How one camera accessories company built their business — and now serve the likes of Star Wars and NASA.
A Need for (Filming) Speed
When Ryan Schorman set out to make better skateboarding videos, he had no idea it would change his life. In 2011 Wooden Camera was conceived out of a need for better tools to film skate tricks, so he and his wife Elizabeth started developing and selling innovative video equipment from their garage.
The duo got good customer feedback from their initial sales, and eventually — with the development of new products — orders started taking off. Now Wooden Camera has over 30 employees, a retail store in California and a Dallas-based headquarters.
“It’s great when you can use a personal passion to make other people’s jobs easier,” Ryan says.
“It’s great when you can use a personal passion to make other people’s jobs easier.”
Skating to Success
Nowadays Wooden Camera makes some of the most innovative camera accessories in the world, and their products are used by the likes of NASA and the Star Wars franchise. “I think we’ve been successful because of our top-notch customer service, our speed, and the fact that we continue to innovate and build the best products on the market,” Ryan says.
“The barrier to entry of selling something online is very low,” she says. “You can use a platform like Volusion to easily set up a store and your products immediately have a global reach.”
When it comes to giving advice to entrepreneurs, Elizabeth emphasizes how easy it is to just start small. “The barrier to entry of selling something online is very low,” she says. “You can use a platform like Volusion to easily set up a store and your products immediately have a global reach. Don't be afraid to ask others for help in areas where you are not familiar.”
Ryan has additional advice for merchants who are just getting started. “If there’s anything that I’ve learned through this process it’s that you don’t have to know everything when you start,” he says. “You just have to be tenacious enough to figure it out as you go.”
Looking to the Future
Ryan says it’s interesting how business now relates to where he was in 2011. “[Wooden Camera has] sort of come full circle because the people I looked up to filming skateboarding are now our customers and our friends.”
But this doesn’t mean that they’re done innovating! “We will continue to add more products and refine our style on our webstore,” Elizabeth says. “We will also consider taking advantage of some of the customization options that we are not currently using, like wish lists or the Facebook store integration.”