At Blockchain, we are kicking off our first week of 2016 with an exclusive interview with bitcoin advocate and owner of Dueling Company, James Galitsis.
Esther P: Thank you so much for making the time to chat. I’m so excited to kick off 2016 with a feature of you and Dueling.
**James G: **I’m very interested in being featured as the Bitcoin Merchant of the Week. I really believe in what bitcoin stands for, especially as the premier cryptocurrency the marketplace. Thanks for reaching out to me.
EP: How did you begin Dueling?
JG: After visiting the Trinity Church in New York City one cold afternoon in December, two friends (myself and a friend visiting from Sweden) became inspired by seeing the final resting place of Alexander Hamilton, the most famous dueling victim of all time. The inspiration led to the creation of Dueling with the hope to educate others by invigorating modern-day fashion with witty commentary of world historical events. I truly believe that history eventually repeats itself and many of our designs contain allegories that reflect modern-day affairs. Dueling has scoured world history with the aim of not only teaching people about these past events, but also helping to understand modern day political and social parables.
EP: How has your journey with Dueling transitioned over time?
**JG: **In September 2013, I began Dueling with mere six designs of clothing and hats at a storefront in SoHo, New York, and expanded the business to also include jewelry, wholesale, pop-up shop, and e-commerce over time. I’ve relocated the SoHo storefront to focus on wholesale and e-commerce, and have recently opened up a bitcoin-friendly pop-up shop in Brooklyn at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg (70 North 7th St., open Sat + Sun 10AM – 7PM).
As an entrepreneur, I work 24/7 and am constantly learning. I’ve learned how important it is to maintain an entrepreneurial mindset versus a regular mindset. The more you learn and put yourself out there, the more you learn and grow as a person and a businessman. Being proactive means high economical returns. Being proactive has also enabled me to do better market research. My clients tend to be immersed in the sword culture, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and history.
EP: How important is it for a brand to be accessible online?
JG: As a brand, not participating in e-commerce limits its potential to thrive. The million dollar question to ask is “What’s your reach?” E-commerce enables your customers to interact with you and to access your brand in an easier, faster, and up-to-date format.
EP: What is the (1) most rewarding and (2) most difficult part about having your own business?
**JG: **The most rewarding part about running Dueling is seeing my vision come into reality. As an artist, the amount of joy that comes from seeing clients enjoy my products and receiving continuous support is priceless.
The most difficult part is staying focused on various tasks as a sole entrepreneur. There are days when my to-do list seems endless. From marketing, branding, sales, design to accounting, organizing my thoughts and anticipating success in all aspects of the business is easier said than done.
EP: What are your plans and goals for 2016—both personal and for your business?
**JG: **Resolutions are great and can be accomplished little by little with constant effort and hard work. Personally, I would like to continue living a healthy lifestyle. For Dueling, I want to continue to grow and trust my business process while staying creative and methodical.
EP: How did you first learn about bitcoin, and how do you see it revolving? Do you see potential?
**JG: **A friend first introduced me to bitcoin about three years ago. It didn’t resonate with me at the time, but my recent exposure to cryptocurrency truly fascinated me. Bitcoin provides countless advantages of using a peer-to-peer currency as opposed to a fiat currency. I feel that people who are already using bitcoin are free thinkers who think for themselves rather than everyone else. This resonates with Dueling’s action motto, “Challenge Accepted.”
Bitcoin has an immense potential in minimizing transaction costs and fees. I had a far-from-ideal encounter today in which only a portion of the $100.00 payment I made using PayPal for advertising services reached the recipient. Had the recipient and I used bitcoin, we would have been able to avoid this outcome. Bitcoin is a much more intelligent system and conducive to reducing transaction fees.
EP: What do you think can be done to inspire more merchants to accept bitcoin?
**JG: **There needs to be a demand for receiving and paying in bitcoin. When more merchants accept bitcoin, more people will become curious and look into what bitcoin is. What’s great about it? Transaction costs are minimal at best and you do not have to “carry” the currency. Once people understand the value of bitcoin, it will soon replace fiat currency.
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