Today we’d like to introduce you to Andre Abreu.
Andre, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
June of 2015 was when Kingdom was started. It was started by me, at the time, a 20 year old college student looking to “create something” during his summer holiday.
My professional goals have always been related to creating new things, that’s why I enrolled college (ASU) as an Industrial Designer to be. After failing to pass the program’s Milestone I was trying to figure out what it was I could create that wasn’t a related to being an Industrial/ Product Designer. That’s when the idea of designing t-shirts with designer friends of mine came up.
After creating a brand that we believed and do more so now to be very iconic and unique, we got to making t-shirts and selling them online by the piece. No investment needed, no profit loss. Not much profit was done anyway and the company didn’t have much if any purpose at this point.
The company died down a bit until, while on family vacation in San Francisco looking through cool bike shops and cool coffee shops, my dad said as a joke that we should open a bike AND coffee shop. What started as a joke is now what got us where we are and is just the beginning of something so much bigger. That’s how we got into the bicycle design business that we are so passionate about.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There has been nothing smooth about the road that has gotten us here. Not only did it take forever to give the brand credibility but it also did and is still taking a long time to give the company awareness.
We’ve gone through every issue a start-up goes through: choosing the wrong place to open a store (too expensive), not investing enough on marketing, not investing enough on the team (training and numbers), and others.
We’re at a point where we know what mistakes we did and what the way forward is. We are officially closing our physical store on December 14th (to be announced December 4th, can’t be public before then). There will be a going away party for the physical store on Friday, December 15th.
This means we’re focusing on what we believe to matter most–our product and our communities. We’re coming out with two new amazing bicycle models at the end of 2017 and are investing in opening “Chapters” all over the world where no matter where you are you can join our communities.
Kingdom Life & Bike – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Kingdom is a single-speed bicycle company. We focus on coming up with new and innovative designs for fixed-gear bicycles in the world. We are known for the ease of customization on our bicycles, the simple design they have and the friendliness and unity of our communities.
We are mostly proud of the people that have joined us throughout time and that have helped building these communities we are so proud of. That is why we exist and are still here. That is too what sets us apart because we are not a company focused on making money or meeting certain profit numbers because in the end that’s not what motivates us to get up every morning to work on this amazing company.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success by the way I am able to affect others in a positive manner. That can be my team, my costumers, and friends’ family. I have no intent on making myself reach or very well known. If I die having made one person’s life better, I will have had a successful life.
There isn’t much I would tell someone to look out for when interacting with others. All I would say is to be yourself in the most honest and raw manner possible so that real and significant relationships can be created.
- KAS 1.0 (our first and only currently available bicycle mode) is $450.
- Our t-shirts range from $20 to $25.
- Address: 1015 S Rural Road, Suite 106. Tempe, AZ 85281 (Closing on December 14th to be announced on December 4th).
- Website: http://madebykingdom.com/
- Phone: (480) 765-2103
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/madebykingdom
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/madebykingdom
Jessica Tindall on the picture with the light flare.