What Owners Need to Know About Strategic Partnerships – James Morin

What Owners Need to Know About Strategic Partnerships - James Morin

There are many paths to growth in business, but one that’s proved successful for Maine-based FlowFold is in creating beneficial partnerships, most famously with L.L. Bean on their signature Bean Boot. Co-founder of FlowFold, James Morin, shares with us what owners can look for in strategic partnerships that benefit both sides.

Rich: Our next guest is a Maine native and a 2010 UMaine alum. He started his sales career at a Fortune 500 medical device company. From there he joined Putney, a Portland based startup specialty pharmaceutical company. They raised $60 million in fundraising and sold for $200 million in 2016.

Following the acquisition, our guest became co-owner of Flowfold. A company he’s been affiliated with since college, Flowfold is an American-made manufacturer and retail company that builds quality everyday gear and is based out of Gorham, Maine. We’re very excited to be chatting with James Morin. James, welcome to the podcast.

James: Thanks for having me, I’m excited.

Yury: We are excited as well. James, can you tell us a little bit about the origin story behind, Flowfold and how did you get started with Flowfold?

James: Yeah, it’s your quintessential broken stoke story, right. And I don’t get tired of saying it, I’m sure some people get tired of hearing about it. But Charlie, who was the founder of the company, with Devin McNeil and then myself. We all went to college together at the University of Maine, like you had mentioned. And Charlie was working in a sail loft in high school and then into college. And at the end of every day he would literally go into the trashcan and pull out scraps of sailcloth, this completely high tech material, UV resistant, designed to be on the ocean and salt and waves and wind. And it was going to stay in a landfill for, God, pretty much forever. And so Charlie, who was a civil engineering student at the time and really had this eye towards sustainability, he said, “You know, there’s got to be something that we can use this material for.”

And we started with wallets. I mean, there’s no other way to say it. Like we sold wallets out of the trunk of our car and kind of built a business around this idea of taking really high tech sustainable fabrics and putting them to a second use.  And that was how the company was started. It was a part time job, really a hobby, for five years until 2016 we raised a little money and then that’s when the other pharmaceutical company sold and we kind of all went in full time at that point.

Rich: So were you selling these when you were still in college, or did that come post-college?

James: No, the LLC was officially founded in 2010, so we’re approaching our 10 year, which is making me feel a little old. But Amazon, we were one of the first people that got on Amazon. Which looking back was actually really, it’d be like setting up a Facebook page first. You know, it was important to get up there early, get those reviews, and now we have 500-1,000 reviews on our products on Amazon, which we know is really important.

And then we launched a WooCommerce site. It was really kind of garbage compared to what we are now as far as our Shopify page. And slowly but surely scaled up with really large partnerships like LL Bean, Urban Outfitters and REI.

Yury: Did you, at the time, did you manage any other ecommerce platforms or Amazon was just main play for you guys?

James: It was Amazon and just our global.com. That was pretty much it besides, I mean, we still did a large proportion of our sales at local trade shows and fairs. You know, we’d set up tables downtown Portland and sold wallets to people coming off the cruise ships so that, you know, we’re talking low six figures in revenue. It’s not big numbers back then and compared to now and compared to obviously where we want to be.

Yury: But I think it’s important, for our listeners to realize that it doesn’t have to be a home run right out the gate. You know, it’s nose to the ground, putting yourself in front of the customers, building your client lists and just slowly but surely growing into the level where you may actually succeed and be a celebrated business.

James: Well I think yes, I mean there’s no question about that. That isn’t an option. I think obviously we had the benefit of being okay with being broke, right? I mean we were in college, I think that if you were a 38, 39 year old single father or a single mother, it’s a little bit of a different story.

And I also think that, you know, we may get into this, but money right now seems to be fairly cheap. And there’s a lot of startups, especially B2C startups that are just raising tremendous amounts of capital and basically putting out products at a loss. And I think that if we were to be competing against that now, I’m not sure you could do it. You know, I think that it was the Wild West back in those days on Amazon 2010, 2011, 2012, you could reach out to individual customers and ask for their email and say, “Would you write us a review? We’ll give you 30% off our website.” You can’t do that now.

And so I think it has changed. I do think it’s still possible. I think you can have your nine to five, I think you could start a secondary business, sell some things online, and learn for free through YouTube and podcasts like this on how to really create an ecommerce company. But it is challenging until maybe some money becomes more expensive.

