The Quest for E-Commerce Success

Fall Line Digital

Becca Babicz, founder of Fall Line Digital will share insights and lessons learned while building her growth marketing agency. On the show, we’ll be interviewing founders and marketing leaders from emerging e-commerce brands. With these interviews plus some of Rebecca's own insights - she covers everything you need to know about how to leverage digital advertising to create a successful e-commerce business. In today's fast-paced world with never ending technology advancements, the Quest For E-Comm Success is a thrilling ride. You can't afford to miss this show if you're looking to build a new brand or transform your existing business into an e-commerce powerhouse. read less
BusinessBusiness

Episodes

Helping Heal Earth Through Regenerative Agriculture with 99 Counties Founder Christian Ebersol
Mar 31 2023
Helping Heal Earth Through Regenerative Agriculture with 99 Counties Founder Christian Ebersol
Episode SummaryDo you know where your meat is coming from? When you buy from 99 Counties your products come from local farmers and are hand delivered to your home. 99 Counties is on a mission to build a regional food economy focused on regenerative agriculture practices to help heal the earth, and bring healthier food to our communities!DescriptionChristian Ebersol is the CEO of 99 Counties. 99 Counties is a regenerative meat company proudly delivering locally-sourced, nutrient-dense regenerative meat to Chicagoans and Iowans. Previously, Christian led sales and new product teams at Health IQ and worked as a venture investor at Comcast Ventures. He grew up in Cornwall Connecticut and received his graduate degree from Bowdoin College.In this episode you’ll learn about: A Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) approach - why Christian and Nick chose to start with the 99 counties in Iowa and focus on customer satisfaction and sustainability over business expansion.Regenerative food  - the importance of buying locally grown and sourced food for the health benefits for consumers and for the health of the planet.Making an impact - how 99 Counties is setting the example for a green, eco-friendly business and their mission is to inspire others to do the same.Multi-layer marketing - why 99 Counties is spreading its marketing through digital ads, social media content, email marketing, direct mail, and live events, and what they are seeing from each.Controlling the customer experience  - why 99 Counties uses their own drivers instead of relying on a shipping or delivery service, and how they are creating customer loyalty with their top-notch customer service.Building capital - the power of maintaining strong relationships when raising money and starting something new.Creating a multi-layer company - how 99 Counties is not only providing a healthier solution to their customers, but is also helping the environment, the farm animals, and is making an impact on jobs and rural development in America.Bridging the gap - how 99 Counties is helping farmers get their products to market in an easier way.Brand transitioning - How Christian’s partner Nick was able to keep many of his old customers  and the soul of the company when they re-branded to 99 Counties becasue of the relationships Nick cultivated with their customers. Resources:99 Counties Fall Line Digital Omers VenturesAnimal, Vegetable, Junk (book)Connecting with Guest:99 Counties on Youtube 99 Counties on Instagram 99 Counties on Facebook Christian on Email Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables5:07 “So much of the way we farm in America, and the world, starts in the heartland, where a lot of these big industrial farming practices have their roots and continue to evolve.”10:22 “In the end, a lot of the places that we fundraised from successfully were people that I had built relationships with over a long period of time.”11:52 “I think this is like a quintuple bottom-line business, and that means it’s better for consumer’s health, it’s better for the planet, it’s better for the animals, it’s better for small-town America in jobs and rural development.”13:04 “You can’t undersell email as an important channel for us.”18:47 “It just creates more customer affinity and then again at a certain scale it actually is more advantages for us operationally  to be doing [deliveries] ourselves.”31:30  “We bridge the gap by working with a farmer and providing them a path to market that would otherwise be very hard for them to have.”32:52 “We’re really trying to solve that with 99 Counties, on a regional scale, creating a connection between customers who really care about buying great, local food, with farmers who want to serve that market.”34:58 “What we’ve found is you have to pair those digital efforts with more real-world efforts. So that's why we’re doing some of the event marketing, and some of the direct mail.41:44 “If we’re going to heal the planet we can’t just have the plants, we also have to have the animals.”
How to Launch an AI-Powered Rental Clothing Line with Founder of Taelor Anya Cheng
Mar 21 2023
How to Launch an AI-Powered Rental Clothing Line with Founder of Taelor Anya Cheng
Episode SummaryDo you get tired of spending your time on laundry and trying to decide what to wear? Anya Cheng has created the perfect solution for men who are looking to expand their wardrobes without hours of shopping or racking their brains trying to put an outfit together. Introducing the first-ever, menswear, rental subscription platform. Offering styles crafted just for men to help them gain confidence through their wardrobes and save time finding a great style!DescriptionAnya Cheng is a Taiwanese American technology executive and entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Before launching her artificial intelligence (AI) startup, Taelor, she helped build Facebook Shop, a social commerce initiative where people can explore and purchase products directly on Meta (formerly Facebook) and Instagram. Before that, she led the go-to-market for Facebook’s Wi-Fi Tech and Innovation team where she improved digital literacy by bringing the Internet to countries without fast connections. As Head of Products, she transformed eBay Classifieds’ emerging business and built Target’s mobile tablet eCommerce app. As McDonald’s Senior Director of eCommerce, she launched their global food delivery apps from scratch. Cheng is currently the Founder & CEO of Taelor, a AI-powered menswear rental subscription platform busy men to rent styles and for brands/retailers to test products and predict trends. Taelor is an award-winning sustainability startup that has won various competitions hosted by accelerators including Draper University, University of Chicago Polsky Center and SPARK Accel.Cheng is also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University and 500 Global (formerly 500 Startups) where she teaches software product management and marketing. She is the author of a best-selling career book, a TEDx Talk speaker, and a social media influencer. Cheng was named Girls in Tech 40 Under 40 in 2018 and nominated as a Marketer of the Year by Min Magazine U.S. in 2013. Her work has won 20+ awards including the Webby Award for Best for Shopping App, The Communicator Award, and the Rising Star Award of Social Network Category by Mobile Village. She is a volunteer career coach who has inspired thousands of young professionals and currently serves on the volunteer boards for the North America Taiwanese Engineering and Science Association, Taiwan Tech Arena (a non-profit supporting minority founders) and STUF United Fund (a non-profit supporting charitable causes.)Cheng received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. In this episode you’ll learn about: Shifting from the large corporate world to a start-up brand - how Anya overcame the struggles of shifting from a world-traveling, top-name brand corporate employee, to starting up her own brand and working from home.Ambassador funding - how Anya funded the launch of her start-up through crowdfunding.Overcoming imposter syndrome - how Anya struggled with feeling out of place but how having the right wardrobe helped her feel more prepared and now she wants to give other people that same opportunity and confidence.Serving the men’s market -  why Anya chose to target the male demographic and the problems her brand solves for men.Finding the right business partner - how Anya chose her business partner based on their different strengths and backgrounds.Launching a business during the pandemic - how Anya leveraged the work-from-home world to start her business off strong with fewer, more targeted items.Created an environment where people want to work - how the employee mentality shift during the pandemic affected Taelor, and why people chose to work there.The growth from a one-product shop to a one-stop-shop for all menswear needs - how Taelor went from selling only tops during the pandemic to expanding into a full men’s clothing line in just a few years, and why that decision lead to their success.The power of a good wardrobe - Anya’s belief that people dress to achieve a goal, is her passion and inspiration behind her brand.Working smarter, not harder - how Anya incorporated AI- systems to help run the workflow of the business so she can tweak things when needed but not have to be hands-on all the time.Selling a solution - how Taelor is solving problems for their customers and how the focus on being a problem solver has made their marketing successful.Leveraging SEO, magazine ads, and email marketing to grow brand awareness - Anya’s marketing strategies for Taelor and how she grew the brand name through multiple funnels and layers.Understanding the customer journey - how Anya employed customer feedback to improve her marketing plan.Resources:Taelor Use code "ECOMMERCEQUEST" to get 25% off your first-month menswear rental subscription at https://taelor.style/pages/membership Fall Line Digital FacebookEbayTargetStitchFixSearsK-MartLandsendGQVogueBloombergInsiderFox NewsABC NewsConnecting with Guest:Anya Cheng on LinkedIn Taelor on Instagram Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables3:39 “Fashion companies are designing for people who are into fashion, they are not designing for people like me. I just want to get ready for the day and be successful.”7:36 “It was perfect, it gave us a little bit of tie to only serve tops.”8:21 “The world is changing, so it kind of forced people to think about their way of life and their career. Did they need to have a change?”12:18 “Something that I’m really passionate about is helping people not just look good but also look good to have a better life.”12:26 “I truly believe that people look great not because they want to wear blue or red, but because they want to get the job, or get the date, close the deal.”32:16 “AI only works when you have good data. Garbage in, garbage out.”
