Creativity. It’s everything when starting a brand. That original idea that separates yours from the pack. You see an opportunity in the market. Something is missing and you know you can fill that gap. Instead of waiting for someone else to take the initiative, you start to create. All of a sudden, that idea is a reality. A rather innovative one at that.
This is the story of Daniel Erdman. A guy from the Great White North who is most certainly a creative. And with this mindset, he has taken the boring old golf towel and turned it into an art with his up-and-coming brand, Uther.
And the golf towels are just the start. Uther seems poised to follow the path set forth by renowned brands of our generation. Begin with one product, master it, and expand. Bonobos started with pants. Mizzen + Main was created around an innovative dress shirt. MVMT was founded on the basis of an affordable, stylish watch. Uther brought their unique towels into the marketplace and have some exciting products dropping in 2018.
With great ambitions for his brand, it was a pleasure speaking with Dan about his entrepreneurial journey so far. Here is what he had to say:
G&E: Tell us a little about your background?
Dan: I live in Canada so golfing up here is, of course, a lot more limited than in the US. One of my first jobs was working as a back-shop attendant at a local golf course, Thornhill Club. I then later worked at a predominantly female club, Ladies Golf Club of Toronto and finally a public course called Richmond Hill Golf Club. My experience juggling around those clubs gave me a great insight into what’s working and what’s missing at clubs.
When did you first start playing golf, and why did you pick up the game?
The stereotype is true, a ton of people play hockey in Canada and if it weren’t for hockey, I probably wouldn’t haven’t started playing golf so early on. It was a natural transition for me and my hockey buddies to play golf in the summer ounce the hockey season was over.
What made you want to start Uther?
Working in the back-shop, especially private clubs, I saw rows of bags which all looked the same and knew there had to be something that can make them fun and unique. Golf towels are a necessity for golfers so thought why not make them fun and blend art and function.
So how did you come up with the name Uther?
We’ve gotten a ton of people asking how we pronounce it whether “Oother”, “U-ther” or “other”, the latter is correct but we don’t mind any other way of saying it. We set out to be the “other” brand in the marketplace and create products no other companies are creating. We’re purposeful with all the products we create and each product must have a special feature that really stands apart from other products on the market or we just won’t produce it.
Have you engaged in any other entrepreneurial ventures prior to Uther?
Late November 2015 to the start of Uther around April 2016, I worked on a training aid that didn’t make it to market. We worked on about 4 prototypes and the minimum order quantity was greater than like 10,000 pieces so I reached the point where it was best to pursue the golf towel idea.
What doors have opened as a result of Uther?
Creating relationships with people around the world. For example, it’s offered the chance to collaborate with people in Australia, Sweden and Hungry, there’s not a lot of occupations that allow that.
What is your vision for yourself and your company in the future?
It would be great to have Uther be a top golf brand in the next 5 – 10 years.
What have you learned most from starting Uther?
Probably organization. Especially as your growing, you need to have system puts in place to keep running efficiently.
How does Uther engage with the community?
We’re most active on Instagram but you can catch us on all social media channels. We also have a newsletter to stay in touch with our customers. You can sign up at the bottom of our webpage on our site.
Rapid Fire Q&A Round
Who is your greatest inspiration?
Ben Francis, owner of Gymshark. What they’ve done in such a short period of time is inspirational.
What’s your favorite time of year to play a round? Time of day?
I’m a sucker for vacation golf. In terms of time of day, nothing beats being the first on the course right when the sun is rising.
If you could play 18 with anyone, who would it be?
If anyone throughout history it has to be Arnie.
Will there be any new product releases in the near future at Uther?
We have some new hats releasing the next couple weeks. We also have a new product that we’ve been working on the last year releasing mid-January. Stay tuned!
G&E Magazine is a digital publication dedicated to the world of golf and entrepreneurship, bringing to life the journeys of people who are taking their enthusiasm for golf and are turning it into their career in remarkable fashion. Follow G&E on Instagram (@gandemagazine), Facebook (gandemagazine), and Twitter (@gandemagazine).