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258 | Scaling to 500 Wholesale Accounts with Brittany O'Brien, Brittany Paige

258 | Scaling to 500 Wholesale Accounts with Brittany O'Brien, Brittany Paige

Proof to Product 2 August 2022

Episode Description

Deciding to sell wholesale is the first step to scaling your business, but what are the next steps to being successful in it? Brittany O’Brien of Brittany Paige joins us to share the top three contributors to her wholesale success, how she overcame her fear of rejection, and a few tips she has for brands just getting started in wholesale. Plus, she’s sharing a little insight on her experience in growing the retail side of her business while having fun with TikTok!

You can view full show notes and more at prooftoproduct.com/258

Today’s episode is brought to you by Paper Camp, our 4-week program that takes the guess-work out of selling wholesale. When you follow the strategies and methods in Paper Camp, you’ll not only feel more confident but you’ll reach your wholesale goals faster. Come join the waitlist to be the first to know when we open the doors for the next round of Paper Camp!

{JOIN THE WAITLIST}

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We're on summer break!

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248 | Live from the trade show floor at Noted & SF Now 2022

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232 | Working with Sales Reps with Carina Murray, Crow & Canary

232 | Working with Sales Reps with Carina Murray, Crow & Canary

In an industry and business where your time is valuable and your products are essential for creating a successful and sustainable business, sales reps have your best interest in mind and serve a greater purpose than simply selling your products. A valuable sales rep is someone you can build a trusted relationship with who can navigate catalogs, inventories, deliveries, and even curate products just for you. In today’s episode, I’m joined by Carina Murray, founder of Crow and Canary, a sales rep group that works with a diverse line up of stationery and gift brands to sell their products and support their customers with top-notch customer service. Listen in as we discuss how sales reps were affected by Covid, how wholesalers and sales reps can work with Faire and other third party wholesale platforms, plus we’re highlighting unique benefits that sales reps bring to the sales process!   For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to prooftoproduct.com/232 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

18 January 2022


231 | 2021 Year-End Recap with Katie Hunt

231 | 2021 Year-End Recap with Katie Hunt

With the new year right around the corner, my team and I have been making time to really reflect on the past year. It’s been a year of introspection–about our businesses, about the state of the world, and about how we balance our work and personal lives. But I’m proud to say that Proof to Product and our students have grown and accomplished more this year than ever before. In today’s episode, I wanted to share all the milestones the Proof to Product team and our students have reached in the past year. Plus, I’m giving you a sneak peek at all the exciting things we’re planning for 2022. You'll learn: How my team and I are reflecting on the year so far Our LABS and Paper Camp students’ big wins What you can expect from us in the new year For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp231 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

17 December 2021


230 | You May Want to Turn Off Zip Code Protection on Faire with Genesis Duncan | Graphic Anthology

230 | You May Want to Turn Off Zip Code Protection on Faire with Genesis Duncan | Graphic Anthology

For most designers and makers, our relationships with retailers can make a major difference in our businesses. And while I know it can be discouraging to watch your outreach emails go unanswered, this kind of slow, steady work is the path to a sustainable and successful business. The key is to keep showing up, put your best foot forward, and get yourself seen by the right people. In this episode, I’m talking to designer, illustrator, and store owner Genesis Duncan about her experience being both a retailer and a wholesaler. She’s sharing the mindset shift that happened when she got to see the industry from the other side. Plus, she’s explaining how zip code protection in Faire might actually be limiting your business. You'll learn: Making the mindset shift from “maker” to “business owner” How your Faire zip code settings might be limiting or excluding buyers Why it’s so important to keep showing up, even if it doesn’t feel like you’re being heard For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp230 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

14 December 2021


229 | Which Business Insurance Do You Need? with Katie Hunt

229 | Which Business Insurance Do You Need? with Katie Hunt

Insurance. It’s admittedly one of the least fun parts of owning a business, but it’s also one of the most important. Not only does it protect your business from misfortune, but it also protects you, the business owner. And with a little research, insuring yourself and your business isn’t as expensive or complicated as you might think it is. In this episode, I’m breaking down the different types of business and personal insurance that small business owners need. I’ll explain how they’re different, what they cover, and why they’re each important. Plus, I’ll share which providers I personally use to protect myself, my business, my team, and my family. You'll learn: Which types of business and personal insurance you should look into Why both business and personal insurance are vital for small business owners The companies and providers I use for my own insurance For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp229 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

7 December 2021


228 | 4 Strategies to Combat Imposter Syndrome with Katie Hunt

228 | 4 Strategies to Combat Imposter Syndrome with Katie Hunt

Oxford Languages defines imposter syndrome as the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved. Imposter syndrome is very common in the entrepreneur space. That feeling that we haven’t truly earned the success we’ve had. Imposter syndrome can mean feeling like a fraud or phony — like we’re not truly talented or good at what we do. In this episode, I’m sharing a sneak peek into one of my monthly coaching calls inside the Proof to Product LABS program. During these calls, I answer pre-submitted member questions about how to run - and grow - a product based business. In this call, I shared four strategies for combating imposter syndrome, avoiding burnout, and building your confidence as a business owner. You'll learn: How imposter syndrome shows up in your businesses Four strategies for combating imposter syndrome and avoiding burnout How to rest and recover after an energetically-taxing launch For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp228 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

30 November 2021


227 | Paid Advertising for E-Commerce Brands with Alexander Rossman | Rossman Media

227 | Paid Advertising for E-Commerce Brands with Alexander Rossman | Rossman Media

Feeling confident with your organic digital marketing and ready to scale even further? Why not dip your toe into the world of paid advertising? Paid digital marketing might sound intimidating, but with a solid strategy and clear goals, it can truly help you increase exposure and leads for your  e-commerce business. In this episode, I’m talking to Alex Rossman, founder of Rossman Media, an award-winning social media agency, about the ways small e-commerce brands can leverage paid advertising in their businesses. He’s sharing his tips for getting started with paid ads, which platforms are the most beneficial right now, and how much money you need to invest in your ads to see results. You'll learn: How to leverage TikTok for your e-commerce business Three steps to getting started with paid advertising The common mistakes small e-commerce brands make in their digital marketing When to DIY your paid advertising and when to outsource it  For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp227 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

23 November 2021


226 | Using SEO for Product Forecasting & Development with Jessica Freeman | Jess Creatives

226 | Using SEO for Product Forecasting & Development with Jessica Freeman | Jess Creatives

We all know that Search Engine Optimization is vital to ranking on Google and attracting website traffic. But if you’ve never worked on your site’s SEO, where do you start? How do you find the right keywords? And once you find those keywords, where do you put them? In this episode, I’m talking to SEO expert Jessica Freeman of Jess Creative about how you can use SEO to attract new customers to your website. She’s sharing her workflow for finding and implementing the right keywords, and she’s also explaining how you can use SEO in your product development process. You'll learn: How to find and implement the right keywords The three SEO tasks you should tackle first How to use SEO to forecast trends and develop new products For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp226 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

16 November 2021


225 | 4 Steps to Optimize What's Already Working in Your Business with Katie Hunt

225 | 4 Steps to Optimize What's Already Working in Your Business with Katie Hunt

Oftentimes in business, we set our sights on the next big thing–the next product, the next launch, the next program–that we forget to rethink the systems that are already working in our business. But most of the time, those systems could run even better and make us even more profit with just a few small tweaks. Take a listen for my four-step brainstorming exercise to help you identify what’s working in your business and make minor adjustments to improve your systems even further. You'll learn: When it’s best to make improvements to your current systems instead of starting from scratch How to determine which systems could use optimizing How to prioritize those improvements in your business For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp225 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

9 November 2021


224 | Find Hidden Money in Your E-commerce Shop with Reese Spykerman | Design By Reese

224 | Find Hidden Money in Your E-commerce Shop with Reese Spykerman | Design By Reese

Your business has a lot of moving parts. It’s easy to let opportunities to make a little extra money (or eliminate sneaky expenses) slip right past your radar. So how can you optimize your revenue and minimize those “leaky pipe” expenses? The answer is right on your website! In this episode, I’m talking to e-commerce conversion expert Reese Spykerman about all the hidden places you can find extra money in your business. She’ll share her tips for crafting a beautiful and functional e-commerce website, and we’ll chat about a few of the trends we’re seeing in the online business world right now. You'll learn: Where to find extra money (and sneaky expenses) in your ecommerce business Why you might be doing your business a disservice by making your website too pretty How to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and make them feel understood For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp224 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

2 November 2021


223 | Budgeting & Forecasting for Product Development with Katie Hunt [LABS sneak peek]

223 | Budgeting & Forecasting for Product Development with Katie Hunt [LABS sneak peek]

You want to develop a new product, but how do you know how much to spend on supplies? It can be tricky forecasting for upcoming product drops, especially for products you’ve never sold before. But with the right data, you can make educated estimates about your upcoming products to order supplies and budget with confidence. In this episode, I’m sharing a sneak peek into one of our monthly coaching calls inside the Proof to Product LABS program. During these calls, I answer pre-submitted member questions about how to run - and grow - a product-based business. In this call, I helped members forecast their spending for project development and budget for upcoming launches - even years in advance. You'll learn: How to budget for product development and repeat launches Tips for managing your books when you’re buying supplies well in advance Strategies for forecasting your next year’s spending and revenue For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to bit.ly/PTPEp223 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

26 October 2021


222 | Repurposing Your Instagram Video Content with Natasha Samuel, Shine with Natasha

222 | Repurposing Your Instagram Video Content with Natasha Samuel, Shine with Natasha

Do you feel like social media is a chore? Many people I talk with find Instagram to be draining but know it’s an important part of their sales and marketing so they keep posting and creating content. But what if using Instagram could be a way for you to begin meaningful conversations with your audience? In this episode, I’m joined by Natasha Samuel, host of The Shine Online Podcast and an Instagram Strategist that helps small businesses shine online. Natasha shares Instagram trends you should pay attention to, how to use video to showcase your products, strategies specifically for product based businesses and why even introverts can create videos with confidence. You'll learn: Instagram trends that are working for product based business owners How to use Videos and Reels to showcase your products Strategies and tools to help you create meaningful content on Instagram For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp222 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

19 October 2021


221 | What It Takes to Run A Brick & Mortar Business with Jen Palacio, Tiny Turns Paperie

