August 02, 2017 7 min read
It’s a simple fact that the success TechWears has enjoyed thus far has only been made possible by a supportive community.
From the first accidental customers that inspired me to make morecircuit board ties andjewelry and show them off at hundreds ofevents, to the successful funding of a shotgun Kickstarter campaign last year, there is no doubt that the last two years have been tremendously exciting and empowering.
It has only been made possible because people have purchased and promoted these crazy fun ideas I have about eco-fashion accessories and jewelry.
Although circuit board ties and jewelry are perhaps not a Colorado Springs product line, I am unsure if I would have found such quick success in any other city.
Colorado Springs shows up in a big way to support its entrepreneurs!
I am just very thankful for the opportunity to build this purpose-driven business started right here in my hometown.
Colorado Springs Rocks!!!
It’s been several months now yet I am still humbled to have won these two distinguished awards.
The Business Greenie Award from Veda Salon and Spa,
and Best Sustainable Business from the Colorado Springs Business Journal!
The awards were endowed by these two remarkable local organizations, but even more impactful, for me, is that they were voted on by the community, a people’s choice!
This recognition makes me blush and at the same time inspires me to work harder.
Thank you to everyone who voted!
To everyone who has purchased TechWears, you’re just the best for using your wallet to support an Ecopreneur finding his way.
I wish there was a way to measure the joy it brings my heart to see my work appreciated, treasured, and utilized in its intended purpose.
It makes frequent 90+ hour work weeks more than worth it.
It takes a lot more than customers to get this far and I want to acknowledge the assistance from many individuals and organizations in Colorado Springs that have made significant contributions to my success.
Whether it was helping make circuit board ties for the Kickstarter, using a circuit board tie in a photo shoot, or just welcoming me into your networks, many people have participated in the most upcycled tech startup of the 21 st century.
There are so many individuals and organizations I am indebted to that I want to thank. Inevitably I will accidentally omit some important ones but after holding on to a draft of this blog for 3 months, it’s time to publish it and move forward to seize the wonderful opportunities before TechWears.
UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art – Who is that stud up above in the circuit board kilt? Well, this is one project that I always meant to write a blog about but have been working so hard on production development it slipped through the cracks. The “High Tech Highlander” was a full costume piece created for the ramp show as part of their annual fundraiser, Brilliant! How cool to be invited by GOCA to participate in my first ramp show and how awesome to be able to collaborate with the talented Lola Borealis Upcycled Glass on the project. I still have this piece and wear the vest quite frequently. Huge thanks to Stephen for being such a great and hunky model! More details about this piece are available on social media or by email.
Pikes Peak Community College – PPCC connections continue to be some of the most valuable relationships I have. As a high school dropout returning to college at 25 years old, getting involved on campus and serving as Student Government President was certainly the most pivotal experience of my life. PPCC provided great opportunities to reinvent myself and so many people at the campus played a part in who I am today.
University of Colorado Colorado Springs – Thanks to scholarship donors, I was able to fully immerse myself in my education which has left me well prepared for the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Many people and programs on campus helped me learn to navigate a path forward when there is no trail and no map. Shout out to Dean Venkat Reddy at the College of Business for being the first local celebrity brave enough to wear a circuit board tie!
Blue Star Recyclers – Working for an incredible award-winning social enterprise right out of college was a great honor. I am very proud of the work Blue Star does to create good paying jobs for people with disabilities while recycling electronics to the highest environmental standards in the industry. I miss the team dearly but enjoy seeing the growth and success stories they’ve created since I left.
Mind Rocket LLC – Joe and Tucker introduced me to the world of mechanical engineering which I didn’t expect to fall in love with. I am thankful for the product development assistance and am happy to see the success of the Sleep Shepard Blue project.
Qualtek Manufacturing – The Fagnant Family has offered many assists along the way. Usually, it comes in the form of an introduction to someone who ends up saving me a lot of time and shortcutting my knowledge gap. The Fagnant Family are important role models for the Colorado Springs community through their Q-Munity partnerships and involvement in local economic development efforts. I feel lucky to know them and to have earned their respect.
