Kevin Warnock

Entrepreneurship, ideas and more

Modify Watches retail launch party at Hangr 16 boutique in San Francisco, California USA, August 9, 2012

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Fans try on Modify Watches August 9, 2012 at Hanger 16 launch event in San Francisco

Fans try on Modify Watches August 9, 2012 at Hanger 16 launch event in San Francisco

On Thursday, August 9, 2012 I attended the retail launch party for Modify Industries, Inc.

Aaron Schwartz, left, CEO of Modify Watches, checks out an Apple iPhone app August 9, 2012 at Hanger 16 at 3128 16th Street, San Francisco, California USA

Aaron Schwartz, left, CEO of Modify Watches, checks out an Apple iPhone app August 9, 2012 at Hanger 16 at 3128 16th Street, San Francisco, California USA

Modify Industries is the company behind the colorful and fashionable silicone rubber Modify Watches brand watches that feature time pieces that without tools may be interchanged between bands. You can see people wearing Modify Watches in the top three photographs that illustrate this post. The watches come in two sizes. There are dozens of time pieces and dozens of straps (bands) to select from.

Modify Watches was a finalist competitor in the 2012 Berkeley Startup Competition at the University of California. That competition is very competitive, and it’s very difficult to become a finalist, as there are only eight per year, while most years more than 100 teams apply to compete.

I am friends with Modify CEO Aaron Schwartz.

Click here to see all my blog posts, past and future, that I have written about Modify Watches.

Modify has focused its attention on eCommerce sales and enterprise sales. It has achieved impressive success in both areas, selling to big companies including Google.

Fans modding Modify Watches at August 9, 2012 launch event at Hanger 16 boutique in San Francisco

Fans modding Modify Watches at August 9, 2012 launch event at Hanger 16 boutique in San Francisco

Now Modify is moving into retail by selling to boutique retailers.

One such boutique is Hangr 16 at 3128 16th Street in San Francisco, California USA, near Valencia Street. Hangr 16 carries the Modify line of products. The store’s energetic and charismatic buyer, Liddy Parlato, decided to sell Modify’s eye catching line after she opened an email targeted to her store from the company. Parlato told me she gets 30 pitches a day by email. Parlato’s store is spare and elegant, with a well curated selection. It’s not jammed with hundreds of product lines like many boutiques. Thus, Parlato’s decision to carry Modify’s products is a win for Schwartz and his team. Parlato is one of four owners of Hanger 16. She comes from a background in advertising, not retail.

While researching this blog post, I learned that Hangr 16 was voted the Best Clothing Store for Men by readers of the San Francisco Bay Guardian weekly newspaper. That makes the store’s decision to sell Modify Watches all the more special.

Modify Watches still life at Hanger 16 retail launch event August 9, 2012 at 3128 16th Street San Francisco, California USA

Modify Watches still life at Hanger 16 retail launch event August 9, 2012 at 3128 16th Street San Francisco, California USA

Abie Hadjitarkhani and Nathan Dintenfass, founders of Hotel Delta, at Modify Watches retail launch party, San Francisco, California USA, August 9, 2012

Abie Hadjitarkhani and Nathan Dintenfass, founders of Hotel Delta, at Modify Watches retail launch party, San Francisco, California USA, August 9, 2012

Abie Hadjitarkhani and Nathan Dintenfass attended the launch party. I know Dintenfass from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. I met him while he was getting his Masters of Business Administration degree. I participate in many events at Haas to help the students and by extension The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Dintenfass and Hadjitarkhani run Hotel Delta, a boutique consultancy that helps entrepreneurs create great products.

Hotel Delta produces the Products are Hard conference.

Nathan Dintenfass is one of the smartest entrepreneurs I know. I have spent hours listening to him advise startups, and his wisdom is evident and deep.

Congratulations to Schwartz and his impressive team at Modify Industries. I predict great things to come.

I took the pictures that accompany this post. I uploaded them at full camera resolution of 21 megapixels. Click on them in delayed succession to see the full size versions, which are larger than your screen.

Legal disclosure — Schwartz let me borrow six of his company’s watches so that I may photograph them being worn by the female models I photograph. I pursue photography as a hobby, and do not charge for my work, so perhaps this disclosure is not legally required. To cover my bases, I am disclosing this loan. I proposed this arrangement, not Schwartz. I would have written this post even if Schwartz did not let me borrow any watches. I will return the watches to Schwartz once I photograph them with some additional models.

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