Jack Flynn is the CEO of Pure World and a senior at Babson. Born and raised in Attleboro, MA, he came to Babson because he thinks business is the quickest way to change the world.
Courtesy of Pure World's Instagram https://www.instagram.com/pureworldbrands/
From being the President of the Radio Club, to playing for the Men’s Club Ice Hockey, to working as a Community Guide at the Blank Center— Jack has always been involved on campus. Apart from Babson-related activities, he enjoys playing music, taking pictures, and, on top of all, traveling.
This edition of Entrepreneurial Spotlight features the story of Jack, an active thrill-seeker that turned his crumbling FME business into a company that embodies his passion to explore the world.
How did you start Pure World? “Pure World started as an FME business that did not exist until the spring semester of freshman year”. The team’s original FME idea was called “Stixer”— silicon “wall pockets” to help people organize their things. But at the beginning of January, the team pivoted: “The company wasn’t going in a direction that we were passionate about” and “aside from that, we were having trouble with operations and importation”.
How did you come up with the idea of selling backpacks instead? “My teammate, Ana Maharjan, is from Nepal. Over winter break, she bought a Nepalese backpack which people really liked, so she proposed selling them. Everyone was on board for the idea.” Changing the whole concept was not an easy task: the team had to place new orders quickly before they started their selling period.
“Receiving the order was a whole adventure: Ana had to go pick up the backpacks all the way to New York, where complications with importation customs arose. Early in the morning of the FME Expo, the team did not have their backpacks yet. Ana was still on a bus back to Boston, without any cell phone service. Nobody knew if Ana, (or the backpacks!) were going to make it to the Expo.
As Jack was eagerly waiting at the station, he turned around and was pleased to see Ana, who was standing with a box full of Pure World backpacks beside her. That day, Pure World sold so many bags that the company broke-even. Jack, back then the Head of Sales & Marketing of the company, was excited to lead an incredibly successful day of sales. He realized that being passionate about the product one is trying to sell is a crucial component of being an effective salesperson.
What happened after FME? When the spring semester ended, acting according to the class’ rules, the team had to close the company to track the progress they had made during their selling period. Reluctantly, the group shut down their website and Instagram page— and said good-bye to their beloved FME venture.
But this was not the end of Pure World for Jack— he saw potential in the brand: “there was so much more to the business”. He wanted to inspire people to travel around the world with the brand they had built for the last months. The summer after freshman year, Jack traveled around with friends. Without knowing, he had already built a team for the new Pure World.
While going on morning hikes, spending days at the beach, and taking trips to new cities, Jack and his team would do photoshoots with the backpacks. Taking advantage of his love for photography, Jack was able to create a fun image for the brand. He would post the pictures on social media to inspire customers to travel the world. Later, he encouraged them to send him their travel photos with their backpacks.
That was when the motto “Where will your bag take you?” came to life.
Jack started thinking about how to become more than a backpack company. After interviewing exchange students, Jack found out that they wished that they would have built more intimate relationships with the locals. They felt as if they did not experience the new culture to the fullest. So, Pure World got a new twist.
His new idea involves a platform where customers can blog about their experiences, post their photos, build an itinerary, and create a travel profile. “It’s an all-inclusive app for your travel journeys.” The mission is to connect travelers with locals to give them a more profound cultural experience. After all, “I was never in the backpack business.”
Article by Nicole Edwards
The views expressed herein are attributed to their authors and not to this publication nor Babson College. The materials appearing in this publication are for information purposes only.