055 | Where to skimp and splurge at her first tradeshow with Lisa Sarmento, Tiramisu Paperie

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TSBC alum, Lisa Sarmento is the owner of Tiramisu Paperie a sassy brand located in Nashville that sells greeting cards, gift wrap, pencils and other gift items. Lisa has had tremendous growth in her business over the last two years. She attended our Paper Camp conference in February 2016 and describes those two days as the launching point for Tiramisu Paperie. Her products are currently carried in hundreds of retail shops throughout the United States. Lisa works with sales reps nationally and has exhibited at several trade shows including NSS, Las Vegas Market and Dallas Market.

On today’s episode, Lisa shares her personal story of getting laid off from her high level advertising agency and how ‘entrepreneurial gardening’ and motivation from her son prompted her to start this business.  She shares how she connected with sales reps, what she skimped and splurged on at her first trade show and reminds us to not let fear hold us back from what we want in life and business.


  • Her time at a graphic design agency and how that led to her becoming her own boss

  • How losing her mom allowed to recognize a need for honest cards

  • Her season of entrepreneurial gardening

  • The importance of having an inner circle of friends and family supporting and pushing you

  • The why behind her business and the motivation her son prompted in her

Finding and building connections with the right sales reps

  • Lisa’s experience at trade shows & how she decided on which ones to attend

The pros and cons of doing a showroom booth with reps versus a booth on your own

  • What she skimped and splurged on at her first wholesale trade show

The advice that Lisa would give to someone just starting out in a product based business

  • What’s next for Tiramisu Paperie

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“Just plant the seeds, see what grows. Water it all equally, and whatever you’re supposed to do is going to rise to the top.” – Lisa Sarmento

“I started watching him work, and then it just dawned on me. I’m like, “I think I know why I’m going to do this.” Because once he turns 18, all services go away. The college education life he’s going to have is going to be different from somebody else. His work or career path is going to be different, so I’m like, “I think I know what I’m going to do. I’m creating this company for him.” – Lisa Sarmento

“The way I look at my reps is, ‘You’re part of my family. Be honest with me and I’ll be honest with you. Whatever you need, I’ll help you and you help me.’” – Lisa Sarmento

“I splurged because I was putting up the stuff by myself.” – Lisa Sarmento

“Lighting’s super important, but you need to find something that works in your budget and highlights your products in the best possible way.” – Katie Hunt

“If you know you want to do it, just do it. Just jump. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.” – Lisa Sarmento


Website: Tiramisu Paperie | Facebook: @tiramisupaperiegifts | Instagram: @tiramisupaperie | Pinterest: @tiramisupaperie | Twitter: @tiramisupaperie

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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