Rich: I’ve heard you talk about the benefits of partnership and how it has helped Flowfold. Can you talk a little bit about how that’s helped your growth and how it’s shaped the company?

James: Yeah, absolutely. I think when you’ve heard of partnerships, and there are obviously several different versions of this, but specifically we’ll talk a lot about collaborations. And you know, collaboration, there can be many different forms of a collaboration that can be small. You could collaborate with a local nonprofit and give a certain percentage of your proceeds away to that nonprofit. Or you could collaborate with a really well established company in business that teaches you and your company things that you might not have gotten access to.

So that that’s one real main benefits if you want to refer to like what the benefits of Flowfold was from these partnerships is getting access to, in the case of LL Bean, which is what primarily people want to talk about, which I don’t have a problem with a hundred years of knowledge in the outdoor industry. And so when we partnered with them we basically, I like to say it’s like time travel. We can reach into their breadth and their depth of knowledge and not make some of the mistakes that they have or they are aware of because they’ve been around for so long.

And so, you know, that’s the very obvious tangible benefits to Flowfold. There’s a whole sort of more, I guess, esoteric kind of benefit, which is you get access to a new customer base.

Rich: Well that’s what I would’ve guessed with the biggest one is all of a sudden you are in there their brochures and on their website and, and that’s got to be huge for a company like Flowfold at that point.

James: Right. But what’s interesting is, you know, we were in LL Bean stores since 2016 when we raised our money. That was effectively to be able to scale up within LL Bean. Because that’s much, you know, getting into LL Bean is much different than selling wallets out on a table. So we scaled up and we’ve been in LL Bean. And so I think that the big difference between just getting access to that LL Bean brand and getting awareness to that customer and then what a collaboration brings to the table, is really a unique story that kind of differentiates.

And the bean boot is the quintessential example, putting Flowfold on an LL Bean boot in spring of this year was the first time in the 107 year history of LL Bean where there was another logo on that boot. That’s important because it was a story. It was unique. I mean I got emails from press being like, how the hell did you do that? And I’m not sure if that’s ok to just swear or..?

Rich: Peter Del Greco just went off the other day. You’re all set.

James: But like they were literally, they wrote me, the subject line I’ll never forget was like, “How did you do this?” And it was this way of separating. You had a company that was in the billions and a company that was in the millions and they came together to solve a really unique problem and tell a story. And that was the story is what got the eyebrow eyeballs to Flowfold. And that was obviously a huge benefit. But you know, we can talk about how LL Bean certainly benefited as well.

Yury: Well, you know, before we get into that story and you talk about the importance of partnerships and the kind of like the different variations or different ways that can present itself. Were there any other partnerships before LL Bean that helped you to get there?

James: Yes. Well, I think in order to accomplish, you know, a lot of people said, how did it happen? It happened because it took four years to establish that line of trust with LL Bean. In 2016 I would have gone in and said, “Hey guys, you know, Steve Smith, can I put Flowfold on your bean boot?” They would’ve laughed very hard and then kicked me out of the Freeport headquarters probably and left again and then laughed again after. I was not in respect. And rightfully so.

I think back then it was a slow progression, which most people don’t really realize is in 2016, we launched the wallets and for stores and for holiday trial basically. And they were like, look, if you can’t sell this particular item and gift item during the holidays, it’s just not going to work.  And so we had to prove that. And then once those sold, we said, all right, can we get wallets online? Can we get wallets in all stores? And then we proved that out. And then we said, you know what, we’d like to make a special fabric in your LL Bean green color and start selling some bags.

We had to prove that out. And then we did a collaboration of bags. We had to prove all of these steps before I can go in there. We could go in there and say, “Hey, we’ve got something kind of crazy, a little bit innovative. We want to hit your Vanguard product. We want to hit the boot, and we had to do that. And so that was internally a big step.

Now when you’re referring to sort of, did we kind of get our collaborations like training wheels and we certainly had some smaller scale collaborations that we had done to understand sort of the marketing benefit of collaborations prior to just going all in with LL Bean.

Yury: Did you work with company? Well, I mean not company, organizations like SBA or SCORE, or have you tapped into any of those resources prior to getting to the LL Bean level?

James: Yes, we are SCORE company and so we have Nancy Strone as our mentor. She’s fantastic. I’m sure you’ve had other people on here that have Nancy as their mentor. And we’ve also partnered with MITC, Maine International Trade Center has sent us all over the world to meet with international distributors and get our products across country lines.

