CHAPEL HILL – Hosted by Innovate Carolina and 79° West, a conversation delved into the entrepreneurial journey of Dane Barnes and explored the remarkable success story of North Carolina-based Shibumi.
Barnes talked with Aimee Brosnan, program director with Carolina Angel Network. Barnes has been at the forefront of the company’s creation and expansion.
Today, Shibumi beach shades adorn more than 800 beaches worldwide and are available in more than 170 retail outlets across the United States. Barnes currently oversees physical store retail sales for the company, bringing his expertise and passion to further propel Shibumi’s growth.
During the fireside chat, Barnes shared his experience with founding a successful startup.
“Starting a business has been such a great learning experience,” he said. “Even though I studied business in undergrad and [my co-founders] studied math and English, we had never started a consumer products company or brand before, and so it’s exciting new territory which is the case for a lot of entrepreneurs, I think.”
Barnes also discussed some of the challenges and opportunities that he has faced while running a business. “It seems to me that early on in the life of a business, companies require so much more of your time and effort because you’re starting from nothing to kind of get things off the ground,” he shared. “Eventually, when your business is established, you have different challenges from the ones you faced in the early years but you also get to learn and grow from them.”
When asked what was next for Barnes and Shibumi, he shared some of his professional goals. “I think it’s really trying to expand [our business] into other regions, and develop new products that people can use to elevate their beach experience,” he said. While new product development can take time, Barnes made it clear that he and his team are focused on taking Shibumi further.
Learn more and register for upcoming events and resources at the 79ºWest Innovation Hub in MOSAIC located just south of Chapel Hill in Chatham County. Events are planned and hosted by the Innovate Carolina team and created to provide entrepreneurial support, advice and networking opportunities. Learn more and register here.
This story was originally published at https://innovate.unc.edu/fireside-chat-with-shibumi-shade-co-founder-dane-barnes/