Hockey coach, hockey player and hockey dad Eric Krafve talks about his new role: hockey (and other sports) apparel entrepreneur.
- What inspired you to start your business?
Two passions: graphic design and hockey. I’ve always loved my team jerseys no matter what sport I played, and I always noticed teams with great jersey designs. When I’d done a few for my own teams and my sons’ teams and figured out the manufacturing process, I thought “hey why not start doing this as a business?!”
- What’s the smartest thing you’ve done as an entrepreneur?
I look at every penny very differently now. For every extra coffee or frivolous purchase, I think “I could have put that money back into the business.”
- How about the dumbest thing?
Quitting my full-time job too early – oops!
- What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve gotten?
Don’t say yes to everything. Some things just don’t fit.
- Describe the jersey you’d design for a Victory pond hockey team.
I’d do a modern design with a vintage twist–classic red, white and blue, using the “V” logo in a subtle pattern in the stripes.
- What do you do if a customer has a truly horrendous idea for a jersey?
I would tactfully suggest tweaking their idea to incorporate their vision in a way that’s more pleasing to the people who wear them and the fans who watch them. I have no problem saying no to a client that wants a horrible design. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
- What’s been your proudest moment since starting Victory?
Having multiple ex-military members saying they love our “Support Our Troops” jerseys at the Hockey Expo. Lots of thankful handshakes.
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