We’ve also partnered with MTI, we’re an MTI member company. They’ve supported us in the form of multiple grants. So I think that there’s a tremendous amount of resources locally in the state of Maine that have helped us get to where we are. None of them obviously gave us the courage necessarily to go and ask for the bean boot collab. That’s something that we had to do. But they supported us as we figured out how we were going to grow and scale to be able to meet those needs.

Rich: You mentioned a couple of benefits along the way. One being you can tap into your partner’s current customer database and get access to their platforms. Also the knowledge base that might come when you’re working with a more established company. Before I ask my next question, are there any other benefits that come to mind as you’re listing off the benefits of partnerships?

James: You can de-risk some things. And I think that in LL Bean’s case, we’ve gone to them on multiple occasions and said, if you have something, if you have a design that’s more progressive or something you’re not sure is going to do well, I’m glad and happy to kind of take on that risk because my customer base is a little bit on the younger side. We’ve seen like different types of colors, poppier colors, or different types of designs. So in LL Bean’s case, I’m happy to be like,” Hey, if it doesn’t work, blame Flowfold.” You know, there’s that kind of give and take. This is what you guys do really well, this is what we do really well. And like any relationship, if you can pair those two things together and kind of fill gaps, it’s a huge advantage.

Rich: Okay, that makes sense. So with the benefits in place for a company like yours, and I guess this kind teased what you just said. The flip side of this, what’s the benefit for LL Bean? Like the bottom line is, they’re LL Bean, they’re big. If Flowfold didn’t come along, they would probably still be in business.

James: I think so. Yeah, I think so. I think they’d be doing just fine. I kind of joke, I think they have this quintessential LL Bean beanie, which has the Katahdin logo on it. It’s green and yellow, I don’t know if you can visualize this, but I think that hat in the last year probably sold more revenue than all a Flowfold combined. Just to give you an idea of like the scale of these two companies.

I think that every company, no matter how big – and I don’t know who your listeners are – but every company, no matter how large, whether it’s nine figures or eight figures or six figures, everyone’s fighting for attention right now, period. And really what’s interesting is it’s like everyone’s on the same playing field and there’s a competition right now for cheap attention that no one’s going to win. So you have to figure out other creative ways to get attention other than just trying to be the cheapest one out, there because that’s just not going to get long term engagement in a high lifetime value of that customer.

And so that’s what this did. LL Bean easily could’ve launched another boot, but I don’t believe respectfully that they would have been featured in outside magazine for just any new boot. But you put recycled sailcloth and a $1 million company with a $1 billion company and they create this really cool outdoor, springtime waterproof boot. Then outdoor magazine calls it ‘perfect’. And they did. If you look, Outside Magazine said, “LL Bean launches a new collaborative bean boot, that’s perfect.” Which was like something I’ll frame and put on my house for probably a very long time.

Yury: It’s like an apex of business ideas, you know more with the marketing and kind of not necessarily cultural trend, but it’s like a weirdness of all those things combined that feels like it led to where you guys are.

James: Especially retail right now is a very interesting, it’s a very interesting pivot. It’s a very competitive space. It’s got margin pressure, margin constraints, you have as transition of digital platforms, omnichannel. And what’s happening is that there’s just so much noise in the marketplace. And I don’t want to be myopic on retail because I think there’s noise everywhere. And so it’s about figuring out how do you cut through that noise and make your message the one that customers are hearing.

And yes, Flowfold and LL Bean made the bean boot. But if you remember correctly, KFC sent chicken to space. I mean, no one’s eating KFC in space. So it’s about creating a story, something unique that people can talk about, share with each other and be like, “Hey, did you guys hear what KFC is doing?” Or you know, that’s just one example.

But there’s a lot of examples of successful collaborations that aren’t just about revenue and bottom line.
And I think that that’s also important to discuss at some point too. Like, what are your goals with this collaboration? Because once you identify that your tactics or your objectives are going to change based on those goals.

Rich: Well that’s an excellent next question. So let’s ask, I mean that’s just a great point. So why don’t we talk a little bit more or why don’t you talk a little bit to that point.

James: I think regardless of whether it’s collaborations, a hiring strategy, a marketing strategy, a PR strategy, one of the first things that any company should do regardless of size is, you figured out what your goals are and you work backwards. Goals, objectives, strategies, tactics. And I think if you focus just on collaborations, there’s a lot of different buckets. But I would say there’s collaborations that are around, you know, revenue. Let’s pair up with another company or another organization that’s going to create something with high margins, have a good selling price, and create some bottom line for both of us.

