about Us
 
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meet our founder katie hunt


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Katie Hunt is the founder of Proof to Product (formerly Tradeshow Bootcamp), a business strategist, and mentor to creative entrepreneurs. She is a firm believer in professional development, surrounding yourself with community and pushing ‘go’ even when you might not feel 100% ready.

Katie has taught classes for CreativeLive, The National Stationery Show, The Savvy Experience, Be Sage, Seanwes Conference and Unique Camp; and she’s been a featured guest on dozens of business podcasts.

She frequently speaks about strategies for creating a product line, selling wholesale, business planning and the importance of community for entrepreneurs.

Katie launched her podcast, Proof To Product, which debuted at #19 in iTunes in the Arts category and is routinely in the top 100. Proof to Product was included on BuzzFeed’s list of must-listen podcasts.

Katie earned a dual MBA in marketing and finance from Loyola Marymount University and has spent the last 20 years coaching large corporations and solo entrepreneurs on marketing and business development strategies.

Katie’s strengths lie in connecting people and bringing ideas to life – brainstorming, making a plan and executing. She’s a bit type-A, overly organized and has an affinity for calendars, check-lists and a love for notebooks that only stationers will understand.

She often describes Proof to Product as the perfect merging of her two worlds; her happy place where she can share her business expertise and knowledge with a creative industry and clients that she loves.

Katie has a passion for creating, a mind for business and a strong desire to help others succeed.

When she’s not cheering on Paper Camp alums or dreaming up new programs, you can find her spending time with her husband and four young children, hosting friends for dinner, or surfing Instagram.

Get in touch

Contact Katie to see how we can help you take
your business to the next level.

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our history
 

Katie starts Kelp Designs, a stationery & gift line, from her kitchen table. She starts with custom projects and moves into personalized stationery, greeting cards and boxed notes. Google is her best friend.


2008

Katie jumps into wholesale blindly, exhibits at the National Stationery Show for the first time and gets shut down by the fire marshall 18 hours before the show starts.

In the process, she had a few meltdowns, met a lot of new friends and walked away with a few orders despite having a booth that looked nothing like what she had planned.

2009

After the National Stationery Show, Katie writes a blog post for a friend, detailing 5 things she wished she had known before she exhibited. The blog post spurs emails from other new exhibitors who have questions about logistics, cost and how to display their products.

The seed of starting a community for creatives is planted in Katie’s head.

2009-2010

Katie launches Tradeshow Bootcamp in February using Twitter and word of mouth marketing tactics. #BeforeInsta

25 students join us for four teleconference calls focused on booth logistics, tradeshow marketing, sales reps and buyer preferences.


2011

Tradeshow Bootcamp hosts its first Paper Camp program at a bed & breakfast in Los Angeles, California. Katie falls in love with hosting live events.

2012

Tradeshow Bootcamp gets a fresh, new look and expands the Paper Camp programming to include information about product development, release schedules, wholesale sales tools, and marketing to retailers.


2013

73 of our Paper Camp alumni exhibit at the National Stationery Show. This is the first year that Tradeshow Bootcamp has its own booth at the show (it was previously a small section in the Kelp Designs booth!).


2014

Tradeshow Bootcamp hosts 100 entrepreneurs at Business Camp, a one day conference focused on strengthening business operations.

Speakers include Jen Gotch, Tara McMullin, Chelsea Shukov, Ellen Bennett, Carina Murray and experts in tech, PR, marketing, finances and product development.


2015

Katie hits the road teaching 4 classes for CreativeLive, speaking on stages throughout the U.S. and Mexico and hosts two Paper Camp conferences.

The Hunt family welcomes their fourth child, a baby girl. Katie is exhausted at the end of the year and makes some tough decisions.


2016

Tradeshow Bootcamp launches the Proof to Product podcast, which debuts at #19 in iTunes in the Arts category and is routinely in the top 100 in the Design category.

Katie hosts 3 live events, including one for Paper Camp Alumni to discuss high level topics such as diversifying revenue, cash flow, hiring and systems.


2017

Proof to Product hits over 200k downloads. Buzzfeed includes Proof to Product on its list of "27 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To."

Katie creates the Proof to Product mastermind, a small group coaching program for experienced business owners and hosts the group’s first retreat - Katie's 15th live event!

The business is outgrowing its name, Tradeshow Bootcamp, and Katie realizes its time to make a change. Plans are made and wheels are put in motion.

2018

Tradeshow Bootcamp becomes Proof to Product.

Katie shares why she made the shift and how she did it on episode 101, 102 and 103. We're just getting started...

2019
Here at Proof to Product, we aim to provide business owners with three essential tools:
COMMUNITY, COLLABORATION & Education.

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With all of our programs, we are working to elevate product based businesses by fostering a community spirit and helping individual business owners build sustainable, profitable companies.

Our primary focus is on providing the necessary knowledge, tools and mentors for our alumni to prepare for the wholesale market and large-scale trade shows. But it doesn’t stop there – we’re here to help you through it all, from building a rock solid business foundation to creating streamlined operations so you can scale with ease.

But our programs, both in-person and digital, are more than a meeting of the minds. They are a curated space for those with generous hearts, fierce determination, inexhaustible passion and creative spirits to learn and grow together.

Whether you are attending Paper Camp, jumping into our digital programs, or exploring our community through the Podcast, come on in!

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here’s what you can expect from us:

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While you’re here, you can expect to learn.

Booth logistics, product development, sales tools, order forms and line sheets, working with sales reps, even general business practices – we’ve got it covered through our camps, e-courses and free resources.

You can expect to get to know our speakers.

These are stationery industry veterans that we bring in to share their first-hand experience, powerful resources and invaluable knowledge at every event. Our speakers are stationery manufacturers, retailers and buyers, sales reps, consultants and members of the media. They truly come from every corner of the industry to contribute their time and talent for you to succeed. Proof to Product speakers have participated in the National Stationery Show, New York Now, Atlanta Gift Show, CA Gift Show, and more.

You can expect support and accountability.

We pride ourselves on the community we’ve built here since our launch in February 2011. Our alumni network is made up of thousands of product based businesses, all tackling the very same hurdles and celebrating the very same wins that you face every day.

So, get comfy. Settle in. Stay a while!

what can we help you get started with today?

Making Products

selling wholesale

exhibiting at tradeshows

scaling my business

 

learn more about the proof to product community

Hear stories from our alumni and see their tradeshow booths

 
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