1 Million Cups Colorado Springs – Our local chapter of 1 Million Cups is pretty dang awesome. A top 5 performing chapter of all chapters nationally, the folks that attend the weekly 9 am on Wednesday are some of the best people I know. Colorado Springs knows how to build and support an entrepreneurial ecosystem and 1 Million Cups has been a big part of that. Click on the link for more info and plan to attend one of the weekly meetings.
Catalyst Campus – I am very thankful for the many wonderful events I’ve attended at this facility, as well as for the great backdrop for our photo shoot! Congratulations to the Catalyst Campus for winning the Creative Workspace Award and best of luck with your ambitious plans! Check out the link and try out the beautiful coworking space with a one-month free trial!
Scott Majors Photography – If you’re not following@flixaddiction on Instagram, you should. I’m not a “dog person,” but Scott’s photos made me feel like a dog fanatic! I’m not a Skateboarder either, but Scott’s photos made me feel like I could bust out a 1080 like Tony Hawk. When it came time to get some professional shots of cool kids wearing circuit board ties and jewelry there was no one else for the job. Keep Scott in mind for your photography needs!
Pikes Peak Library District – The 21 C library was the first place I ever saw a 3D printer and also the first time I ever used a laser on a circuit board tie. Innovative event programming and adaptable workspaces that are focused on the future make this truly the library of the future. Thanks, 21C Library for being an awesome resource for our community!
Pikes Peak Makerspace – Proud to be a member of this great organization that provides access and education for learning all the techie stuff that I was completely clueless about. In the future, I hope to have more time to help others with their projects. Currently, every time I am in there it feels like I’m in Mission Impossible with the lasers going off combined with the deadlines I am facing. Many members of the Makerspace have helped me speed up project development tremendously and one day I would like to return the favor! Check out the link for more information about joining and about upcoming classes.
In no particular order, I would like to acknowledge the following folks and organizations for helping me find my way in creating a global brand in upcycled products.
Mom, Dad, Tara, Alex, Blue Twig Studio, Jane Dillon, Sonja Johnson, Robert Tavert Photography, Sabina Knows, Titan Robotics, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Linear Manufacturing, Ginseng Creative, JPM Prototype, Gina Mitchell Design, Colorado Springs Business Journal, Lola Borealis Upcycled Glass, Raven Trantham, Shaina Moore, Jerimie Lee, Stu Scott, The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, Charles and Tauni of Homecostumers.com, Ginseing Creative, Sovenco, Onsite Electronics Recycling, E Tech Recyclers, K8e Orr, Nikki Stitch, Colorado Coalition for Social Impact, The Colorado Springs Independent, UCCS Office of Sustainability, UCCS Green Action Fund, UCCS Chancellor’s Leadership Class, Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Dirty Dish by Design, Whimsical Monkey Designs, RobotsandMath.com, Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future, Dragon Theatre, Colorado Farm and Art Market, The Downtown Sunday Market, New Earth Beads, Colorado Springs Young Professionals, Tiny House Jamboree, BC Tool and Cutter Grinding, PPCC Office of Sustainability, Nate Dirnberger, TechStyle NYC, City of Colorado Springs and you too!
I definitely appreciate the fact that you read all of this!
I wish it was as simple as moving forward from this point but nothing in life worth doing is ever that simple.
I need more help, and I need it right meow!
Google needs help recognizing how serious I am about building TechWears into a massively successful global business.
Other than my personal social media, my@TechWears Instagram, and all of the events I attend and share TechWears at, I have largely failed at capturing the excitement for the brand instead of just me.
So, shifting the focus from "Drew the Founder" to "TechWears the Social Impact business" is a top priority.
You can help me get a jump start right now in 3 different ways.
If you have purchased products from TechWears, or have enjoyed my work in any other way please consider taking one of the following actions:
After selling thousands of products over the last two years, anything I can do to capture some of the feedback I have received in person, in a digital format, that Google will understand, will help to raise my profile and credibility significantly.
Thank you much for reading this and for your interest in TechWears!
It is my honor to be at the helm of this company and I will give it everything I got to grow the business, to create jobs, and increase social impact!
Chief Executive Upcycler
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