221 | What It Takes to Run A Brick & Mortar Business with Jen Palacio, Tiny Turns Paperie

If you’re like many of the people in our LABS and Paper Camp communities, you’ve probably pondered the idea of opening a brick & mortar shop for your business. In this episode, you’ll hear from Jen Palacio, owner of Tiny Turns Paperie, a brick & mortar shop in Somerville, MA. Jen uncovers what brought her to the idea of opening her own brick & mortar shop and some of the misconceptions people have about having a physical store. She talks about how she intentionally set boundaries and the shifts she made during COVID to ensure her business survived. She also shares her thoughts looking back and why she wishes she had prioritized hiring a team sooner.  You'll learn: The top misconceptions about having a brick & mortar shop Why hiring support is critical to growing your business Shifts she made during COVID that helped her growth For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp221 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

12 October 2021


220 | Navigating Supply Chain Issues, Shipping Delays and Labor Shortages with Katie Hunt

220 | Navigating Supply Chain Issues, Shipping Delays and Labor Shortages with Katie Hunt

The upcoming holiday sales season is upon us! The worldwide shipping delays, supply chain issues and labor shortages have been causing some massive challenges for small businesses everywhere, particularly for physical product businesses. Take a listen to hear my 5 action steps you can take to prepare yourself so you don’t face as many disruptions in your sales as we head into the holiday season.  You'll learn: How widespread the supply chain, labor shortage and shipping delay issues are The 5 steps you can take to prepare for the holiday sales season Why clear communication with your customers is so important For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp220 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

5 October 2021


219 | Visibility Isn’t Your Problem With Brittney Lynn, Human Connection Agency

219 | Visibility Isn’t Your Problem With Brittney Lynn, Human Connection Agency

Think visibility is your problem? It’s probably not! In this episode, I am welcoming back third-time guest, Brittney Lynn, CEO of the Human Connection Agency. We break down the core fears people have about being visible and how to make the most out of your visibility. Brittney drops so many gems from her public relations knowledge about pitching, how to prioritize visibility and why the world needs your message. She and I chat about how PR has been during the pandemic and how you can use PR to reach your goals whether that be growing your brand authority or getting more sales for your business. You'll learn: The 2 primary reasons why visibility isn’t your problem  How to leverage press opportunities to benefit your business Every place you should share your press wins For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp219 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

28 September 2021


218 | Over 50% Of Her Annual Profit Comes From One SKU With Megan Fowler, Brown Parcel Press

218 | Over 50% Of Her Annual Profit Comes From One SKU With Megan Fowler, Brown Parcel Press

If you’ve been itching to grow your business then you’ll love today’s inspiring episode with Megan Fowler of Brown Parcel Press. In 2020, Megan’s business exploded and she saw over 300% growth. Even more impressive, just one SKU accounts for over 50% of her business’ annual profits.  In this episode, Megan shares how she leaned into her passion and ultimately started her now thriving business. She talks about her strategies for loving on her customers and how she’s leveraged both our Paper Camp and LABS communities (along with a lot of hard work and determination) to build the business she has today.  You'll learn: Why it’s okay to stand out and not fit the “industry norms” How growth is possible (even during the most challenging years) Why experimentation is a key component to business growth For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp218 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

21 September 2021


217 | How to Exit and Sell Your Business with Chelsea Clarke of Blogs for Sale

217 | How to Exit and Sell Your Business with Chelsea Clarke of Blogs for Sale

Whether you’re in the infant stages of your business or you’ve been running it for 10+ years, you might’ve had the thought at one point or another of making an exit. Selling your business can be an appealing thought, but is it right for you? In this week’s episode, I had a conversation with Chelsea Clarke of Blogs for Sale and Her Paper Route. Chelsea explains everything you need to know about selling a business and her tips on how to prepare your business for an eventual sale.  You'll learn: The process of selling a business from listing to closing 5 tips to get your website ready to sell The most common mistake business owners make when selling their business For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp217 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

14 September 2021


216 | Feeling Stuck In the Messy Middle? with Katie Hunt

216 | Feeling Stuck In the Messy Middle? with Katie Hunt

The messy middle. It’s not a particularly fun place to be in business. It can be fraught with feelings of doubt, fear and imposter syndrome. While at the same time, it is a phase of business where tremendous growth happens and confidence builds. What is the messy middle? The messy middle is when you’re no longer a brand new business owner, eager with optimism and endless energy to tackle your to dos. In the messy middle, you’ve likely seen some success, but you haven’t cracked the code on how to optimize or scale your business and you still have several goals you’re working towards completing. When you’re in the messy middle you’re stretching yourself as an entrepreneur — trying new sales channels, creating new products, developing new systems to streamline and possibly experimenting with hiring help. In the messy middle you’re learning to lead, refining your vision for the business and making an awful lot of decisions day in and day out to keep the business moving forward. The messy middle has its highs and its lows. But a common thread I see amongst small businesses who are in the messy middle is this… They are trying to do too many things at one time. Listen in for encouragement and advice on why focus is what you need, including: - Being in the messy middle is nothing to be ashamed of, and you are definitely not alone. - Sometimes the answer is right in front of us and it is a simpler solution than we realize. Get fresh eyes on your business. - Give yourself space to really assess and identify what you want to accomplish with your business. When you know what you want, you can build a plan. For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp216 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

7 September 2021


215 | Growing a Multi-Faceted Business while Managing a Chronic Illness with Morgan Swank, Morgan Swank Studio

215 | Growing a Multi-Faceted Business while Managing a Chronic Illness with Morgan Swank, Morgan Swank Studio

The challenges of running a business can be numerous. For those living with chronic illness, there are even more nuances to navigate, especially when it comes to listening and working with your body’s natural rhythm. In this episode, I was joined by Morgan Swank of Morgan Swank Studio. Morgan is a longtime student of our LABS community and a Paper Camp alumni. She and I discuss what led to her decision to start her paper goods brand. Morgan also gives us insight into what it’s like to be a business owner with a chronic illness and her journey of licensing her products in big retail stores. You'll learn: Why self-awareness and grace are an important part of entrepreneurship How to identify licensing opportunities How time blocking can make you more productive  For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp215 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

31 August 2021


214 | Leaving a Corporate Career with Desiree Perez, Paper Anchor

214 | Leaving a Corporate Career with Desiree Perez, Paper Anchor

Considering making an exit from your corporate career? If you feel like you’re almost ready to make that jump then you’ll want to take a listen to this episode to know exactly what to prepare for as you make the leap!  In this week’s episode, I chat with Desiree Perez of Paper Anchor. Desiree made this transition herself in January of 2021 and she takes us through her journey of how she knew she was ready to do it, how her experience has been so far and what she’s preparing for now as she is in the process of hiring her first employee.  You'll learn: How to know when you’re ready to take on your business full time What to prepare for when making the transition Tips for hiring your first employee For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp214 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

24 August 2021


213 | 4 Ways To Increase Your Product Profit Margins With Katie Hunt

213 | 4 Ways To Increase Your Product Profit Margins With Katie Hunt

Are you ready to put money back into your pocket? In this episode, I am uncovering how you can do just that by increasing your products’ profit margins.  I will walk you through everything that you need to know about profit margins from a micro-level. As a business owner, you’ll want to observe the profit margins for many reasons but it can be especially important when it comes to knowing what sells, what should be discontinued and to help fuel your strategic decision-making. You'll learn: What profit margins are  Why you should pay attention to your products’ profit margins 4 ways that you can increase your product profit margins For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp213 For more support with your wholesale marketing & sales strategies, check out Paper Camp at http://www.prooftoproduct.com/papercamp

17 August 2021


212 | The Art of Storytelling for Your Business with Michelle Knight, Brandmerry

212 | The Art of Storytelling for Your Business with Michelle Knight, Brandmerry

Storytelling is such a powerful way to connect with your customers. Our current and prospective customers want to know the people behind the brand, why you make the products you do and what your brand stands for. In this week's all new episode of Proof to Product, I chat with Michelle Knight of Brandmerry. She takes us on the path to discovering how to create a more authentic connection with our customers through storytelling; and how this type of marketing will provide you with more income and impact. You'll learn: Common mistakes & misconceptions to avoid 5 types of storytelling you should be using in your marketing 2 key components for successful storytelling   For full show notes, resources and a transcription, please head to BIT.LY/PTPEp212 For more support with your marketing & sales strategies, check out LABS: http://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs

10 August 2021


211 | Why She Hired a Graphic Designer to Create Her Product Line with Ashley Brown, Routine & Things

211 | Why She Hired a Graphic Designer to Create Her Product Line with Ashley Brown, Routine & Things

One big lesson I learned over the past year: the importance of routines! I crave a routine and to be honest, before now, I don’t know if I ever realized how deeply I needed routines. When we were thrown into the pandemic and our school, work and household routines were constantly in flux, I saw the influence that routines had.  In this episode, I’m chatting with routine expert, host of the Routine & Things Podcast and founder of Routine & Things, Ashley Brown. Routine & Things is a product based business company that equips women to consistently live their happiest life one routine at a time. She opens up about how she began this business based on her personal struggles as a stay-at-home mom.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Ashley’s inspiration behind starting Routine & Things  Her original goal for starting her podcast  The story of her initial launch of the product line in 2020 How she found her graphic designer Her tips for building connections with the media How she overcame imposter syndrome  The Mother’s Day giveback program they did with She Rises Why she decided to go all-in on the product side The struggle of running a product based and serviced based business simultaneously  How LABS has supported Ashley in making her product line a priority  Ashley’s plans for growth and what she’s working on next  FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO https://www.prooftoproduct.com/podcast-episodes/why-she-hired-a-graphic-designer-to-create-her-product-line-with-ashley-brown-routine-things SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

3 August 2021


From the Archives | Wholesale sales tools & sales reps with Kimberley Yurkiewicz, Crow & Canary

From the Archives | Wholesale sales tools & sales reps with Kimberley Yurkiewicz, Crow & Canary