I think there’s collaborations that you could do that are more around awareness. I mean that bucket would probably be the example of KFC or Red Bull doing the highest ever freefall jump from space. You know, those types of things are probably more around awareness and indirect increase in sales by getting more people’s attention.

And then I think there’s a whole other bucket which I’m passionate about, which is more of the philanthropic angle. A collaboration doesn’t have to necessarily be about money. I mean, if you look at what Falafel did back in, I believe it was 2017, we partnered with Women United around the world in a collaboration where it was an organization that trained women refugees how to sew so they could find gainful employment. And what we decided to do with them, it was, I mean I met Adele who was the president of the organization. She was one of the most impressive, fascinating women I’ve ever met in my life, and we wanted to really support her. So we donated a bunch of scrap fabric, some template files and said, I want you and your students to create these bags just a hundred percent. Like we want them to build up some confidence and feel like designers and feel like that they’re really putting their heart and soul into these bags. And then you know what, we’re going to go ahead and list them. We’re going to sell them. I’m going to donate all the money back to you.

And you know, you could say yes, that generated certainly some awareness for us. But that was never really the purpose. It was a philanthropic endeavor. So you can kind of see like, all right, what are the goals of this collaboration that we’re thinking about when you’re coming up with your strategy and then you drill down into tactics. Because if you want to make money or if you want to just build awareness, how you execute that is going to be very different depending on what that top goal is.

Yury: So James, phenomenal insights. We can keep on going and going, but we will also want to make sure that we give some additional insights to the listeners and those who are interested in going out there and starting to working or developing the partnerships. How do they go about it? Where do they start?

James: I think that the first thing would be look at where your business is now. And then figure out what your needs are, what your gaps are. And here’s a really good example. Flowfold is a wallet company. I mean we have a lot of other items right now, but we started out as a wallet company.

Yury: Trust me, I have one.

James: Thank you. And everyone’s like, we’re an outdoor company and everyone has said for a really long time, why don’t you have a fly fishing wallet? And the answer is really obvious. Like none of us fly fish.  Yes, in theory it’s a good idea for us to have a fly fishing wallet, but we don’t know how to execute that well. And an example of options.  I mean, we could either execute long-term patience, do some customer reviews, go out and buy some things, reverse engineer some things, get some ambassadors on board that are fly fishing experts, get that feedback, and then make a product and sell it.

Or we go out and we look for somebody who happens to already be an expert at making fly fishing gear and say, “We’re experts at making wallets. You’re experts at making fly fishing gear. Can we kind of join forces here and launch something and create that story?” And then you got to ask, I mean in many ways it’s like if you’re looking for a collaboration, it’s like dating. You don’t have a Bumble or Tinder to be able to pull this off. So you’re just going to have to go to the bar, get a drink and then go ask somebody. And there’s going to be more rejections in there aren’t going to be yes’s. And so at that point it just a numbers game.

Yury: So no proposals on the first date. Is that what you’re saying?

James: I mean you can, you might scare some people off. But I mean I think it’s important to view it that way and so understand what your needs are and then go out and try to source sort of a partnership that makes sense and be able to tell that compelling story of what value that I can provide you. Not just what value you can provide me, because obviously no one’s, I mean that’s sales, right? Like you want to be able to say like, “Hey, we were going to be able to provide this, we’re going to do the leg work, we’re going to do the design work, we’ll get you the prototypes.”  All you have to do is lend some your expertise. And in that particular case it’s a fairly easy sell.

Rich: James, in a situation like the one you just described where you might find this fly fisherman, a manufacturer, what does it look like in terms of numbers? Like how do you decide if you’re working on a product together, do you – and maybe the answer is it depends – but how do you decide who makes the profits off of that? Like who owns that?

James: Yeah. A lot of times like any sort of business relationship is going to depend on who’s doing what and what the impact is. And so I think it’s very dependent. An indirect way of asking or answering this question is like looking at some of the revenue models that you could do. One of which is obviously a royalty model where if I’m partnering with another company, we could make it, we could sell it and then they get a percent or a dollar value for every unit sold.

There’s just a pure split. Both companies are selling the product. Both companies can take whatever they sell on their own terms. And then there’s also more of like a wholesale sort of arrangement potentially, which is like, Flowfold is going to sell this wallet on our website. It’s going to be ours, but we’re going to buy the raw material from you. The felt that you put in your other Flowfold wallets, we’re going to buy that from you and you know, at a margin, at 30% or whatever. And then that individual company makes the money up front.

