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Inspiring / RodinStar / Startup

Markhor: We are Rocking on Kickstarter


Awarded the

“Rodinstar” Post 

of the week!!



Hi Rodinhooders, hope you guys are doing great.

It is quite long since I wrote my last post in Jan 2013. That was the humble beginning of my startup (then called Hometown), where we work with local craftsmen to make and sell handcrafted leather shoes.

Well, we have made quite progress since then, I and Asha will be doing a detailed story on this sometime later this month.

For now real quick updates on what has happened since then.

2013 – Present

  • [Feb 01, 2013] started working on new shoe collection
  • [Feb 06, 2013] was invited to participate at Tony Hsieh’s (Zappos CEO) Downtown Project, Las Vegas. They wanted me to share my startup journey and why we focus on delivering the most personal customers service to every single inquiry. (Gosh, I’ve never been out of Pakistan before, actually nor even on a plane. On top of that it looked impossible to get a US visa with almost no money in my bank account)
  • [Oct 08, 2013] participated in a startup program in Kuala Lumpur – organized by the US State Department. (this could be my door to get a US Visa, I thought)
  • [Feb 14, 2014] managed to get the Visa for US, sponsorship for my ticket and I’m good to go for a 11 days US trip. (In addition to spending a week at Downtown, Vegas, I planned to spend two days each in Silicon Valley and NYC)
  • [Apr 02, 2014 ] Instead of the spending 10 days in US, I ended up staying for close to two months. The experience was magnificent in terms of learning and challenges for me, got to see a clear picture of that world. Met many of those ‘online only friends’, they are way more amazing than what I imagined. Also, some of our leather was delivered at Medium office. ☺ The best part is I visited and met with people at my favourite companies like Zappos, Google, Acumen, Warby Parker, Everlane and Keep Truckin, etc. Lived like a common US citizen, stayed with a family in Noe Valley, CA for 20 days. They were amazing. Got back to Pakistan with lessons learned and after building some new bridges.
  •  [April 15, 2014] we are now a Delaware C Corp. It would allow us not only use online payment gateways and other eCommerce services which are not offered in Pakistan, but also sets with our long term goal of becoming a leader in men fashion.
  • [May 09, 2014] changed our brand name from Hometown into Markhor
  • [May 09, 2014] started working on the idea of how to launch our new shoes collection. Marketing? but we don’t have budget for that. Slow progress can kill our startup.
  • [Jun 18, 2014] let’s launch an Indiegogo / Kickstarter to get our founding customers.
  • [Sep 23, 2014] launched on Kickstarter with the goal to raise $15k (It’s currently live, video below)
  • [Sep 23, 2014] Seth Godin wrote a blog about us
  • [Sep 24, 2014] hit our goal within 22 hours and 21 more days to go. ..

If you are looking for the best pair of Loafers, Derby or Peshawari Chappal, please back us on Kickstarter.

For Rodinhood community, we are giving free shipping to backers from India. So when you make your pledge just select that your shipping address in the US and you’ll not be charged any shipping fee on Kickstarter.

For any more question or information, please write me in the comments below. I’m here all day.

PS. If you’re on ProductHunt, please up-vote us.

Thank you guys and I look forward to hearing from you.

Love from Lahore!!

Waqas Ali

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  1. waqas…. i’m stunned after reading your story – THIS IS HUGE INSPIRATION FOR ALL OF US!!!

    so many rodinhooders are looking at crowdfunding – finally we have a case study like yours!!!

    Seth Godin wrote a blog about us” – you say it in passe’ in the most humble way ever!!! 

    “(Gosh, I’ve never been out of Pakistan before, actually nor even on a plane)” – this one line makes me think NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!

    waqas every time i read about something you are doing (via fb) i get goosebumps and send you a million duas from delhi/goa/mumbai – wherever i may be 🙂

    when you say love from lahore i feel like catching a flight to meet you and your team.

    i love the video. and hope every rodinhooder has this kind of story to share with us.

    keep rocking. and pls stay in touch. yes, we shall do that story soon….

    what an amazing story!!! 

  2. It’s an amazing story Waqas. Keep progressing.

  3. Wow. Inspiring story guys! All the best!

  4. Entrepreneurship erases the boundaries created by sane human beings. This tale of crowdsourced startup, fueled by social cause, offering world class product and that too originating from Pakistan.. defying all odds is genuinely inspiring!

    May your fame spread far and wide..

  5. Yup.. I had read the story on Seth’s blog. Kudos to you for connecting the dots 🙂

  6. waqas, once again i’ve messed up the top of your post 🙂

  7. Hey Asha – so glad to have shared these successes with beautiful folks like you and other members of the Rodinhoods community.

    I’ll keep sending the vibes from my side of the border and looking forward to meeting all of you in 2015.

    On a similar note, I would love to advise fellows here on Crowd-funding from my experience. It’s quite tricky and interesting thing to do. Duas!!

  8. Thank you sir Nilesh!

  9. Hi Shwaytaj – appreciate your comment.

  10. Hi Mohul, super glad to have read your comment, and thank you for your support by following our work.

    Please feel free to get in touch if I can be of some help. Cheers!

  11. I love this messing. 🙂

  12. Such a great story! Best wishes to you and your team 🙂

  13. Inspirational …Awe-inspiring. Story impacted. Touched a chord. Gr8 Video. Kudos Waqas. I have pledged in Kickstarter and feeling proud about it too. Power to you, your team & your venture.

    All the best !! 

  14. Hey Waqas! Interesting story and all the very best fro your venture!

    I have started a laundry service exclusively for leather products! Its called The Leather Laundry!

    It would be great to connect! You can shoot me an email at!



  15. mallika – pls share the link of your post on trhs with waqas so he checks it out!


  16. Btw Waqas, this is the link to my start-up feature! –

  17. Superb Job !! Look forward to ordering a pair 🙂

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