Saturday, March 18, 2017

Vintage watch store in Manhattan Beach keeps owner ticking

For Manhattan Beach Watch Repair + Vintage Watches owner, Victor Kartounian, watchmaking is in his blood.

“I come from a watchmaking family,” Kartounian said. “My grandfather, my dad, my uncles, my cousins, my brothers, everybody in the family’s a watchmaker.”

Kartounian’s aunt gave him his first watch when he was 5 years old. It broke within two days, and he was devastated. However, this broken watch started his love for watches.

“I started collecting and actually destroying watches at the age of 11 and 12. Finally, I started working for my dad at 13. I started doing minor watch repair,” Kartounian said. “I moved up into basically cleaning, overhaul, disassembling, reassembling, adjusting and regulating watches at 17 years old.”

Kartounian went on to work for his five uncles in various watch shops, from Pasadena to Santa Monica. Then, Kartounian opened Tic Time at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach in 1996 while he attended Cal State Long Beach, where he earned a bachelor's in sociology. Six years later, Kartounian decided to give the store to his brother, Sam, and he opened Redondo Beach Watch Company also in the Galleria.

“In 2008, when the recession hit in the South Bay, our store took a big hit because we are a luxury store. I also saw the market dwindle because of the internet,” Kartounian said.

Kartounian gave Redondo Beach Watch Company to his brother, Sam, and father, Peter, in 2012. When thinking about opening another business, he decided he wanted something smaller than his previous 1,200 square foot store in the Galleria. Something he could manage himself without employees if necessary.

"After 20 years of wearing suits and ties, I got tired of being in a corporate-style business, and I wanted to do something different, something boutique," Kartounian said.

When searching for a smaller, boutique-like shop, he came across a space for lease in Manhattan Beach on the corner of Highland Avenue and 13th Street. He opened the store in the front of the building in 2012, but last year he moved the shop to the back of the building when he had the opportunity to buy the location.

As the sole proprietor, Kartounian does everything from minor watch repairs to window cleaning. To help him focus more on his customers, Kartounian has four on-call watch repairmen for larger watch repairs.

“We are very local. We are very grassroots. We don’t sell anything online. You cannot call me and buy a watch through the telephone,” Kartounian said. “I don’t want to sell online. I don't want to sell on different venues. I want my clients to come into my store.”

In the store, you’ll find a variety of brands, such as Rolex, Omega and vintage Bulova watches. All the watches are secondhand, vintage and collectible timepieces. When asked why he only sells vintage watches, Kartounian explained that he thinks the quality of older watches is higher quality than those made today.

Kartounian said his watch shop is more than just a business.

“This is what keeps me going. I’m almost like a kid in a toy store. Watches, to me, are not only works of art, but they’re toys that we wind and play with every day,” Kartounian said.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Facebook Advertising Features

  • Video is the future of Facebook.
  • Someday, Facebook might even be all video, all day.
  • And there’s good reason for that. People love to watch videos. At last count, Facebook users are watching 100 million hours of video per day on the social network.
  • Are you using Facebook Ads to grow your business?
  • If not, you should be. Here are nine reasons why.
  • Facebook has many great ad formats, targeting options, and campaign types.
  • Here are my top 10 favorite Facebook advertising features.

1. Lead Ads

In addition to being cheap and insanely effective, Facebook Lead Ads totally eliminate the need for people to visit a landing page on your website.

With Lead Ads you can acquire valuable contact information from potential customers who are using Facebook on a mobile device.

You can use these ads to get people to sign up for your email newsletter, offer deals or discounts, schedule appointments, and more.

2. Video Ads

Video ads are an awesome and cheap Facebook advertising feature — you can pay as little as a penny per video view!

More memorable than the usual text and image combo, Facebook video ads deliver strong brand recall and high engagement — and drive purchase intent.

Simply upload the video to Facebook’s native video player, customize the description, thumbnail, budget, and targeting, and go!

3. Engagement Ads on Wall Posts

Engagement ads can help make your Facebook Page look super popular to anyone who is checking out your business.
Facebook will only show this type of ad to the people who are most likely to engage with your post — reacting, commenting, or sharing.

Sure, getting thousands of comments and reactions is ultimately just vanity — but people want to be part of the in-crowd. Facebook Pages with zero fan interaction always looks a bit suspect. If your business is so great, where are all your customers?

4. Remarketing

Facebook remarketing lets you reach people who have already interacted with or checked out your brand in some way. Maybe they visited your website (or a specific page on it), took some sort of action in your app or game, or gave you their email address or phone number.
Facebook tags these people with cookie. Your remarketing ads will show to those people as they go through their Facebook News Feed so they will remember you and perhaps convert on one of your hard offers.
People who are familiar with your brand are 2x more likely to convert and 3x more likely to engage. Ridiculously powerful stuff!