Tyler Fellman is the founder and CEO of Fellman Watch Co.. He’s also pursuing two graduate degrees at Arizona State University: an MBA and MSE in systems engineering.
What part of Arizona do you call home?
I live in Scottsdale, but have previously lived in Tempe and Tucson.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
My father was an entrepreneur, as was my grandfather and so on. Despite this, I was never interested in business until recently. I studied mechanical engineering, then worked as an engineer for several years after. Recently I started my MBA and this really triggered my understanding of business and allowed me to develop the skills that I needed to start my own venture.
What was your very first entrepreneurial venture?
Fellman Watch Co. is my first real entrepreneurial venture. I just finished up a successful Kickstarter campaign and am on my way to production.
How did you come up with the idea for your current business?
Designing watches has been a hobby of mine for several years and naturally blends in with my enthusiasm for the outdoors. I realized there was not a stylish watch that I could wear in the outdoors and still wear to the office the next day. This is when I realized a market gap and I could turn my passion into a business.
What is your favorite part about running a business?
This is my first in-depth venture and it has pushed me to understand every aspect of a business and create seamless solutions for startup problems. When I put in the effort, I see immediate results as opposed to just putting in time in my past careers.
What was the biggest challenge in executing this idea?
Marketing has been my biggest challenge because I come from an engineering background. I really enjoy the strategic elements of it, but the actual execution and maintenance is a tedious task for me.
How long have you lived or worked in Arizona?
I was born here and have lived here all my life, expect for short stints to New Zealand and Germany.
If you could only describe your city with one word, which word would it be?
What’s your favorite thing about living in Arizona?
The Arizona nature is very diverse. It is well known for the deserts, but there are so many other nice parts of the state that it’s hard to take everything in!
What’s your least favorite thing about living in Arizona?
Phoenix is too spread out. There are advantages to this, but the way the city is laid out it makes public transportation and a centralized downtown difficult.
In what areas do you think Arizona still has a long way to go?
Public transport and sustainability. Phoenix is a growing city and this puts a strain on the infrastructure and resources.
The foodie scene is growing bigger and bigger by the day here in Arizona. What is your favorite place to get breakfast in your city?
My favorite breakfast place in Hash Kitchen in Scottsdale.
What’s your favorite place to grab lunch?
Sakana Sushi is a great place.
What’s your favorite dinner spot?
Cornish Pasty Co..
What’s your favorite place to work in your city aside from your office?
Best place for a meeting over drinks?
What is your favorite memory in Arizona?
Backpacking through Paria Canyon, a remote, quiet slot canyon in northern Arizona.
What is something about living in Arizona that only a local would know of?
It snows in Tucson! (Mt. Lemmon.)
Any tips for new Arizona residents?
Drink a lot of water!