From Wholesale To D2C, How Michelle Misas, Founder of Consciously Baby Built A Successful Baby Footwear Brand
Mar 14 2023
From Wholesale To D2C, How Michelle Misas, Founder of Consciously Baby Built A Successful Baby Footwear Brand
Episode SummaryWhen shopping for kids' shoes, do you get tired of all the bright colors, glitter, and cartoon characters? Michelle Misas saw the lack of options when it came to toddler footwear and has created a new handmade footwear line with your kids in mind. Consciously Kids shoes are made up of earthy colors, a timeless design, and quality, sustainable materials. Don’t forget to check out their Mommy and Me products!DescriptionMichelle Misas is the Creative Director at Consciously Baby Footwear, she has four years of experience in the children's footwear industry, and is one of the owners of the company. Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, Michelle moved to the United States to earn her degree in Fashion Merchandising from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. In her free time, she loves doing yoga, going to the beach, and discovering new restaurants.At Consciously Baby they are shaking up the children’s footwear industry with modern bohemian designs that can be worn with every outfit- for every occasion. Their philosophy is to maximize wear and reduce waste. All of their shoes are mindfully designed and crafted with longevity and versatility in mind! Consciously Baby launched in 2019 after noticing a need for more conscious children’s fashion options, and it is their mission to influence children from an early age to be mindful of fast fashion.In this episode you’ll learn about:  Getting customer feedback - how Michelle leveraged Facebook groups and product gifting to get more feedback on her new products.Product inspiration - Consciously Baby strives to make clothes that intertwine confidence and style, this is where Michelle gets her inspiration for their design.Creating your “hero” product - how Michelle strategized the creation of the Everyday Chelsea Boot and why it was a game changer for their business.Introducing new styles to the market - how Michelle’s new style and color ideas landed in the market with wholesalers and consumers.Finding a factory for product development - how Michelle researched factories and took a trip to China to select a factory to turn her idea into a product.Wholesale trade shows - how Michelle started out selling in trade shows and how that boosted their company's visibility.Pivoting from wholesale to direct-to-consumer sales - how Consciously Baby started out selling 80% of their product wholesale to other stores, but now they have flipped the switch and are selling 80% of their products directly to consumers from their website.The snowball effect of wholesaling - how the company's visibility, influence, and sales grew thanks to their wholesalers and retailers spreading the word of their brand.The importance of quality - when you provide your customers with a quality product you will have more repeat customers and more word-of-mouth marketing as your customers share their product with friends and family.Finding the right price point for your product - how Michelle decided on her product prices based on value, style, and the quality of her products.Production and inventory planning - how to navigate your inventory vs production numbers when you offer a wide variety in sizes or products to avoid over-buying.Having a strong relationship with your manufacturer - when you sell a large variety of sizes (or products) it’s important to have a good relationship with your manufacturer so you aren’t forced into buying inventory you don’t need with high minimums, giving you the chance to sell out of products before you get more.The power of Facebook ads - how Michelle has found success in finding new customers and growing her business using Facebook ads.Email and SMS text marketing lists - how to grow your list, and how to use that list to boost sales and encourage growth in the business.The high conversion rate of text marketing - when consumers subscribe to text alerts they are already interested in your brand, they are ready to shop and more likely to take action.Using affiliate marketing programs - the simplicity of offering an affiliate marketing program to your consumers and how it can be a win-win.Organic social media marketing - the importance of creating original content that provides value, and is relatable when trying to gain followers and grow your audience.Leveraging user-generated content - how to get started with your users and consumers to boost your visibility with user-generated content without it affecting the look of your brand.Working with content creators - the growing pains of finding and working with content creators and ways to specify your brand details to get what you want.Incentivizing repeat customers - Michelle’s follow-up process and how it leads to a high repeat customer percentage by offering discount codes.Resources:Consciously Baby Fall Line Digital Attentive - SMS marketingGoaff Pro - Affiliate marketingTargetChelsea BootsKlaviyoConnecting with Guest:Michelle InstagramConsciously Baby InstagramEmailConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables2:42 “I saw the gap in the footwear space, I saw that when I went to Target or any big retailers I couldn’t really find shoes that were minimal or neutral, or homemade. You would only find shoes that were full of glitter and full of cartoon characters, or very bright, full colors.”6:45 “We saw a lot of people, a lot of sellers, and buyers, telling us definitely this is something that you don’t find easily. That a lot of moms are interested in, that [they] would love to carry.”9:06 “As more stores carried us, more people would find out about us and then more stores would come to us.”10:06 “The quality of the product is super important. If you do not have a quality product or a product that’s really needed, it’s going to be really hard.”17:01 “That fall we grew the business so much, we began to see a lot more stores buying, and more people buying.”20:24 “There’s a lot of sizes, there’s a lot of colors, there’s a lot of styles, so we bring the best-selling sizes only.”21:13 “It’s better to do it slowly and surely as you see that the stock is selling out.”24:01 “If you’re a business owner and you’re not doing [Facebook] ads, you’re definitely missing out.”25:19 “People that actually subscribe to your text list, they are super into your brand and they are ready to shop. So whenever we send a text, it’s like boom. We get sales there.”30:16 “We were providing value in the way that we were posting, so that definitely helped us out.”33:39 “I wouldn’t be able to grow [our] Instagram that much without the creators, they’re the real part of the business.”
