As in the lyrics of the song, "We've Gotta Get out of this Place," performed by The Animals, Daniel Schemel and two best friends aspired to do something beyond their restaurant jobs. What exactly that something was going to be wasn't clear, just yet.
Daniel and his colleagues were watch lovers. They began creating watches, through a trial and error process. Daniel recalls, "It was more a hobby, really." But their passion and talent was recognized and rewarded by those that saw their craft. After selling to friends and their colleagues at the restaurant, they stepped it up, began attending festivals and traveling to shows.
In spite of many people using their phone as their timepiece, many others love the watch as a fashion statement, a stylistic showpiece they could wear on their wrist. Daniel and his colleagues saw big interest from others in their high quality, artistic product.
Combining their innovative spirit and environmental consciousness to the clockwork of life, Mistura was born. Mistura uses Columbia fine woods and movements from Japan to create timepieces for those who want to make a statement. For some, the statement might be one of heritage or fashion. For others, it is a statement about green, about eco-sustainability, social responsibility, even activism. The beauty of time is that we are all subject to it and reminded of it. Mistura has a range of products that strike a chord with fashionistas, cosmopolites, and farmers alike. Really - most any of us can find our identity in Mistura's wearable art.
Daniel hadn't been an entrepreneur before, but has always been anxious about things to do. A permanent resident of the U.S., he is originally from Columbia. His plan was to come to the U.S., learn English and go back to open a family steak house. His family was very entrepreneurial including a Grandfather that made matches and brought German beer to Columbia.
Daniel first went to SCORE after learning of them from an international business development advisor. He commented, "I primarily used SCORE services over email. I was interested in learning how I can distribute to stores. I was missing the little details as to how we could become a big corporation. "
When asked about having co-founders Daniel said, "I feel it is very important. I wouldn't be here if I didn't have cofounders. The first years are really hard. I needed somebody as passionate as I was.
I get to the point of wanting to quit. Work 9-5 quit and have weekends off. Having co-founders is motivating to continue the business."
Daniel says he loves to advise other entrepreneurs starting up, to help them avoid the mistakes he's made. When pressed on those mistakes he shared, "I think we got into too much debt in the beginning. You have to work with basic tools and money. You don't know if it is going to work. I took on a $40k loan. I wouldn't have done that if I started over. Also, many people start investing in shows. We missed opportunities. We didn't know what to do with the people, follow up or how to get more out of our investment."
Daniel isn't quite done with SCORE. His vision is to build the next FOSSIL. He thinks there is much potential to his business and he's eager to continue working with others to make it happen, one wrist at a time.