Bart Bradshaw: (00:26)
Hey builders, how many of you have heard of a content inc strategy for building your business? So Content Inc is a book by Joe Pulizzi and it’s one of my favorite business books and I can’t recommend it enough. Today we’re talking with a business builder who took the content inc route. Tristen Ikaika built a personal Instagram following through his videography and photography. At the same time, he began making rings for himself that his followers started asking for. Tristen caught the entrepreneurial bug and has been working on expanding his ring line for a couple of years. Today I sit down with Tristen and talk about his journey and the things he’s done that have helped him grow his business and personal brand.

Bart Bradshaw: (01:09)
Tristen, thanks for joining us today.

Tristen Ikaika : (01:11)
Thank you for having me.

Bart Bradshaw: (01:12)
Let’s start from the beginning. You make rings, you, you sell things online to your followers, you’ve got a healthy Instagram account with a lot of followers. You’re basically an influencer with some products and you know your own business, which you’re your own brand. But I kind of want to go back like where did this all start? Where you’re coming from.

Tristen Ikaika : (01:33)
Yeah. So it’s funny because you say I’m an influencer and I am for sure. But lately as I’ve been doing my rings, I’ve come to find out that I love being an entrepreneur almost more than an influencer. And obviously I use my Instagram and what I’ve built there to sell my rings. Yeah. But I feel like lately my passion has been more in entrepreneurship and my business and it hasn’t kind of what other influencers may be focused on right now.

Bart Bradshaw: (02:05)
But I want to, I want to return to that. But let’s go back to your story. Cause that’s an interesting distinction that you mentioned. I want to come back to like influencer versus entrepreneur and how you see that. But let’s go back even before you became a quote unquote influencer and you started to have this following online, like where’d you come from? Are you, did you say I want to start developing a following or like how did it develop?

Tristen Ikaika : (02:28)
So I was born and raised in Orem, Utah. So the Instagram I’ve always been interested in like photos and videos have always done this since I was a little kid. I’m just making little videos with my friends or whatever.

Bart Bradshaw: (02:48)
With, like, phones?

Tristen Ikaika : (02:48)
Or, yeah, it was called the flip cam. I got it for Christmas one year when I was like 10 and I lived on that thing like cool.

Tristen Ikaika : (02:55)
It was my pride and joy and as I got older I loved like the artistic side of it and just like capturing a good photo to share. And then Instagram kind of came along and naturally I just was interested in it. Like it was kind of new and I liked photos anyways. And then my senior year of high school I would say is when it really kind of picked up. I went on a trip to Europe with two of my friends and that’s kind of when presets came out and I had a DSLR. So naturally my pictures got really good that trip. Yeah. And I’d say that’s when it really started picking up and then I just kept traveling and posting more photos and videos and then the following kind of kept getting bigger.

Bart Bradshaw: (03:45)
So they like to travel. So like did you focus on anything in your content or was it just kind of travel photography?

Tristen Ikaika : (03:54)
Mostly travel, travel photos, travel videos. Stories are like my secret weapon. I feel like people love seeing the not so glamorous side and like funny side of things. So I tried to not curate my stories perfectly. Like I think the more entertaining they are, the better. Yeah. So I kind of use that to my advantage and I think that definitely got people almost even more than the photos.

Bart Bradshaw: (04:20)
Maybe. So did you have like, you know, Logan Paul has funny videos that he creates. Yeah. Did you have something like that that was kind of your thing?

Tristen Ikaika : (04:29)
I feel like, so me and my friend Indy, her Instagram is @indyblue. We would just like when we were together were just so funny and like I think that dynamic people like to see. Yeah. Like dancing in the middle of a town square in Italy or something crazy like just random stuff like that people like to see and taking people along on a journey on your story.

Tristen Ikaika : (04:54)
Like first we bought the ticket and then this and this and kind of telling a story with it rather than just like random clips. Yeah. Um, I think definitely helped.

