BOULDER - Ask any small business owner, and they will likely tell you that it is not easy getting their dream off the ground. Let alone doing it in a three-month period.
That is what former University of Colorado football players Arthur Jaffee and Trace Adams are trying to do with their company StacheTats, which produces temporary mustache tattoos.
After graduating last December from CU, Jaffee knew he didn't want to work under someone in the business world right away.
"I was pretty set on trying to do something myself first," Jaffee said. "Football was my job for five years. I was good at it, had success with it, and I needed some time for myself a little bit."
This past July, while discussing possible business opportunities with Adams, Jaffee brought up a goofy idea that he had picked up a few weeks back after hanging out with a friend and playing with temporary tattoos.
"My buddy and I were just being goofy and we started putting them all over our arms," Jaffee said of the fake tats. "We were just messing around and I was thinking, 'Man, I forgot how fun these things are.'"
The idea continued a few hours later when he saw a child crying, and Jaffee thought that the kid would be a lot happier if he had a cool temporary tattoo. Jaffee then continued his idea even further by focusing the product to just temporary tattoo mustaches.
However there was a problem for Jaffee and Adams in their venture - neither of them had business experience as Jaffee got his degree in Environmental Studies and Adams in Communication.
With them in dire need of learning how to create a business from scratch, both Jaffee and Adams happened to be going to Florida to spend some time with family, which became the perfect opportunity to catch up on the stuff they didn't learn in their respective majors. After two weeks of researching licensing and business methods in the Sunshine State, the two friends had a better idea of what they were getting into and were ready to jump right in.
Knowing that the Colorado-Arizona State football game was likely going to draw a large regional fan support, they decided to make the Thursday night contest their launch date. That gave them roughly six weeks to get their idea off paper and make it a reality.
"It's been full throttle since we came up with the idea," Jaffee said.
In fact, Jaffee and Adams have been so focused on making their launch date that many of their friends in town had thought they had left Boulder, not knowing what was going on with them. Even Jaffee admitted that he didn't go on his Facebook page that often, if ever.
In that six-week time, Jaffee said that he and Adams have had a hand in every level of creating their business.
"I have about six jobs right now," Jaffee said. "I'm our graphic designer, I do our website maintenance; I built the website. I do a lot of finance work; I'm always doing sales, helping with social media."
The good news for Jaffee and Adams is that they made their launch date as both Buffs were on campus on Wednesday giving out roughly 25,000 free mustaches, while sporting the fake 'stache on themselves as well.
On Thursday, they gave out an additional 50,000 free individual mustaches to students and fans throughout the day on campus, at the CU Bookstore tailgate and at Folsom Field before and during the CU-ASU game.
Some of the mustaches that they produced are CU themed, with those having "Colorado Buffaloes" and the Ralphie logo on them.
When asked what he learned through this whole experience, Jaffee smiled and said, "Everything."
That includes the important technical stuff like tax and business classifications, and the fun creative stuff.
"If it wasn't for this, there would be no way that I would learn how to do graphic design like I can now," Jaffee said. "Same with building a website and maintaining a website.
"I learned what I am capable of."