Scaling To Success with Collab King and Founder of State Bicycle Co. Mehdi Farsi
Mar 7 2023
Scaling To Success with Collab King and Founder of State Bicycle Co. Mehdi Farsi
Episode SummaryFinding his inspiration in the Tour De France and the great athlete Lance Armstrong, Mehdi Farsi has turned his passion into a successful bicycle design and creation company. At State Bicycle Co. they focus on creating bikes that are both affordable and attractive. These are not your mother’s bicycles!DescriptionMehdi Farsi is the visionary behind State Bicycle Co.’s products and designs as well as the driving force of the company’s marketing and large social media presence. In charge of the company’s image, Mehdi’s primary responsibilities include branding, product development, marketing, website design, and collaborations/co-branding. Mehdi enjoys creating a productive and engaging work environment and often organizes company events and races along with managing the State Bicycle Co.'s internationally-known cycling team. Mehdi graduated from Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College and W.P.  Carey School of Business with a degree in Marketing. His previous jobs range from working at a large dot-com company to founding a $1m+ grossing online furniture business at the age of 22; all of which are foundational to his success at State Bicycle Co.In this episode you’ll learn about: Modernizing the bike riding experience - how State Bicycle Co. is making the sport of cycling more inclusive and attractive to new riders and younger generations.The vision for a one-stop-shop bicycle store  -  how Mehdi and State Bicycle have become known both online and in stores for their variety of quality, affordable products.Going from direct-to-consumer sales to selling with dealers - how Mehdi was ahead of the curve with his vision for their bicycle brand, how they moved from a 100% direct-to-consumer company, into partnering with local bike shops to sell in a store, and how that improved their customer experience.Finding the balance between online sales and in-store dealers - the importance of online sales for profit, but having a storefront for customer education, visualization, and an overall improved buying experience.Getting a jump on the competition - how jumping into the game, and building their own brand before there was another like it, gave State Bicycle Co. a leg up on the competition and the time to build their reputation.Creating a rider-funded company - how growing organically through customer loyalty  and funding proved to be the success of the State Bicycle Co., as opposed to companies who relied on outside investors.Putting yourself in the shoe of your consumer - why  Mehdi continues to personally run the company Instagram, and how keeping a pulse on their consumers has helped the company succeed and grow.Marketing a visual product - how Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube communities have helped spread the word of State Bicycle Co. and inspire riders.Leveraging reviewers to supplement growth and PR - how pushing bikes out to reviewers in numerous publications helped spread the word of State Bicycle Co. and helped improve their credibility.Choosing a branding message - the struggles of selling multiple targeted products and how to market your brand without confusing your consumer. Why Mehdi focused on marketing to everyone, only tailoring the marketing message when necessary.Becoming a collab king - how Mehi was able to sign with such well-established brands as Wu-Tang, Ozzy Ozbourne, NASA, Corona, and the Grateful Dead, and how he chose which brands to collaborate with.Resources:State Bicycle Co. Fall Line Digital Tour de FranceLance ArmstrongWu-TangOzzy OzbourneGrateful DeadNASASimpsonsNotoriousConnecting with Guest:InstagramEmailConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables10:14 “We see local bike shops as being a really important part of the whole ecosystem when it comes to cycling because there’s just stuff you’re not going to be able to do online.”10:34 “We have a really good relationship with 100s of shops throughout the country, so folks can choose to shop directly with us if there’s not a shop in their area, or if they prefer to go into a shop and see the bike before they ride it…a local bike shop is a great place to shop.”12:07 ”Some of that success was great timing on our part.”12:32 “I’m happy with when we started, and how we’ve decided to slowly grow the business organically versus rushing in and trying to just make a quick buck.”15:29 “Sometimes you can even make the mistake of listening to your customers too closely and listening to too much feedback.”18:03 “I don’t know that we’ve ever gotten into something purely because we think it would be lucrative,”19:24 “There are tons of accessible bikes. Are they attractive though? No. They’re bikes that people buy and ultimately end up being a bad investment because they sit in their garage or locked up somewhere, deflated and not ridden because there’s no emotional connection to that.”21:43 “More bikes on the road are better for everyone who is on two wheels.”30:10 “Because you can get a little bit of a split personality if you do try to tailor the message too much.”
Leveraging Licensee Deals to Explode a Customizable Footwear Brand with Founder of ISlide, Justin Kittredge
Feb 28 2023
Leveraging Licensee Deals to Explode a Customizable Footwear Brand with Founder of ISlide, Justin Kittredge
Episode SummaryStand in what you stand for! In this episode, Justin Kittredge shares how he created a quality, customized footwear brand. Justin’s passion for authenticity, sports, and uniqueness led to the inception of ISlide, a premium, customized, athletic shoe, made for expression and functionality.About Justin KittredgeJustin is a born entrepreneur who spent most of his life gaining valuable experience and connections at Reebok International. His wife Lindsay and him started Shooting Touch, a non-profit basketball organization that positively changes lives all using basketball as the critical vehicle. In 2013, Justin combined his passion for footwear, sports, and innovation by founding, ISlide, the first company to offer premium, customized, athletic slides. ISlide has been partnering with top major leagues (NBA, MLB, NCAA), cultural influencers, and athletes from youth to professional for the past 10 years.  Justin believes everyone deserves to stand in what they stand for from head to toe, expressing their passion and beliefs through customized footwear.In this episode you’ll learn about: Creating a quality custom item - why the extra work is worth the effort to create a unique item for every customer.Printing on demand - how ISlide manages their inventory and workflow, to provide a quality product and experience for their customers.Interviewing on Shark Tank - how the experience was not only a game changer for Justin and I Slide, but how the free marketing boosted their web presence.Competing in the market - how ISlide has positioned itself to offer a unique, quality experience for its customers, setting them apart from the competition.Using licensee deals to help market your product - making the right connections and deals that are beneficial to both sides.Having a customer-focused business model - how focusing on creating the ideal product for each customer has set ISlide up for success.The pros and cons of having a large market base - the difficulty in choosing who to market to and partner with, but also having numerous opportunities to sell to a wide variety of markets.The importance of having a positive mindset - when you leave no room for failure, you find creative, alternative ways to stay in business and grow.Resources:ISlide Fall Line Digital ReebokAdidasShark TankIsaia ThomasSlow GrindHayden CohenConnecting with Guest:Justin Kittredge on Facebook Justin Kittredge on Instagram ISlide on Instagram Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables4:13 “Taking that first step is always the hardest.”5:36 “There was a void in the marketplace, there were quality slides that were out there, with no customization from big brands. And then there were low-end, kind of cheap slides that were custom. But they had costly setup fees, and high minimums.”5:54 “I always felt that customization was the wave of the future.”6:51 “We print everything on demand. That’s who we are and what we do.”7:08 “I didn’t mind the grittiness and hard work to be able to print one pair at a time.”7:36 “They want to make one model, and make millions and millions of them. Where for us, it’s more about, we don’t mind that labor intensiveness because it’s a very high barrier to entry, and that’s what we’re looking for as a niche business.”11:50 “We were helping them express themselves in a very different and unique way. They’ve never been able to do that.”13:40 “Whoever you’re trying to work with, is how is it going to benefit them. Instead of talking about how great you are.
Simple Ad Strategies E-Commerce Brands Can Take Away From The 2023 Superbowl
Feb 21 2023
Simple Ad Strategies E-Commerce Brands Can Take Away From The 2023 Superbowl
Episode Summary:Companies are spending billions of dollars on their Super Bowl ads. If you had that kind of money, what commercial would you create? In this solo cast episode, host Rebecca Babicz explains in detail why the super bowl commercials are so popular and how we too can make targeted ads that create an emotional connection with our future customers! Description:In this episode you’ll learn about:  What e-commerce brands can learn from Super Bowl ads  - why they are so memorable and how we can incorporate their targeting plan.The high cost of Super Bowl ads - why companies are spending so much money on research for their 90 seconds of show time.Selling to the internal problem vs. the external problem - how this year's top Super Bowl ad included both and why that is a good technique.The importance of creating an ad that resonates with your target customer - ways to create ads that are memorable and people will want to share.Creating a hook or ad based on internal problems - focusing on the internal problem you solve for your customer is the base of any good ad.Narrowly targeted ads - why niching down and creating extremely targeted ads is a better strategy because you can resonate with your target audience.Examples of this year’s Super Bowl ads that exemplify solving internal problems - how we as brands can adopt these ideas and create more memorable and relatable hooks.Resources: Fall Line Digital Super Bowl LVIISuper Bowl Ads 2023"Forever" The Farmer's Dog Commercial"Binky Dad" KIA Commercial“Don’t Do Your Taxes” TurboTax CommercialConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables4:33 “When you’re creating these ads that you want to create, what are you selling?”6:02 “If you are  an e-commerce founder or marketing leader, thinking about an ad campaign, I want to challenge you to think  about not only the external problem that you’re facing.”6:23 “Think about the internal problem that your customers are facing, as it relates to your product, and how you can come up with a campaign or hook based around that idea. I think that’s the foundation of all really strong ads.”8:40 “We can all learn from this ad that it’s really targeted in who their customer is.”11:46 “Be really narrow in who you’re targeting.”12:50 “Know your customer, know your target audience,  and create messages that will resonate specifically with them.”
