April 26 2018 – Tabitha Yeasley
Sasha Juliard, Matador Brand Ambassador and Co-Founder of TUK Watches gave us the inside scoop on this new endeavor to create beautiful watches and provide clean water in Southeast Asia.
What is TUK Watches?
TUK Watches is a conscious, minimal watch brand founded on the idea that every second counts in the fight to get clean drinking water to the 844 million people without access. We sell deliciously minimal watches and with every purchase we buy a water filtration system for a classroom or family in Cambodia.
Where did the idea come from?
My business partner Kelsey actually had the idea while she was traveling in South East Asia in 2015. She was traveling through some pretty rough places and saw a severe lack in something as basic and powerful as clean water. That was merged with a separate business idea of making minimal watches and the idea was born to have a company that could do both.
What was the process like from the moment you got the idea to development and launch?
Kelsey and I met in Colorado in summer of 2017. She had already had the idea brewing for a while and when we decided to pull the trigger we got things together pretty quickly. We started with designing the watches and would spend days getting ideas from all over the internet. We settled on our extremely minimal design inspired by a compass to show our brands ethos of being globally minded. While we were designing, we were also interviewing manufacturers so that when the designs were ready, we could get going asap. Everything was happening in parallel so we could be ready to go before Christmas. Legal work, loans, manufacturing, web designing & figuring out distribution. It pretty much went from deciding to run with the idea to launch in 5 months while still holding things like quality and integrity intact which I am quite proud of.
What’s the brand’s mission beyond creating beautiful watches?
Our foundation is built on two pillars. One is our mission of making real world, tangible and highly effective impact. What that means is that we donate a water filtration system to a school or family for every watch sold. We believe that in terms of effectiveness, clean water access is, dollar for dollar, the most effective thing that can be done. Giving a sustainable source of clean water has so many positive ripple effects like fewer days out of school, better mental and physical development, lower rates of child mortality… the list goes on.
The second pillar is to have the highest quality watches in our price range. In the manufacturing process we had many choices on which materials to use and every time we selected the highest quality one. We want people to cherish these timepieces for as long as they don’t lose it.
What are your goals for 2018?
Our goal is to grow a grass roots community of people who love our watches and resonate with the mission. We would rather have a small and intimate family rather than trying to cast our net too wide and water us down.
How can people get involved?
Obviously I am going to say buy a watch :p The other very very powerful thing to do is word of mouth. Tell friends and family aboutand if someone is debating buying a watch, throw our name into the conversation. We have created kits for you to share on your social media as well. Photos of the cause as well as the watches - Just follow and find the channel you wish to share us on and you’ll find instructions and beautiful photos to share. We also encourage people to make direct contributions to RDIC, the amazing we partner with.
What’s next from Tuk?
We have a lot of plans for the future. We are constantly thinking of ways to improve our products and have more watch designs in the works. We are also exploring how to expand our reach beyond clean water initiatives. We cannot predict the future, but one thing we know for sure is that there will be more humanitarian crises in with urgent needs. So we want to be ready to respond to one effectively when one should arise.