We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Dougherty and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I wanted to start a business that aligned with my passion and allowed me to teach my sons the mindset I learned as a Navy SEAL to help them succeed in life. Starting a watch business would be challenging at best. Still, I also knew it would be a tremendous opportunity to teach them about failure, handwork, self-awareness, and determination.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Declan James Watch Co is an independent micro-watch brand. What sets us apart from others is that we believe watches tend to symbolize something more than just a watch that tells time. Watches have a remarkable ability to survive generations and tell us stories about personal accomplishments, families, and the individuals who wore them. This belief drives our more personal, thoughtful, and lasting interaction with customers. Sharing our passion for watches and knowing that they can become a symbol of someone’s legacy is what excites us most.
Getting to this point physically, mentally, and financially was not easy. There have been many late night and early mornings—tons of mistakes and moments of self-doubt. Not to mention wasted resources and many lessons learned. One of the most important lessons I learned along the way was to stay true to yourself and your brand. I learned the hard way not to be fooled or let the ” experts ” hijack the brand just because they have more experience than you. It’s your brand and your vision, not theirs.
What I want the world to know about my brand and story is that I started this business out of love for my sons and my desire to create a business that their kid’s kids can be proud of.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would take the light rail from Denver International Airport to Union Station when they arrived from out of town. We would get a cup of coffee and watch all the unique and interesting people come and go about their daily business and life. From there, we would walk down to Larimer Square and eat at any of the beautiful restaurants there. Maybe a little shopping at the boutique stores.
After that, we would probably head up to the mountains. Vail is always excellent, but we would head to Crested Bute instead. A little further away and off the beaten path, but well worth it. We would spend the weekend up there relaxing and hiking.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To say there is one group, organization, book, or mentor responsible for my success would be an understatement. Many influences throughout my life helped me get to where I am at today. However, I would have to say that it all started with my parents. They instilled just enough confidence in me to help me believe in myself and become a Navy SEAL. My time serving with the SEAL Teams forever changed my life. The experience and lessons I learned along the way led me down the path I took to get where I am today.