Leveraging the Full Potential of Shopify with Certified Shopify Expert Jonathan Schwartz
Feb 14 2023
Leveraging the Full Potential of Shopify with Certified Shopify Expert Jonathan Schwartz
As a registered Shopify expert, Jonathan Schwartz works alongside merchants helping them improve their online stores from the inside out, improving their backend workflow for optimum performance, and cleaning up the front end for a faster, smoother, customer experience.About  Jonathan:Jonathan "Adam" Schwartz lives in the Boston area and started JAS Technology in 2010 to offer software consulting services to businesses in need of a technology partner. Since 2013, JAS has been primarily focused on helping Shopify merchants improve their stores with custom theme and application development. A registered Shopify Expert, JAS Technology has enjoyed working alongside these Shopify merchants, learning about their businesses, and helping them thrive. In this episode you’ll learn about: The ins and outs of e-commerce websites - incredible ways to integrate websites and apps to create the perfect e-commerce system.Shopify from a developer point of view - Shopify is a fast-growing community, with many options for themes, applications, and uses. Using WordPress vs. using Shopify - the importance of knowing what you need in a website and how to choose the appropriate platform.Having a plan - Building a website can be overwhelming, when you start with a plan for your products and pricing, you save yourself time, and stress.Building a user-friendly website - why you should rely on your experts so you don't leave out any important aspects when building your website.Developing a website theme - best practices and great resources for building your e-commerce website with a creative, original theme.Finding the right Shopify apps - having the right apps can improve your website function, but too many apps can bug your site down, it’s important to find the right apps for you.What is an API and how does it work - APIs allow our websites to integrate together or with 3rd party sites, it’s important to have an expert help you get these right!The pros and cons of Shopify Plus - how its design is a great fit for high-volume companies.Anything is possible in website design -  with a plan and a great design you can create the perfect website to match your every needThe importance of website speed and optimization - from checking your speed rating to making changes so it can run at optimal speed..The dangers of third-party apps, always do your research before adding an app to your website and make sure it won’t cause bugs or slowdowns.Resources:JAS Technology Fall Line Digital Out of the SandboxPixel UnionKlaviyoBundlesShopifyWordPressStoretaskerWork with ShopConnecting with Jonathan:Jonathan Schwartz on LinkedIn  Email Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables2:26 “My view of Shopify is that it’s a fantastic platform, really powerful.”4:04 “WordPress was a content management system that added e-commerce, and Shopify is an e-commerce system that added on content management.”10:41 “ Shopify apps are kind of like iPhone apps, where the majority of them are garbage, some of them are awesome.”12:58 “If Shopify did everything perfectly, no one should need me.”14:50 “Everything’s possible, that’s the beauty of this open platform.”17:15 “ I know people who have a WordPress site and a Shopify site and guess what, they both have APIs so you can communicate between them if need be.”24:24 “Everything is possible, you just have to scope it out well and design it.”
By Moms, For Moms: Growing A Kid’s Brand From The Ground Up With Goumi Kids Founder Lili Yeo
Feb 7 2023
By Moms, For Moms: Growing A Kid’s Brand From The Ground Up With Goumi Kids Founder Lili Yeo
As a mother of two, Lili understands the struggles of finding the right clothes for your baby. Every mother wants to do what is right for their child, starting with clothes that fit, are comfortable and functional, and look good. When Lili couldn’t find a single company that offered what she needed, she banded together with her mom's community and built Goumi Kids, so that every mom could buy the right thing for their baby.Lili Yeo has 22 years of experience in consumer marketing with Fortune 200 companies and the last 12 years with Goumikids - a startup she co-founded and grew spanning baby apparel & accessories and distributed online, specialty & big box stores in multiple countries.   Prior to goumikids, she headed the China practice and led cross-functional teams to create market-relevant, profitable consumer experience solutions at Ziba design, Nike, Adidas & Hewlett Packard.  Lili holds an MBA from the Institute of Management Development (IMD), a BA in International Marketing from the University of Washington, and a Certificate from Beijing University. She was also a guest lecturer at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics on International Marketing, International Trade, and Cross–Cultural Communication. Lili speaks five languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Tagalog, and is mom to two mini-mes Iliana & Ariana.In this episode you’ll learn about: Understanding that every baby is different  - how Lili created Goumi Kids to have the most options for mothers.A company by moms, for moms - how being a mother played a huge role in the values  of Lili’s company, and how she has built her brand with the needs of all moms at the heart.Staying relevant - how Goumi Kids stays in touch with their customers to improve existing products and decide on new products.The mom-first, entrepreneur-second mindset - how Lili has created a work environment for her partners and employees that resonates with her values and creates a flexible, happy workplace.Finding new customers at a quick pace - how Goumi kids stays relevant with new generations of moms from magazines and boutiques to Instagram and TikTok.Finding the right formula for each product - How Lili works to create the perfect product every time, balancing functionality, sustainability, and beauty.Giving your products time to marinate - every product may not be an instant success, some products need a little more time to get discovered.Focusing on quality over growth  -  when you prioritize understanding the needs of your customers and creating a top-quality product to solve a problem, the numbers will come.Knowing your scorecard - you can’t base your success off someone else’s score. Be true and authentic to your values and priorities, that is how you find your success.Resources:Goumi Kids Fall Line Digital Ziba DesignNikeAdidasHewlett PackardConnecting with Guest:Goumi Kids on Instagram Goumi Kids on LinkedIn Email Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables2:47 “Why am I giving someone really good money to have time with my daughter that I can’t get back.”4:42 “These products that we buy are binary. Either they were functional but they were ugly, if they were pretty they didn't work. And if they were good to the planet, they usually weren’t the first two!”12:26 “We have to be very clear about what our scorecard is, what it is we seek to do, why we exist, why we wake up every day. And those set of core values are going to keep up through the hard times.”23:31 ”It’s so critical to never let our eye off of where does she need us, when does she need us, what does she need from us.”30:22 “What is the right growth for you and your team? Because not all growth is good.”33:11  “Get those building blocks in place about what it is you’re in this journey for, and what to you will mean success.”
