Mandurah watch brand a labour of love

Of all the amazing things found in Mandurah, one of the least expected might be an international watch brand, but Dan and Anoushka Strange’s John Taylor Watches is exactly that.

And the way their business came about in Mandurah is even more of a surprise.

The couple’s eight-year-old daughter Isabella is a survivor of eye cancer and when she needed a new prosthetic eye they were struggling to find the cash they needed.

“She was six months old when she was diagnosed, it was a one in 20,000 chance, and all of a sudden we had this bombshell,” Mr Strange said.

“She’s cancer free now which is awesome, but early last year we were talking with a specialist from LA and she needed to get a better prosthetic eye because the ones she had were affecting her bone structure.

“We wanted her to have the best and we thought, how do we make it happen, and we were looking at about $40,000 including flights to LA and treatments.

“We thought, how are we going to get the additional funds?”

The solution was to start a business.

The couple took their life savings and invested it in manufacturing a short run of watches and starting a crowd-sourcing campaign.

John Taylor Watches. Photo: Nathan Hondros.

John Taylor Watches. Photo: Nathan Hondros.

“I was doing my own little social media hobby and had a bit of an online following, so I was always getting sent watches and my dad always bought me watches when I was growing up, I loved them,” Ms Strange said.

“We were just brainstorming, how could we make this into something, how could we support our daughter besides our day to day jobs which just support our living costs.

“We just came together and said, ‘We love watches, this is something we can actually do’.”

Mr Strange said he went to a range of suppliers before finding one that could manufacture watches that watchmakers believed were better quality than their competitors and then launched a Kickstarter campaign.

”We harnessed the community, family and friends, it was amazing the kind of support we got,” he said.

“We set a target of $25,000 and we got that in 15 days, then we raised $32,000 which was amazing and then we thought let’s give it our best and keep doing this.”

Although the business is now successful, the best news is it will pay for their daughter’s treatment.

“We’re just passionate about making this work,” Ms Strange said.

“We’re just this couple from WA trying to say, hey look, we’re here too.”

For more information go to John Taylor Watches.

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