Posts in wholesale
104 | Turning a Hobby Business Into a Thriving Retail Shop with Audrey Woollen, Urbanic

Hey Friends, have you had the chance to visit the famous Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Los Angeles? This mile long street located in Southern Venice is home to amazing creative galleries, internationally recognized brands and one-of-kind local shops like, Urbanic Paper Boutique. Audrey Woollen founded Urbanic thirteen years ago, and since then, her original lifestyle brand and retail shop has attracted a great deal of press, a large social media following, and has developed collaborative signature lines with some of the nation's top designers.

On today's episode, Audrey shares how she discovered her passion for paper and product based business. She tells us how she got started, how Urbanic has evolved over the years, and how she turned her weekend hobby into a thriving retail shop. Audrey also talks about the challenges she faced along the way, including an IRS audit in her third year, and the store getting robbed at times. Audrey brings us into her journey, talking about the passion she has for her industry, the creative community which she's in, and why creating a strong customer experience is so important to her and the brand.

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094 | Creating strategic business plans with Emily Marks, Carina Paper Co

This week we have a great episode in store for you – one that will definitely resonate with any of you who are hustling through a day job to fund your dream job. Emily Marks, once a forensic accountant, took the leap and left a stable job to pursue her passion. She is now the businesswoman behind Carina Paper Co., a stationery company inspired by her Italian heritage and from her heart as a new mom, wife, daughter, and friend.

On today’s episode, Emily gives us all the details on how she turned her side hustle into a full-time gig. She tells us the reason she left her job with a major accounting firm and how her former role actually helps her in business now. We talk about the importance of strategic planning, project management, and how being in a state of discomfort provides space for personal growth. Finally, we talk about the danger of overthinking things and why sometimes, you just have to go for it.

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Wholesale strategies and developing your product line with Katie Hunt

For our Thanksgiving break, we’ve lined up something special just for you.  We’ll be airing two episodes I recorded with my friends Kelly and Caroline at Creative Biz Rebellion.

These ladies were kind enough to have me on their podcast, not just once, but twice. The first time we talked about all things wholesale, and then then invited me back to talk about trade shows. This week we’re running both episodes over here on Proof to Product.

Big thanks to Kelly and Caroline for having me on their show.  If you’re not already familiar with Creative Biz Rebellion, go check it out. Kelly and Caroline do an amazing job of supporting product based businesses through their programs and podcast. They were also guests on Proof to Product — visit the links below to find them over at Creative Biz Rebellion and here on Proof to Product.

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How to know if you’re ready for tradeshows with Katie Hunt

For our Thanksgiving break, we’ve lined up something special just for you.  We’ll be airing two episodes I recorded with my friends Kelly and Caroline at Creative Biz Rebellion.

These ladies were kind enough to have me on their podcast, not just once, but twice. The first time we talked about all things wholesale, and then then invited me back to talk about trade shows. This week we’re running both episodes over here on Proof to Product.

Big thanks to Kelly and Caroline for having me on their show.  If you’re not already familiar with Creative Biz Rebellion, go check it out. Kelly and Caroline do an amazing job of supporting product based businesses through their programs and podcast. They were also guests on Proof to Product — visit the links below to find them over at Creative Biz Rebellion and here on Proof to Product.

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078 | Working with a fulfillment house & sales reps with Taylor Elliott, Taylor Elliott Designs

Taylor Elliott is the founder of Taylor Elliott Designs, a fun desk accessory and gift company. Taylor started this company as a side hustle while working a full-time job, but through a lot of hard work and persistence, she has grown this into a thriving gift company whose products are sold in more than 450 stores nationwide.

On today’s episode, Taylor talks about why she decided to use a fulfillment house to store and ship her products, what questions she asked when she was choosing a partner and what her priorities were for outsourcing this piece of her business. She also talks about how she’s brought on 40 sales reps and how working with them and attending markets with her reps has enhanced her business.

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075 | Shifting from wholesale to licensing with Shelley Seguinot, I'm Inkpressed

TSBC alum, Shelley Seguinot began her creative journey in 2013 when she opened I’m Inkpressed, a wholesale stationery company specializing in children’s products. As the paper industry evolved and she saw the digital market expanding, she adjusted her business to focused her effort on the art licensing world. She now licenses her art to various companies that put her work on a wide range of products.

On today’s episode, Shelley shares how she left a 20-year career in law enforcement to start her businesses. She tells us how she got her first licensing deal, fears she had when she first started licensing her art and why it’s so valuable to find mentors and community if licensing is something you want to pursue for your business.

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Special Edition | Reaching Wholesale Buyers

This week is a special one in that we’re bringing you a series of episodes that closely mirror what we teach during our signature Paper Camp program.

We’ve cut together some of our favorite episodes featuring our Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni and speakers where we discuss product development, sales strategies for wholesale and exhibiting at wholesale trade shows

During this episode we hear from:
Kimberley Yurkiewicz, Crow & Canary
Katie Wilson, The Good Twin
Rebekah Tennis, Wild Ink Press
Rosanna Kvernmo, Iron Curtain Press
Jeanette Champion-Fanning, Sweet Perversion

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073 | Launching to wholesale with Catherine Hildner, Kitty Meow Boutique

Catherine Hildner is the founder of Kitty Meow Boutique, an online stationery show where you can peruse beautifully designed paper goods based on your many moods. Catherine came through our Paper Camp conference in 2017 and since then she’s undergone a rebrand, built a new retail website, revamped her product line and she launched to the wholesale market!

On today’s episode Catherine shared how her product line has shifted over the years, fears she’s had during the last year of growth and how she combatted them and how she reaches out to her wholesale buyers.

