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MSU alumnus looking to launch watch company

April 23, 2014

Time is ticking for MSU alumnus Shaun Reinhold as he counts down the days to the end of his campaign for his watch company, Canvas Watch Company.

During the past 19 days, the 26-year-old has raised more than $27,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Reinhold said his goal is to raise $40,000 by May 4 to help launch his watch business.

“It’s definitely an exciting experience,” Reinhold said. “It’s scary taking that leap.”

After working in California for Tesla Motors, Reinhold developed an affinity for creating complex products. When Reinhold moved back to Michigan in 2012, he wanted to fulfill a lifelong goal of having his own business.

Reinhold, who has always been an admirer of watches, said expensive costs resulted in a limited selection. His realization sparked a desire to turn his admiration for watches into a business.

Reinhold started Canvas Watch Company in December 2012.

He said it’s the most interesting product he could think of creating because of the wide range of styles and tastes that customers prefer when looking a watch. He also appreciates that people look at more than just functionality when selecting a watch.

“I just wanted something with craftsmanship, quality (and) innovation,” Reinhold said.

Reinhold said that since the watch industry is typically dominated by an older crowd, he believes his young perspective could help his business stand out from the rest.

To help with the designs of the watches, he looks to the community for support.

The Canvas Watch Company website is set up so that new designers can submit sketches for possible new watch styles.

People can then go on the site and vote on which designs they liked best. From there, Reinhold picks the best watches and begins the process to bring the sketch to life.

“I’m kind of the manufacturer who will make a variety of different watches based on what people want to buy,” he said.

Currently, Reinhold has used two designs to manufacture 500 watches. The price of his watches range from $245 to $295.

Reinhold said, instead of asking people to buy shares of his his new business, his online campaign asks people to donate money to Canvas Watch Company to get a reward — a watch.

“It’s a way for people who want watches to buy one to help get me started,” Reinhold said.

Reinhold has 11 days left to reach his goal. He said he hopes to meet his goal by then.

“The experience alone is worth it,” he said. “To really understand what it takes to start a business versus learning about it.”

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