Owner: Brennan Waldorf
Name: Canvy's Bag Company
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
Business Website: Canvy’s Bag Company
Meet Brennan Waldorf, a 23 year old recent college graduate in his second year of running his own business. What started as a simple idea soon transpired into a full blown fashion success. Brennan has had no prior experience running a business or working within the fashion industry, but he has the drive and belief that anything is possible. Brennan Waldorf solely owns and operates a one of a kind luxury travel bag shop online. He said, “Canvy’s Bag Company began with a simple search two years ago: the search to find the perfect duffel bag for an extended trip through Europe. I couldn’t find anything Made-in-USA that balanced rugged durability with stylish details at a reasonable price. So, with the help of my tailor, I learned to sew and designed my first bag.”
Learn From the Best
As a history major, Brennan wasn’t quite sure where to begin his business venture. He started off seeking advice from successful individuals currently in the industry. Open to learning, Brennan exposed himself to priceless experiences you can’t learn in a classroom. In between classes, he worked two different jobs to fund the start up costs to produce his first duffels and dopp kits.
The challenges of money flow, consistent sales and effective marketing can all become overwhelming to a business owner who is starting from scratch. In the fashion industry, not only are you funding all the material down to the thread color, but you also need to have the savvy edge of marketing your product. Brennan knows the image of your company can make or break your brand in the industry, which is why he carefully designed a one of a kind product that you can not find anywhere else.
When asked what the toughest challenge he has faced was, he said, “Periods of self-doubt. I’ve asked myself many times, ‘Am I making the right decision in taking an unconventional path?’ There’s a lot of societal pressure and so many naysayers when it comes to starting your own business and even the most resilient and independent people will experience periods of doubt. The key is to focus on the positives, speak with your mentor, and remember that above all else that if you love what you do success will follow.”
Love What You Do
Since the beginning of his journey, Brennan Waldorf has looked to the inspiring words from Mark Twain to motivate him during the hard times, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” Brennan said, “I knew it would be harder than any class I had taken in college, but when you love what you do nothing is really that difficult.”
Words of advice
Today we are fortunate to live in a world that provides countless resources to learn from that are only a click away. Many of these valuable resources will help you learn the fundamentals of owning a successful business. Brennan discovered his most valuable resource to this day, are the priceless relationships he established within his industry. He said, “People have been my greatest source of strength and wisdom, and have always be willing to share their successes and failures with me. Learning the business this way has been an absolute blessing. Don’t be afraid to ask those around you.” Brennan goes on to say, “My experience did not come from a book or a college course, it came from reaching out to professionals in the industry and learning from them. A few people have really mentored me along the way and have helped me understand the importance of quality construction and the technical side of manufacturing tremendously.”
In a world that thrives off of instant growth and prosperity, it can be easy to be swept up in the wave of success. It’s important to recognize your daily accomplishments, but to also remember your humble beginning. Brennan shares his secret of his personal success is maintaining an even balance of gratitude for where he started and how far he has come. Brennan shares, “Success for us is not defined in monetary terms, but in intangibles. Money, production quotas, and a host of other metrics pale in comparison to the emotional rush of pride when I see someone carrying one of our bags. Staying true to our founding values of entirely domestic production and finding ways to improve our products to further our travel lifestyle is real success.”