Dan from Snappy Towels spilled it…
Meet Dan a father, husband and an entrepreneur who took his son’s love of make-believe games and their family’s love of the beach and came up with Snappy Towels.
His entrepreneurial story of inspiration is truly the meaning behind running through an open door and making your dreams come true.
Grab a tea and take a “Me” moment, you deserve it.
Tell us a bit about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, kids, husband, wife, pets, and your home life.
I’m a husband and father of 2 young boys ages 3 and 6, living downtown Toronto. We travel often and do a ton of camping all summer long. All four of us just love the beach. I’m a tech junkie, digital marketer and hot sauce maker, among other things.
Your 20 second sales pitch? AKA elevator pitch…sell us!
Snappy Towels are beach and bath towels that have snaps so that they can be worn in different ways: as a cape, a hooded towel, or a cover-up. They come in several bold colours and can be custom-embroidered with a name or initials, making for an awesome personalized gift. If you have more than one, they snap together into a beach blanket.
What inspired you start your business?
There were a lot of threads that came together (no pun intended): I was inspired by watching my sons play make-believe games, and how much our whole family loves spending time on the beach. Friends of ours sewed super hero cape towels for all the kids at their son’s birthday party a few years ago and I found them while re-organizing our closet around the same time as I was looking to build an ecommerce business that would allow me better control of my work-life balance. There was a moment when I realized that these things could all be connected, and my wife thought the idea was great. So that was the first jumping-off point.
How did you come up with the concept of your business?
The concept? I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t, at some point in their life, wrapped a towel on themselves to become a superhero or wizard or princess or some make-believe character. That’s always been there, we just made it better.
Today it’s more important than ever to encourage kids to play in the physical world (rather than digital) and to play outside. It seems that free-time play outside is becoming a lost art, sadly, but it’s so important for kids’ development and health. Snappy Towels is a celebration of imaginative physical play and fun outdoors.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
An incredible spouse!
What is the best advice you can give to working moms, juggling it all?
Prioritize. That’s my daily battle: do what’s most important now.
Do you find working from home challenging? Or is it a breeze?
I love it. I am lucky to live downtown Toronto, so I’m within easy reach of entrepreneur meet-ups, start-up events and other networking. If I’m feeling isolated then it’s time to work in a café or do lunch with someone in my network.
If you have kids at home, how do you keep them entertained so you can get crossing off your list?
That doesn’t happen. If the kids are home and awake, it’s family time. On weekends my wife and I will take turns with the kids and stuff that needs to be done. I’m fortunate to be able to focus on the business full-time during the week since we have our kids in daycare. When they are home we really make an effort to turn off our phones and focus on the family. It’s not always easy, especially running an ecommerce business where my shop never closes, but it’s important, and ultimately the family time is the reason I’m doing this in the first place.
What is next for your business? Any secrets you want to share?
We’re testing some new product ideas for men and women. There has been a lot of positive response from women using the towel as a wrap or cover-up. We’ve got a new website in the works, too.
5 years from now, what is your vision?
Wow, that could be a lot of things. On a personal note, I want to be charting my own destiny. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning (other than my pre-schooler). For the business, Snappy Towels could grow into a leading beachwear brand or many other things. I’d love to be rolling out limited-edition towels in collaboration with artists and other brands.Sky’s the limit!
What did you do in your past work life?
Most recently I managed a digital marketing agency. I’ve also been a landscape architect, cancer research assistant, wine-maker and lifeguard.
Are you living your dream?
Yes–at least I’m on the pathway to it.
Who are you really?
Do you have a motivational quote, you would love to share?
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
What’s one product you use daily that you couldn’t live without?
Beach or Snow, where would the perfect vacation spot be?
That’s an easy one! Beach!
Looking back to your high school days, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?
Stay interested in computers and pay attention to that Internet thing, it’s going to be a big deal some day.
At this time in your life, are you where you thought you would be?
The future is so hard to imagine, but I’ve always wanted to run my own business. I took a really long, crooked path the get here. I think if I had had different mentorship 20 years ago it might have been a more direct route to get where I am today. How can we predict the future? Life is really an evolution, not a path to a destination. Self-determination, work-life balance, and financial freedom have been my compass, but I have no map.
What in life brings you happiness?
Hearing my kids laugh. Sharing parenting moments with my wife. Making things that people enjoy. The Sun. Swimming. Waves on the beach. Campfires. Family. Food.
Give us a sneak peek, what would be on your to-do list today?
Right now I’m working on the new website design, finishing this interview, connecting with fans and influencers on social media, planning upcoming marketing stuff, and shipping products.
What do you daydream about?
The next trip.
Snappy Towels is hosting a giveaway.
Win Over $200 Worth of Personalized Beach Towels For The Whole Family!
Contest closes June 11th. Good Luck!
Thanks for reading In R Dream! If you have an Entrepreneur Story, drop us a line.