Creating a Community-Based Marketplace with Co-Founder of D.O.B. Noah Treshnell
Jan 31 2023
Creating a Community-Based Marketplace with Co-Founder of D.O.B. Noah Treshnell
Noah Treshnell is a decisive leader with +20 years of industry experience, and proven success in delivering over $3B in revenue growth with top international brands through new strategic revenue streams, product and experience innovation, and expansion of brand/business to new customers, channels and geographies.Noah is the Co-Founder of Date of Birth Inc. (D.O.B), an innovative purpose-based digital marketplace/community offering apparel and accessories from up-and-coming brands. D.O.B. connects brands, customers, and experts that share common principles; sustainable, inclusive & local. At D.O.B they are focused on helping their brand partners grow sustainably by creating new and lasting relationships with their customers, and they help their customers by providing access to brands that offer high-quality fashion & design, informative content that raises awareness, and the convenience to access all of it in one place at DOBdrop.comIn this episode you’ll learn about: Striving to create a win-win company -  why Noah and Wes created DOB to be a cooperative brandThe struggles of choosing a business name - finding the perfect match between meaning and availability that would still help consumers understand your purpose.What it takes to run and grow a business as a brand new, young entrepreneur - where to start when you haven’t got a clue.Building a community - why you should focus on people’s lives, not just how to sell your product.Creating the perfect company - how Noah and Wes used their past retail experience to build a company that incorporated the best ideas and discarded the bad.Telling the story behind the product - how and why DOB and their partners focus on pulling back the curtain to introduce the people that make the brand possible.An open kitchen concept - if you’re proud of what you do, and how your product is made, you share every part of the process, it’s not a mystery.Starting with a purpose - why companies struggle 30-40 years down the road if they have not established a strong purpose and values.Having a truly local brand  - being mindful of how and where your product is made, how it impacts the environment, and how it contributes to your community.Sticking to your values - putting a line in the sand and only partnering with brands that support your values, even if that means turning down large partners.Sustainability, Inclusion,  and Local  - why these core values are important to DOB and how they are positively impacting the community and the environment.Turning your “field of dreams” into a reality - the power of vision and sharing your story.Creating a brand vs. Creating a community - how helping other brands scale and amplify their message does more good for the world than focusing on sales.A purpose over profit mindset - how the brands of DOB are giving back and changing the world, and how that takes priority over becoming a billion-dollar company.Finding the right partners - by focusing on your purpose and only partnering with compatible companies, you are setting yourself and your partners up for sustainable growth.From online to brick-and-mortar - how having an in-person store provides more opportunities to get face-to-face with your consumers and meet more people in your tribe.The pros of pop-up shops - how pop-up shops can be more cost-effective yet provide the opportunity to connect with more local shops, and create new experiences for your customers to keep them coming back, and sharing with their friends. Resources:DOBSephoraRestoration HardwareLevi’sDockersWalmart.comField of DreamsFarfetch Fall Line Digital Connecting with Guest:DOB on LinkedIn Instagram Email Noah Email WesConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables3:07 “Being all about the team-win I wanted to be part of a growing business, and be on that team-win  side.”3:37 “I was drinking through a firehose,  learning a lot, but I was thirsty so I was ready for it.”7:30 “It’s not about the traditional seasons anymore. It’s really about new products and when you have a new, fun, interesting, story to tell.”9:02  “Any really cool brand has people behind it, it’s not really the brand, it’s the people.”10:09 “The days of anybody wearing a single brand head-to-toe, are way gone.”10:33 “Wouldn’t it be cool if when someone looks at  a hoodie, they’re not just thinking about the hoodie, they’re thinking about the story behind the hoodie,  and what it’s about.”12:01 “Sustainability has to be at our core.”12:51 “It’s not just about having New York on a t-shirt. It’s being present and mindful of where you operate and  how you make your product, and where you make your product.”13:11 “Local means contributing more into those communities than taking out.”18:05 “We want to be part of a community and we want to grow together. We don’t want to be competitive internally, we want to be cooperative.”18:42 “When you’re building a brand based on authenticity, you often have to say no to more than you say yes to.”25:39 “If profit comes before purpose, there really is no purpose.”31:35 “For it to take off and be sustainable, it’s got to fit whatever your personal narrative is.”
Creating a 100% Certified Organic Luxury Kid’s Clothing Brand with Pokka Kids Founder Soo Jo
Jan 24 2023
Creating a 100% Certified Organic Luxury Kid’s Clothing Brand with Pokka Kids Founder Soo Jo
After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Soo became a leading footwear designer creating extensive footwear collections, from ideation to production, for many retailers in the US, including Kenneth Cole, Nautica, Sam Edelman, and Target. Soo’s children’s wear expertise, which was gained from her career by traveling and studying markets in cities in Europe, Asia, and America, did not help when her newborn baby son started suffering from severe eczema. From experiencing the frustrations and heartaches of trying to help her baby son, Soo dedicated her heart and soul to creating Pokka Kids, a 100% Toxic Free GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Baby Layette Collection which is super gentle and safe on little ones’ delicate skin.Soo and her husband Chang took a year to travel the world before their child was born. Although the original purpose of traveling was to unwind from over a decade of hard work, Soo faced the seriousness of environmental issues while traveling. During the process of creating Pokka Kids, she learned about organic cotton certifications such as GOTS and OEKO Textiles. She learned that using Certified organic cotton not only ensures to protect our children’s skin, but it also protects the earth they will inherit.Pokka KidsPokka Kids Layettes are made with 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. They are lead-free, nickel-free, dye-free, chemical print-free, lint-free and frayed edge free. Soo Jo, the founder of Pokka Kids, felt helpless watching her baby son suffering from eczema because she could not find any non-toxic soft organic cotton for her baby boy despite her expertise in kids’ retail market. To create the safest layettes for little ones, the founder made zero compromises in creating the organic line.  Every single element that goes onto these tiny layettes are locally made in USA, except the organic cotton which is specially ordered from Japan, and cotton labels which were custom ordered from Italy.Even the shipping boxes are made locally in the US. To ensure the authenticity of cotton being 100% organic and to protect the environment, Pokka Kids uses only GOTS certified organic cotton for all of their products. Pokka Kids' mission is to stand firm against the influx of mass-produced fast fashion, as an ambassador for the health of not only our children but also of our planet.In this episode you’ll learn about: The trouble with children’s clothing - many clothing lines use toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process of children's and babies' clothes.The difference between “organic” cotton and certified organic cotton - how to know the difference, and why it matters.Going from large retailers to creating your own brand - The struggle with finding suppliers and manufacturers that could produce on a smaller scale.Creating an organic and delicate product for babies - How Soo has created her brand to be super soft, 100% certified organic, and completely toxin and chemical free.The struggle of how to find customers - leveraging the power of your story to find like-minded customers who understand the value of your product, and the importance of good customer service when working with a 3rd party seller.How organic cotton is helping the environment - after traveling the world with her husband, Soo realized changes had to be made.The pros and cons of partnering with a larger company - having a larger marketing and advertising budget, but lacking the connection to the consumer.How to source local, organic products.The importance of your brand story - how focusing on your “why” will attract more customers, even when you’re selling at a higher cost.Educating families and parents on the importance of knowing how and where your babies' clothes were made - many people do not know the number of toxins and chemicals that are used when manufacturing clothes, to protect babies, Soo has created a product, not just to sell, but to educate.Resources:Pokka Kids Fall Line Digital GOTSTargetKenneth ColeNauticaSam EdelmanConnecting with Soo Jo:EmailInstagram Facebook Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables4:37 “Your brand name is very important for SEO purposes.”6:02 “If I have my own brand, my own business, I feel I wouldn’t have any problems because I have all these connections, domestically and internationally.”8:05 “First thing that was very important for me, is that I have to find fabric that’s super soft, and is 100% organic.”8:39 “All these so-called organic fabrics out there, nobody knows what that means unless they are certified.”11:34 “We’ll protect the earth and the planet they will inherit.”27:14 “I think most of our customers who buy our product, are because they know our story.”30:50 “There are a lot of regulations on baby products that need to be changed domestically, compared to Europe and Asia.”
