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This week, Marcus Lemonis pays a visit to Los Angeles-based Flex Watches, a watch company that gives back. The watches, which come in 10 colors, benefit various charities by donating 10 percent of the purchase. Charities include animal rescue, cancer awareness and hunger.

The company’s social mission intrigues Lemonis, as he hopes to pair it with one of his fashion endeavors. Their first-generation bright watches were switched out for a higher-end, sportier watch because retailers wanted a higher price point. Their third-generation watch goes in between the two, sold at $65. Despite the change, they are still involved in giving back to charities and according to their website, have raised nearly $60,000 to date.

Sales dropped by 50 percent after their first two years in business and they’ve continued to lose money ever since they changed their design. Lemonis wonders why the co-owner doesn’t incorporate his mother into the business, which he says he hasn’t been able to quite deal with since losing her to breast cancer. Lemonis hopes to help bring them back to their roots by getting back to stories and paying it forward.

Visiting the warehouse, Lemonis is stunned by the lack of direction within their branding efforts and think they need to bring their mission back to life. He questions how they can make people care about the charities involved and tell their stories. As the owners stray further from their original mission, so too do their sales.

Lemonis offers $400,000 for 40 percent equity, and while the founders and general manager initially struggle with that valuation, they ultimately accept.

First, they visit retail space to see how they would be displayed and how they would sell. Lemonis hopes to sell the watches in a more creative way, rather than going along with the “expensive look.” He hopes to implement silent salesman displays to retailers to convey their message while yielding a profit.

Asked about advertising their products, co-founder Trevor says he doesn’t want to involve his late mother and her story into the imagery, or go for the more street-look identity. He says that’s not their direction, but the co-founder disagrees.

Putting their disagreement aside briefly, Lemonis takes them to a creative agency to get feedback on their image mood board, which should be able to effectively tell their story. They say it appears to be a travel agency and tells more of a lifestyle, California story. They encourage them not to hold their story back.


The co-founder worries about messing up his mother’s story, but Lemonis encourages it to be told in order to make a connection and attach her story to the breast cancer charity. Moving on, Lemonis reviews ideas for design cases, which he says look rushed. “This to me looks like a high school art project,” he says.

While the design case goes back to the drawing board, they work to revamp their website next. Lemonis hopes the redesign will better display their online sales funnel, which includes displaying colorful boxes of charities and stories that humanize the cause. The stories then lead visitors to buy the watch that aligns with what they wish to support.

They work on generating marketing videos, in addition to producing new watches, complete with brand new features. They hope to get licensed prints onto the watch, which could increase the value of the watch. They get into another disagreement over the co-founder’s interest in a skull design, which Lemonis says is not “on story.” Still narrowing down the focus, they agree on a geometric design that could tell the story of children in Mexico.

Next, Lemonis reviews the marketing video Trevor put together, which he says shows emotion and tells a good story. Lemonis is impressed that the story can resonate with so many people and that the co-founders and general manager had a significant breakthrough.

Finally pitching to Flip Flop Shops, complete with a colorful new display case, they are disappointed to realize the shop does not carry watches because it is such a tough product to sell. The president, however, is expanding their accessories and is ultimately drawn in by the stories behind the causes and agrees to help tell that story.

Twitter Reacts to the Flex Watches Mission and Story

What do you think of the Flex Watches mission and their storytelling journey? Sound off in the comments section below!