Bart Bradshaw: (05:04)
That might be why they call it gives to stories. Yeah, exactly. You’re supposed to tell a story and behind the scenes especially. Yeah. That’s cool. Okay. So you started to kind of take off and grow. Did you monetize immediately?

Tristen Ikaika : (05:18)
No, I didn’t. I actually don’t really love doing sponsored posts. I haven’t done very many people reach out to you and you kind of like, yeah, thanks people reach out and I don’t, it’s just not really me and I’ve never wanted to sell out quote unquote. And even though I feel like there’s a way to do it authentically, it’s just not necessarily me or something I’m interested in. So I’ve just kind of tried to stay away from that.

Tristen Ikaika : (05:44)
So at the beginning, the way I was making money was through like paid shoots, like for families or for weddings or for…

Bart Bradshaw: (05:50)
Oh, interesting. As of photographer or a videographer as well?

Tristen Ikaika : (05:55)
Yeah. So I did wedding videos and I would do like family photos, couple photos, and like senior portrait photos.

Bart Bradshaw: (06:01)
So were you mostly on Instagram at the time? Now you have a website, but did you then?

Tristen Ikaika : (06:05)
No, not back then. It was purely Instagram and I had my videos on Vimeo, but Instagram was for sure where all the business was coming from.

Bart Bradshaw: (06:15)
Okay, cool. So how did it go from there? Like, was there a point when you were like, I need to make more money from this kind of influencer presence that I have?

Tristen Ikaika : (06:24)
Yeah. I remember in my head I was charging about $1,200 for a wedding. And in my head I was like, if I can make $3,000 a month, like that’s like what a lot of people make. Like I can survive off of that. Yeah. And then I went to Dubai in November of 2017 and when I came home from that trip, I remember I did not have very much money and I had no shoots on the horizon. I didn’t have much coming in. And someone had commented on my Instagram picture and said, does anyone know where he gets his rings? And someone commented back to them and said, I think he makes them. And I’ve been making rings since I was like 12 and wearing them. And it’s kind of always just been my thing. But I just remember seeing that comment and I was like, okay, maybe I could sell them. And that’s kind of when it transitioned from photo video work. And then I made the leap to sell rings. Yeah.

Bart Bradshaw: (07:29)
Now how do you make rings?

Tristen Ikaika : (07:31)
So when I was 12 we had like a good family friend. His name is Cody Barker who had a spoon ring and I, he was like my hero. I thought he was the coolest person and I wanted one too. So I went home and my dad’s super good with tools so we got a spoon from the kitchen drawer and got some bolt cutters and figured it out. And I made them ever since I was in junior high. Wow. It was just always my thing. Like I love wearing rings. I thought rings kind of elevated a person’s style. You can tell like if someone had rings on, they just like their outfit look cooler or whatever. So I was always just drawn to that. And then people would say in like junior high and high school, like you should sell them, you should sell them. But to me that was like too intimidating. Like I don’t know how to.

Bart Bradshaw: (08:21)
You didn’t know how to platform, you didn’t know where to go or what to do.

Tristen Ikaika : (08:24)
And launching a business I feel like is just intimidating. I’m like, I don’t know how to work a website or do shipping or anything like that. So I was just like, no, it’s just kinda like my thing, like just for me.

Bart Bradshaw: (08:35)
Very cool that your dad was like, I can help you do that. To go outside. Did you say outside?

Tristen Ikaika : (08:41)
In the garage. The garage.

Bart Bradshaw: (08:42)
Okay. Took you out to the garage and put the tools out and that spoon from the drawer of their kitchen. Okay. So you saw some, you know, comments like, Hey, where does it get these? And you were like, I can sell these, so what did you do next?

Tristen Ikaika : (09:01)
So I knew I wanted to sell them and in my head my thought process was, okay, I’ll sell these rings one time. The people who are wanting one can get one and then that’ll be it.

