In this week’s episode, we’ll talk to ecommerce entrepreneur and fossil e-commerce entrepreneur, Bill Kieffer, about how he created his company, Fossil E Commerce, and how it changed his life.
Bill Kienffer: Fossil Commerce was born in 2013.
It was my dream job.
I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and I had this amazing idea to start a company, and the world was open.
I had a website that had thousands of people in it, and there was an opportunity to do something like that, so I was all set to go.
I started working on the website, and within two months I was like, this is crazy.
And then I was on the phone with a couple of my friends, who were like, “We’re going to start Fossil e Commerce.
This is nuts.”
They were also like, I’m going to do this too, and that was my whole motivation for this company.
Fossil began as a website, but it was really my idea to do a website with thousands of customers.
When I did it, I realized it was way too easy to do.
I made a lot of mistakes along the way.
I lost my job.
And I made mistakes that I shouldn’t have made.
But I was able to get this company off the ground.
The website was incredibly easy to build, but the actual business was very hard.
So I wanted this company to be as easy as possible.
I was going to take this easy way out of the equation.
Bill’s website was so easy that it’s still there today.
You can even see how it was built.
Bill says, “I didn’t build it to be easy.
I built it to help people, and it helped me out.”
Bill’s success in the ecommerce industry has resulted in a number of other companies.
Fossill e Commerce has now sold over 100 million dollars worth of merchandise, and Bill’s company has a presence in more than 200 countries.
Bill was interviewed on NPR’s The Fresh Air with Tom Snyder, where he said he was the first ecommerce business guy he ever met.
Bill: My mom used to go to Whole Foods with me.
I remember being in line.
I went to Whole in the mid-1990s, and she said, “Bill, I got you the best business idea you’ve ever had.”
And I was just like, what did you say?
She was like—I don’t even remember the name.
But she was like that.
So then I met the president of Whole Foods.
We were talking about how we could start a Whole Foods business, and then he said, Bill, I don’t want you to do it.
But he did.
And that was it.
Bill said, that was the start of everything.
Bill and his wife, Joanne, have been married for 30 years.
They live in New York City.
Joanne says, I never thought that I would be in the world where I’m still married.
I’m actually surprised I still do.
And we have a wonderful family.
I can’t even imagine what it must have been like when I first started out.
But that’s what you get when you make something big.
We have so many amazing opportunities.
Joanna: Bill, thank you so much for talking to us.
Bill, what is your favorite thing about living in the U.S.?
Bill: The weather.
And there’s a lot more to the U: The people.
The restaurants, the bars, the museums.
And the music.
And so the weather is so great.
Bill loves the fact that we have the outdoors.
He said, you’re a good citizen.
So we can enjoy a few days of nature here in the States and just have a good time, and not have to worry about the weather.
Bill also loves that he doesn’t have to commute to work every day.
Bill wants to start doing things like that as soon as possible, but his wife says that the best part is, Bill can do it all.
Joann: You know, you can do a lot with your money.
You know you can buy a new house, a house for your kids, or a new car.
And you know you don’t have that choice when you’re not making enough money.
I don-I mean, I think Bill’s the luckiest guy on the planet.