Kimberley is the New York sales representative for Crow + Canary.  During her 15+ year career in the stationery industry, Kimberley has worked at Crane & Co., Kate’s Paperie, as well as two of her own independent boutiques.  She got her start running a letterpress studio, and has since worked all sides of the business – manufacturing, wholesaling, custom printing, multi-unit retail, buying, merchandising, and now repping.  Kimberley’s vast experience in the industry provides a unique and valuable perspective. On today’s episode Kimberley talks about the role of sales reps, why you need a printed catalog for wholesale and the importance of giving back.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: [01:00] Kimberley’s rich background in the stationery industry. [04:30] Meeting Carina Muray, her now boss, through Twitter. [07:30] Overview of a sales rep’s role. [10:00] Tips for reaching out to retailers. [11:30] Keep track of contacts you meet & jot down details you can use in follow up. [12:30] What to end to retailers you’re woo-ing. [13:00] Refining your line & honing in on your unique aesthetic [14:00] Why catalogs are important if you’re selling wholesale [20:00] Line sheets vs catalogs [22:00] Releasing your products when buyers are buying [26:00] The importance of giving back to our industry [29:30] Kimberley is a champion for independent shops, only shops local. [32:30] How our experiences and interests shape us in our work. [36:00] Too much ‘busy’ in our lives. For full show notes and resources, head to: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/podcast-episodes/009-wholesale-sales-tools-sales-reps-with-kimberley-yurkiewicz-crow-canary SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

27 July 2021


From the Archives | How to create a wholesale resource page with Katie Hunt

From the Archives | How to create a wholesale resource page with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt, founder of Tradeshow Bootcamp dives deeper into how to create a wholesale resource section on your website, something she and Rhonda Warren talked about briefly on episode 61. Katie shares what to include in your resource center, how to structure things and why it is important to make it easy for your wholesale customers to buy.   Listen to Episode 61 Here: http://tradeshowcamp.com/prooftoproduct061/   For full show notes and resources, head to: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/podcast-episodes/how-to-create-a-wholesale-resource-page-with-katie-hunt SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

20 July 2021


From the Archives | Strategies for pitching wholesale buyers with Rebekah Tennis, Wild Ink Press

From the Archives | Strategies for pitching wholesale buyers with Rebekah Tennis, Wild Ink Press

Rebekah Tennis is the founder of Wild Ink Press, a letterpress studio and retail storefront located in northern California. Rebekah started Wild Ink Press in 2009 and was part of our very first Tradeshow Bootcamp class in 2011. The Wild Ink Press brand offers witty and pretty greeting cards, stationery, and other paper goods that can be found in hundreds of retail shops nationwide including the Container Store, Papyrus, and Paper Source. On today's episode, Rebekah talks about the power of slow, organic growth and why it's okay to not have all your ducks in a row when you're starting out. She also shares her thoughts on responsiveness, reliability, and why she likes sending catalogs and samples to prospective wholesale buyers. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Wild Ink Press got its start and what lead Rebekah to starting her own business How she first got started with greeting cards When she first hired a team member and how the Wild Ink Press team grew from there The catalyst for wanting to open up the retail shop and the benefits it provides How her wholesale marketing and outreach has changed due to the retail shop The way she decides if she wants to carry someone’s work How long she recommends waiting to reach out to a retailer after you’ve mailed them a catalog and your samples Her schedule for sending out catalogs How she nurtures relationships with the stores that she’s working with as a manufacturer The way that she manages her business life and her family life How she handles times of transition in her business The advice she would give to someone just starting out in a product based business What’s next for Wild Ink Press For Full Show Notes and Resources, head to https://www.prooftoproduct.com/podcast-episodes/040-strategies-for-pitching-wholseale-buyers-with-rebekah-tennis-wild-ink-press SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

13 July 2021


From the Archives | The Hourly Rate of Exhibiting at a Trade Show with Katie Hunt

From the Archives | The Hourly Rate of Exhibiting at a Trade Show with Katie Hunt

Hey friends, when you’re building your wholesale business there’s no doubt that you’ll be headed to trade shows to get your product out there and in front of the right buyers. The reality is, trade shows are expensive and you don’t want to waste a single minute while exhibiting.  In this episode, I reverse engineer what it really costs to exhibit at a trade show from an hourly rate perspective. This will help you to realize how much every hour counts while exhibiting and the importance of using your time to connect with others, write orders and doing market research. It’s not the time to be admiring other people’s products or talking to your booth neighbors (there’s plenty of time to do that during break down or set up or even after hours). I talk about why you need to know your numbers, how Paper Camp helps attendees to know where to save money and where to splurge during shows and the importance of preparation. ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Thinking about trade show expenses from an hourly rate perspective A breakdown of how much it costs per hour to exhibit Why you need to stay in your booth when exhibiting at tradeshows The importance of knowing your numbers How Paper Camp helps you become aware of where to save and where to splurge on shows Why you should be prepared before investing in trade shows For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPep142 SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

6 July 2021


From the Archives | Product Diversification and Scaling Wholesale with Alex Gagne of Chez Gagne

From the Archives | Product Diversification and Scaling Wholesale with Alex Gagne of Chez Gagne

Today on Proof to Product we’re welcoming Paper Camp Alum, and founder of Chez Gagne, Alex Gagne! Alex attended our Paper Camp Conference back in February of 2015 before debuting her wholesale line at the National Stationery Show. Since then, Alex has gone on to expand her product offering, add new team members, and achieve her vision for the Chez Gagne brand. Chez Gagne is a paper and gift brand that offers greeting cards, wine and spirit tags, mugs, wine glasses, candles, and rocks glasses. Alex currently sells to 1,500 stores throughout the world, works with sales reps nationally, and exhibited at six trade shows this winter alone. With more than 93% of Alex’s annual revenue coming from wholesale, much of her time is spent planning, prepping and traveling across the country for trade shows. On today’s episode, Alex is sharing with us how she does it all. We talk about how greeting cards became more than just her creative outlet and how Alex made the jump from paper goods to other products. We also how Alex decides which new product categories to pursue, challenges she faced in her business journey and key factors to Chez Gagne’s exponential growth.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Alex switched from software to stationery How she decides to move forward with a product line Her theory on making things nice or funny Incorporating optics and organization into merchandising Alex’s process for research, development, manufacturing and pricing Why everything Alex produces is something she uses The importance of managing your margins Challenges of storing hard goods vs stationery Tactics for mitigating risk and designing sustainable products How Alex grew to 1,500 active accounts in 4 years Future plans and products Alex has in the works FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO https://www.prooftoproduct.com/podcast-episodes/product-diversification-and-scaling-wholesale-with-alex-gagne-of-chez-gagne SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

29 June 2021


210 | How 2 Months on Tiktok Led to 40% Rise in Website Traffic & 25%+ Increase in Sales With Kyle Sommer, Sommer Letter Co

210 | How 2 Months on Tiktok Led to 40% Rise in Website Traffic & 25%+ Increase in Sales With Kyle Sommer, Sommer Letter Co

Dream with me for a moment: what could happen if you committed to posting daily on TikTok for 2 months straight? Could you perhaps significantly grow your visibility, traffic to your website and even sales? On this episode, I’m talking to Kyle Sommer of Sommer Letter Co. She's someone who did exactly that and her results were pretty incredible. Kyle and I dive deep into her TikTok growth including how she’s grown her website traffic by 30%, and increased daily sales by 15%.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What Kyle creates at Sommer Letter Co Which marketing platforms she focused on pre-TikTok What drew her to TikTok and how she got started  Her experience of TikTok before using it for her business Kyle’s first TikTok video  Content that has worked well for her TikTok strategy Why she creates longer videos opposed to shorter ones  Concerns she had before starting her TikTok journey  How she’s found her community on the platform  Her strategy for including a call to action and leading people to her store  Kyle’s thoughts on repurposing TikToks as Instagram Reels What she measures to make sure the ROI on her time is worth it  Her experience with growing her business slowly and intentionally How she’s incorporated her slow growth philosophy into what she creates on TikTok Misconceptions people have about TikTok Advice for getting started on TikTok for your business Her core messaging on TikTok  What she’s working on next  FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP209 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

22 June 2021


209 | Should I Invest In an In-Person Trade Show Right Now with Katie Hunt

209 | Should I Invest In an In-Person Trade Show Right Now with Katie Hunt

Are in-person trade shows worth it right now? This is a question that came up in my community recently in my LABS group coaching call. Jodi, a member of Proof to Product LABS was feeling unsure of where to focus her efforts: trade shows? A big marketing push? In this episode, I am going over my 4 ideas for this client to help her meet her goals within her budget. As more things begin to reopen it’s no surprise that many are wondering where they should invest their time and energy. You’ll hear why you should first get clear on your bigger picture goals. I also go over my ideas for the suggested opportunities she could pursue along with the pros and cons of each.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why you should keep your goals top of mind when investing in your business [2:05] Should I invest in an-in person trade show as the world starts to open up after Covid? [2:29] My 4 ideas for Jodi meet her goals while staying within her budget [3:58] The pros of doing a trade show [4:26] Questions and cons to consider for trade shows [5:07] What a road show is and the benefits of this option [5:43] The cons of a road show [6:36] Why I suggested a marketing campaign for her [7:16] The pros of a big marketing push [8:03] The cons of investing in a larger marketing roll out [8:30] Why she should consider hiring an in-house salesperson [9:25] Benefits of hiring someone to do sales in-house [9:36] The downsides of hiring someone for in-house sales [11:02] FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP209 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT If you want support from our community, coaching with me and resources to help you continue thriving as you grow your business, be sure to check out my Proof to Product LABS program. ​It’s my 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

15 June 2021


208 | How winning the Minority Business Women’s Grant fast forwarded her business with Tiffany Grimes, Posterity Paper

208 | How winning the Minority Business Women’s Grant fast forwarded her business with Tiffany Grimes, Posterity Paper

Think back for a minute to April of 2020. We’re all on lockdown from the pandemic and figuring out new routines and ways of life. Now, imagine that you’re launching a business for the first time all while homeschooling your children and your business is taking off very quickly… This was the reality for Tiffany Grimes, founder of Posterity Paper. After winning the Minority Business Women’s Grant her business accelerated - she was able to collaborate with brands like A Beautiful Mess and Kids Made Modern.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What products she sells and her primary customers [3:25] What it was like starting her business in the midst of April 2020 [4:37] Challenges she faced when she launched her business [6:32] How adopting creative practices and making meaningful connections has supported her growth [7:29] How Tiffany incorporates “heart drops” into her life [10:22] Her experience of being selected for the  Minority Business Women’s Grant [11:55] What’s surprised her about herself as a business owner [13:58] How winning the grant changed the trajectory of her business [14:52] How having support has changed her mindset on hiring [17:10] Tiffany’s thoughts on how this experience will change how she invests in her business [18:04] Her licensing project with Black Joy Paper [20:24] Tiffany’s experience with Paper Camp [22:41] What led to her decision to attend Paper Camp [23:44] What she’s focused on next in her business [29:54] FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP208 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

8 June 2021


Welcome to Proof to Product

Welcome to Proof to Product

Proof to Product takes you behind the scenes of growing a product-based business. Join us each week as our Paper Camp alumni, speakers and friends share their successes, struggles and how they’ve made difficult but important transitions in their business to continue growing. You’ll gather inspiration, learn about new resources, and hear new ways of scaling your creative business. Proof to Product is hosted by founder, Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has helped thousands of product based business owners get their products on the shelves of retail shops big and small. Find show notes and additional resources at prooftoproduct.com.