Tristen Ikaika : (09:14)
Like I’ll go back to filming weddings. I wasn’t in my head, I wasn’t launching a brand, which I think almost played to my advantage because it didn’t have to be perfect. It just had to work like the site had to work once. That was it. I didn’t, I didn’t have to figure all these things out cause it was just going to happen one time. So my friends have an eCommerce business thread wallets, so I went to lunch with them and they, I feel like I owe so much to them because they sat me down and said, okay, here’s how you work Shopify, here’s what you’re going to use for shipping. It’s called ShipStation. You’re going to come over to our office and use our label printer. We have leftover envelopes that you can use and kind of, they really showed me like the backend side of how to do things, which I’m forever grateful for because I don’t know what I would’ve done if they didn’t.

Tristen Ikaika : (10:02)
And so I told everyone I was going to launch December 3rd at 6:00 PM and I randomly decide how many to sell and what price to sell for. I just knew that I wanted to sell them, but if it was going to be cheap, the product was going to feel cheap. So almost pricing it higher was going to make it feel nicer. As consumers, we just tell ourselves that a $200 coat is nicer than a $100 coat, even if it’s the same exact coat. Yeah. And I knew that if I wanted to price them like that, I also had to have packaging down because if I shipped just the ring in like a paper envelope and wrote the address with pencil, it wasn’t going to feel worth it. It had to be in a box and a nicer mailer. And I really wanted the packaging to feel nice.

Bart Bradshaw: (10:53)
So how did you decide how many to do? Did it take you a ton of time? Like where you’re basically like, I think I can put like, you know, 50 hours into this and then I’m going to be done or, yeah.

Tristen Ikaika : (11:05)
So I, I had made rings obviously for seven years and so I kind of knew how my operation went, but the thought of selling it, I just went out and collected as many spoons as I could, different ones from random merchants or places.

Bart Bradshaw: (11:22)
And so was that part of it? Like the spoon that you get kind of defines what that ring is going to be like.

Tristen Ikaika : (11:29)
Yes. The designs on their ring and how it looks and feels. And I remember I went out and I found these forks and I have this like Fort green that I’ve sold throughout my whole business since day one and I remember going out and buying 10 I was like, okay, I think I can sell 10 of these. Like I hope and even buying 10 I was like, Oh I don’t if this is cause I didn’t have very much money. I got all so even buying 10 I was like I hope this works. Yeah. So I went out and shot a bunch of like pictures with my camera to post to like promo it on my Instagram and then I shot some product images, literally using black shirts on the floor and my camera to make it look like it was a professional product image. And launch-time comes around, it’s six o’clock and I’m still not done importing everything into my website cause I didn’t really know what I was doing. I didn’t know it’s going to take that long and so I’m uploading all these spoons and six o’clock hits and I just remember being so stressed. I was at my friend’s house and I switched tabs and refreshed my email and it was like, you have a new order, you have a new order, you have a new order.

Tristen Ikaika : (12:45)
I was like, like right away, right away I was freaking out because I’m like, I haven’t even posted that they’re live on my Instagram yet. Like people were just sitting there waiting. I was so stressed trying to get everything and once everything was up, I was just like watching these orders come in on my email and I was like freaking out that it was, people were actually buying them because I didn’t, I thought a few people were going to buy them like the people who had commented, but I didn’t think a lot of people would respond to it like they did. And so that night all the rings I had were gone. People bought all of them. There was like 102 maybe. And I remember I thought I was like, well those forks that I bought, I could just go back to the store and buy more.

Tristen Ikaika : (13:33)
So I was like, I could turn those back on. So I like put more in stock on my website and then after 24 hours I turned to off and I sold 86 more of them.

Bart Bradshaw: (13:45)
So it was kind of pre-sales. You were like, you’ll see how many sell and then I’ll, yeah, make more.

Tristen Ikaika : (13:49)
And then after those 24 hours I turned it off and I was like, I thought I didn’t even think I could sell 10 yeah, I sold almost a hundred like that was mind boggling to me.

Bart Bradshaw: (14:00)
And what kind of price points they were?

