During his last days of high school, young entrepreneur Riley Tanton watched time count down. His mind wasn’t on hanging out with mates soaking in the sun on lazy summer days before hitting it hard at uni, however. It was on business. His own business – Millennial Watches.
At just 18 years of age, Riley has launched a new collection of unisex watches, each named after an Aussie island. The new line-up complements the original collection he launched a year ago.
“I was frustrated trying to find a watch I liked that wasn’t going to rob the bank,’ says Riley. ‘I wanted a quality time piece that was good looking, unique and dependable—not too chunky or heavy. When I couldn’t find what I wanted I decided to design my own.”
After securing backing through a Kickstarter campaign and then testing many samples, Millennial Watches opened for business. Riley has since sold up to 180 watches in one week, with sales strongest in the ACT, NSW, QLD, and Victoria.
The Original Collection comes in six styles, each $59.70. Riley then introduced a special edition Royal watch, featuring a rose gold alloy case, navy blue face, and navy leather strap. The Haven Collection has four styles, each $86.40. Shipping is free.
“The new watches are sleeker and thinner than the originals, but come with the same high-grade leather straps,’ says Riley. ‘The Japanese movement is long-lasting, and the batteries last for around three years. The watches come with a guarantee.”
After much research, Riley settled on manufacturing in Shenzhen, China. He worked with the manufacturer to refine and test samples, until together they perfected a stylish design that suits both fashion conscious men and women. Selecting the manufacturer was a massive decision, but Riley, using a translator and Skype, investigated how each step would work and made sure – through photos – that the workplace was clean, organised and safe. “As soon as I have the funds, I’ll visit the factory in China,” says Riley.
Not all profits hit Riley’s bank account. Even though a young entrepreneur, Riley has figured out that giving back to the community is good business, so he donates $3.50 from each watch sold to the Garvan Institute for Medical Research.
Why the Garvan Institute? “It focuses on asthma and Parkinson’s,” says Riley. “I suffer badly from asthma and have been hospitalised on and off with it since I was two, and my 80-year-old grandmother has been suffering from Parkinson’s for some time.”
Knowing that business must evolve to stay relevant, Riley is already working on new lines of watches, including custom designs for organisations. He’s just finished a 300-run for Grammar where he went to high school.
Riley has always had his eye on the possibilities the business world holds. He made scented candles when he was just nine years of age and sold lollies and soft drinks out of his school locker in Grade 6.
Riley has had early acceptance into the University of Canberra and has every intention of completing his Master of Business Administration—as soon as time permits.
To purchase a millenial watch – or watches – visit the website.