose guidelines people can color them in the way they want. We release so many products and so much content. We do it over and over and over again, and in this process we lean into “done is better than perfect”. We can try different fun things because tomorrow you get to do it all over again!
How long does it take to come up with and produce a new line of glasses? 58 weeks. We have an abridged 42 week version, but 58 is ideal. Imagine this… we’re going to drop 120 new pairs next year and every pair has a 58 week plan complete with a very stacked deck of deets. We give everything an appropriate amount of time, and give it the proper amount of attention. We do this because rushing things has potential to water down the brand. We talk about this in our GTD episode… so if you want more on that, listen here!
Is it hard to join the goodr team? Yes, yes it is. We have a seven phase hiring process, and we created that because we want really good people that fit into our culture. This process makes it hard to get the job, but also harder to lose the job. Once you’re in, you’re a key element to this team. Our job postings are authentically us, and require a drawing of an octopus fighting a pirate. 80% of the people don’t do it... If they miss a step, their application is in the trash. ‘Cuz if you can’t do what we’re asking you to do from the moment you submit your app… sheeeeshh…
How do I get hired? Apply here and be authentically yourself. You also need to be able to accept that it might not be the right place for you. We’ve had several amazing employees that after some time learning the culture ended up being not quite the right fit. This is okay! We’re still friends with many of them! When we hired Doug for our BIKE Community Manager, one candidate-- who ended up not getting the job-- showed up with a button up collared shirt, tie, and his sleeves ripped off. The button up gun show was a strong flex, all the way down to the frayed edges, and no sleeves. We loved this! Damn Doug, step up your kit bro!
Is it as fun as it seems to work at goodr? It is really fun, but it is not easy. If you like growing, being challenged and working your ass off, goodr is the best job you’ll ever have. If you don’t like those things… you probs won’t enjoy it. We’re challenging ourselves to grow everyday. Being prepared, showing up, doing hard work, lifting up your teammates, them lifting you up, it’s the kind of fun you get on the other side of hard work.
What is the work-life balance like? Stephen hates the term work-life balance. Instead, it is work-life integration. We had a super liberal work from home policy before Covid forced us all home. The idea is that if you need to leave early to go to an appointment, or pick a kid up from school, (heck, get a training run in!), you should be able to do those things. This is work-life integration. When Stephen leaves early on Friday to play golf, that means he might need to do a little work on Saturday. NBD. We have outlined what success means in every employee’s role, and as long as they’re accomplishing those things-- send it!
How do we keep morale high? We work really hard at it. We have our weekly staff meeting, Tuesday with Carl, which is actually fun. We start it off with DANCE goodr, everyone gets their blood and fists pumpin’ (well our one Jersey boy employee does). It’s not just Stephen standing up there and pontificating. There is a rotating host, everyone gets a shot at hosting TWC. This way, it gives everyone a voice. We have our Carl’s Gold Stars program, a gratitude practice, where co-workers can nominate each other weekly. Winners get to pick a mystery door, and behind each door is a special goodr enamel pin. We have a Carl pin, a Bosely basset hound pin (long live the king), a Yeti… the legendary GOLD Carl… and more. Our quarterly summit called goodrSTOCK, is a huge party and great for morale. Our AMP reviews… check out that episode here, are all about Stephen pumping people up quarterly. At the core everyone in the company is working their ass off. When you feel like you’re growing, everything feels possible and workable. It creates the feeling that we’re all in forward motion together. That is how we lift our spirits, by making sure nobody gets stagnant. We’re here for each other and help each other grow. And at the end of the day, we’re legit just a sunglasses company. We don’t need to take it so seriously
What is the dress code at goodr… and does it include sandals? Umm… yes… Stephen wears sandals everyday. Next question. But seriously… we empower everybody to be themselves. The dress code is whatever you want it to be. We want you to show up as your real self.
How has it been to run a company in the age of Covid? Go back and listen to our first season to learn how we responded to the mess of Covid. It’s been gutters and strikes. Wins and opportunities. The pandemic has allowed us to grow in numerous ways. We’ll do a followup episode on where we are now in a few weeks. TBH we really thought this would be over by August… We’re in uncharted territory. We’ve stopped giving false hope that things will return to normal at some known not-so-distant date. It’s brutal being constantly disappointed. So we reset our expectations. All travel and all events are grounded six months from the day something major happens. We have to stop pretending we know things that are very far out of our control.
What does success for goodr look like five years out? Stephen’s dream is that our culture takes on a persona of its own, and like the notorious Zappos, we start hosting conferences educating other business professionals on how to elevate their company culture.
How many sunglasses do you sell each year? We drop 120ish SKUs a year, and sell somewhere in the 7-digits of actual individual sunnies.
Can you get prescription goodrs? YOU CAN. Take your frames to your eye doctor and they can pop some RX lenses in there!
Will there be goodr stores on the East Coast someday? We hope so. It’s not in the five year plan, but maybe one day. We had our flagship store in Playa Del Rey, but closed it when Covid hit with plans for something bigger and better… stay tuned!
Do you have beer on tap in the office? No, but we do have nitro cold brew on tap, loads of free snacks, and after having enough La Croix cans to cover payroll we installed a magical sparkling water machine. You can even set your flavor strength and bubble preferences!!! In normal times we had a catered lunch every Tuesday. Looking forward to getting that back!
Do you use slides instead of stairs? Not yet… but we have a landing dock that doesn’t get used and we will be putting a slide in there eventually!