So there’s multiple ways of doing it. You can make the money upfront, you can make the money on a percent of sales, or you can make the money on the backend as far as the royalties are concerned.
And then it just about really determining, in some cases, who has the power.

So there’s probably always going to be a company that’s bigger than the other. It may be a rare situation where you guys are exactly the same size and you split it.  So determining that, and then determining who’s going to do the vast majority of the work. And then you kind of figure out, okay, if we’re going to be doing 90% of it, maybe we make 90% of it.  

Yury: So what do we do in situations where we need to kind of protect our assets in the partnership, how do we go about it?

James: Well, there’s the literal ones, which are the NDAs, if you need to. I remember with the boot specifically, it was hilarious because I was like, “Well, just give me your template and we’ll cut it out and we’ll make a sample”. And they’re like, “This is protected for like a hundred years.” So I was like, you know, face palm moment there.

But there are certainly NDAs that you can do to protect your assets. And then I always, whenever I’m approaching this, I always have kind of like checkpoints. And one really important question to ask is, “How far along are we going to get before we can’t cancel this anymore?” And just knowing that I’m working on a collaboration right now with this company that does nature blogs and they’re a huge organization that just gets out and they need a specific bag for all of their nature bloggers. And it’s fascinating how even niche markets in the United States can be fairly big, but this is one of them.

But you know, that that question was asked, “How far along can we go before we have to basically punt on this?” And I said, “Look, we’ll make you some samples.” We have a certain amount of time, effort, and energy that we’re willing to put in a before commitment. But there gets a point where you’re like, “All right, we need a commitment before we can spend any more R and D time on this.” And knowing what those points are is just really important. And so that way you don’t get too far down the road and all of a sudden one of the organizations says, “You know what? We don’t think this is a good story anymore.” But you have, you know, 150 hours of R and D time. So just knowing that and kind of laying it out and being totally transparent.

We said no to a very interesting collaboration with one of the leading craft brewers in the state because the story didn’t make sense anymore. And so we had to either pivot or figure it out. It’s not a ‘no’ permanently, it’s just this kind of got away from where we originally thought and now no longer makes sense. So let’s pause.

Rich: So I want to follow up on that because you mentioned ‘story’ a couple times and one of the benefits of partnerships is the way you see it could be the press side where it’s a noisy world, we’re trying to tell a unique story, be remarkable. Is there any unique aspects to telling a story about a partnership different than a typical PR play at all? Because it sounds like you’ve done a few, so you probably know how to get journalists excited about things like this, Outside Magazine or a local paper. What have you learned about promoting these partnerships to the press?

James: It certainly helps to have a big name like bean.

Rich: I can imagine. Yeah.

James: You know, so with the boot for example, or it’s like, you know, the subject line was, “Hey, LL Bean made the first collab boot in 107 years”. That wasn’t super challenging. But I think if you look sort of outside of that from a press perspective, I think as soon as you sort of identify – going back and talking about those goals – as soon as you sort of identify what that gap is that you’re trying to fill with this, then that’s going to kind of dictate your PR strategy a little bit. So in the event we’re able to close this collaboration for a fly fishing wallet as an example. You know, now all of a sudden we’d be more hyper focused on the fly fishing PR space.

And what that enables is, when you’re telling a story, when you’re writing the story, you’re playing this collaboration specifically around story and you already automatically know who your potential reader is, who your potential listener is. And that hyper focuses your target.

If Flowfold alone were to just launch of a fly fishing wallet, I can promise you no one would want to write about it. But if we were to partner with another really important brand in that space, then we would target that particular industry and then be able to maybe get something. Because as much as we want attention, PR wants attention to. And these magazines and the press, they want to cut through that noise. So if we give them something that no one’s read about before, it shouldn’t be a hard sell. The problem is they’re getting pitched on things that people would read about a whole lot, over again.

Rich: Makes sense.

Yury: So to prevent ourselves from getting in the situations when we’re not being heard, for those of us who want to learn from the best, what are the lessons that you can share with the listeners? What have you learned during these partnerships? And if there is anything that you wish you learned then, that you know now?

