Esti Chazanow is a busy woman. Based in Miami, Chazanow is the cofounder and brand manager for Swiss watch company LIV . Though the brand has no problem selling its watches, its most recent accomplishment is pretty impressive. To raise funds for a new design, Chazanow turned to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
Not only was her $40,000 goal met within the first 34 minutes, but it was also exceeded. By the time the campaign ended last Friday night, LIV had raised $1,119,030, donated by more than 2,000 backers. But this wasn't the watch company's first attempt at crowdfunding.
“We were already on Kickstarter previously — at the end of 2014 — so we gathered hundreds of fans there,” Chazanow explains. Her co-creater, Chaz, started LIV because he wasn't satisfied with the watches on the market. According to the brand history, Chaz wanted a watch that embodied “strength, quality, and fashion,” stating that he felt there was a lack in the market that represented other “nonconformists” like himself.
LIV's most recent Kickstarter campaign, in which supporters backed the Genesis X1-A watch design, was such a success that it shattered a record and received the title of "Most Funded Timepiece" in the history of the crowdfunding website.
You're probably thinking, What makes this watch so different? Well, the timepiece has a starting price of $390, it's Swiss-made, and there are tons of customizable options. It's a pretty nice deal for a sleek Swiss watch.
The LIV Swiss Automatic has a long list of features that includes a double sapphire crystal front and back (which is both reflective and scratch-proof), it's water resistant up to 100 meters, and has an assortment of straps to choose from.
“We haven't skimped anywhere, and that's what makes us unique,” Chazanow says.
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The company's strong online presence also helps the with expansion of the brand. “After [the 2014 Kickstarter campaign], we sold through our website and on Amazon, where we become the number one customer-reviewed men's watch,” Chazanow explains. “People who bought our watch became avid fans and ambassadors for our brand. As soon as we were ready to launch and let them know about it, they helped us spread the word.”
LIV's shipping and logistics are done out of the company's Brooklyn office. Marketing, customer service, business development, and crowdfunding campaigns are handled in Miami. The watches themselves are made in Switzerland. Just like the intricate mechanism of a watch, the company has a lot of moving parts.
“I guess you could say the brains are here in Miami,” Chazanow jokes.