7 June 2021


207 | Why She Closed Her Successful Business with Tammie Bennett, Show Up Society

207 | Why She Closed Her Successful Business with Tammie Bennett, Show Up Society

Closing one chapter and deciding to put an end to things is never easy. Whether that’s discontinuing a product line that was close to your heart or even shutting down your business entirely. In this episode, I had a conversation with Tammie Bennett of Show Up Society. Tammie is a creative entrepreneur and mindset coach who closed down her business at the height of its success. In fact, during the pandemic, her business, Tiger Pocket Press tripled and had tremendous growth but that success didn’t change her mind about where she was headed next. She followed her intuition and decided to close her product based business so she could help people through coaching.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: All about her business she closed, Tiger Pocket Press What made her come to the decision to close her product based business Why she started her podcast,  How she told her customers about closing and her process for getting rid of inventory What she did on the coaching side to prepare for this transition Her plan for services to offer and how to package her services Why entrepreneurs and creatives tend to struggle with decision fatigue Her thoughts on why newer entrepreneurs might be more fearless Her tiny daily habits she does every day What clients she typically works with and what she helps them through Why this coaching work is important to Tammie FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP207 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

1 June 2021


206 | How Far You Have Come with Morgan Harper Nichols

206 | How Far You Have Come with Morgan Harper Nichols

How often do you take a step back to look at and soak in the goodness of how far you’ve come? That’s exactly what guest, Morgan Harper Nichols encourages us all to do as she joined me to chat about the inspiration behind her new book, How Far You Have Come.  Morgan and I also dive into setting boundaries and upholding them, how she maintains being true to herself on Instagram and why she’s a big advocate for collaboration.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   What inspired Morgan to write How Far You Have Come How it felt to go back and relive experiences as she wrote about them Her experience getting diagnosed with autism How she sets and holds healthy professional boundaries  What project she’s most proud of How she keeps her Instagram authentic to her The heaviness of social media and its impact on people’s mental health Her advice for creatives working to make their big goals a reality FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP206 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

25 May 2021


205 | Three Positions to Hire For In Your Product Business with Katie Hunt

205 | Three Positions to Hire For In Your Product Business with Katie Hunt

Are you wearing all of the hats and juggling all of the balls in your business? That might be a sign that it’s time to hire help and bring on support. Your time as an entrepreneur is so valuable and you want to make sure that you are focusing on what you do best. Recently, my mastermind retreat clients and I got together virtually for a retreat and one of the big topics that came up was hiring. This has also been a hot topic within my Labs community so I wanted to create an episode to chat about it. In this episode I talk about the pain points that lead to reactive hiring, why you need to shift your mindset about hiring and the 3 key areas you should hire for first in your product based business.     ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Pain points that cause entrepreneurs to do reactive hiring  Fears that people have about hiring help What 3 key areas you should hire for first FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP205 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT If you want support from our community, coaching with me and resources to help you continue thriving as you grow your business, be sure to check out my Proof to Product LABS program. ​It’s my 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

18 May 2021


204 | Marketing Data Points We Should Focus On with Maureen Mwangi, Startward Consulting

204 | Marketing Data Points We Should Focus On with Maureen Mwangi, Startward Consulting

Have you ever taken a look at bigger brands or household products and considered, what are they doing that I could implement in my own business?  In this episode, I was joined by brand growth strategist and founder of Startward Consulting, Maureen Mwangi. She shares how big brands are humanizing their marketing and what data points we should (and shouldn’t) be paying attention to. Spoiler alert: you can stop worrying about the number of followers you have on Instagram. Maureen and I also chat about tech tools to use for measuring the ROI on your marketing, how you can leverage data and her tips on optimizing your brand! ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What bigger brands are doing that smaller brands should pay attention to Why big brands are “humanizing” their marketing efforts Data you should be tracking and how you leverage that in your marketing strategy Why you need to be ruthless when looking at your numbers and data What data points seasoned business owners should look at How to leverage data for positive change in your business Tech tools you can use to see the ROI from marketing activities What data you shouldn’t care about tracking Maureen’s tip on optimizing your brand How to get comfortable with integrating data into decision making FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP204 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

11 May 2021


203 | How to Negotiate Licensing Contracts with Stacie Bloomfield, Gingiber

203 | How to Negotiate Licensing Contracts with Stacie Bloomfield, Gingiber

Hey friends! Considering additional revenue streams for your business? Ever thought about licensing? It’s true that most of the seasoned product based businesses have multiple arms of their business: they might sell wholesale, retail, license art, have a brick & mortar shop or offer drop shipping….. there are a lot of ways to build a profitable, sustainable business.   That’s why I brought on Stacie Bloomfield. Stace has an abundance of experience in licensing and has been creating artwork for brands and products since 2009. Her brand, Gingiber, has products sold in more than 800 stores. In 2020, Stacy began educating the creative community about licensing through her course Leverage Your Art AND she published her first book!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How she didn’t always envision the business she runs today Her path of starting her business How she stumbled across her first licensing deal Why you have to think of pitching as a numbers game What artists need to prepare prior to pitching licensing deals How Stacie approaches her art licensing The pros and cons of licensing your art Best strategies for getting in front of licensing partners How to put your best foot forward when negotiating licensing deals Ranges you can expect for rates for one off designs How she had to adjust her business model in 2020 What she wishes she knew before licensing her artwork Tools and systems she uses in her business FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP203 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

4 May 2021


202 | Community & Coaching in LABS with Janine Kwoh, Kwohtations & Christy Asper, Paper Baristas

202 | Community & Coaching in LABS with Janine Kwoh, Kwohtations & Christy Asper, Paper Baristas

Hey friends! The doors to Proof to Product LABS are wide open.  We are welcoming a new class to our community so on the podcast this week we wanted to highlight the growth of our community and how we’ve enhanced the program throughout its first year.    In this episode, I am joined by two people you might recognize if you’re a longtime listener of the show, Janine Kwoh of Kwohtations and Christy Asper of Paper Baristas. Both of these ladies are founding members of our LABS program and have been active participants in our monthly masterclasses, group coaching calls and our peer masterminds and coffee chats.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What Janine loves most about LABS Her favorite and most impactful masterclass An aha moment Janine has had since joining LABS The benefits of LABs she’s enjoyed most Why she enjoys the community aspect of being in the program Christy’s favorite class in LABS Her aha moment that she had from LABS The benefits that Christy’s noticed from the community and coaching FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP202 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

29 April 2021


201 | LABS Celebrates One Year with Madeline Hunt

201 | LABS Celebrates One Year with Madeline Hunt

Hey friends! This episode is a little different today. The roles were reversed and I was in the passenger seat as I was joined by my daughter, Madeline for an interview. Madeline asks me some of the most commonly asked questions I get about the Proof to Product LABS as we head toward the one year anniversary of the program. Take a listen to get a peek inside of what we do inside of LABS.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Katie started Proof to Product LABS When she started thinking about creating LABS Her favorite part about LABS What 3 things she’s added to the program since it started How LABS is different from Paper Camp FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP201 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

27 April 2021


200 | The Most Common Thread Among Entrepreneurs (You Might Be Surprised!) with Katie Hunt

200 | The Most Common Thread Among Entrepreneurs (You Might Be Surprised!) with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! Can you believe that it’s the 200th episode of the Proof to Product podcast? Quick confession: I’ve been stewing over this episode and what I’d cover for weeks to celebrate this landmark 200th episode.  After grappling with this thought for a while, something happened at home that really put it all into perspective and brought me a lightbulb moment. In this episode, I share that story with you and reveal the one common thread that ties all entrepreneurs together (and it might even surprise you!).     ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The common thread that ties all entrepreneurs together A personal story that demonstrates this skill Some of the stories we’ve shared over 200 episodes FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP200 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT If you want support from our community, coaching with me and resources to help you continue thriving as you grow your business, be sure to check out my Proof to Product LABS program. ​It’s my 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

20 April 2021


199 | How to make your website diverse, inclusive & accessible with Myrna Daramy

199 | How to make your website diverse, inclusive & accessible with Myrna Daramy

Hey friends! In 2020, conversations around diversity, inclusion and equity rose to the forefront of conversations around how we’re conducting business. Many entrepreneurs in the online space took time to reassess their company values to include more diverse images and copy while weaving more inclusivity into their brand, marketing and customer experience.  In this episode, I had on Myrna Daramy. Myrna is a friend of mine and a tech-savvy Digital Media Optimization Specialist who came on to talk about what has been missing from this conversation: technology.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Misconceptions about accessible and inclusive websites What an inclusive website looks like The risks of not having a diverse, inclusive and accessible website How your customer experience can improve by having a more diverse, inclusive and accessible website How she helps online business owners  Downsides to overlay technologies How sites like Shopify are affected by accessibility overlay FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP198 Essential Web Accessibility Checklist: https://www.myrnadaramy.com/post-speaking-digital-inclusivity SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

13 April 2021


198 | Pinterest trends & best practices with Kate Ahl, Simple Pin Media

198 | Pinterest trends & best practices with Kate Ahl, Simple Pin Media

Hey friends! Are you ready to start getting more results from your Pinterest strategy? Then you’ll love this conversation with guest, Kate Ahl. Kate is the owner and CEO of Simple Pin Media, a Pinterest management and marketing agency. Kate and her team have worked with over 600 Pinterest accounts and consulted with thousands of people about how to best use Pinterest for their business or brand. In this episode, she talks about some of the upcoming trends she’s seeing for Pinterest and how to rethink your Pinterest strategy to inspire and inform pinners.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Mistakes ecommerce businesses make on Pinterest How to start building traction on Pinterest when starting out How Pinterest has changed their ecosystem  Why you want pins to be evergreen How much time you need to invest to get results from Pinterest Why people have hang ups with Pinterest Which analytics you need to pay attention to How you can use UTM codes to track pins that lead to sales When you should consider outsourcing Pinterest management The advantages of using Pinterest over other platforms Trends on Pinterest in 2020 and 2021 What you should know about repurposing Reels and TikToks on Pinterest FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP198 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

