There are a few different places you could kick off the Bogeybox story.
Sure, it makes sense to start on the golf course, where founder Nik Bando fell in love with a sport closely associated with fashion, even though it doesn’t require a specific uniform.
But a more appropriate place might be under Bando’s desk at the marketing and advertising firm where he worked in 2015. It was here, Bando explained on the 33rd episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, that his subscription box service for golfers began.
“I was storing, at one point, inventory under my desk with Bogeybox stickers throughout the office,” he said. “Having that flexibility was amazing. I was able to test very quickly, what do people like, what do they not like.”
Bando said the company’s early days were spent building personal relationships with customers that are difficult to replicate through a more traditional retail model. Specifically, the example Bando used was that of country club pro shop, where the guy behind the counter knows you and has probably even given you a golf lesson.
But he also stressed the importance of identifying the limitations of the subscription model.
“At the end of the day we’re not really solving a need. Throwing stuff in a box and sending it to someone’s house is not a need like Dollar Shave Club,” he said. “What we did uncover was that people loved clothes [but] hated shopping for them. More specifically—within golf —finding the right fit was almost impossible for a lot of guys. “
It was here where Bando’s interest in golf and fashion intersected with each other.
“A lot of golf brands, you’ll wear a large and the sleeves will come past your elbow, the midsection will kind of a parachute out and so there’s been this real lack of fit because there’s been a wide range of age groups,” he said.
Bando said Bogeybox keeps track of data and information for each customer, something that’s important to set them apart from legacy golf retailers.
After signing up for Bogeybox, stylists reach out to customers for a consultation after they complete an initial survey. The company previews potential outfits for every customer before any items are shipped out and a New York City show room adds a retail model to the experience.
But even in store, Bogeybox does things differently, hosting watch parties for golf tournaments and providing simulators where customers can practice their swing.
“Our big focus was [gathering] as much information as possible to glean insights into what we need to be buying,” he said. “We take a ton of risk by offering free shipping and free return. To send someone a product that they don’t absolutely love and they’re not inclined to purchase is a disservice.”