Lords of the Functional Rings

Sparkling diamonds and precious metals are timeless symbols of commitment for millions of married couples around the world. Traditional wedding rings symbolize the covenant of marriage, but they can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable, especially for people living active lifestyles.

Southern California, 2012: Two friends, KC Holiday and Ted Baker, have recently married their respective wives and are dealing with the day-to-day struggle of metal wedding bands. Cumbersome, heavy, uncomfortable. They began looking for alternative solutions, but nothing existed.

“We were just a couple of guys who wanted to be able to wear our wedding rings in our everyday lives, and the metal rings that we were wearing at the time didn’t necessarily make sense with our lifestyles,” says KC Holiday, co-founder of QALO Inc.

So, they set out to build their own solution. Their goal was to make a more comfortable, safer, and better suited ring for vigorous activities. After a few prototypes and tweaks to the design, KC and Ted debuted QALO in 2013. A silicon-based “functional wedding ring” that symbolizes love and commitment and emphasizes quality, athletics, and the great outdoors.

“We wanted QALO to be about something that was greater than just wearing a ring. It’s really representing who you are as a human being, what’s important to you,” adds co-founder Ted Baker. “I always say the most important things that happen in your life will happen from the moment you get married until the moment you die. So, representing that was always very important to me. And the people that it’s important to as well, those are the people we wanted to attach to,” he said.

A lot of people at that. Within months of the product launch, thousands of people wanted to get their hands on the rings. Soon, millions joined the QALO community and began proudly wearing the innovative rings — including major sports figures like Stephen Curry and Ashton Eaton.

“We wanted QALO to be about something that was greater than just wearing a ring. It’s really representing who you are as a human being, what’s important to you.”

– Ted Baker, CEO and co-founder, QALO

The fast success of the silicon-based rings produced a level of growth most startups can only dream of: explosive growth that was indeed exciting, but equally overwhelming for the young company.

Ringing the Growth Bell

Online orders were booming and the need to transform operations quickly became a focus.

But where to begin? QALO was a growing startup that wanted to continue expanding online and also to infiltrate brick-and-mortar retailers. They knew the time was fast approaching to invest in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that could help scale and run their business end-to-end. As Holiday describes, the company needed to find the right tools to implement and get out of the way of their own growth.

QALO chose a business management software specifically designed for small and medium-sized enterprises to help scale the business while allowing the company to keep ownership of its data.

“We discovered inefficiencies throughout our infrastructure. When you’re growing from 10 to 65 people in a short period of time and there’s so much growth in your revenue as a company, you start to really see where you’re bleeding. We now have a magnifying glass over our customers and are able to really put Band-Aids over wounds as quickly as possible and start to adjust our behavior in order to financially scale the business in a manner which would be fit for a company of our size,” said Baker.

As Baker and Holiday continue to fine tune the company, the QALO team is looking forward to learning more about their business by reading between the data and finding true value in the numbers.

“I think everybody sees the value of understanding your business from a finance perspective. It’s incredible,” says Baker.

Be on the lookout for QALO rings the next time you are at the gym or on a hike.

Learn more about QALO’s growth and experiences with SAP