How They Hustled
Building a brand is no easy feat and Justin is the first to highlight how much of a group effort it really is. Having their roots in Durham from a young age allowed Justin and Runaway's founder, Gabe, to call on many old friends in the early stages of their company to help them market Runaway. Knocking on doors became a reality as the two exchanged Runaway branded gear for social media impressions and cross-promotion at concerts/shows throughout the community. Justin also credits Durham's collaborative spirit for helping them get to where they are today. Two holiday pop-ups in spaces loaned to them by local companies served as the platform that sparked Justin and Gabe's imagination as to what they could do with a full-time spot. Furthermore, the local farmers market functioned as a proving ground for Runaway while they were operating out of Gabe's living room, "his den was stacked with boxes alongside his studio with his eisel and laptop and then all the shipping equipment, it was nuts" Justin told us.
A unique opportunity presented itself to Runaway when the American Underground came to Runaway with a potential retail location on Main St. in Durham. Gabe and Justin jumped at the opportunity but needed a little cash to complete renovations. The two turned to Kickstarter and called once again on their local network to pull in local influencers, including Durham's Mayor Bill Bell, to hold down their Kickstarter video to sell their vision to backers. The efforts proved successful and $25,000 later the duo found themselves opening their flagship store in Downtown Durham.
What does the future hold for Runaway? A new weekly podcast by the company to be accompanied by more video projects are what Justin has his eyes on for 2018. Shoppers can also check out Runaway's new spring line full of fresh gear for the new season.
As Runaway works to grow as a platform for the arts we can't help but picture seeing people across the southeast wearing the aussie inspired bindle logo. As for the now, Runaway's thriving network of Durhamites will be there to support them at every turn.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE. - The saying "it takes a village to raise a child" ringed in our ears as Justin spoke about Runaway's growth. If young brands could learn anything from Runaway's story it's that weaving yourself into your local community is crucial to getting on the map.
THE REALITY OF RETAIL. - Opposed to common belief, retail isn't dying but rather shoppers are straying away from big box retailers and moving towards the unique experiences boutique shops have to offer.
PODCASTS AND POTENTIAL. - Brands need to expand out of their direct offerings to connect through different channels. "We want to be a platform and conduit for the greater arts community" stated Justin. Runaway's effort can be seen in the brand's new podcast that highlights local events Justin hopes will interest their current and potential customers.
SOCKS. ARE. IN. - Runaway's spring line just dropped and is packed with colorful socks to welcome in the warmer weather. Be sure to check back here to get your own pair.
Follow Justin here
Check out Runaway's website here
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Photos and Video by: Ashley Milo - Senior Graphic Designer