We had the good fortune of connecting with Angela Watts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angela, what is the most important factor behind your success?
My favorite quote is “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” by Zig Ziglar. When I think of this quote, I think of all the years of building up credit card debt and sleepless nights. I think of crying to my husband about needing to get a “real job” because I didn’t know how we were going to pay rent that month – then waking up to a call from Shark Tank to say we made it to the final casting round after 3 years of trying to get on the show. If it weren’t for our resilience and waiting for the right opportunity to help us springboard forward then we would not be where we are today. Every business owner needs resilience because there will be good days and bad days, you just need to stick around longer than your competitors.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My husband and I created Fun Brands which owns and manages multiple ecommerce business (Slyde Handboards, Veldskoen Shoes, and Thula Tula). We are essentially brand builders that have the processes set up to run multiple brands online. Our secret sauce is our story telling and all the ecommerce knowledge we have built over the past 10 years. I am most proud of our newest homegoods/blanket company, Thula Tula . Thula Tula, pronounced with a silent “H” are the words to a Lullaby African mothers sing to their children. Translated, Thula Tula means “hush-hush” baby. It is inspired by our daughter Venice and her Grandmother, Sheila, who passed away from Cancer in September 2018. Thula Tula was born out of the desire to not only honor her life but also to give back to the people of Africa. The land where she was born, lived and loved. We hope we do her proud. We have been in business for 10 years now. Our first 6 years were really tough, with lots of credit card debt and family loans. There were many days that I wanted to give up and was told by friends that I should get a “corporate job.” Those types of comments really just put fuel on the fire and pushed me to wanting to succeed and not give up. As for lessons I have learned, is that there will always be failures but it’s how fast you react and get back up will determine your success. No matter what happens with our businesses, I will always enjoy this crazy ride I have been on. My favorite thing to tell the world about my brand is that we are a true family business. We employee myself, my husband, my Aunt, my Dad and even my brother to help with video projects. We always hire friends when we can and love to support our local community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So my husband and I named our daughter, Venice since that is where we met. I would start for a bike ride to Cows End in Venice Beach for a good cup of coffee before a surf session just south of the pier (of course with a Slyde Handboard). Then we would go for a walk on the boardwalk before coming back for drinks and dancing at the Whaler. Venice Beach will always be a special place for me. It’s where I met my husband, started Slyde (on Rose Avenue), and met some of my best friends.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to Sam Simkin. I met Sam as a financial advisor while I was in the San Diego Sports Innovators Springboard program back in 2015. He only signed up to mentor me for a few months, but has stuck with me all these years. He still donates his time to me once a month to help me review our financials and go over anything else I need to talk to him about. I am truly grateful for him.