Tristen Ikaika : (14:02)
$24.99 okay. At time. So that actually does the way you described like 100 200 I was thinking maybe these would be more expensive, but $24.99 seems pretty reasonable for a cool handmade like spoon or fork ring.

Tristen Ikaika : (14:16)
Yeah, it’s all handmade by me. And they started at 24 99 and then I raised them to $29.99 just cause their shipping costs and a couple of other things that I wanted to make sure were covered in the price.

Tristen Ikaika : (14:29)
But I do have some rings that go up to $350.

Bart Bradshaw: (14:34)
It that just, is that based on the spoon that you buy or the fork that you buy to make it.

Tristen Ikaika : (14:38)
So that ring that was $350 was like, it looked like the Rolex logo. It was like a antique Rolex spoon. Cool. But initially they were all $24.99 okay. So that night were like Holy cow. Like I have, yeah. I was like, I might have something here. This is, this is something.

Bart Bradshaw: (14:57)
Um, and what’d you do next? Like obviously you had to make the rest of the rings and ship them out. And was that a like hard or pretty straightforward?

Tristen Ikaika : (15:05)
It definitely was hard at first. Most products, like a tee shirt, someone buys it, you go to the shelf, you pull it and you package it. Yeah. But mine was so different because I have this spoon and if you ordered it and you’re a size five or if you’re a size 13 I have to make that custom interest to whatever you are.

Tristen Ikaika : (15:23)
And also when I set up my site, I didn’t know how to add a size option because it’s so unique to how other brands work. Like they have three extra largest in stock, two largest, one medium where I have three of the product, but the size you tell me. So figuring that out on my online store was kind of tricky. And the first time I actually had to email every customer individually and say what size, what size you want, it was such a mess. I didn’t even know you could print order summary. So I would hand write them. It was definitely a learning curve and I went to the garage to start making them and my dad had just come home and he was like, he’s like, it’s way too cold out here. Like we have to put you in the basement. So I went to the basement and got to work on keeping all these spoons who ordered what?

Bart Bradshaw: (16:16)
I had masking tape that I wrote your order number, your initials in this size on and it was all over the place. They’re like inventory management, order management, trying to figure it out. Not one. I was just completely winging it and it took me about I think six days to get everything shipped and then I was like, well if they sold out, like I can do it again on Sunday. So then I did it again the next week and again they sold out well and I was like, what is happening? Like how is this happening?

Bart Bradshaw: (16:54)
So where people expressing like that they’re happy with the purchase and things like that?

Tristen Ikaika : (16:58)
And they were like, I can’t believe Tristen made this. Like I have a ring that he made on my finger. Like people were so hyped and to me it was like so humbling to see that because I’m like, this has been something that’s been a part of me since I was a little boy.

Tristen Ikaika : (17:13)
And so for it to be that long in the making and then like releasing something is pretty intimidating. Oh totally. Like if someone says a mean comment, like you feel that. Yeah. And I just remember seeing people respond to it saying like, well there’s gotta be more people out there who would respond similarly if that’s the way these first people are responding. And so my sister from Hawaii came up with her family for Christmas that year and kind of all been together in quite a few years. So I decided with the money I had just made to take everyone to Disneyland. Wow. And it was like this is your family. Yeah, there’s nine of us. So it was, it was super fun and I’m super glad I was able to do that.

Bart Bradshaw: (18:04)
This was, this was the money you made in the first round?

Tristen Ikaika : (18:08)
Yeah, from the first one. Wow. So you didn’t have a lot of money, you said? No. And now you had just made a lot of money and you were like, let’s go to Disney land. Cause like my family has never really been and I mean we’ve had kind of had some crazy health issues with my parents over the years and I’m like, you know what, time is not guaranteed. You can always make money back but you can’t get time back. Like let’s go make some fun memories. That’s cool. And then we went to Disneyland and I was like, okay well I could find some spoons here and when I come home I can release like a Anaheim collection. I didn’t want to call it Disney nine collection. And I did the Anaheim collection and I again like a great response and the next month I was going to Bahamas because I was still traveling cause I love doing it and it was great for like my Instagram.

