Mike Xhaxho, an Albanian-American entrepreneur, started his career in finance and investment banking. After leaving finance, he created one of the first creator led fitness app business, which he scaled and sold, before finding his way into e-commerce and importing rattan bags. In 2020, he noticed a whitespace in the market around hydration products, and Waterboy was born.
On this episode of DTC POD, join hosts Blaine Bolus and Ramon Berrios as they chat with Mike Xhaxho, creator of Waterboy, a popular TikTok account and brand. Mike shares his unexpected journey from starting a personal TikTok account to gaining millions of views and launching a successful product. We chat about the power of storytelling in his videos and the importance of using the right strategies to establish your brand online. We also talk about partnering with creators in consumer businesses, testing before scaling, and how to run effective pre-sales and product drops.
1. Viral TikTok to launch brand
2. Building a brand and community
3. Creator as a Co-Founder
4. Product development and variety
5. TikTok, Meta, and Amazon for sales and growth
6. Transparency & Authenticity with customers
7. Retail expansion plans
02:13 Entrepreneur journey: finance, fitness, Amazon.
05:06 TikTok success to product launch.
10:01 Shopify site, simple SMS-targeted page.
12:22 First successful video: personal story.
15:43 Packaging issues, flavor change, delays.
19:10 Similar background, variable metrics, creator role.
23:02 TikTok, Meta ads, Amazon reliance.
27:52 Ignored algorithm, focused on engagement.
31:21 Hero product lacked variety, differentiation.
33:17 Transparency, mistakes, cautious growth.
36:18 Over-involved in sourcing, logistics.
39:54 Product expansion, brand building, retail success.
43:35 Waterboy.com bought after six-month pivot.
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Past guests & brands on DTC Pod include Gilt, PopSugar, Glossier, MadeIN, Prose, Bala, P.volve, Ritual, Bite, Oura, Levels, General Mills, Mid Day Squares, Prose, Arrae, Olipop, Ghia, Rosaluna, Form, Uncle Studios & many more.
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