James: We’ve talked a lot about the benefits already. So I’m going to sort of answer a different question if you don’t mind. But what is one thing I would’ve done differently? And so our goal with the Bean boot was awareness. I talked about goals, objective strategy. And what I didn’t realize, I had never had the foresight that the LL Bean collaboration page on flowfold.com was our most visited page outside of our homepage for the last like six months or something. But our conversion rate was really low. And that’s like a shame on us situation, right? We executed perfect, we knew what our objective was, we knew what our strategy was, and we knew what our tactics were. We executed perfectly, we launched the Bean boot. But we never stopped to think about, hey, what happens if we’re successful? And what happens if we’re successful running an awareness campaign is we drive a whole bunch of people through our website.

But if you drive a whole bunch of people to your website and impressions are sky high, but you can’t convert any of them, you didn’t really succeed. And it’s not like our conversion rates were like 0.001, we still were able to convert some of these people to purchasing Flowfold. But I would have if I could do it all over again is probably spent more time building up the foundation of our website, getting that conversion rate higher, improving our layout. That way when we did have this influx of viewers – because that was the goal – then we would have been better prepared to capture their sales.

Yury: So it’s like, never be afraid to dream, but be careful what you wish for.

James: You’ve got to plan for success. What was really interesting is that we got so focused on the mission that we didn’t really think about how we were going to shore up the battlefield after the fact, you know, and it was a little shortsighted in hindsight. So that’s one thing I would change if I were to do it again. Or if someone’s thinking about, “Hey, this could be pretty big.” Make sure you’re in a position to take advantage of that and leverage that success when it happens.

Rich: Did you make changes to the page ultimately?

James: Yeah, we’ve been ever since we’ve been making changes to our website, we’ve increased our conversion rates. We’ve also made sure – as you guys probably know – the number one asset right now in any ecommerce is an email. So having a pop up when someone goes to this LL Bean pages is, “Hey, do you want more information on future collabs? Put your email here.” And then now we have the ability to target them, retarget them, and tell them about future launches. So not having those things in place, which just was silly, now we obviously learned and we were putting those things in place.

Rich: Plug that hole.

James: Yep.

Rich: So a question we ask all of our business experts here on the show is, what one thing could you change if you could, to improve the business ecosystem here in Maine?

James: It’s a really good question. I’ve heard a lot of really good answers on this. I’m sort of a romantic, so I’m going to, this isn’t exactly really like tactful or whatever. But I would like in my heart of hearts, I would like Maine to embrace both failure and success differently. And hear me out. You know, when Putney sold, taking a break from Flowfold, but when Putney sold to a company out of the U.K., it was a momentous occasion for, in my opinion, for Portland. You you see a vet cluster now that’s happening. And Putney sold, you have IDEXX, you have Covetrus, and all these things and Putney sold in it. And it laid off about half the employees right away. And all the story was that you had this rich individual entrepreneur who went out and raised a bunch of VC money in these VCs were greedy and they wanted to sell and a whole bunch of people in Portland lost their jobs.

And I just wished that we would embrace that a little differently. It was incredibly important. The amount of churn that happened from those people that lost those jobs and then went to Covetrus or, IDEXX, or now Rare Breed, which just raised $38 million in the vet space locally, like that happened. And I think that we would need to view that as a positive overall versus a negative, because we want people to come to Maine, create really big things and sell them. And if a lot of people lose their jobs, it’s unfortunate. But no one worked at Putney not thinking that was a possibility.

Rich: It’s an interesting take.

James: And she’ll probably get mad at me, but that entrepreneur, Jean Hoffman, was one of the most fantastic people I’ve ever worked for. And she personally wrote a check to every single employee that worked there as a thank you when the company sold, and no one wanted to write about that. So I think I want to embrace that. And you could actually theoretically view that as a failure because people lost their jobs.

And then alternatively, I think that Maine has such a rich heritage of humble, hardworking people. And I think that a lot of times entrepreneurs, if you go to Boston, New York City, San Francisco, there’ll be individuals who are raising half a million dollars who will say, you know, why aren’t you raising your seed round? You’re raising your $2 million or $3 million. But if you go around in Portland and you say, “I’m raising half a million dollars”, they say, “You know, is there a loan you could take out before you really need to do that? 

So it’s like, let people go ahead and fail. Because the bigger the risk, the higher the opportunity for innovation. And I think that we should embrace that.

Rich: Fantastic. Love that answer.

Yury: Wow. Thank you for coming.

James: Thank you for having me guys as well.

Rich: James, this has been great. If people want to learn more about you and your business, where can we send them?

James: Best place is, flowfold.com, and check it out, we got Father’s Day coming up soon in June. Hopefully it’s going to get warm eventually and wallets make a great gift.

Rich: Sounds great, James. Thanks.

James: All right, thanks guys.