Hi friends, it’s Spiffy, back again on Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making the world a more equitable place! I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Bradley Baumeister, the founder of Tropiq Watches. Let’s see what he is doing to make a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi, Bradley, it’s great to have you here today! What challenge is Tropiq Watches addressing?
Bradley: Thanks so much for having me, Spiffy! At Tropiq, we have made it our mission to help preserve oceans for the wildlife that calls it home and the humans that depend on it. Our love for the outdoors drove us to support the Marine Conservation Institute to help preserve our oceans for the next generation of outdoorsmen. We also directly support Blue Parks, a Marine Conservation Institute program designed to recognize Marine Protected Areas which provide safe zones for endangered ocean life. With each watch sold, we hope to encourage our customers to leave each national park or beach better than they found it.
Spiffy: Wow. What motivated you to do it?
Bradley: After dealing with broken straps, water damage, and lackluster designs, we realized the need for a watch that performs well in all types of activities without sacrificing design. We wanted something that could handle the elements, while also looking good during a formal evening out. Each Tropiq Watch is built to handle weather, water, and adventure. And we couldn't build a watch that promotes outdoor activity without helping to conserve our planet. After meeting with The Ocean Conservation Institute, we decided they were the perfect partner for us to work together to sustain the outdoors.
Spiffy: It’s always great to see a company invested in the conservation of the planet. Could you elaborate on how you are working towards a more equitable world?
Bradley: Tropiq customers are champions of preservation of our Blue Parks. Our aim is to empower our customers to stand up for ocean conservation. Tropiq Watches helps to educate its consumers on marine conservation and preservation. Our customers leave our outdoor spaces better than they found it, helping to ensure that future generations can experience the outdoors in its natural state.
Spiffy: Can you tell me more about your experiences building the business?
Bradley: In college, I worked with an incubator, LaunchNET, focusing on investing and entrepreneurship. This is where my passion for business came to fruition. After being involved in projects and community outreach, I knew that starting my own company was a strong passion of mine. Before starting Tropiq, I worked as a Product Manager. Being a Product Manager has given me the experiences and ability to successfully take a product from conception to general availability.
Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Bradley: During my time at Kent State University, I founded a social media company called LowkeyLinks. I realized that most people had an overwhelming number of followers and weren’t their authentic selves. LowkeyLinks was a place to share content privately to small, targeted groups. During this time, I learned to manage investor funds and grant money, while managing a tight budget. I learned to code, how to create and execute a plan, and worked closely with engineers. Though LowkeyLinks didn’t take off, I learned to listen to my customers and successfully launch a product.
Spiffy: What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?
Bradley: It can be overwhelming when starting a new project; you constantly think about the end goal. I remember this quote from Will Smith every time things get hectic - “You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say ‘I’m gonna lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid,’ and you do that every single day, and soon you have a wall.”
Spiffy: Perfect words to end this interview on. Thanks for speaking with me today, Bradley—it’s been an honor!
Upon graduation, Bradley Baumeister’s career started at the research firm The Gerson Lehrman Group focusing on market research for Hedge Fund clients. After that, he then worked at IBM as a Product Manager, focusing on AIOps, Backup & Recovery, and Cloud Storage for Z products. In 2021, Brad founded Tropiq Watches with the purpose to deliver high quality watches while supporting marine conservation efforts. (Nominated by name. First published on the Ladderworks website on February 16, 2022)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.