007 | Research & development of new products in the handmade space with 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.
ON TODAY’S EPISODE:
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