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1:Face Watch made its debut on Indiegogo over a year ago with the lofty goal of “changing the world.” In just over a year, the company has managed to do just that by impacting 50,000 lives and selling over 100,000 watches. The best part about this deal is that the company has paired with charities to create a specific metric program. Each watch is connected to a cause and with every watch purchased, the charity tied to that cause will fulfill a specific metric. This ensures that buyers understand where exactly their money is being spent.
Now 1:Face Watch is launching in Canada and has set up shop on Granville Island. I caught up with their distributor, Marc Herman of Another Blank Page, to learn more about their initiative and how it all works.
Valerie Tiu: Can you give us a rundown on the concept behind 1:Facewatch?
Marc Herman: What we want to do is have an impact so that everybody has the opportunity to make a change. Our slogan is to “change the world 1:Face at a time.” One of the reasons behind that message is if you look at the watch, it actually has a mirrored face so that every time you look at it, you get to look back at yourself. You are reflecting on that decision to make a change.
There are eight colours and each watch represents a different cause. We’ve paired each with a different charity partner. For example, the white watch will feed 15 children through our partner, One Days Wages. Then we have the red watch, which will give treatment to AIDS patients through Keep A Child Alive. If you buy five of our yellow watches, which are in support of the charity, Pencils of Promise, it will buy education for one year. Three of our blue watches will get a charcoal efficient stove for The Adventure Project.
Our biggest charity here is the Canadian Cancer Society, so you can buy black or pink watches to help fight cancer. It’s supposed to have the effect where you can choose the cause you like, and then you can directly make that impact, but at the same time, you get a watch. It’s a cool fashion piece that looks great, but at the same time you’re giving back.
VT: How did it all get started?
MH: It started over a year ago in the States by Fam Mirza of Mirza Minds. They put the idea on Indiegogo, a crowd-funding site. They said, “Hey, we’re trying to raise $25,000 to make this a reality.” Within 30 days, they got over $350,000 worth of donations. So that money actually went into buying the watch and then giving back to charity. Just over a year, they’ve sold over 100,000 watches. They gave back over $250,000 to the American Cancer Society. They’ve built 30 schools through Pencils of Promise, and impacted so many lives. The movement has now gone global, so we’ve brought it to Canada. We saw the opportunity, loved the concept, and really wanted to bring it here.
VT: How much of the donations go to the cause?
MH: Rather than say that x amount is going to the cause, they’ve created a metric. They’ve collaborated with the charity partners so that you really know the impact that you’re making. So if you buy one white watch, One Days Wages will feed 15 children. We’ve created these metrics just to give people more of an understanding of the direct impact they’re having rather than saying that 10 bucks is going to the charity. It gets people to be involved a little bit more and helps to drive the cause.
VT: Although the watches are designed outside of Canada, your offices are based here in Vancouver. How is the company creating a connection to the local community?
MH: With my distribution company, Another Blank Page, our mandate is to bring in lifestyle brands to Canada that can really change the community and help make a difference in people’s lives. What we are trying to do with 1:Face Watch is try to engage with everybody locally and across the country and create a movement. If you go on our Twitter or Facebook, everybody that’s got a watch, really feels that they’re part of a positive movement. It’s incredible to see the number of people that have offered to help or want to be a part of the change. We’ve got people engaging on a day-to-day basis.
From a community aspect, we hope to be a part of local events, especially for the Canadian Cancer Society. We would absolutely love to get involved with anything to do with the community and we need ambassadors behind us to help us really grow the Canadian movement. In America we’ve sold over 100,000 watches, and we want to do the same here. Our target is to change a million lives.
1:Face Watch is available online here. Check out their campaign video below.