"Seeing people get outside, exercise and your products help them have an even cooler outdoor experience or just motivate them to get out into nature is an incredibly beautiful feeling!"
Alexander comes from Vienna – a real city kid. He found his enthusiasm for sports in his late youth. Somewhere between the Danube Island and the fields of Pinkafeld, where he completed his basic training with the army. Running in particular has become one of his favorite outdoor activities.
In addition to his studies (industrial engineering), he has worked as a world courier and worked night shifts on the assembly line. After Alexander finally got his diploma in hand, he traded the assembly line work for an office job in a medical technology company and worked there for a few years.
He was promoted twice, managed an entire department and had good prospects of climbing the career ladder even further. But he didn't want a job with 60 hour weeks, instead he decided to make 80 hours out of it, as it later turned out.
It all started with a running backpack...
Of course, the ideal is to turn your hobby into a profession . Yes, Alex enjoys running and hiking, but becoming a professional athlete wasn't in his genes and he probably should have started a few years earlier . He could have become an extreme athlete , but that was too unusual for him.
So he decided to try a different approach. What am I good at? What are my strengths ? What makes me happy ? Can these properties be packed into a product? And more importantly, is anyone even interested in this product?
After a very long research, thorough consideration and a great deal of courage , he decided that he would develop his first product : a running backpack .
Thus, Atacama Outdoor was launched in 2016 . Months have passed after countless phone calls and e-mails with a wide variety of suppliers, intensive examination of the material properties of fabrics, design ideas and implementation options.
On weekends and after work, the first product samples were compared and tested by friends and other running enthusiasts. Delivery dates were coordinated and, last but not least, he still had to familiarize himself with Amazon 's sales guidelines
Why this sales platform (Amazon)?
It definitely does not have the best and easiest conditions for sellers, but it is a good starting platform to quickly make a product visible to many sports enthusiasts .
After a good six months, Alex held his first own product in his hands. The first sales started and there was a lot of criticism - good and bad. This gave him a boost of motivation and he wanted to design an even better hydration pack.
So a lot of time, work and enthusiasm was invested to consider all the feedback as best as possible, some things made sense to revise and some things just can't please everyone. There was still a lot to learn and a lot to try out .
“Developing your first product is not only a lengthy process , it is also incredibly exciting to see how people like it. Criticism comes anyway – what matters is how you deal with it . I'm always happy to receive constructive feedback. This is the only way to constantly improve your products and respond to the needs of athletes.”
The whole development process has shown Alexander that there is a fire bubbling within him that does not want to be extinguished. In addition to his main job, Alexander has developed a solid range of products for about 3.5 years, which at the same time required as much effort as a second full-time job .
Now the time had come to decide how Atacama Outdoor will develop in the future. Alex risked everything , quit his secure job to take Atacama to a whole new level . The whole thing is difficult to do alone. That's why Daniela came on board - it's easier to row with two people and the to-do's can also be divided up.
"When the time comes where you realize that people like your products and the sales figures are good, then you have to decide whether you want to go all-in . Do you want to fight for your dream and put all your energy into one thing or spend a lifetime wondering if you will regret not doing it.”