6 April 2021


197 | 4 Virtual Roles to Hire in your E-Commerce Business with Katie Hunt

197 | 4 Virtual Roles to Hire in your E-Commerce Business with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! I recently sat down and had a conversation with Micala Quinn on her show, the Live Free Podcast to have a conversation about how virtual support professionals could support e-commerce and product based businesses.  I wanted to bring a piece of that conversion to my podcast. In this episode, I am exploring the 4 areas of your business where virtual, freelance support could make a positive impact for you. If you’ve been wondering how you can get some remote, flexible, rockstar team members to support you while you grow your business then tune in!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: 4 areas in your business that would benefit from help Hiring help dependent on your business model and needs A mistake I’ve seen from business owners when hiring for a virtual role FOR FULL SHOW NOTES AND RESOURCES, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP197 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT If you want support from our community, coaching with me and resources to help you continue thriving as you grow your business, be sure to check out my Proof to Product LABS program. ​It’s my 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

30 March 2021


196 | When should you outsource social media with Andréa Jones, OnlineDrea

196 | When should you outsource social media with Andréa Jones, OnlineDrea

Hey friends! How are you feeling about social media these days? Is it lighting you up? Does it leave you feeling heavy? I personally have been on both sides of the pendulum and thought my guest in this episode would be perfect to help you determine if it’s time to outsource social. I had on Andréa Jone of OnlineDrea to walk us through everything we need to know. She explains the pros and cons of hiring a social media agency versus hiring a VA or freelance social strategist. We chat about what you need to know before you hire and how she tests potential hires with paid projects!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The biggest mistakes ecommerce brands make on social media Signs it might be time to outsource your social media The pros and cons of hiring an agency vs. a freelancer How her agency helps clients formulate KPIs How to make your hiring knowledgeable people What a test project looks like when hiring someone for a role Her onboarding process and how she gets to know clients and their brands FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP196   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

23 March 2021


195 | Using Email Marketing to enhance your customer journey with Jessica Totillo Coster, Ecommerce Badassery

195 | Using Email Marketing to enhance your customer journey with Jessica Totillo Coster, Ecommerce Badassery

Hey friends! By now, you probably know that email marketing is very near and dear to my heart. It’s a stronger marketing tool than any social media platform, it’s less risky than paid advertising and it gives you a chance to speak human to human to your customers. In this episode, I was joined by Jessica Totillo Coster of eCommerce Badassery. Jessica is an ecommerce and email marketing strategist that works with boutique owners and product based entrepreneurs. She helps scrappy female entrepreneurs take actionable steps and strategies to scale their business.  You’re going to want a notebook handy as you listen today because Jessica shares some great tips and insightful examples that you can leverage as a part of your strategy. We covered a lot: everything from how email marketing fits into your customer journey to attracting the right people, nurturing those customers and engaging current customers so they continue to purchase from you.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Boundaries they’ve had to learn from using Clubhouse Strategies ecommerce brands an use to entice people to sign up for their email list The best practices for welcome sequences Tips for communicating with your email list consistently for an eventual purchase Strategies to keep customers coming back for more Mistakes product based businesses make when it comes to their customer journey and email process FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP195 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

16 March 2021


194 | Hiring Soon? Do this first with Katie Hunt

194 | Hiring Soon? Do this first with Katie Hunt

I see how hard you have been working, but are not alone!  Today’s episode is all about how to prepare for hiring help for your business. In this episode, I talk about some of the strategies that I use in my own business before bringing on new team members. As you explore the idea of bringing on help later this year, this quarter or even this month you’ll want to make sure you are hiring right. Whether you are hiring your first team member or your tenth, whether you’re planning to hire employees or contractors — today’s episode includes pre-work — so things you’re going to do before you even advertise the job you’re hiring for.  Flag it, come back to it, take notes and be sure to use the four T’s framework to guide you along the way.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Different forms that help comes in Pre-work you need to be doing before hiring The four T’s framework from Adrienne Dorison & Mike Michalowicz  Next steps after using the four T’s framework   FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEP194 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT If you want support from our community, coaching with me and resources to help you continue thriving as you grow your business, be sure to check out my Proof to Product LABS program. ​It’s my 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

9 March 2021


Special Edition | Paper Source Files for Bankruptcy

Special Edition | Paper Source Files for Bankruptcy

I wanted to share this quick, informational episode on the recent announcement from Paper Source about them filing for bankruptcy on March 2, 2021. In the last few weeks, members of our community have shipped hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of products to Paper Source. Paper Source placed large orders ($9K, $15K, etc) from small independent businesses and in many cases asked companies to move up their ship dates (send them sooner). With the recent news, this is a huge hit to independent brands who now don’t know if they will get paid. I’m not an attorney nor do I have experience with bankruptcy in a B2B setting but in this episode, I am sharing some thoughts and advice I have for those affected by this news.  Keep an eye on the show notes from today’s episode and my Instagram feed @prooftoproduct.  I’ll share additional resources & information as they become available on the website at https://www.prooftoproduct.com/podcast-episodes/paper-source-bankruptcy   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Advice for small business owners affected by Paper Source filing for bankruptcy   RESOURCES: Instagram

4 March 2021


193 |  Creating paid memberships & communities with Joe Casabona

193 | Creating paid memberships & communities with Joe Casabona

Hey friends! I know we can certainly all agree that if 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything it’s that we need to get more creative and consider additional revenue streams.  This has led to more and more membership models and subscriptions popping up in not only the service space but the physical product space too. That conversation was prompted in our Proof to Product LABS community and is the reason behind this episode with Joe Casabona. Joe’s passion lies in teaching his knowledge about website development, podcasting and course creation with other business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers. In this episode, we dive into creating paid memberships and communities for your customers. We chat about how artists and creators can use paid memberships to nurture customers. He shares some simple ways to get started with tech platforms and content ideas so be sure to take notes!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How creators and artists can use membership communities to nurture existing customers The biggest things that hold people back from starting their community Pros and cons of using platforms like Patreon versus using your own website Joe’s ideas of content that creatives can make to lead people back to their business Why you should ask your audience what they want and what type of content you need to generate sales   FOR FULL SHOW NOTES, RESOURCES AND A TRANSCRIPT, HEAD TO BIT.LY/PTPEp193   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners: https://www.prooftoproduct.com/labs FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates: https://www.instagram.com/prooftoproduct/ JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   Be sure SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and SHARE Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

2 March 2021


192 | Attracting a diverse audience with visual branding with Dana Kaye, Bouquet Stock Photo

192 | Attracting a diverse audience with visual branding with Dana Kaye, Bouquet Stock Photo

Hey friends! If you’ve used stock photography, you may have noticed how difficult it can be to find diverse imagery. Enter Dana Kaye of Bouquet Stock Photo. Visual branding can be a huge factor in who we attract to our business. So how can we use visual branding to be more inclusive? In this episode, Dana and I dig into the importance of visual branding and why creating meaningful connections with our customers is such an important piece of doing business. She also shares her definition of what makes a value based business. We all want to see ourselves in the products and services we shop for. This is such an important conversation and there are so many actionable take-aways in this episode!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What led Dana to starting her stock photo company Why diverse imagery is so important The definitions of a value based business Meaningful connections and why they are so powerful How serving others is a form of networking For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp192   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

23 February 2021


191 | Why Your Email List Is More Important Than Any Social Media Platform with Meera Kothand

191 | Why Your Email List Is More Important Than Any Social Media Platform with Meera Kothand

Hey friends! Are you utilizing your email list to its full potential? If you aren’t there yet then you’re definitely going to want to tune into this episode with Meera Kothand, email marketing specialist and three-time Amazon best selling author.    This topic is so near and dear to my heart because email marketing is such a powerful tool yet it’s so underutilized by independent brands that sell physical products.    In this episode, Meera and I dig into why your email list is the most valuable platform you have (yes, even more powerful than your favorite social platforms). She talks about how to build your email list with creative lead magnets and strategies for nurturing your audience through a welcome sequence and ongoing, consistent emails.   We also break down some key pointers on how you can get comfortable with selling to your email list so you’ll want to stick around to the end to make sure you hear her advice on this!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   How Meera got started in the digital marketing space Why product-based business owners should prioritize growing and nurturing their email list How to intrigue people to opt-in to your email list What to include in a welcome email sequence Lead magnet ideas for product-based business owners Why you should incorporate storytelling and get creative  How to get more comfortable with the selling process via email marketing For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp191   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

16 February 2021


190 | 10 Lessons Learned Through 10 Years in Business with Katie Hunt

190 | 10 Lessons Learned Through 10 Years in Business with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! This week marks the 10 year business birthday of Proof to Product! It was 10 years ago that I opened up enrollment for my first program that is now Paper Camp. I didn’t have a website, email list and Instagram wasn’t even a thing yet. Things have sure come a long way since then and I am so glad that I trusted my gut and stuck with it. Since 2011 we’ve helped thousands of product based business owners get their products on the shelves of their favorite retailers, big or small!  In this episode, I am walking you through the 10 lessons I’ve learned over the last 10 years in business.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How I started my business and realized there was a proof of concept 10 lessons I’ve learned through 10 years in business   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

9 February 2021


189 | How Art Can Inspire Change and Positive Action in the World with Danielle Coke, Oh Happy Dani

189 | How Art Can Inspire Change and Positive Action in the World with Danielle Coke, Oh Happy Dani

