This Startup Provides the World a Charming Taste of Nashville
By Melissa Simpson
Nobody knows a city quite like the people that live there. By nature, the locals are able to find the best eats, watering holes and shops without too much effort. They also tend to be experts when it comes to avoiding tourist traps.
But when it comes to the folks behind Batch USA, a Nashville-based gift shop and subscription box service, they have their finger on the pulse of quality area-made goods.
Each Batch box is carefully crafted and features the finest handmade products made in Music City. The goodies range from bath bombs to cocktail fixings all the way to “Nashville” baby onesies.
According to their website, the mission of Batch is to highlight locally made goods that define a sense of place, tell the story of the maker, build a community of independent purveyors, and discover the products that make their city unique while spreading the culture of Nashville.
Holiday shopping and @batchusa are a match made in heaven. Watch how a few #Nashville entrepreneurs brought their vision for handcrafted, handpicked goods from local makers to life. https://t.co/g8xuaXIMlO pic.twitter.com/FcYpe2dE33
— Forward Beat (@Forward_Beat) December 7, 2017
Founders Sam Davidson, Stephen Moseley and Rob Williams started Batch in 2013 with the goals of making it easier to find quality handcrafted goods made in the area, and to offer a taste of Nashville culture to the rest of the world. Since launching, Batch has established physical retail stores in Nashville as well as Austin, Texas.
Within four years, in addition to branching out to other cities, Batch has started providing different offerings like corporate gift packages and concierge services. Of course, this surge in popularity was a good thing, though it did not come without a few hard lessons.
“We were fortunate to grow fast, and we said yes to a lot of opportunities,” says Williams. “While it was exciting at the time, we lost our focus and sputtered as a company. We spread ourselves too thin so we were partially successful at a few things (and failed completely at others). The early success gave a false sense of confidence to try to grow even faster.”
Instead of focusing on their missteps, Williams found purpose and value in the setbacks.
“Failure is a great teacher. I’ve learned to make big decisions slower so I’m doing my best to make them with as much information as I can,” he says.
“Oftentimes we hear the word ‘entrepreneur’ and associate it with excitement and glamour,” says Danielle Cohn, Executive Director, Entrepreneurial Engagement and Head of LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs at Comcast NBCUniversal. “In reality, building a business may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.. Sometimes we remind people that they can still have an entrepreneurial spirit inside of a company because starting a business is not right for everyone.”
#ICYM: Applications are officially OPEN for our inaugural LIFT Labs #accelerator class powered by @techstars. Your #tech #startup could be the rising star in media, entertainment & connectivity we’re looking for! #LIFTLabs #IdeasElevated https://t.co/EI6APhjTLJ pic.twitter.com/NRjm0pA03b
— Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs (@LIFT_Labs) January 18, 2018
Comcast NBCUniversal was once a startup itself, and continues to value and support that entrepreneurial spirit, The company recently launched LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs, a collaborative learning environment where startups serious about developing the next generation of media, entertainment and connectivity innovations connect with Comcast NBCUniversal product teams.
A primary component of this is the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, kicking off this July in Philadelphia. The startups that were selected for the 13-week accelerator program will receive one-on-one mentoring from Techstars, a worldwide entrepreneur network that supports entrepreneurs through access to mentorship and capital, and will work directly with mentors and product experts from across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, including the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, film studios, and cable networks, and Xfinity products and services.
The goal is to help founders, like Williams, elevate their ideas even faster.
With all of his hard work and the work of the rest of the Batch team, Williams is able to get a rush from seeing and knowing the great impact that the company is having on Nashville and the surrounding areas.
“I feel great when I tell people about my business — their eyes light up and they tell me that they know and love Batch and the impact we have on the local economy because we are selling products at Batch made by independent purveyors,” he says.
Currently, Williams and the rest of the Batch team are focusing their efforts on enhancing their Nashville operation. This includes opening up more retail locations and broadening their corporate sales. Soon, the team will look to offer their services in other southern cities including Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans, Birmingham and Memphis.