What led you to start your own company?
Growing up in boarding school in Geneva, Switzerland, I was always disheartened to see the disappearance – and subsequent lack of any reemergence of any great American watch company.
Where did you get the startup money?
Presold pieces online via a made-to-order business model.
What was the biggest challenge?
Satisfyingly transitioning the image in my mind to metal is probably the one that keeps me up at night. However, working through the kinks and nuances of a product with so many sensitive components can be pretty painstaking.
What was the most important lesson you learned?
Don’t rush the process and take care of your clients.
How many hours a day do you put in?
Does your youth lead to awkward situations, such as when you supervise older workers?
Sure, but it only really becomes awkward if you make it awkward.
Will you start another company?
Absolutely, but for now, Refined Hardware is the focus and vision.
Could you ever work for someone else?
Definitely. I would be happy to work under someone I respected. I don’t think you can be a great leader yourself until you’ve worked for someone else.
What do you do to relax?
Race motorcycles. It’s one of the few times you can force yourself to have to be in the moment, with only one thing on your mind, and truly realize the more you relax, the faster you are and smaller the bumps feel.
GARRET DAVIS, 22
Refined Hardware Watch Makers, Los Angeles
Financials: More than $300,000 in first-year revenue.
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