Episode 93
February 15, 2022

Getting Carried Away

with Jordan Nathan, Founder and CEO of Caraway

About this episode

Jordan Nathan, Founder and CEO of Caraway joins the show today! Caraway is on a mission to craft well-designed, non-toxic, ceramic cookware that thoughtfully raises the standards of what you cook with. In this episode, Jordan shares with us his journey from growing up in New Jersey, to selling candy to kids at summer camp, to taking his first full-time job as a brand manager for Mohawk group, which inspired him to build a brand of his own in the kitchen space. You’ll hear about his go to market strategy, and how he rebranded the company from Parfait to Caraway.

This episode is sponsored by

Exclusive Deals from Our Sponsors:

  • Get 30% off your first 3 months with Malomo by going to: https://gomalomo.com/stairwaytoceo
  • Use the promo code STAIRWAY200 for $200 off Outer furniture by shopping HERE
  • Get 2 months FREE with Gorgias by clicking HERE and mentioning the podcast

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • What it was like growing up in Northern New Jersey with entrepreneurial parents
  • How he knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur at an early age by selling candy to kids at his summer camp
  • How he created his own major in college, studying Consumer Psychology and how he uses it today in running Caraway
  • Why he moved back in with his parents after graduating college to start his first company, Wannu, an all encompassing shopping platform
  • His time working at Mohawk group and how being in a “mini CEO” role inspired him to build a brand of his own in the kitchen space.
  • How one bad experience in the kitchen gave him the idea for Caraway and creating non-toxic cookware
  • How he took a different approach to his go to market strategy and how it worked out for Caraway
  • How he had to repack nearly 10,000 sets of pots and pans at the warehouse that had arrived damaged just three days before launch
  • The advice he has for new entrepreneurs looking to start chasing their dreams

To Find Out More:

https://www.carawayhome.com/ 

Quotes:

“I always found it fascinating why people purchase or why they choose the brands that they ended up buying from.”

“I had a lot of great learnings and I’m super happy I did it because I wouldn't be where I am today without having to take the leap.”

“Goal setting is super important. As an early manager, it wasn't something that I think I communicated super well in my head. I knew what we wanted to achieve as a brand, but couldn’t pass them down.” 

“We put in place a robust goal structure where everyone at the company knows what we're aiming for from the high level, but also on a quarterly basis, and what they need to be doing to help contribute to those higher level goals.”

“I couldn't shake this thought that, why is something that we're cooking off of that is touching our food so potentially dangerous, and there must be a better solution out there.”

“I decided to launch a kitchen brand, starting with cookware and wanted the main tenant to be focused around non-toxic materials and implementing better manufacturing processes in the space.”

“It was important to kind of convey the bigger vision that we're looking to tackle, and so we go by Caraway”

“Results aren't always instantaneous and success can’t always be measured right away. Fundraising and building a startup can be really difficult.”

“I felt like all the no’s we got were just fuel to the fire and, eventually they would pay off.”

“Just because it's a no now, doesn't mean it's a no in the future.”

“We wanted to get into a marketing segment that our competition wasn't in and influencers is a tougher category than running a Facebook ad because you have to go and build those relationships. But just the lack of competition there we wanted to pursue it as a launch strategy.”

“For us, really how the product lives outside of cooking was tremendously important.”

“We want every touch point to be  something unique and something you remember”

“I really encourage anyone thinking about starting a business to  focus on what you think is best for the path that you take. Just because others are fundraising doesn't mean that you have to, or just because they're advertising on Facebook or Instagram or going direct to consumer first, doesn't mean that you can't go to retail first.”

“I think the best brands and companies are typically built around doing the opposite of what most others are doing. If people haven't seen it before it probably means there's a big opportunity there.”

Read the transcript

More Episodes

Episode 106

Luxury Without Labels

with Jeremy Cai, Founder and CEO of Italic
Listen
Episode 105

Dreams, Dares, and Dates

with Sydney Karmes-Wainer, Founder and CEO of French Squirrel
Listen
Episode 104

Beverages and Brain Scans

with Ben Goodwin, Co-Founder and CEO of Olipop
Listen