Tristen Ikaika : (19:01)
So I was like, Oh wait, I could combine these two. Like I could use my passion for traveling and my passion for making rings could collect spoons when I travel and come home and do a Bahamas collection, a Japan collection, an excellent collection. And I wanted to keep traveling and I knew that it wasn’t sustainable the way I was doing it back then, but this way I was like, it’s a tax write off. Like I can justify it for my business. I can go and have fun and technically count it as work. And so that’s kind of how it evolved. After that Disneyland trip was an Anaheim collection and then next was Bahamas collection and India collection and it kind of just kept going from there.

Bart Bradshaw: (19:50)
I don’t know that I’ve heard a more kind of organic business creation story than this, like the fact that you were already making these rings, you’ve had never thought that, you know, this was something that you really wanted to take to market or something you weren’t really looking for a business idea per se, and your influence online or your following had grown organically just from you and your friend having having fun, going on travels.

Bart Bradshaw: (20:19)
You know, this is kind of a crazy organic story. Does it feel like that or did you feel that you had to really put a lot of thought and effort into figuring out what startup am I going to do? Cause it doesn’t sound like it.

Tristen Ikaika : (20:31)
Yeah, no, that actually means so much to me that you say that because it’s always been organic to who I am. So when other people can almost notice that too. It like really, really means a lot to me. I definitely didn’t think what business could I start? I didn’t think what’s going to work, what’s going to make me money. It was kind of just, I have this passion for making rings and I think people want some, so let’s try it. Yeah. And then it just kinda took off. Like at times I almost look back and feel like it all fell into my lap.

Tristen Ikaika : (21:06)
Like it just, it’s almost been two years of doing this and I look back and I’m like, I feel like it’s been two months. I don’t feel like I’ve been doing it for this long. Yeah, you’re loving it. I love it so much and it is true to my core who I am. I don’t know if you’ve heard Steve Jobs commencement speech he gave at Stanford where he talks about the dots and you can’t really connect the dots in your life looking forward, but you can connect them looking back. And I feel like that’s kind of what this is for me. Like when I was 12 and made that first spoon ring, I didn’t think I’d ever make income off of that. And also traveling, I didn’t think that would play a part into my business, but I kind of just ended up taking those two things that I loved and meshing them to create something I love even more.

Bart Bradshaw: (21:58)
Yeah. How great is it when your interests, your passions align with what the market wants and, and you know what you’re good at too. So you sell rings and you do these collections based on where you visit. Do you also do other things, right? Like presets, VAT, photo, video? You’re still kind of in that photography world a little bit.

Tristen Ikaika : (22:18)
Yeah. So me and my friend Indy did online presets and an online workshop about maybe a year and a half ago. No, about a year ago. So I made income from that. Especially when you first launch it, you get the biggest response and then we don’t really keep pushing it every day like some people do. So I don’t really make money from that anymore necessarily. Here and there. Yeah, it was initially the boom was when we launched it, but I would say for sure majority of my income is from my rings.

Bart Bradshaw: (22:55)
Yeah. Now this is awesome. I love this story. And at this point, do you have anybody working for you or helping you with, you know, the rings or anything else?

Tristen Ikaika : (23:04)
At the very beginning it was just me and my dad or help, but as I’ve grown, each collection has gotten bigger and bigger that I physically can’t do it all myself. So I have brought people in around the drops who will put the shipping labels on the envelopes for me or do different parts of the writing process. I still do all the actual bending, but other parts of the, the whole process I’ve had to outsource or else it would take me,

Bart Bradshaw: (23:32)
Cause you’re selling things to hundreds and hundreds of people every day.

Tristen Ikaika : (23:35)
I remember my black Friday collection was over 2000 rings. Okay. And it was all me and my dad and it took me 14 days to everything and was from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. Yeah. And there was like, I can’t do this anymore. Like I’m losing my mind. I can’t get anything. Like I work all day and at the end of the day I look at everything to do and I feel like I didn’t even make a dent in it. I’m like, I just need some help, but I want it. I still want to be the one making the rings because that’s my brand. It’s me. It’s their mind, you know? Yeah.