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069 | Reinventing the letterboard with Johnny & Joanna Galbraith, Letterfolk

Johnny and Joanna are the husband-and-wife co-founders of Letterfolk, a contemporary American brand whose mission is to create meaningful products inspired by simpler times. Letterfolk started in June 2015 while the couple searched for a unique way to capture their daughter’s monthly baby milestone photos. They designed a modern, versatile letter board that was tailored and repurposed for today’s home. Letter boards are now a staple of social media art direction, home decor, and milestone photography.

As Letterfolk has grown, so has the brand vision and product offerings. Letterfolk products are proudly made in the United States with premium materials, craftsmanship, and processes.

On today’s episode we’re talking about how Johnny & Joanna reinvented the letter board market, their thoughts on copy cats and how they leverage social media to nurture their customers and share their company story.

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063 | Managing critics with Mary Bruno, Bruno Press

Mary Bruno is the owner of Bruno Press, a printer, artist, and advocate for her local creative community. She grew up in a small town in central Minnesota and learned the love of printing from her father Don Bruno. Mary has an irreverent line of greeting cards that is sold nationwide and she teaches the old school art of letterpress printing the way her father taught her. Mary loves to collaborate with other printers, poets, musicians, kids, designers, you name it. And, we’ll talk about some of those collaborations today.

On today’s episode Mary tells it like it is, shares her story and how she organically grew her business through hard work and learning as she went. We also talked about her personal growth—why she no longer let’s the criticism of one person overpower the praise of hundreds. She also shares about why she’s her ideal customer.

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060 | Ways to save money on printing costs with Ronnie Williams, DeFrance Printing

Ronnie Williams is the owner of DeFrance Printing, which is a full-service commercial print shop located in Southern California. Ronnie grew up in the print industry and is the third generation to own and operate DeFrance. His grandfather began printing in the late 1930s, followed by his father in the early 1970s, and Ronnie was a fixture in the print shop by the young age of five. Ronnie’s background brings a unique perspective, in that he has expertise in both the print process, as well as the outcome.

This episode is a little bit different than most, in that we’re diving into some of the technical aspects of printing, common mistakes that people make in file setup, ways to save money on your print runs, and how DeFrance helps a wide range of industries with packaging, catalogs, marketing materials, and more.

Ronnie, and the team at DeFrance, have recently expanded their services to include warehousing and fulfillment, helping independent brands with not only printing, but also storage, fulfillment, and distribution of their products. They have particular expertise handling orders for big box stores, such as Paper Source. Ronnie, and the team at DeFrance, have been strong supporters of our Tradeshow Bootcamp community and advocates for education around the print process.  I know you’ll learn a lot from Ronnie!

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58 | Layering in New Products and Working Towards a Freedom Business Model with Chelsea Sonksen, Bossladies Magazine

Chelsea Sonksen is the founder and Editor in Chief of Bossladies, a movement that began with a print magazine in 2016 and has grown into a vibrant in-person and online community of entrepreneurs through her monthly event series, Work Sesh.

On today’s episode we’re talking about the mission behind Bossladies, how Chelsea is layering new products and services that will give her the freedom and flexibility to work from both California and Maine.  Chelsea also shares her thoughts on why making a good first impression is so important.

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057 | How exhibiting at a tradeshow got her into Paper Source with Christine Miller, Bundle Designs

TSBC alum, Christine Miller is the creator and designer of Bundle Design — home to cheerful, cheeky greeting cards, balloons, party supplies and Good Day Decals.

On today’s episode Christine shares her journey of turning her hobby into a business, lessons learned from exhibiting at the National Stationery Show and how being at the show opened the door to working with Paper Source.

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

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.

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052 | Building a team and leveraging systems with Lichia Liu, Gotamago

Lichia Liu is the founder and creative director of Gotamago, a stationery & gifts brand based in Toronto, Canada. A self-taught illustrator, Lichia took a detour from her urban design career in 2013 to start Gotamago when she realized that she needed more authenticity, autonomy and artistic exploration in her work.  Besides running Gotamago and being a mom, Lichia is a musician, an urban sketcher, a member of a Japanese Taiko drumming group, and a foster dog parent.

On today’s episode we’re talking about how Lichia left her day job to pursue her passion, how she involves her team in building systems to automate and streamline her business and why she thinks it is important to jump before you feel ready.

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

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.

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050 | How angel investing fueled their business growth with Zoe Scharf, Greetabl

TSBC alum Zoe Scarf is the co-founder and Chief Brand Officer at Greetabl–a personal and easy way to make your friends feel super loved. If you’re not familiar with Greetabl, you should be. It’s an impressive gifting service where you choose your packaging, gift and personalize your message and they take care of the rest — getting it in the hands of your recipient.  Greetabl has delivered 200,000 happy moments and is continuing to quickly grow.

On today’s episode Zoe shares how they unsuccessfully chased wholesale, struggled with figuring out who their audience was and how impactful their fulfillment relationships have been.  We also spent a good amount of time talking about how Greetabl sought funding from angel investors. They achieved three rounds for $50k, $750k and most recently $1.5M — we talked about how the process worked, what they did with the money and she shared some resources for those interested in learning more.

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044 | Overcoming personal & social challenges in business with Heather Haynie & Dani Antol, Rock Paper Scissors

Heather Haynie and Dani Antol are the owners of Rock Paper Scissors, a custom invitation and paper goods shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. Rock Paper Scissors is the go-to destination for locals and visitors alike looking for laugh-out-loud greeting cards, journals, dec accessories, calendars, planners and modern gifts.  

On today’s episode we talk about a wide range of topics including what it takes to run a retail storefront, how they divide responsibilities as business partners and what success looks like for each of them. We also got personal. Dani shares her story of battling cancer. We also discuss how Heather & Dani were able to unify their local community after the hateful rallies in Charlottesville.

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