Hey friends! I am so excited for today’s interview with Danielle Coke of Oh Happy Dani. If you lived through the year of 2020 and are active on social media, I’m willing to bet that you’ve seen Dani’s beautiful and impactful art making waves across the internet. Dani is an illustrator, social justice advocate and entrepreneur. Her illustrations aim to make complex issues more digestible and provide practical ways to help others make a difference in their spheres of influence. Dani also is the founder of a social media agency, So Happy Social where she helps positive mission-based brands use social media for good. In this episode, Dani and I chat about what 2020 was like for her as her illustrations began to go viral online. She gets into how she stays inspired to create, her process for creating new illustrations and how she holds boundaries with her audience. Her episode is a strong reminder that art is powerful and can inspire change and positive action in the world.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Dani got started as an illustrator Her experience with starting her social media agency How her post went viral during the rebirth of the Black Lives Matter movement Dani’s advice for people who want to inspire their own audiences The biggest concerns she had after going viral How she remains creative while processing and centering herself The feelings she has about sharing messages on racial injustice, being an ally, systemic racism, etc. Why you have to do what you want, even if “nobody else is doing it” What Dani is more hopeful for in 2021   For Full Show Notes and Resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp189   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

2 February 2021


188 | Providing Comfort for Grief and Loss Through Products with Janine Kwoh, Kwohtations

188 | Providing Comfort for Grief and Loss Through Products with Janine Kwoh, Kwohtations

Hey friends! It’s no secret that grief is hard. It comes with so many unexpected feelings and emotions.    My guest in this episode, Janine Kwoh, the owner and artist behind Kwohtations is no stranger to grief.  Her own loss is what inspired her to create a product line to comfort people dealing with the pain of losing a loved one.   In this episode, we chat about her business and how she took it from a hobby to side hustle to her full-time gig. She also shares her experiences running her business as a one-woman show.   Janine and I chat about her process (she actually letterpress prints each card on an antique printing press and hand paints them all). She even shares her advice for other entrepreneurs and how lack of knowledge can sometimes be a benefit as a business owner!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   What her mission means to her and how it came about How Janine uses her life experiences as the anchor for her products The response she’s gotten from her product line What identity means to her Her transitions from hobby to side hustle to full time in her business Why you have to work on your mindset constantly as a business owner Her production process for her products Janine’s long term vision for her business What types of products Janine creates Her advice for people who are building their businesses How not knowing how to do things can benefit you as an entrepreneur Janine’s self-help book that she’s working on  For Full Show Notes and Resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp188 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

26 January 2021


187 | How should I follow-up after a wholesale order with Katie Hunt

187 | How should I follow-up after a wholesale order with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! We all know that follow up is a key part of the sales process. But what about after you’ve received and shipped the order? Should you follow up then? What should you say? These are the questions that commonly pop up within our Paper Camp community so I wanted to share with you on this episode. I’ve had conversations with hundreds of buyers about their follow up preferences and the large majority of them don’t like follow-ups after orders. Take a listen to hear what you should do instead to help foster purposeful relationships (while making their lives easier)!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why the majority of buyers don’t like follow-up check-ins What you should do INSTEAD of following up Four ideas for adding value and creating meaningful touchpoints   RESOURCES: Paper Camp Proof to Product LABS   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

19 January 2021


186 | Ethical Sourcing with Christy Asper, Paper Baristas

186 | Ethical Sourcing with Christy Asper, Paper Baristas

Hey friends! Have you ever considered how the products you use on a day-to-day basis are made?    In this episode, I was joined by Christy Asper of Paper Baristas to talk about her journey of finding ethical manufacturing partners.    Paper Baristas is a paper goods company run by Christy and her husband Jon. They started their business to create ethically sourced products by beautiful people for a beautiful cause.  They are on a mission to help fight modern-day slavery in the supply chain industry.    Christy shares some of the biggest takeaways she’s encountered on her journey to ethical sourcing. She gives us insight into her biggest accomplishments and how she defines success in her business. Christy also shares her own experience as a Proof to Products Lab member and what big benefits she’s had from being a part of the program.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   What prompted Christy to start her business The biggest challenges she faced in growing her business What kinds of questions she was asking her manufacturing partners Red flags that prevent her from working with a partner Why she’s passionate about putting out ethical products How she incorporates ethical manufacturing into marketing The big problem with modern-day slavery and manufacturing  What she’s most proud of in her business How Christy defines success within her business The biggest benefit of being inside of Labs What she’s working on creating right now For full show notes and resources, visit bit.ly/PTPEp186   l they do and use their business as a platform to give back while doing what they love. Their desire to sustainably source has made a tremendous impact in what they create and how they create. Paper Baristas products are proudly made with fair trade practices, a love for details and value on the lives of the people creating their products.   CONNECT WITH CHRISTY AND JON:   Website: https://www.paperbaristas.com/ Facebook: @paperbaristas Instagram: @paperbaristas Twitter: @PBaristas   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

12 January 2021


From the Archives | 167 | Marketing for Virtual Tradeshows with Katie Hunt

From the Archives | 167 | Marketing for Virtual Tradeshows with Katie Hunt

Hi Friends, Happy New Year!  This week on the podcast we're rerunning three of my top podcast episodes focused on sales & marketing for wholesale. If wholesale is a revenue stream that you’re working to grow, I invite you to join me for Paper Camp. Head to prooftoproduct.com/papercamp to get all the details and join our waitlist so you're the first to hear when doors open.   --------------- Hey friends! As more and more of you are dipping your toes into the world of virtual tradeshows I’ve been receiving questions on how to build out strategic marketing plans for these events. That’s why today I am exploring the tactics you can implement to help reach more of your wholesale customers at a virtual tradeshow event. You’ll learn how you can determine if a virtual tradeshow is the right fit for you and your budget. I discuss using a tiered outreach system and all of the different avenues I recommend using (plus tips for optimizing each one!)   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Questions to ask yourself when considering attending a virtual tradeshow Why I recommend a tiered outreach system The importance of email marketing and getting in touch with your leads How you should be utilizing snail mail before and after the show (and things you can include in mailings) How to leverage your social media and tips for what to post, repurposing and being active Why you should be customizing your online showroom How you can make the most out of your marketing by making sure that your branding is cohesive and aligned with your overall marketing strategy For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp167 Join the Paper Camp E-Course Waitlist! Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of their favorite shops - big and small.  Our Paper Camp alumni can be found in Target, Nordstrom, Container Store, Barnes & Nobles, Urban Outfitters and independent boutiques around the world. In Paper Camp we teach industry standards for product development, pricing, where to source your products and wholesale sales & marketing strategies.  And, this fall we’re adding some special content for how to navigate wholesale during covid.  Specifically, how to reach out to stores without feeling slimy or salesy, how to market for online trade shows and how to leverage online tools for more sales. Paper Camp sells out every time we offer it, so be sure to jump on the waitlist to get first dibs on tickets! Registration closes August 29th and class starts August 31st! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

7 January 2021


From the Archives | Katie Hunt talking all things wholesale on Creative Biz Rebellion

From the Archives | Katie Hunt talking all things wholesale on Creative Biz Rebellion

Hi Friends, Happy New Year!  This week on the podcast we're rerunning three of my top podcast episodes focused on sales & marketing for wholesale. If wholesale is a revenue stream that you’re working to grow, I invite you to join me for Paper Camp. Head to prooftoproduct.com/papercamp to get all the details and join our waitlist so you're the first to hear when doors open.   --------------- 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.   Links: Creative Biz Rebellion Proof to Product with Caroline Hull (Ep 45) Proof to Product with Kelly Parker Smith (Ep 56)

6 January 2021


From the Archives | 144 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: When should I launch to wholesale?

From the Archives | 144 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: When should I launch to wholesale?

Hi Friends, Happy New Year!  This week on the podcast we're rerunning three of my top podcast episodes focused on sales & marketing for wholesale. If wholesale is a revenue stream that you’re working to grow, I invite you to join me for Paper Camp. Head to prooftoproduct.com/papercamp to get all the details and join our waitlist so you're the first to hear when doors open.   --------------- Hey friends! We’re going to be switching things up a little for today’s episode. I’ve decided that once a month we’ll be airing a live coaching session with one of my coaching clients or a Paper Camp alumni on the podcast. It’ll be a short, hot seat format coaching session where the guest will talk about what they’re working on and what they need help with. I’ll be giving them my candid off the cuff advice, recommendations and even some homework because we’re all about taking action! For our first live coaching episode, I was joined by Paper Camp alumni, Shirlee Fisher of Quiet Lines Design. She has a few hesitations and questions about the timing of her launch and the wholesale market. We work through the three things she needs to prepare and make ready before the launch so she can launch her products confidently. In this episode, we chat about lining up your launch with the release cycles of the stationery industry, why having 40+ skews will help you get more customers and why sometimes you have to wait until things are ready.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Shirlee got started in her business, Quiet Lines Design What she’s currently working on in her business and what she needs help with Planning to launch to coordinate with certain events and cycles Why you need to feel confident in what you’re creating  Why the PTP team recommends having 48 skews during Paper Camp How sometimes it’s necessary to wait until things are ready The biggest fears that Shirlee has about product launches Katie’s homework for Shirlee and listeners  Getting strategic with a tiered outreach approach to building relationships For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp144

5 January 2021


185 | 4 Questions to Jump Start Your Strategy Planning with Katie Hunt

185 | 4 Questions to Jump Start Your Strategy Planning with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! Have you started your 2021 strategy planning yet? This was a question that I asked my Proof to Product LABS community and 55% of people who responded said yes while 45% answered no.  I know this year has been very different and the thought of planning for next week or even next month can lead to total overwhelm but yearly business planning is essential for your business’ livelihood.  That’s why I walked you through 4 steps to getting started with a simple business audit including 3 questions you have to ask yourself when strategizing for the new year! This is phase one of strategy planning and I shared phase two inside of the LABS community so if you want to hear that be sure to join our community and look out for the December group coaching replay.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What’s holding some people back from strategy planning for 2021 4 steps to doing a simple business audit The 3 questions to ask yourself when reflecting on the year How to set 3-4 overarching priorities for your business   RESOURCES: Paper Camp Proof to Product LABS SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

