I am not sure if it's the fact that we have been very busy or that February only has 28 days, but this month's newsletter snuck up on me.  Nonetheless, I am excited to share what Alex, myself, and the rest of the Outmore team have been working on lately.
Jumping right in...

Company Updates - 

1) Outmore Living Will Be Showcased at SXSW!

The next two weeks are UT's spring break, and unlike the UT undergrads that will be flocking to warm beaches, I leave this Thursday for a week-long study-abroad trip to Copenhagen where I will be completing a program on sustainability in business. 

My original plan for the second week of spring break was to fly from Copenhagen to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to meet with our supplier team and tour some potential factories.  However, we received some amazing news that made us pivot.  Outmore Living was asked to represent the University of Texas at its South by Southwest event!   We will be one of a handful of UT faculty, student, or alumni-founded companies participating in the event that will feature expert panels from leaders at Tesla, the Department of Defense, and other innovative organizations.   

2) Outmore Visits Guadalajara, Mexico

Last week, Alex and I headed down to Guadalajara, Mexico both to attend the International Furniture Expo and to meet with potential suppliers and manufacturers.  With over 900 exhibitors at the event, we saw first-hand some of the most beautiful outdoor furniture designs while also meeting some incredible manufacturers.  We met with companies with expertise in wood, metal, plastics, and textiles and gained an even better sense of industry trends. 
Later in the newsletter, I will break down the advantages and disadvantages of producing our product in Mexico versus other countries.  However, even if we choose to manufacture Outmore in a country other than Mexico, the trip was extremely successful in helping us make that decision and build long-term relationships.

3) Rapid Prototyping Phase 

As our power and heating designs are nearly complete, we have entered a phase of rapid prototyping. We have been using a combination of our engineering team's resources and the University of Texas' 3D printers to build low-cost high-fidelity prototypes with no wait time.  The reason that prototyping is so important is that it helps evaluate all aspects of the user experience, from the big picture to the minutiae. We are excited to share our finalized prototype very soon.  In the meantime, above is a picture of Roger Rose, UT's 3D Lab Operations Manager, printing our latest prototypes.

Areas of Focus -

As we build towards a monumental 2023, right now we are focused on the following efforts:

1) Rapid Prototyping

This continues to be a focus as we have moved into the prototyping phase for both our power bar and cushions.  While we would like to be moving faster on this front, this is a huge priority that we cannot rush.

2) Closing Financing Round

As mentioned during our last newsletter, we have secured a VC to lead our Seed round.  We have a lot of momentum on the fundraising front, however, this continues to be a huge focus as we meet with investors and VCs looking to fill out the rest of the round.  If you or anyone you know might be interested in investing, please reach out to kevin@outmoreliving.com. 
3) Establish Go-To-Market Strategy

We are feeling very confident that we have built a strong go-to-market strategy.  Recently we hired a GTM consultant that is helping fine-tune that strategy.  We look forward to sharing more when everything is finalized.
4) Finalize Sourcing Plan

We have been working with factories in Mexico, Vietnam, and China to build our final product.  While we still need to finish prototyping before sourcing, the advanced sourcing work we have completed will save a lot of time.  In the coming months, we will make a final decision, which is why the next couple of months are critical for learning and building relationships with the right factory in the right country.  

Founder Perspectives -

Sourcing in China, Mexico, or Vietnam (According to ChatGPT)

As a lean team of two, Alex and I are determined to leverage every tool possible to streamline our efficiency and productivity.  In that spirit, we are at a critical moment in human productivity as artificial intelligence has become more accessible than ever before.  Enter ChatGPT, OpenAI's AI tool trained to follow instructions in a prompt and provide a detailed response.  Over the past few weeks, we have been using ChatGPT to identify potential customers, challenge our strategy, and discover potential partners.  So, why not have it help write our newsletter?


"What are the advantages and disadvantages of sourcing furniture from Mexico, Vietnam, or China?




Sourcing furniture from Mexico, Vietnam, or China can have advantages and disadvantages depending on various factors. Some of the advantages and disadvantages are:



  • Proximity to the United States, which can reduce shipping costs and lead times.
  • Cultural similarities to the United States, which can make communication and business relationships easier.
  • Skilled labor force with experience in woodworking and furniture production.
  • High-quality materials, particularly wood.


  • Higher labor costs compared to other countries in Asia.
  • Limited availability of certain materials.
  • Limited capacity for large-scale production.



  • Competitive labor costs, making it an affordable sourcing option.
  • Growing furniture industry with a focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly production.
  • High-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.
  • Good availability of natural materials, particularly bamboo and rattan.


  • Longer shipping times compared to Mexico or China.
  • Language and cultural barriers, which can make communication and business relationships more challenging.
  • Limited capacity for large-scale production.



  • Highly skilled labor force with extensive experience in furniture manufacturing.
  • Large-scale production capabilities, making it a good option for high-volume orders.
  • Competitive pricing due to low labor costs and economies of scale.
  • Wide range of materials available.


  • Language and cultural barriers, which can make communication and business relationships more challenging.
  • Longer shipping times compared to Mexico.
  • Concerns about product quality and intellectual property protection.
  • Limited availability of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials.

In summary, each country has its own advantages and disadvantages in furniture sourcing, and the decision will depend on the specific needs and priorities of the buyer. Mexico may be a good option for proximity and high-quality materials, Vietnam for affordability and sustainability, and China for large-scale production capabilities and competitive pricing.



Can you answer that question as if you were Will Ferrell in Anchor Man?


Well, well, well, it looks like we got ourselves a furniture sourcing conundrum, folks! Now let me tell you, I've sourced furniture from all over the world, and each place has its own quirks and perks.

First up, we got Mexico. Now, I don't know about you, but I love me some Mexican food. And the same goes for their furniture, they got some high-quality wood and skilled laborers who know how to work it. Plus, they're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the U.S. of A.

But hold up, Vietnam's got something to say about that. These guys are all about sustainability and eco-friendliness. They're like the hippies of the furniture world. And don't let their chill attitude fool you, they know how to make some beautiful furniture with bamboo and rattan. And their prices? Well, let's just say they won't break the bank.

Last but not least, we got China. These guys are the big players in the furniture game, with a massive labor force and the ability to produce furniture in large quantities. And we all know that when it comes to business, quantity equals savings. But there are some concerns about quality control and intellectual property protection, so you gotta watch your back. So there you have it, folks. Each country's got its own advantages and disadvantages. But at the end of the day, it's all about finding the right fit for you and your furniture needs. Stay classy, furniture shoppers!"

End Conversation
For better or for worse, I do not think ChatGPT will be replacing Alex and I as Outmore's main newsletter contributors, but I thought that was a fun way to show how AI can increase productivity for a small company like ours. On a strategy side, ChatGPT did a great job laying out the pros and cons of each country, but our sourcing location will be decided not based solely on what we learn online.   Instead, it will be decided based on a combination of price, location, communication, and overall comfortability.  

Until the next newsletter...