Bart Bradshaw: (24:09)
So it it hard to decide like what could someone do in this process? Like what could someone else do?

Tristen Ikaika : (24:14)
Yeah. And it’s definitely hard, especially at the beginning, to give up control to other parts of your business because you know exactly how it needs to be done. So putting that trust in someone else’s, it’s scary, but it’s something that I tell my friends who start businesses. I’m like outsource as soon as you can because you need to be the one owning the business, not necessarily running the business, right? You got to have people doing all the tedious stuff for you so you can do the stuff that only you can do. And anyone can put labels on envelopes. I don’t necessarily need to be doing that, right? But the other part that I know only I can do is why I need to be the most focused on.

Bart Bradshaw: (24:53)
So if you think about our listeners, they’re builders at various points, right? Some haven’t even started yet, but they’ve got an idea in mind. Some are waiting for the perfect situation like you where their passions just turned into this opportunity. Others are on the road, they’ve already started something maybe even fairly far along. What does your unique experience up to this point make you think? In terms of like advice that you can give? Like what advice would you give to these people? And you can even say like, you know, this is mainly for this segment that hasn’t started yet or you know, but I’d love to hear some of your unique advice.

Tristen Ikaika : (25:32)
So two things. Number one would be doing something that’s organically you, which people say a lot like do what your passionate about. And I feel like it’s almost overkill, how much you hear it, but at the end of the day when you run a business, you have to put so many long hours and so many, so much hard work into it that the only way you’re going to be able to put that much into it is if you really care about it. Yeah. So if you’re trying to fake it and do something that you just think is going to make you money, you’re going to get out. And I’ve seen friends even try to do it and they were out because they don’t care that much about it. And maybe you don’t even know you care about it yet, um, until it comes along. But you got to find something that you’re willing to do anything for to stay up till 4:00 AM a week in a row because that’s how much you care about it.

Tristen Ikaika : (26:25)
Right. And then the other thing is the hype before you launch it, I would say has been one of the biggest things I found out is all my promotion and my focus into hyping up a collection goes into, before it, I post stories of little sneak peeks of what’s coming and I repost messages from people saying that they hide out in the bathroom at work so they can make sure they grab a ring before anyone else does. Because when other people see that they feel, it’s like a scarcity business model, but people feel like it’s worth getting if everyone wants it. Right. So even if you have to fake it till you make it and post that, everyone wants it, even if they don’t, it’s so important to create a demand for your product.

Bart Bradshaw: (27:22)
Yeah. We went to a marketing conference recently where the suggestion was basically like 60% of your marketing effort and budget should go into the lunch like before launch basically. Yeah. And then it’s really just 40% that’s left for like after the fact, you know, promoting something that seems consistent, maybe even more of your effort. Like especially with yours, if it’s like things pretty much sell out on day one or two of when you launch something and so all of your effort goes into, you know, getting people prepared to be there and take advantage if they want to.

Tristen Ikaika : (27:59)
A thousand percent. Most my last collections have sold out in under an hour and it’s a pro and a con. Theoretically I only make money 28 minutes a month or whatever it is and the rest of the month I can’t run ads or do anything like that. But it’s worked for me. I know it won’t work for everyone, but for me it’s worked because on my Instagram I don’t have to be promoting my product every day. I don’t have to be shoving it down people’s throats.

Tristen Ikaika : (28:25)
It’s I do. I feel like I do it in a way that is just organic again and I can really promote two or three days before the launch and especially the day of it launches. I sell my product and then it’s done and they get to work on making everything. I think definitely the showing everyone else that there’s a demand that people want it, that people are wearing it, that people think it’s cool and people are going to these crazy extents to make sure that they purchase a ring before someone else does has been one thing that’s been huge for me and I’ve seen other people, you know, start doing these collections and they sell out and you have to get it or it’s going to be gone forever.

