In 2014, Randy Williams founded Talley & Twine Watch Company with the desire to create beautiful, high-quality watches at a reasonable price point. Since then, he’s grown the business to 16 employees, has expanded to hundreds of styles and gives back to a variety of nonprofits. Digital tools like Google Ads have been critical to growing his business, helping him efficiently build his brand and connect with customers from across the world. As we celebrate Black-owned businesses this Black History Month, we had a few questions for Randy about how he got started and his advice for other aspiring business owners.
How were you inspired by other Black-owned businesses before founding Talley & Twine?
Seeing other successful Black-owned businesses inspired me by showing me what was possible. Black entrepreneurs are more than business owners; they're leaders in their communities. Seeing them opened my mind and allowed me to be creative and to dream. I'm still inspired daily by the creativity and ingenuity of entrepreneurs from my community.
What do you know now that you wish you had known on Talley & Twine’s first day?
In the beginning stages of starting Talley & Twine, I had no idea of the true power of having a great team around you. The synthesis and growth you can experience with a team versus working solo are unmatched. Knowing what I know now, I would have sought out partners and employees much sooner.
What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?
View starting a business as a learning process. Allow yourself to be a student of entrepreneurship by synthesizing the lessons you learn along the way. Things won't always go as planned, but view these challenges as building blocks for your personal and professional growth.
What are some of the future plans you have for the brand?
We have plans to launch our first Swiss-made automatic watch this year and we're really excited about it. We also plan to expand our philanthropic efforts to support future entrepreneurs and business leaders. In 2021, we launched the first Talley & Twine business scholarship at my alma mater, Albany State University and we plan to extend that to other historically Black colleges and universities as well.
What makes you most proud to be a business owner?
Hearing from other business owners about how they were inspired to start after hearing Talley & Twine's story makes me the proudest. That means the cycle that inspired me to start continues to multiply and flourish.