He used to be an electrician. Nevertheless, he was dreaming of creating his own apparel brand. In the end, he had to make do with another activity. Leather could provide him with financial stability and business outlooks. This is the very personal and, at the same time, very paradigmatic story about Ian Guenter, a Canadian entrepreneur.
Guenter used to work as an electrician in Calgary, Canada, in the State of Alberta. His business was not running that smoothly though. One day, after damaging his favourite sweater, he decided to try going after one of his personal hobbies: to create an apparel brand. He was thinking about a simple brand, made of neat and essential collections, embellished with a special touch though. He had a sudden epiphany while watching one of his friends creating a few small leather accessories.
“If he can do it, I can make it too, or I can try at least”, said Guenter while speaking to the News Optimist, an online daily newspaper. Therefore, he started looking for quality leather, since he realized he could hardly find it around local suppliers. Shortly after, he came across the manufacturing of “a long-established tannery in Chicago”: the wholesaler was taking only remarkable orders, bigger than 25 square feet, though. That was too much, compared to Ian’s “small” project.
Ian’s second option
Aiming to overcome such commercial difficulty, Guenter managed to grab a business alternative option. He decided to buy high quality hides and sell them back online, cut into pieces, to small artisans, according to quantities they were demanding. Following that, in 2017 he successfully created Oakson Authentic, which grew rapidly, at full speed. Today, he currently supplies small artisans all over the world.
Guenter sells his product in the United States (60%) and Canada (30%), while he exports the remainder to Russia, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and Japan. “Nobody, in Canada, would sell higher quality leather they way I am doing – said the young entrepreneur while talking to a local newspaper –. I pinpointed a huge gap in the wholesale market for leather, customised in compliance with different uses. I did spot that niche, and I took advantage of it”.
For the records, there is a further happy conclusion in Ian Guenter little story. In fact, his trade business is running so well that he will soon manage to start up his own brand: to begin with, he will produce belts, wallets and bags.
In the picture, a screenshot taken from the article published on the News Optimist portal