Scaling a Sustainable Up-Cycling Business with Project Repat Co-Founder Nathan Rothstein
Jan 17 2023
Scaling a Sustainable Up-Cycling Business with Project Repat Co-Founder Nathan Rothstein
Nathan Rothstein is a co-founder at Project Repat. Repat launched in 2012 trying to solve the problem of too much clothing waste in the world, and a loss of textile manufacturing jobs in the US. Since then, they have sold over a million t-shirt quilts, preventing over 25 million t-shirts from ending up in landfills, and created 60 textile jobs in Western North Carolina.  Nathan lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and two daughters.   In this episode you’ll learn about: Creating an affordable, US-based product - how to build the right team, and ways to scale.The impact of textile waste on the environment - how building a US-based up-cycling company can make a positive impact on the environment.How to scale an up-cycling business - from farmer’s markets to email and text marketing strategies.The difference between a good idea and a genuine business - how Project Repat went from trying to sell upcycled t-shirt bags to selling over a million affordable t-shirt quilts.Worker-owned factory models - the importance of hiring workers that believe in your product and vision. Repatriates - how Project Repat creates a high-quality, affordable t-shirt quilt with minimal carbon impact that brings textile jobs back to the United States.Facebook Ads - are the glory days of Facebook in the past? Should businesses look to google?Fine-tuning your lead generation - finding the balance between social media ads, google, and email marketing.Text and email marketing - why a phone number is worth more than an email address.Why Project Repat - keeping t-shirts out of landfills and upcycling them into something new that commemorates important dates, times, and events in people's lives!Resources:Project Repat Fall Line Digital BrandeisGrouponShopifyLiving SocialKlaviyoTripple WhaleAttentiveConnecting with Guest:TwitterLinkedInConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables1:39 “Something that was sturdy and well crafted, but also wasn’t your museum-like quilt.”2:49 “There’s traditionally not a great way to recycle textiles, and they have a long history of disrupting economics in different countries and also adding a lot of textile waste.”7:47 “There’s about 2 billion t-shirts printed in the US every year, and 96% of them are made overseas.”8:04 “T-shirts become a representation of who you are.”9:01 “What we’ve tried to do is turn those memories into getting people to support textile work in the US.”11:54 “You want workers that you have a close relationship with, that really see the meaning of the work, and they can benefit economically from it.”13:36 “I don’t know if we could’ve started this business now and achieved that scale. Because at that time, a lot of people were trying to raise money to then spend that money on advertising, and instead of raising money, we used Groupon and Living Social as our Series A financing.”28:00 “Most people want to be doing customer service through email, and text, and chat.”
Launching A Men’s Skincare Brand (without any inventory) with Deeckla Rotman, Founder of Scruff and Smooth
Jan 10 2023
Launching A Men’s Skincare Brand (without any inventory) with Deeckla Rotman, Founder of Scruff and Smooth
Deeckla is the founder and CEO of SCRUFF & SMOOTH, a men's skincare and grooming hub. Prior to launching S&S in March 2022, Deeckla held leadership roles at Nordstrom, Microsoft (Xbox), and Eddie Bauer, specializing in marketing, loyalty, and business growth. SCRUFF & SMOOTH is a men’s skincare and grooming hub featuring products created specifically for men’s skin and lifestyle. The site helps men quickly find face, hair, and body care products that complement their on-the-go activities.   In this episode you’ll learn about:  The importance of a niche market - understanding how important it is for your consumer to have products that are specifically made for them.A dropship business model - partnering with established brands to sell your products, never needing to keep inventory on hand.The strategy for selling to a minority market - ways to focus on research, and adjusting your branding accordingly.The importance of market research - getting past the superficial conversations to discover the true needs of your consumer.Finding research participants - a willingness to talk with anyone, and offering incentives.Rebranding - the importance of applying your research findings, and adjusting your brand and website to fit your consumer's needs.Improving website engagement - how a website rebrand dramatically increased website traffic.The importance of knowing your baseline KPIs - you can’t compare your success to another brand, know your baseline so you can track your success.Partnering with a developer - how an outside perspective can help your social media marketing efforts.Having a brand that focuses on the problem it solves, not the product - knowing what is most important to the consumers visiting your website.Resources:Scruff and Smooth Fall Line Digital ShopifyJobs to Be Done VideoNordstromMicrosoftXboxEddie BauerConnecting with Guest:LinkedInInstagramConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables1:46 “After experiencing some serious burnout in my last role, I decided to take some time for myself, and then ended up deciding to become an entrepreneur and found a new business.”2:31 “Men are largely underserved when it comes to the beauty industry.”4:29 “I will interview the founders myself and make sure that their heart and skin is in the game, that they really care about the things that they create.”8:39 “Customer research is probably the most important thing that you can do, especially when you have a startup.”10:17 “Being a first-time founder and trying to ask all the right questions and understanding the right thing.”12:16 “The amount that I had learned from those conversations was insanely deeper than the superficial information I was getting in the beginning.”17:19 “[Men] are just not exposed to the same level of information as [women] are. Women are bombarded left and right about skincare and makeup, and how to look flawless and look younger.”19:41 “ I highly recommend [Shopify] for anybody who’s learning to create a website for the first time.”20:15 “It’s very interesting to hear how men make decisions about what they want to buy.”25:29 “Masculine does not necessarily mean darker colors, it can show up in lots of different ways.”
How To Go From Idea To Product with Vitaminis Founder Leslie Danford
Jan 4 2023
How To Go From Idea To Product with Vitaminis Founder Leslie Danford
Leslie is a driven and passionate team and business leader combining her personal interests with her formal business training to launch what she hopes will become the first scale brand in children’s functional food and beverage: Vitaminis (www.vitaminisbrand.com).  Previously she served in strategic growth roles and general management roles at Foxtrot, Softbank-backed OYO Hotels, and global spirits company Beam Suntory.  She began her career as a Management Consultant at Bain & Company and earned her MBA from Harvard University and BA from the University of Chicago, with honors.   In this episode you’ll learn about:  Functional food and beverage branding - how Leslie created a successful and healthy new beverage brand.How experience in hospitality can help when starting a new business - building consumer relationships and understanding the needs of the customer.How to scale a business using outside capital.The challenges of finding manufacturers and how to present your new product as a win.Going from an idea to a product on the shelf in just 2 years - finding the right partners and understanding your market.The pros and cons of selling on  Amazon  - an easy purchase for the consumer but lacks a personal connection.The importance of gut health - why Leslie is focusing on healthy alternatives.Getting your product in with independent retailers - from knocking on doors to creating lasting relationships.Playing the long game - how to stand out in digital marketing and create brand awareness.The importance of customer feedback - reading reviews, connecting with your customer base, and planning for future marketing.Finding the right influencers to market for you - someone who loves your product, not just the paycheck.Leveraging subscription plans - why they make sense when selling a smaller cost, fast moving item.Resources:Vitaminis Fall Line Digital AmazonOYO HotelsBeam Suntory BeveragesThe Honest CompanyStart Up CPGNaturally NetworkConnecting with Guest:EmailLinkedInConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables4:42 “I spoke with a lot of fellow moms and my potential customers about what they would look for in a product, what was important.”4:56 “Working on the formula with the formulator was pretty straightforward. They kind of know the food science and the stability, and that kind of thing, and I had the vision for it.”5:05 “Finding a contract manufacturer, and actually getting the product produced was one of the more challenging steps.”6:00 “I think of it more in functions vs. flavors. So the first function I launched was immune support.”11:19 “One of the reasons I built this product, I was looking for a more natural kind of preventive way to deal with those issues.”13:30 “When I think about where people are shopping for products for their families, or themselves, you have to be on Amazon.”15:44 “Now that we’re in those stores, my focus is on making sure we’re successful in terms of the sales and the performance.”17:14 “Driving consumer awareness in today’s environment is really difficult.”26:26 “Who loves your product just because they love your product, not because you’re writing them a check? And then how can you build on that authentic fit.”29:12 “Subscriptions is really important to our brand because it is part of a daily ritual.”
