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Former Hodinkee editor Cara Barrett on why she launched Parchie Pal - a startup that makes children’s watches

Through Parchie Pal, Cara Barrett hopes to nurture future watch collectors. She told 'The New York Times' that the startup is named after her childhood imaginary friend.

October 29, 2021 / 11:32 AM IST
Cara Barrett said

Cara Barrett said "we’re all on screens enough as it is", and that's why she wanted the Parchie Pal line to be analogue.


“It was a hands-on MBA.” That’s how Cara Barrett describes her five years at watch portal Hodinkee.

Barrett, 35, has now blended that experience with her own vision and ambition to launch Parchie Pal, a $50 children’s watch. She named it after her imaginary childhood friend.

“Parchie was the name of my imaginary friend growing up,” Barrett told The New York Times. “I want kids to bond over shared appreciations and parents to bond with their kids. That’s the genesis of Parchie.”

Barrett said that many people were obsessed with watches and collecting, and a lot of their stories started with their first watch at a young age.

“But what’s out there for kids today is really limited. So I thought, let’s come up with something new,” she said.

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Barrett was decidedly against making a smartwatch. Her line is analogue, vibrant and water-proof so that kids can swim or splash around in the pool wearing them.

“Little mini dive watches in fun colours,” is how she describes them. “I don’t want Parchie to be a screen watch. We’re all on screens enough as it is,” she said.

On the matter of funding, Barrett put in her own money. She says she is not looking for investors. She sells the watches through her website and WhatsApp. However, she has been in talks with retailers, including Hodinkee, which has evolved from being just a watch blog and forum to also selling timepieces.

On the matter of design, Barrett used her experience and also worked with a design agency. Simplicity is the look that appeals to her, and which she believes defines most great watches.

“When you look at the big brands, the most successful are the ones with the simplest designs,” she said. “I wanted to implant longevity into Parchie, to make it timeless.”

Barrett is realistic about returns on business and brand recognition.“I would love Parchie to be a household name globally, but I’m well aware that takes time,” she said.



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