22 December 2020


184 | 18 Million Thanks with Juliana & Ryan Kissick, Good Juju Ink

184 | 18 Million Thanks with Juliana & Ryan Kissick, Good Juju Ink

Hey friends! You’re in for a fun episode today. I have Juliana and Ryan Kissick on the show to chat about their business, Good Juju Ink. Juliana founded Good Juju Ink in 2014 and the company is now run by herself, husband Ryan and their dear friend Marina Lieban.  The trio attended Paper Camp Conference in 2018 and it has been so much fun to watch their business blossom since. I was thrilled to talk to them in this episode about an amazing campaign they’ve been working on since the start of the pandemic called 18 Million Thanks.  You’ll hear how they’ve incorporated a give-back program into their business model, their experience working with sales reps and the challenges they’ve faced as their business has grown. Juliana and Ryan share their perspectives on how they divide their responsibilities among each other and how you can get involved in their campaign to send handwritten thank-you notes to America’s 18 million healthcare workers.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Their why behind the brand and the products they create Ryan’s thoughts when Juliana said she wanted to start Good Juju Ink The best piece of advice Juliana got in the early stage of her business How Juliana, Ryan and Marina came together and their roles within the business How the 18 Million Thanks campaign came about Their process for getting this campaign started How you can get involved with the 18 Million Thanks campaign How good Juju brings even more good juju What they have coming next in their business   RESOURCES: Fat Bunny Press National Stationery Show Sugar Paper Etsy Paper Source Paper Camp   MEET JULIANA:  Based in Oakland, California, Good Juju Ink was founded in 2014 by CEO Juliana (Juju) Kissick. Good Juju Ink’s greeting cards, desktop stationery, home goods, and gifts harken a storybook nostalgia, frequently highlighting intricate flora and fauna while tonally striking the delicate balance of funny but tender, silly but sweet. With regard to manufacturing, only the highest quality of printing processes are utilized, including foil-stamping, letterpress, hand-stitch binding, and die-cutting. Good Juju Ink strives to be eco-friendly across all of their paper products, and a portion of all proceeds goes to Good Juju Ink’s partner charities.   CONNECT WITH JULIANA:   Website: https://www.goodjujuink.com/ Facebook: @goodjujuink Instagram: @goodjujuink   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

15 December 2020


183 | Selling Your Business with Mary Beth Storjohann, Workable Wealth

183 | Selling Your Business with Mary Beth Storjohann, Workable Wealth

Hey friends! Today’s episode was actually recorded in March of 2020 and given the topic, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to air it when it was originally scheduled to be released. However, the story is really powerful and important so I wanted to share it with you and hope you gain the inspiration for how you can grow your business any way you want! Thinking about selling your business? Even if you’re still in the early stages of entrepreneurship or if you’ve been at it for quite some time, it’s never a bad idea to at least consider the thought of one day selling your company. That’s why I invited on a past guest, Mary Beth Storjohann of Workable Wealth. Mary Beth was on the podcast for episode 28 and we talked about money misconceptions and the importance of knowing your numbers in business… Well, that has all paid off for her and today we talked about what it was like to sell her business. She shares the nitty-gritty of the decision-making process, how she weighed out the pros and cons, concerns she had and what non-negotiables she made sure were included in the contract (like the ability to work remote and live in Italy for 3 months out of the year!)  We discussed how her definition of success has evolved from the early days of business to now. She shares how this process gave her a glimpse into who she was and what was most important to her and she ultimately shares her candid advice to those who may be thinking about selling their business one day (and why you absolutely need a lawyer to help you with the process).  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Mary Beth defined success in the early days of her business Mary Beth’s experience with being approached with inquiries of buying and merging Her initial reaction to Abacus expressing interest in purchasing her business The concerns that came up that made Mary Beth decline the merger  Being offered the role of the Chief Marketing Officer to revamp their marketing  Her fears and frustrations around letting go of Workable Wealth Weighing each layer of her decision on whether or not to do the merger The non-negotiables that Mary Beth insisted on having in the company merger Planning her dream life and putting it all in her merger contract Keeping her rights to be able to run Workable Wealth Lessons that she’s learned about herself through this process How Mary Beth defines success now  Her advice for something thinking about selling their own business RESOURCES: 028 | Money Misconceptions & Financial Accountability with Mary Beth Storjohann, Workable Wealth Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person How are brick & mortar shop owners navigating Covid-19? Interview Series   MEET MARY BETH:  Mary Beth Storjohann is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) and has been a partner and Chief Marketing Officer with Abacus since 2019, following the merger with her firm, Workable Wealth. With over 14 years of experience in the financial services industry, she works as an author, speaker, and financial coach to apply a fun, albeit no-nonsense approach in working with entrepreneurial women and couples in their 30s – 50s across the country, helping them make smart, educated choices with their money.   CONNECT WITH MARY BETH:   Website: https://abacuswealth.com Blog: https://workablewealth.com/blog/ Podcast: https://workablewealth.com/wywpodcast/ Facebook: @workablewealth Instagram: @marybstorj Twitter: @marybstorj   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

8 December 2020


182 | How She Got 34,000 More Views on Her Website Using Pinterest with Rachel Ngom

182 | How She Got 34,000 More Views on Her Website Using Pinterest with Rachel Ngom

Hey friends! I am really excited to be sharing the conversation I had with Rachel Ngom who is a business and lead generation expert. Rachel has a super interesting backstory where she went from being on food stamps with negative $400 in her checking account to running a multiple six-figure online business.  Rachel shared her entrepreneurial journey and what led her to where she is today. She talks about how she increased her web traffic by 34,000 views per month using Pinterest! She also shares her advice on using content to create a strong customer experience and putting yourself into the mind of your audience. She and I discuss the importance of mindset work and professional development and why this is incredibly important for business growth. You’ll also hear her tips on tools to use in your Pinterest strategy, what challenges she faced within her own business and why she recommends people use Pinterest as a part of their marketing strategy.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What motivated Rachel to start her business Her entrepreneurial journey of starting in network marketing and learning the business  What Rachel does now to help purpose-driven entrepreneurs get more leads and sales Why she’s a big believer in following your gut The process she put in place to get 34,000 views a month to her website form Pinterest Why your Pinterest strategy is a long game How to hone in on the types of things your audience is searching for The conversion rate differences she’s seen on content vs. product pins How content helps you build that know, like and trust factor Why niching down can help you hone in on your audience The challenges Rachel has faced as she’s grown her business Why Rachel is passionate about incorporating self-development work into her life Her advice for what to do with your Pinterest strategy for your business Why she prefers Pinterest to Facebook and Instagram RESOURCES: Tailwind Free Pinterest Class Activate   MEET RACHEL:  Rachel Ngom is the host of the She’s Making an Impact Podcast. She is a business and lead-generation expert, helping purpose-driven female entrepreneurs drive more traffic, leads, and sales through Pinterest, blogging, and strategic use of automation. Rachel went from being on food stamps with negative $400 in her checking account to a multiple-6-figure online business. She now helps others do the same with her signature courses and programs. Rachel has lived in Kenya, met her husband in Senegal, got married in Morocco, and spent 2 years in France.    CONNECT WITH RACHEL:   Website: https://www.rachelngom.com/ Instagram: @shesmakinganimpact Facebook: @rachelngombiz Pinterest: @rachelngom   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

1 December 2020


181 | 6 ways to sell physical products with Katie Hunt

181 | 6 ways to sell physical products with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! Last week I got an email asking, “Do people really make money selling paper products and gift items?” I was floored! Based on the latest stats that I saw, the consumer products industry accounts for more than $635 billion with stationery alone raking in $8 billion.  The answer is an astounding yes. There are so many opportunities in this industry to make a good living and build a profitable and sustainable business. Many independent brands are pulling in over six and seven figures annually. Hear the 6 ways that people are making money selling their physical products in this episode. I break down each one and give a few thoughts on each strategy and give a little bit of advice on choosing a path to get started.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: 6 ways people are making money selling physical products The basics about selling retail What it means to sell wholesale Why I don’t typically recommend consignment What a custom work project looks like What it means to do a licensing deal How you can partner with other brands  The path to getting started: choosing the right sales strategy for you   RESOURCES: Paper Camp Proof to Product LABS Thimblepress x Moon & Lola collaboration Autumn Witt Boyd The Contract Shop   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

24 November 2020


180 | Exhibiting as an Emerging Artist with Jean Marie Sanchez, Little Feet's Opus

180 | Exhibiting as an Emerging Artist with Jean Marie Sanchez, Little Feet's Opus

Hey friends! I’m really excited for you to listen in on today’s episode with Jean Marie Sanchez of Little Feet’s Opus. The story behind Jean’s products is truly remarkable - each of them stems from personal stories of the strong women in her life and spreads joy, empowerment and relatable life moments. Jean made an intentional goal to create products that are both inclusive and diverse. In our conversation, she talked about the ah-ha moment she had where she realized there was space in the market for a line of products.  She shares her experiences in the Emerging Artists section of NSS for two consecutive shows including the pros and cons of exhibiting as an emerging artist versus having your own booth.  We also talked about how Jean defines success through the impact she makes on others.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Jean started her business  Jean’s first steps after attending the National Stationery Show What led her to go the wholesale route rather than brick and mortar How Paper Camp helped her learn the playbook of the industry The initial quantifying goals she set for her business The benefits and drawbacks of participating in the Emerging Artists’ section of NSS What inspires Jean in her initiative of adding diversity and inclusiveness into her products How she defines success in her business What’s coming up next for Little Feet’s Opus   RESOURCES: National Stationery Show Paper Camp   MEET JEAN:  I was born in Spring Valley NY, and currently live in Hamden CT with my two boys and husband. I have a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from The City College of New York in NYC and over 20 years’ experience in the design and construction field. During my career in architecture, I have written poetry and created artwork in wide variety of painting media including watercolor, acrylic, and pencils. I am an artist and most recently have paired my artwork with my poetry to create delightful and inspirational greeting cards. My designs bring forth a sense of empowerment and good juju.   CONNECT WITH JEAN:   Website: http://www.littlefeetsopus.com Instagram: @littlefeetsopus Facebook: @Little-Feets-Opus-153008271531822   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

