In this episode of Hunting Influence, Aaron is joined by Wylie Robinson, Founder & CEO of Rumpl. They discuss how and why Rumpl develops products with post-consumer recycled materials, Rumpl’s growth channels and Wylie’s experience on Shark Tank.

Key facts

  • Wylie Robinson LinkedIn
  • Rumpl’s website
  • Wylie is a founder of Rumpl, a company with a mission to introduce the world to better blankets
  • Wylie started working at a young age 
  • Wylie started his journey by freelancing online 
  • Wylie also sold coffee and bagels to support himself financially
  • Wylie got his undergrad degree in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado
  • Wylie also holds a Master’s degree in Architecture

Key Takeaways

  • Wylie started his career as a designer but later on discovered his love for branding
  • Wylie learned about branding strategies, brand positioning, environmental impacts on products and had a lot of exposures while working at Landor Associates, which eventually led him to start his own company; Rumpl
  • Wylie believes “branding is all about storytelling” 
  • Wylie shares that he got to learn a lot from the customers, and advised that companies should observe customers feedback at every stage of business to improvise strategies 
  • The idea of starting Rumpl came from an adventure. When Wylie and his friends got stuck in the snow and they had to pull out their sleeping bags to use them as blankets
  • Wylie and his friend started Rumpl in 2013 with $3,000 of capital. The startup surprisingly generated sales of $25,000 in twelve hours of launch and $220,000 in the next thirty days 
  • Wylie switched his focus to social media marketing through platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Consequently, Rumpl gained 10,000 followers in the first year of starting social media channels 
  • Wylie hired a PR agency that helped Rumpl to expand its outreach through word of mouth. 
  • On December 9th, 2013, Business Insider published an article on  Rumpl’s business idea, which provided a boost to the business  
  • Wylie admits to having made a lot of mistakes in the business. However, learning from the mistakes has led to Rumple establishing itself and expanding into big retail stores
  • Initially, Rumpl used virgin raw materials for production but later on switched to post-consumer recycled material
  • Wylie wanted to keep the cost structure for Rumpl intact while its business increases, therefore he decided to go for consumer recycled polyester 
  • Rumple recently become De Corp certified, which means it meets the highest standards for environmental, social transparency accountability 
  • Rumpl donates 1% of all sales to environmental causes every year. Additionally, Rumple plays an active role in CSR and community engagement activities 
  • Rumpl’s five years plan is to focus on the blankets category, however, their long term plan includes entering into new product categories such as recreation products, indoor accessories, and beds

Wylie’s #1 tip for entrepreneurs 

“Just be authentic.”

Wylie strongly believes that one should be doing something he/she knows about; if you don’t know about something, don’t do it. 

Wylie’s #1 business hack

  • In the early days, go through social platforms like Facebook and Instagram

Sometimes you learn from customers, and sometimes you have to go with your instinct as a designer and present a good solution hopefully that will align with a consumer.

Wylie Robinson
Founder & CEO at Rumpl

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