Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Wylie Robinson, and I am the founder and Chief Executive Officer or Rumpl. We make everyday blankets out of technical materials commonly found in outdoor gear and activewear.
What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?
Do less. Focus on one thing.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.
I wouldn’t say it’s a “favorite” necessarily, but I started this business with a close friend who had a very similar skill set. When our skill sets really started to overlap there was conflict and one of us had to leave the business. Ultimately that was him, and I carried on as CEO of the company. I have no doubt that this was best for Rumpl, but it was very challenging and stressful (for both of us) to go through.
Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?
In general, I don’t see a lot of other brands applying technical qualities or features to bedding and blankets. It’s all over the apparel sector, but not so much in home goods. I think that home goods made with technical materials will become the norm very soon.
What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
That branding can come “after’ you design your product or service. Your brand IS your product or service. Branding, identity, aesthetics, and voice need to be the very first thing you figure out in my opinion.
In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?
Small, a-la-carte projects and opportunities that don’t necessarily ladder up to an overarching objective or strategy.
What is the one book you recommend most often and why?
Change by Design by Tim Brown because design thinking can change the world for the better and add value to any decision-making process.
What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?
Get into the field as soon as possible. There is no better place to learn about what you want to do, what you don’t want to do, and what you’re good at. I would recommend getting to work over continued education (post college) any day.
What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?
Enjoy the present moment.