2021 > Objects! Podcast: Golf Gloves

About the Podcast

Objects! with ShipHero talks with the entrepreneurs, innovators and idealists that put items on the shelf and bring packages to your doorstep. From hot sauce to board games, toothbrushes to frying pans, startup side-gigs to enterprise players, join ShipHero founder, Nicholas Daniel-Richards, as he demystifies the manufacturing and logistics behind some of our most beloved household objects, with transformational ideas that are guaranteed to make you say, why didn’t I think of that?. This fast-paced and intriguing podcast covers thousands of travelled miles in less than an hour, so next time you’re standing in your local store and see a label that says ‘Made in <A Land Far, Far Away>’, you’ll know just how it got into your hands.

If you are a successful entrepreneur looking to grow or an aspiring innovator with an idea, Objects! with ShipHero provides a detailed, 360° exploration with the masterminds behind modern ecommerce and shipping solutions.  So settle in, buckle up, and prepare to get objectified! … no wait, not that. Get ready to say “I objects!”… we’ll work on it. Available on Spotify, iTunes and at this link.

Episode Introduction

Episode FORE of Objects! with ShipHero gets into the rough business of golf gloves, as we’re joined by Adam Karger and his company Scotch & Skins — a brand dedicated to upping your golf game with premium leather golf gloves and other high-end golf accessories. 

“True differentiation didn’t have to be about being so different from everyone else, but rather celebrating really good materials– really amazing, natural materials. And this glove did that… and so we found a little bit of our voice.” — Adam Karger, co-founder of Scotch & Skins

As a tech consultant by day, an entrepreneur by night, and a new father around the clock, Adam shares his journey of designing and manufacturing a high-quality golf glove from scratch, with absolutely zero prior knowledge of making or selling gloves. 

So how do you start a business selling a product you don’t know how to make? Join us as we learn how Adam, armed with only a laptop and an idea, forged the right partnerships to create his brand Scotch & Skins, set to tee off in the spring of 2021. (Already nauseous of these golf puns? Don’t worry there isn’t any more).

All Businesses Start With a Little Drive

Although he started as a novice in the manufacturing and design of golf gloves, Adam Karger is no amatuer in the golf world. Adam played Division 1 Golf at Colgate University and in his Senior year competed in five tournaments, posting a scoring average of 83.2. 

Adam and his co-founder and friend, Bryce, had toyed around with the idea of vintage-style golf gloves for some time. With no prior experience, the road seemed long and challenging, and a lot of questions stood in his way like, how do you find a manufacturer? How do you design and get tech specs? How do you ensure quality? How do you source the leather?… to name a few.

But like all journeys, Adam began with a single, brave step towards his new future, after a couple beers with his friend of course. 

“For me, it was a really interesting problem to solve. Because, I think when you’re building a company or a brand or a product, really it’s just solving a bunch of little questions, and the amalgamation of those answers turn into the go/no go of building a product or a brand” — Adam Carger

Where did Adam turn for the answers to these problems? Why, Google of course. The start of Adam’s journey was typing phrases “glove designer” and “glove manufacturer” into a publicly available search engine… Here he proved that there is no secret to success other than persistence, perseverance, and a little drive. (last one ;-p)

Play To Your Handicap

Adam’s philosophy of “partner with people who have the superpowers that you don’t” led him to Greg, a glove consultant with years of experience making all types of gloves, except golf gloves. Excited to work on a new project, Greg agreed to consult and Adam began to grow his team. 

The first superpower Greg brought to the table was his large network of manufacturers, which they were able to whittle down to a few choices and eventually settle on a Connecticut-based leather manufacturer.

Currently, Adam’s home will be the fulfillment hub due to the minimum required investment and full control of the packing and boxing customization. In the spirit of partnering with people who have superpowers they don’t, Adam set the goal for his company to eventually work with a 3PL like ShipHero, because reaching that point means the company has gotten big enough to where order fulfillment takes up too much time and a 3PL partner is needed to help your business scale.

Avoid the Sandtraps

Golf gloves are typically made of natural leather or a synthetic substitute, so the question was which material was better for their business? With this first decision, Adam and Bryce decided that whenever they came to a similar fork in the road, they were going to take the path towards high-quality materials.

But, where would their journey’s excitement be without hitting the hazards early on? They wanted to use real leather, and golf gloves are typically made using Cabretta leather (not actually leather) because it is thin, form-fitting and “soft as butter”. 

In hopes to stand out from this tradition, Adam and Bryce found an Australian distributor for kangaroo leather… and when the prototype was complete, they immediately realized their massive mistake. The kangaroo leather was extremely poorly suited for a golf glove, because the leather was not thin enough or flexible enough to be useful on the golf course. Luckily, they had a mulligan. 

Their glove consultant Greg recommended UK-based Pittards, a top manufacturer of Cabretta leather with over two centuries of experience. A month after the kangaroo catastrophe, their next set of Cabretta leather golf gloves were a hole-in-one: thin, form-fitting, and supple. With this, Adam and Bryce realized that differentiating your brand doesn’t need to lead you down a difficult path; rather, choosing to celebrate really good materials is a way to differentiate in and of itself.

The Back 9

“We’ve evolved over time, but it makes you appreciate where you are when you think of where you started.” — Adam Carger

Adam found that being laser-focused on their first product allowed them to bring one high-quality and thoughtful product to the market and helped them to determine their company’s manufacturing principles. They then applied what they learned to making their Cabretta leather ball markers and North American hickory alignment sticks with covers made from North American leather from North American tanneries. How boujee.  

Officially teeing off in the spring of 2021, Scotch & Skins is currently going through the final process of creating sizes, finalizing logo design, and will go into full-scale manufacturing soon with their premium golf gloves and assortment of high-end golf accessories. 

So remember…  if the glove don’t fit, you must not have shopped Scotch & Skins. 

And be sure to check out https://www.scotchandskins.com/ and join their email list to be notified of product release. 

How About You?

Have you been sketching the next big thing on the back of a cocktail napkin? Are you frantically Googling everything about it right now? Now, right now, is the time to make it happen. There’s loads of tools and resources available everywhere to convert the idea in your head into an OBJECT! on the shelf. All it takes is a little follow through. ⛳️

If you have an object that you want to profile, send a note to Nicholas Daniel-Richards to pitch@shiphero.com – we’re always on the lookout for a new object to cover. For more info, episode details, and links to the stuff we discuss, visit https://shiphero.com/podcast.