007 | Research & development of new products in the handmade space with Meg Sutton, Belle & Union Co.

Meg Sutton, Belle & Union Co.

Meg Sutton of Belle & Union Co., started her business in 2012 with a focus on creating handmade, American-made goods. Belle & Union has seen a ton of growth in their business in the last five years expanding from the world of letterpressed greeting cards into textiles, home goods, kitchen wares and paper gift products. On today’s episode, Meg and I talk about research & development of new products in the handmade space, working with sales reps, goal setting and how running a business is a marathon, not a sprint.


  • Meg’s story of starting Belle & Union Co.

  • Diving head first into her business, launching wholesale & retail at the same time

  • Finding her niche and expanding into gift and foodie products

  • Why B&U focuses on creating handmade, American made products

  • Research & development of new products. Determining if profit margins work for new items

  • Struggles of making American made goods while maintaining profit margin

  • Costs is a large factor in determining what new products to move forward with

  • Focus on handmade allows Meg to control quality of her products

  • Working with sales reps & why she waited to sign with one

  • Providing sales reps with the right sales tools to do the job

  • Trade shows are a marathon, not a sprint

  • Systems around new product releases

  • Outsourcing social media management & planning out content

  • Goal setting and what that looks like for Meg

  • What’s next for Belle & Union Co.

Download These Quotables to Save and Share


“I wanted one order. That’s all I wanted. And I walked away I think with close to 50 orders at that show, it was an incredible feeling.” – Meg Sutton on her first trade show

“I can tell you personally, there is an end to Google, it does end.” – Meg Sutton on research & development

“Our American-made goods are going to be around the same cost as something made overseas. And I think that’s a really big accomplishment.” – Meg Sutton

“We did cutting boards for a little while and I loved them, they fit the brand great but we really just weren’t making our margins on them. So at the end of the day it just didn’t make sense [to produce them].” – Meg Sutton

“Your sales reps are part of your team, and you need to make sure they have the tools that they need to do the job.” – Katie Hunt

“It’s a marathon not a sprint.” – Meg Sutton

“A lot of us wear a lot of hats, so we juggle all of them and keep the business moving forward.” – Meg Sutton

“Now we plan out content, we have a content calendar and a schedule that we follow. And it shows. We’ve seen growth in the last six months not only in our followings but that translates to sales.” – Meg Sutton

“I would encourage people to take the time to write out their purpose or their mission statement. Writing it down completely changed my perspective and enabled growth.” – Meg Sutton


Website: Belle and Union Co. | Facebook: @belleandunionco | Instagram: @belleandunionco | Twitter: @belleandunionco

Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website: prooftoproduct.com  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct

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