051 | Using reps to enhance wholesale sales with Kim Burks, Ramona & Ruth

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TSBC alum, Kim Burks is the founder of Ramona & Ruth is a boutique letterpress studio located in Omaha, Nebraska. Kim started Ramona & Ruth in 2009 with her tabletop letterpress in a spare bedroom of her home. Kim makes simple and thoughtful letterpress greeting cards and a variety of other paper goods including gift wrap, notebooks and planners. Ramona & Ruth products can be found in retail shops across the country.

On today’s episode we’re talking about Kim’s decision to change her business name after being in business for five years, how her design aesthetic has evolved and how bringing on sales reps has enhanced her business.

ON TODAY’S EPISODE:

  • Kim’s business journey and whether she always wanted to be an entrepreneur

  • How she learned to do letterpress

  • When she decided to take her new hobby and make it into a business

  • 
The catalyst for changing her business name & why it was a difficult decision

  • The story behind the name Ramona & Ruth

  • 
How she communicated her name change to retailers

  • 
What inspires Kim the most when creating her work & how that has changed over the years

  • 
How she manages doing most of her own printing, designing new ideas, and running her business

  • When she first entered into the wholesale market and how she has grown her wholesale program

  • The factors Kim considered when going to her first stationery show

  • The impact sales reps have had on her business

  • How to nurture relationships with sales reps & the tools that she provides her reps

  • 
Kim’s advice to anyone starting out in a product based business

  • What’s next for Ramona & Ruth


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KEY TAKE-AWAYS

“It was a super scary thing to do and probably pretty risky, but I’m glad that I did it. I feel so comfortable with my new business name. I’m proud of it.” – Kim Burks

“It took me a while to figure out that I needed help… but it has been amazing asking for help. .” – Kim Burks

“You can send out mailers and emails until you’re blue in the face, but there’s something about a real person, a rep, going to that store physically.” – Kim Burks

“It’s so valuable to have our reps’ input when they’re on the front lines.” – Kim Burks

“Working with reps has made me hone down on systems even more and how can we get an order out the door the quickest” – Kim Burks

“The most important thing is to really hone in on your voice and your aesthetic, because honestly, there’s so many of us.” – Kim Burks

“It’s easy to see some sort of style doing well and say, “Oh, maybe I should do that because that’s selling,” but I think when it comes down to it, you have to be true to your own voice and really focus on developing that, and that’ll set you apart.” – Kim Burks


CONNECT WITH KIM BURKS

Website: Ramona & Ruth | Facebook: @ramonaandruth | Instagram: @ramonaandruth | Pinterest: @ramonaandruth | Twitter: @ramonaandruth


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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