You’ve heard of Rolex and Tag Hauer, maybe own a Fitbit or Apple Watch. What everyone is looking for is uniqueness, some way to express their individuality. Well, your search for a unique timepiece has just ended with the Maker Watch Company’s handcrafted, ultra-unique, wood and resin watches.
Justin Alvares and Nibin Thomas are the cofounders of Maker Watch Co. and personally handcraft wood and resin watches for their clients from a small home studio in the Port Credit Area of Mississauga. They
have seen significant growth via social media over the last 6 months mostly notably for their signature hybrid case watch - A case that is part wood and part resin. And the end result is nothing short of stunning.
We met with Justin and Nibin over coffee in Roncesvalles to gain some insight on their story and their tradecraft.
What inspired you to start Maker Watch Co.?
Justin: Ultimately it was the belief in an idea that created our business and a post on
Instagram. I (Alvares) set out to make a watch out of wood for myself with the intent to
make it just for personal use. Nibin loved the product helped close my first sale and
encouraged me to keep making more and long story short here we are today.
Building a wood watch from scratch doesn't sound easy, what sorts of challenges
Justin: The biggest initial hurdle came from building a second watch. Knowing that watch
isn’t just for me but for a customer and someone who will be excited about it puts a massive
amount of stress on me to ensure that the product is as perfect as I can make it in that
moment. Each watch we produce gets of better and better as time/building/experience
How do you guys split responsibility?
Justin: I handle the product and Nibin handles the business aspects. We are in tune with
what each other are doing but have trust and confidence in each other in our respective
areas. Our ultimate responsibility is to our clients and i'm lucky to share that passion with
some like Nibin who gets people and builds strong relationships.
How do you manage to stay friends and healthy business partners?
Nibin: Everyone is quick to state that you can't do business with friends and family but I
think that's simply not true. I've started, failed and continue to operate businesses over the
years and each and every single one was with friends. I think business partners can become
friends and vice versa. It's about making the time to be present under both hats. It's not
easy when every conversation ultimately turns into a business conversation and it's so easy
to lose the friendship aspect. We manage to still get out for coffees, go to mutual friend’s
events and just have good conversation about our personal lives.
What would you say is the single most influential factor in your success to date?