Bart Bradshaw: (29:12)
Yeah. So one of the reasons we brought you on Tristan is, you know, and I loved the organic story that you have, but you’re fairly early, right?

Bart Bradshaw: (29:21)
You’re just a couple of years in and sometimes we interview people who are like nine, 10 years in and it’s clear that they’ve already kind of quote unquote built their business to stay. They’ve been in it for at least a certain amount of longterm. Right. How do you think about the future and how do you think about like making sure that you’re building something that will stick around that, that say that for the longterm and that you can continue to find longterm success and happiness with?

Tristen Ikaika : (29:48)
Yeah. I remember when I first launched, I’m like, I don’t even know how long I’ll be doing this. I don’t think I’ll do it for a year. Like that seemed long to me and now almost two years old, I look back and I’m like, no, I’m just getting started. Like I’ve just got everything down. And looking into the future is almost intimidating because you obviously don’t know where it’s going to go and when you run your own business, you’re your whole income.

Bart Bradshaw: (30:14)
So if things don’t go great, you don’t get a paycheck. So some things I do is I have this big whiteboard and I write all my future ideas of things I want to do. Earlier this year I introduced original designs. I went to China and I had them design rings for me and I had them manufactured there. Oh well I had the manufacturer, I was like a bar almost like how a spoon is. And so when I got it I could still size it and make it like I do all my other pieces right. But I could get a bigger quantity. Yeah I can promote that design. If people want that design, they can come back and purchase it on launch day. So for me right now I see my next steps being more original designs that I manufacture in China and I just started putting my logo on my pieces so people know that their mind.

Bart Bradshaw: (31:07)
And I’ve been working on like a press box to send out to friends and influencers and people like that to kind of get my name out. But as far as like a five year plan, I honestly have no clue. I mean time’s not guaranteed. You know, you don’t even know if you have five years. So I always try to just focus on even next month, like what am I going to do next month to make it even bigger than it was this month? Am I going to do an original design? Am I gonna try to find gold pieces? Am I going to do this shoot to promote it? I guess as far as expanding, I want to get to that point and I’m still learning, but right now my goal is just to really crush it and kill what I’m doing. And I mean I’ve grown significantly each drop as I’ve gone on and I think as long as I continue to hustle and really focusing on the ideas that I think are going to work each time when I look back over the long run, I, it’s going to get me way further than I thought I would be.

Bart Bradshaw: (32:16)
Yeah. At least that’s how it’s been like up to this point. I never thought I would have my own pieces made in China ever. And so I think just hustling on your ideas and really zooming in on the ones that you think can make it is what’s gonna keep me alive and keep it growing.

Tristen Ikaika : (32:35)
Do you feel like some of the decisions that you’re making are investments in like original designs and things like that are a little more long term than short term or do you feel like there a balance or like how do you think about that? I would absolutely say they’re longterm. I remember when I placed the purchase order for the original design, I was just like, man, I hope this works or else I am in trouble. And so I think to like making that decision to make that bigger investment is I’m like, okay, I’m committed to this now I’m going to really promote this and sell it and show people what I’ve done and get them to respond to it.

Bart Bradshaw: (33:14)
Very cool. Well Tristen, we really appreciate you taking the time today. It’s an awesome story.

Tristen Ikaika : (33:19)
Well, thank you for having me on. I’m honored. I’m a big fan of the podcast.

Bart Bradshaw: (33:24)
Where can people find your website and Instagram?

Tristen Ikaika : (33:28)
So my Instagram is Tristen, T, R, I, S, T, E, N, I, K, I, K, A, and then my website is

Bart Bradshaw: (33:35)
Cool. We’ll have that, uh, on our website as well in case people didn’t catch the Ikaika and how to spell that. Yeah. Again, thanks for coming on and builders. Make sure to be thinking about how you can bring your passion into what you’re doing. I completely agree with Tristen’s advice. The more that you can mix your passion with what you’re doing, the more that you can kind of get through the hustle and and feel good about it. Also, you can find our show notes on

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