Randy Williams is the world’s next business mogul in the making.
As president of Talley & Twine, Williams has dominated the watch market since being featured in Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise and Huffington Post. As a recipient of the CoVaBiz Community Impact Award and author of 7 Questions Every Young Leader Must Answer, Williams is striving to make a difference in the community by teaching young people how to think and act like leaders.
Rolling out had an opportunity to chat with Williams about his Talley & Twine watch brand and the history behind his business.
What inspired you to start Talley & Twine?
I used to collect all kinds of watches, but it was becoming increasingly hard for me to find designs that I liked. Also, the watches that I liked were $1,000 [or more], which was out of my price range. On my lunch break at my job I called my wife and asked her what she thought about me starting my own brand, and she said, “Go for it!” This gave me the confidence to move forward.
What is the backstory of your company’s name?
Talley & Twine is actually an intersection in Virginia. It used to be home to a notorious housing project that had a very bad reputation for crime and drugs. This same area is now filled with affordable housing, and many families who grew up there previously have now become homeowners. Talley & Twine represents that transition and reminds us that you don’t have to finish the way that you started.
How do you use technology in your daily operations?
Technology is super important to what we do on a daily basis. Most importantly, it has somewhat leveled the playing field and allowed us to compete on a global scale. We utilize lots of software that allows us to automate or simplify things like accounting, inventory, shipping, design and customer service. Furthermore, technology is foundational to why we exist. It has allowed us to sell directly to our customers without the interference of any middlemen.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative?
Any aspiring creatives should know that their art is meant to be shared with the world. It is only when it’s shared that it can be fully appreciated. Don’t worry about critics or let their opinions keep you from doing your best work.
What was the first watch you ever purchased? Do you still have it?
The first watch I purchased was a silver-tone Guess watch. I bought it for $40 at a little shop in the Bahamas during my senior cruise. I kept it until after college, but my house was burglarized, and it was stolen.
What’s next for Talley & Twine?
Talley & Twine will continue to expand its product line in the form of new watch styles and new accessories. We’re also seeking to create more partnerships with similar brands [and] individuals who share our brand identity.