Withers and Co Hawaii Blog

Our Thoughts on Starting Up


What is it like doing a start up?

Our experience was not what you would call a typical start up…we started in Hawaii haha! The trip had been booked for a few months, but even though the timing wasn’t ideal, it was just what we needed after coming out of a bad environment . 

If you are ever going to Hawaii please message us as we really love the place and can go into more detail, but our highlights were:

  • Sky Waikiki - 18 stories up, amazing cocktails, views and sunset
  • Coconut Mojitos’ (everyday) - the craving for these now is real
  • Hanuma Bay snorkelling - the most fish you'll ever see when snorkelling
  • Arnolds Beach Bar - stumbled upon this genius local bar with live acoustic music 
  • Side Street Café - hidden diner in an industrial part of town 
  • Waimea Gardens Waterfall - road tripping in a tropical thunderstorm - we went swimming
  • Surfing - Janelle nailed it, I watched
  • Diamond Head - inside the crater rim of a volcano, super hot walk but the views are worth it

But back to the start-up, to put it simply - it is f***ing tough.

  • Suppliers will not give you credit terms
  • You have no clients
  • You have no history with clients
  • You have no traffic coming from your website
  • The bank will not give you any money
  • You are paying your wages with the money you used to start the business, so you are literally paying yourself
  • You do every single task within the business yourself

So why do it?

Two reasons:

Firstly, I was in a really toxic work environment. I wasn't seeing eye to eye with my business partner on anything; the environment was never going to change, so I did.

Secondly, and for Withers & Co. to be a success this has to be, and is, the driving force - you do it because you are passionate about your idea/industry. Let me say that again, your idea, not someone else’s. You have an idea about how one small part of the world can work better and you invest everything you have into it.

The move to digital is not new. Facebook provides your news, you book accommodation through Airbnb and when having a few drinks you use Uber.

In our industry no one is working digitally, so while a massive risk, we see this as the way forward. 

The higher the risk, the higher the return…so they say

The upside to this start up is that we know we have a genuine win/win. Our clients can receive pricing and service better than anywhere else, so our clients win. When we make a sale, we make money, so we win. If we make lots of sales, we win big – yay us!

But the risk is if we don't make any sales, or enough sales, we lose…money, house, everything. So at times it can be pretty scary…bet big, win big eh.

In poker terms, Janelle and I have gone “all in”. The cards will be dealt over the next 12-24 months, and we will be working dam hard but if friends, family, team mates and clients see what we are doing and can place orders, our odds will increase massively.


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