Expanding Your Digital Marketing Globally with KORITE CEO David Lui
Dec 27 2022
Expanding Your Digital Marketing Globally with KORITE CEO David Lui
David Lui is a global brand and entrepreneurial leader known for transforming businesses andstagnant brands into profitable market share leaders. He has an extensive background in leading public and private organizations in complex retail, digital, and consumer environments. He has developed global award-winning marketing campaigns, has scaled online e-commerce brands, was CEO of the twelfth Fastest Growing Company in Canada’s PROFIT100, First for Fastest-Growing Company in Vancouver, CIBC’s Top Job Creator, winner of the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, was recognized as a Business in Vancouver Forty under 40 and was a nominee for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Pacific Region. As CEO and President for KORITE International, David leads an organization headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, with operations in Asia, has an omnichannel presence of fine jewelry and art sold in over 28 countries, and operates the most significant commercial Ammolite mine in the world. In addition, David has contributed to numerous industry and community organizations, including the Board and Governance Committee for Hypertension Canada, the Retail Leadership Committee for the Canadian Marketing Association, and the Marketing Advisory Committee for the Retail Council of Canada. David holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University.   In this episode you’ll learn about: The history of Korite, where it comes from, how it forms, why it’s unique, and where you can find it. How David helped KORITE during the 2020 pandemic shift from selling on cruise ships to improving the D2C experience - updating the website, content, and storytelling. The importance of strategic partnerships, influencers, and local celebrities when marketing in different countries. Ways to educate potential consumers and go to market in new countries. The pros and cons of dropping pricing to make products more accessible - and why it worked for KORITE.The opportunity with live streaming or “live shopping” as a marketing tool - how it works, what channels you can use, and predictions about the future.Why Boxing Day is so popular in Canada.The power of storytelling to connect with your consumer and authentically market your product. Resources:CIBJO Fall Line Digital TikTokkorite.comConnecting with David Lui:LinkedInConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables3:56 “It’s the youngest gemstone declared by the CIBJO, the World Federation of Jewelry and Gemstone.”4:10 “Because of its vibrancy in color and the uniqueness of it, we mine it, and out from the Ammonite come the Ammolite.”5:22 “In Asia there’s a belief that the stone contains the energy of the earth.”6:00 “Signed up for a partner in Malaysia,  also with Indonesia, we signed up with a partner in Japan. So we are growing our business.”8:11 “And here’s the other benefit. Our team gets to stretch their minds, beyond North America. Giving them a career development, per se.”17:53 “In terms of what’s working, we have to do a lot of storytelling, so upper funnel brand marketing.”18:42 “I wanted to make it more accessible to more people to enjoy it, and love Ammolite. So we brought the prices down.”19:58 “Once people love Ammolite, they love it forever. That’s the greatest outcome.”30:55 “ Well, we’re selling a rock. But with some creativity, storytelling, and authenticity, you can build a story and sell your product.
Building A Sustainble Future With Better Products with Worn’s Bryan Marville
Dec 20 2022
Building A Sustainble Future With Better Products with Worn’s Bryan Marville
As Founder and CEO of WORN, Bryan Marville is the inventor and strategist driving the brand’s sustainability mission. Bryan is passionate about why we need to end our commodity relationship with both socks and fast fashion. WORN was founded by Bryan in 2019 with the goal of creating longer-lasting, higher-performing socks using the lowest-impact materials possible. An avid surfer, Bryan created a FrictionlessTM sock product in 2015 to make getting in and out of wetsuits easier. This launched a three-year journey of testing and researching technical fabrics and designs for feature-driven socks.  It wasn’t until his discovery and development of ArrowoolTM -- the patent-pending, technically-enhanced Merino wool -- that WORN was officially born.   In this episode you’ll learn about: How Bryan went from working in advertising and brand marketing to creating a product and learning the other side of the business. The negative impact of cotton and other textile commodities on the environment.Why investing in higher-priced, better-quality products not only creates value for the consumer but also tremendously reduces the environmental impact.How a brand can relate to the eco-conscious consumer.How the new metrics of performance should combine both performance and sustainability.How not knowing everything can be an advantage.How offering returns and guarantees can dissolve barriers between consumer and company.Why a business should focus on building strength before growth.User-generated content, sales funnels, and how to rate your success.Resources:Worn Brand Fall Line Digital Connecting with Bryan Marville: Email Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables2:55 “I was so impressed with these people and the effort they put into their product and their development, and how little time they were spending on the other side of their business, and how much they felt that the product was driving their brand and their occasion.”3:07 “So I thought I would give it a shot, to make a product and see if I could do it myself.”4:41 “I had the distinct advantage of not having any idea what I was doing. Because of that, I did not run into the mental block of it can’t really be done this way, or shouldn’t be done this way,  or here’s all the reasons you shouldn’t do something this way.”5:12 “If you’re not solving a problem for your consumer, you’re not solving a problem for your company.”21:14 “If you focus on getting strong first, you’ll be able to get big later. If you focus on  getting big first, you’re going to be weak and large.”25:36 “Another way to go is organic development. We have started producing a series of organic content and letting it become a slow burn. Quick hit, interesting things, relatable to the audience.”
Building a Sustainable Luxury Brand with Personality with Fashion Designer Jamie Banks
Dec 13 2022
Building a Sustainable Luxury Brand with Personality with Fashion Designer Jamie Banks
Jamie Banks is the Founder and CEO of Change of Scenery, a luxury sustainable swim and resortwear collection. Debuting in Spring 2022, Change of Scenery was quickly named one of Oprah's best sustainable swim brands to watch. Jamie founded Change of Scenery because she wanted sophisticated, tasteful, and uncomplicated pieces and could not find them. Her passion is designing for real women and inspiring confidence through product.Jamie holds a BC in Textiles and Apparel Design from Cornell University and proudly earned an MFA in Fashion Design and Knitwear from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2005. Her graduating class was the first to present at New York Fashion Week under the guidance of Simon Ungless. Her graduate fashion collection earned her a prestigious internship at 10 Corso Como in Milan, working for fashion legend Carla Sozzani. Jamie's 20+ years of industry experience includes overseeing design at iconic brands such as L.A.M.B by Gwen Stefani, Milly, and Shoshanna. She spent over 10 years at Kate Spade New York, launching their RTW collection in 2007, childrenswear in 2014, and ultimately overseeing 20+ lifestyle categories across full-price and outlet. She currently lives in Long Island, NY with her husband and three children. In this episode you’ll learn about: Pros and cons of working in the corporate world vs. entrepreneurshipHow to run a successful bootstrapped business The importance of having a community within your businessCreating a product to solve a problem.Why followers are not the most important metric for a brand in fashionFocusing on a solid brand DNA.Why the best marketing is word of mouthThe seasonality of paid ads in swimwear The best influencer platform to use if you want real partnershipsHow to use social media to get your name out thereLearning to ask for help Resources:https://shopchangeofscenery.com/LTK Influencer Marekting Platformhttps://www.10corsocomo.com/https://www.gwenstefani.com/https://www.katespade.com/ Fall Line Digital Connecting with Jamie Banks:Instagram Email Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables3:35 “Just staying true to a brand, creating product that a very specific audience was looking for.”4:35 “I want Change of Scenery to be a brand that also has a very distinct point of view in the swimwear market, the way that Kate Spade does.”10:30 “I am realizing that I’m not Kate Spade, I spent over 10 years of my career at Kate Spade and we did have these giant teams, teams for everything.”11:05 “You have to be scrappy. So I’m calling in every friend and every favor.”13:19 “I know what’s missing from the swimwear, there’s a lot of very sexy swim out there, and there’s a lot of very modest swim out there. But there’s not a lot of swim sort of in the middle. Which is swim that makes you feel sexy, but is comfortable, and covers the bits that you want to be covered, and sort of shows off the bits that you still feel great about.”15:58 “The more that you speak up when you’re starting a business, and say ‘Right now I’m going through trying to find a website designer.’ ‘Right now I’m trying to learn what to hire for social.’ The more you bring it up in any conversation you’re ever in or any contact at a play date, a business meeting, it doesn’t matter. The more you have a chance of someone coming back with a really great suggestion.”17:06 “In swimwear, pretty much every brand looks the same. It’s leggy, blonde models, on a non-descript island, that you’ll never be on, in a situation you’ll probably never be in. And I knew that I wanted my customer to see herself on the Change of Scenery website.”
