Picture this: Have you ever loved an extracurricular activity so much that you started a business that revolves around it? Well, Kevin Nault did and we tracked him down to learn more about him and his track and field company, One Track Mind.
Name: Kevin Nault
Program: Bachelor of Arts with a double minor in Communications and Business Management
1. Why did you choose to have two minors?
This program is awesome because there are so little mandatory courses and so many electives that I can really build a personalized degree.
2. Where did you get the idea to start One Track Mind (OTM) and how long has it been a business?
The idea came from a gap in the local and Canadian market for track apparel and shoes. It’s quite hard for locals to get hold of quality shoes at a decent price in Ottawa.
My first real bulk purchase was made in September of 2013; this is when I really committed to making the idea a reality. The brand OTM itself was registered a few months later but it initially began in September 2013, so we’ve been in operation for about a year now.
3. Can you walk us through what your product is?
My main product line is a running spike. Running spikes are a specialty shoe designed to be very lightweight with metal spikes in the bottom to increase traction and performance for runners.
4. Who is your main clientele?
My main clientele varies between young (12-17) athletes who are new to the sport of track and field and to older, more experienced athletes (18-25). It really depends on the season and the products I’m carrying; the clientele tends to vary from season to season.
5. How did you think of the name One Track Mind?
In actuality it was not me who thought of the name, I have to give credit to a friend of mine, Chris German. We were brainstorming for an entrepreneurship course and he came up with the name One Track Mind. I fell in love with the name right away and we decided to run with it.
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment within OTM?
Honestly one of the best things is happening right now. Professor Jerie Shaw and her Advertising Techniques class (CMN3174B) have created an ad agency called The 102 Ad Collective and they’re helping OTM develop advertising campaigns. This is by far the coolest opportunity that owning a business has provided me. It has allowed me to work with a vast group of people in which I would have never met in the past which is an amazing opportunity.
7. Do you plan on expanding the business anytime soon?
I would love to expand the business and I think OTM has a lot of potential to really take off and become a viable start-up. Once my degree is complete it would be a dream come true to run a successful company.
8. Who is someone you admire/look up to?
Someone I really look up to is Tony Hsieh. Tony is an entrepreneur who has built multiple successful companies from the ground up. What’s even cooler about Tony is that he focuses a lot on his management styles and he focuses on ensuring his employees are happy. If OTM is going to grow, I’d love to design an office culture around many of his ideas. If you have a chance to check him out I’d advise it, he has some really awesome ideas.
9. How do you balance school and OTM? Do you have any tips for students who are juggling school, work, and other commitments?
Balancing a full course schedule, managing OTM, and on top of that training up to 20 hours a week for track and field can be draining. My tips would be to stay organized and stay on top of all yours tasks, but always make room for a little time to relax. I make sure at least once a week I sit down with my dog and watch a good movie or a few shows on Netflix. This helps keep me relaxed and gives my brain a well needed break from my busy life.
10. What are some lessons that you have learned since starting your own company?
Something I’ve learned is that it’s not easy running your own company. It takes up a lot of your free time and you really need to commit fully for it to work.
Another lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t do everything alone. Without the help of others (i.e. employees, professors, friends, and customers) this entire business plan wouldn’t be where it is right now. You learn so much about yourself, your company and your audience in this process and I just want to thank everyone who has been involved so far.
11. Since you don’t have a storefront, how can interested clients get in touch with you?
Interested clients can get a hold of me through my website www.otmcanada.ca or through the OTM social media pages (Facebook and Twitter). Contact and product information can be found in those locations.
Photos are courtesy of Kevin Nault