How CEO Dario Markovic Helped 37-Year Old Luxury Brand, Eric Javits’ Become A D2C Powerhouse
Dec 8 2022
How CEO Dario Markovic Helped 37-Year Old Luxury Brand, Eric Javits’ Become A D2C Powerhouse
Dario grew up in Basel, Switzerland. He studied Business Administration and has always believed in self-educating himself, especially in the world of digital advertising, marketing and e-commerce. After he got married to a Chilean he started a marketing agency in Santiago de Chile with clients all over the world. In the middle of the recent pandemic crisis, Eric Javits Inc, New York brought Dario on as its CEO, who turned around the whole company through his experience and knowledge in the digital world and saved the company from bankruptcy. Now, the company generates 80% in revenue through its own e-commerce.  Dario is still exploring, testing and developing all the possibilities that the digital world gives today in the fields of digital marketing, using Meta Ads, Google Ads, Tik Tok, YouTube, email marketing, SMS marketing, loyalty Programs, CRO, SEO, and many more. Dario is also streamlining financial processes, restructuring internal processes and expansion strategies into different continents.  Eric Javits just launched their first stores in Korea. Soo they will launch stores in Japan and other countries. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of The Quest for E-Commerce Success:How Dario helped Eric Javits from going belly up during the 2020 Pandemic by building an online store and digital strategy, generating $3.8m in online sales in a matter of months.  The digital marketing strategies Dario has implemented and tested (and which ones are working).  The struggles of moving from a physical store to an online experience.How to build your team, and plan for global growth.The importance of customer loyalty, and how Eric Javits is maintaining customer retention after the shift.The positive possibilities of launching your own app.How to build brand loyalty Resources:https://ericjavits.com/https://www.shopify.com/ Fall Line Digital Connecting with Dario Markovic::LinkedIn Email Connecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables4:51 - “We tested it for a week, and we saw there was an opportunity, and in May of 2020, in a matter of a few months, sold a few million dollars of business through the shopify store.”10:34 - “For us it wasn’t one campaign, it wasn’t one feed or image, or anything specific. It was an overall strategy through facebook and google.”13:29 - “We realized we needed more productivity,  more testing, even more creative. We need to be smarter, and we need to be a better advertiser, and it’s not really that easy anymore.”15:09 - “When you grow, you need to be able to lift that growth. It's a good problem, but still a problem. So if you don’t tackle it well, you might lose out on the opportunity, or you simply won’t grow.”29:36 - “They need to stay in the game, they  need to constantly be out there saying ‘Hey I’m here, I’m present, I want you to come back.’ ”
Overcoming CBD Marketing Hurdles with Prismatic Plant’s Sarah Polansky
Nov 30 2022
Overcoming CBD Marketing Hurdles with Prismatic Plant’s Sarah Polansky
Sarah Polansky was a design-thinking researcher & business strategist for over 10+ years before turning her interest towards entrepreneurship and becoming the Founder of the Health & Wellness Organisation Prismatic Plants.Sarah now focuses on helping people heal from chronic stress and illness by educating them about the powers of plant-based medicine and encouraging their own advocacy in managing their health.Sarah has been at the forefront of the movement to destigmatize cannabis use and make it a mainstay of the U.S. market, especially in the women’s health sector, and working in the cannabis industry has meant she has had to overcome extreme business-building hurdles due to antiquated regulations (or lack thereof).Sarah has created the vision, strategy, and execution for all customer touchpoints (website, product, packaging, social, email), led product development, oversaw custom manufacturing, created 3rd party testing protocols, constructed a sustainable supply chain with small farmers using regenerative agriculture, managed resources, finances and determined the best growth strategy. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of The Quest for E-Commerce Success:Using market research and design strategy to find new popular products.The challenges of marketing a cannabis brand with the current regulations.The benefits cannabis has over pharmaceutical drugs.The need for increased education around plant medicines.How providing education around a substance can help your brand marketing.Ways to acquire customers as a CBD brand with the red tape around the industry.How to build a relationship with your customers.Resources:Prismatic PlantsFall Line DigitalConnecting with Sarah Polansky:LinkedInEmailConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn Quotables10:55 - “What I learn every day from my customers and from people that are interested in becoming a customer is that there is still so much uncertainty around what cannabis is, what CBD is, what it does, and I’ve really found that education has to be the backbone of our company.”12:42 - “Even healing in a pharmaceutical setting there’s a lot of work being done where they're showing that this plant has amazing capabilities for healing things that we didn't think was possible.”17:15 - “How do you carve out that white space for yourself because as everyone knows the cannabis industry and the hemp industry specifically is just so incredibly crowded and so I think it’s our formulations and our brand experience that we try to use to set us apart.”33:51 - “Even when all else fails in terms of where you go next there’s always another door and it just takes a little bit of time and research to think about what is that way to keep growing the company, so I would encourage people to not just rely heavily on only ads but think about what are the other types of things in and around my brand that I can build my brand up to offer a bit more stability around the growth.”
How to Create a Website That Converts with Chykalophia’s Ari Krzyzek
Nov 1 2022
How to Create a Website That Converts with Chykalophia’s Ari Krzyzek
Ari Krzyzek is the CEO and Head of Strategy at Chykalophia (read: see-ka-lo-fia), where she helps FemTech, DTC, and women-led brands transform their website into a platform that unlocks business opportunities.Ari serves as a branding, UX consultant, and professional peer in support of fellow female entrepreneurs through the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world, 1871 Chicago and Chicago’s global healthcare startup incubator, MATTER, and is the co-host of Halo Femtech Podcast, a podcast that honors disruptive innovators and change-makers advancing women’s health.Ari also helps women in tech and design break into the industry and succeeds by mentoring them for personal branding, career advancement, and entrepreneurship through Interaction Design Foundation and ADP list. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of The Quest for E-Commerce Success:Platforms you can use instead of Shopify.How to know which platform is right for your product.What to consider when launching a brand.How to come up with the idea for your logo.The power of color psychology.Common mistakes e-commerce brands make.How you should set up your homepage.How to optimize conversion rates on your product page.Why you should design for desktop before your design for mobile.What e-commerce will look like in ten years and the future of web3.Resources:ChykalophiaShopifyWordPressWixSquarespaceColour PsychologyFall Line DigitalConnecting with Ari Krzyzek:LinkedInWebsiteConnecting with the host:Rebecca Babicz on LinkedIn