17 November 2020


179 | How to Host an Instagram Giveaway with Becca Stevens & Alison Tsang

179 | How to Host an Instagram Giveaway with Becca Stevens & Alison Tsang

Hey friends! If you’ve considered joining the Proof to Product LABS community then you’ll enjoy today’s episode. It’s a really fun sneak peek of what we’re doing inside the LABS community as I shared a snippet of a live Coffee Chat we had with our members on the things that they’re trying within their business. Our Coffee Chat conversations cover a wide range of topics but in this episode, you’ll hear a small segment from our most recent session focused on Instagram Giveaways. I spoke with two business owners who have experience in hosting giveaways, Alison Tsang of Love Through Letterpress and Becca Stevens of Botanical Bright.     These two generously shared their experiences with recent Instagram giveaways. They touched on their goals, the structure they used for the campaigns, technology tools they used to assist and the outcomes they had. We all shared our opinions on the best time to do a giveaway, group giveaways and strategies to incentivize your customers during the purchasing process. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Their goals for their Instagram giveaway campaigns What type of giveaway they did and their structure for it Technology tools they used to track their giveaway The outcomes Becca and Alison saw from this campaign Their thoughts on participating in group giveaways Pre-launch, mid-launch or post-launch: when is the best time to host a giveaway Strategies around using incentives or discounts   MEET BECCA:  Becca is a plant lover, artist and designer.  She has turned her art into enamel pins as well as jewelry that she sells.  Becca’s intention as an artist is to create pieces that serve as a positive reminder throughout our day and connects us with the beauty around us.   CONNECT WITH BECCA:   Website: https://botanicalbright.com/ Facebook: @botanicalbright Instagram: @botanicalbright   MEET ALISON:  Alison Tsang owns Love through Letterpress where she sells stationery, prints, pins and home goods.  Love through letterpress believes that words have power to create human connections and lift each other up. With each product purchase, her companies donates to the fight against human trafficking and empowering individuals transitioning out of poverty with sill development.    CONNECT WITH ALISON:   Website: http://www.lovethroughletterpress.com/ Facebook: @lovethroughletterpress Instagram: @lovethroughletterpress   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

10 November 2020


178 | 7 Ways to Enhance Your Customer Journey with Katie Hunt

178 | 7 Ways to Enhance Your Customer Journey with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! Today’s episode is focused on 7 ways you can enhance your customer journey. Oftentimes we’re so focused on capturing the sale and everything leading up to it. In reality, your customers’ journey begins the moment that they learn about you.  This means the customer journey could start weeks or months before they ever step foot into your store or open your website to look through your shop. That’s why it’s critical to nail down the customer journey so you can create a tribe of raving fans for your brand. Take a listen, jot down some notes and begin to think about some of these tips and how you can implement them in your business to strengthen your customer’s experience. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why you need to create a positive pathway for your customers The 7 ways to enhance the customer journey Where you can gather analytics from your customers Examples of how you can survey your audience Why you should map out your customer journey Ideas for saying “thank you” to your customers Why you need to train your team to creatively handle customer service Why you need to give your customers the tools to be your biggest ambassadors Consider how you can make improvements  RESOURCES: 169 | Strengthening Our Customer Experience with Jordan Kentris, A Good Day Proof to Product LABS SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

3 November 2020


177 | Covid Check-in with a Brick & Mortar Shop Owner with Biff Ulm, MN Nice Enough

177 | Covid Check-in with a Brick & Mortar Shop Owner with Biff Ulm, MN Nice Enough

Hey friends! Today’s guest is a familiar voice on the podcast. This conversation was with none other than Biff Ulm of MN Nice Enough and retail shop Zaiser’s. I had a conversation with Biff earlier this year, pre-COVID (episode 146 if you want to take a listen) and it seems like it was an eternity ago! I was so happy that Biff agreed to come back on to discuss his personal journey of being a store owner during the time of COVID. In this episode, Biff shares how his store sales have fluctuated this year and how his buying strategies have shifted from larger orders that were further out to smaller, more consistent orders. Biff talked about the new marketing strategies that his team and he have implemented to build relationships with their shop customers.  Be sure to listen closely to the two golden nuggets that Biff shared on not being afraid to fail and making a statement with your products!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: A rundown of Biff’s shop  Biff’s experience with closing and reopening during the pandemic The safety measures they put in place for the store re-opening How he dealt with managing his team and bringing on additional support How his sales have been this year compared to other years Shifts he’s made within his wholesale buying tactics and strategies What product makers and manufacturers can do to support their wholesale customers Where they’re sourcing products from during this pandemic Biff’s thoughts on seeing manufacturing processes slow down Why he decided to go live daily to reach customers at home What “easy buying” looks like for Biff His views on having a pre-pack RESOURCES: 146 | Leveraging point of sale systems in a brick & mortar with Biff Ulm, MN Nice Enough Zaiser’s Twisted Ware Avochato Hydro Flask    MEET BIFF:  Hello! My Name is Biff Ulm. Yes, that is my real name. I am a husband, father, creator, entrepreneur who is inspired by the outdoors and traveling. I own a retail store, Zaiser's, and wholesale company, MN Nice Enough. I am based in the heart of the Lake Country in Northern Minnesota.   CONNECT WITH BIFF:   Website: https://www.mnniceenough.com/ Facebook: @mnniceenough Instagram: @mnniceenough   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

27 October 2020


176 | Stop Relying on Social Media to Pitch Your Products with Mei Pak, Creative Hive Co

176 | Stop Relying on Social Media to Pitch Your Products with Mei Pak, Creative Hive Co

Hey friends! I am super excited for you to listen in on today’s conversation with Mei Pak, founder of Creative Hive Co. and Tiny Hands. She’s been running her creative, handmade business since 2006 and coaching makers since 2014. She even taught her husband how to start selling personalized art and now makes over $55,000 per month in sales! Mei is all about creating a consistent income without relying too much on social media. In this episode, you’ll hear the 4 steps for pitching your products to media outlets and the difference of proactive versus reactive marketing. She talks about leveraging Facebook ads to generate sales and why she recommends learning, testing and DIYing over hiring an agency. We also touched on why you HAVE to know your numbers and ensure that your products are priced correctly before jumping into paid advertising.  This episode is jam-packed with SO much tactical, strategic advice and concrete examples - so grab a notebook and let’s dive in!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The biggest mistake product based business owners making as they try to grow and scale How Mei leverages press outreach  The 4 steps she takes to get mentioned in the media Why you have to follow-up after a pitch When is the best time to pitch products for inclusion in gift guides How Facebook Ads are an underutilized tool for artists and makers The importance of knowing your numbers  A less intimidating way to get your feet wet with paid advertising Why she’s starting a sister brand for her business What she’s doing in her business to make the experience richer for students Her vision with having a membership program RESOURCES: Creative Live   MEET MEI:  I teach makers, artists and designers how to start a handmade business from scratch and grow it into a full time living (and more) with consistent traffic and sales to your website. I've been running my own creative, handmade small business since 2006, started coaching in 2014 and in 2019, taught my husband how to start his own online store selling personalized art for the family, which now makes $55,000/month in sales. My goal is to help you make a consistent income from selling your handmade products online, without using Etsy or relying too much on social media!    CONNECT WITH MEI:   Website: http://www.creativehiveco.com Website: https://tinyhandsonline.com/ Instagram: @creativehiveco Facebook: @creativehiveco YouTube: @creativehiveco Email: mei@creativehiveco.com   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

20 October 2020


175 | Feeling Fragmented with Katie Hunt

175 | Feeling Fragmented with Katie Hunt

I know 2020 hasn’t been an easy year for any of us so I wanted to share a quick episode with you today about feeling fragmented.   This was a vulnerable episode for me to record, because I’m sharing my personal experience of feeling depleted and unfocused.   But, having talked with close friends, colleagues, clients and members of my communities -- I know I’m not alone in this. People are tapped out.  We’re exhausted. We’re mentally, emotionally and physically drained.  Take a listen to hear my experience with feeling fragmented this year and 5 important things to keep in mind as we continue to navigate through this “new normal”.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  A personal story about feeling fragmented How I know I am not alone in this feeling 5 things to keep in mind RESOURCES: 165 | Gaining Focus and Overcoming Limiting Beliefs with Jessica Eley Friends of Proof to Product Facebook group   MEET KATIE:  Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.     CONNECT WITH KATIE: Website: prooftoproduct.com  Instagram: @prooftoproduct SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

13 October 2020


174 | What are 3PLs or Fulfillment Centers with Allen Befort, Givington's

174 | What are 3PLs or Fulfillment Centers with Allen Befort, Givington's

Fulfillment has been a hot topic in our Proof to Product communities lately so I wanted to bring on a special guest to chat about how fulfillment works from the 3PL side of things. I was joined by Allen Befort of Givington’s, a fulfillment company that pays attention to the small details so you can focus on the bigger picture of your business. Allen jokes that he kind of fell into starting this business with a friend.  Seven years later they’ve seen great success and pride themselves on the relationships they’ve built with their customers and the genuine, personalized experience that they can create with their partners. Allen and I covered a lot of ground in this episode and it's rich with information for anyone who may be considering outsourcing their warehousing and fulfillment process. We went over the logistics of working with a 3PL including how to know if you’re ready, technology integrations they have, questions to ask when interviewing fulfillment centers and common pricing models.  We also talk about why it’s critical to build trust and relationships when outsourcing fulfillment.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What a third party logistics company or fulfillment center does How Allen got into this business The types of companies they usually work with Key indicators that you might want to outsource this part of your business How most of his clients have come to him What you can do to best prepare for outsourcing fulfillment How having barcodes helps to reduce human error How pricing works for fulfillment centers The best platforms for automating the fulfillment process Using 3PLs for marketplace selling Questions you should ask when considering outsourcing Misconceptions that people have when it comes with working for 3PLs How his company works with customers who have bulk, once a month shipments What’s coming next for his business   RESOURCES: Shopify WooCommerce WordPress Squarespace   MEET ALLEN:  Married to Meg, with two cute blonde-haired kids and a third on the way. We live in Fayetteville, AR, an amazing town with a great community of friends. We kind of fell backwards into helping start and build Givington's in 2013 when one of our best friends was launching it and asked if we wanted to come along for the ride. 7 years later...we're still here. Personally, I have a deep love for Chipotle and Tottenham Hotspur soccer.   CONNECT WITH ALLEN:   Website: https://givingtons.com Instagram: @givingtons Facebook: @givingtons   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

6 October 2020


173 | Creating Social Change Through Products & Intentional Business Practices with Betsy Garcia, Bloomwolf Studio

173 | Creating Social Change Through Products & Intentional Business Practices with Betsy Garcia, Bloomwolf Studio

Hey friends! I am really excited for you to listen in to today’s episode with Betsy Garcia of Bloomwolf Studio.  Betsy was on her way to medical school when she decided she wanted to pursue the small business life and sell her art. Bloomwolf Studio is a Latina owned & operated illustration and design studio based in Orlando that strives to create change through art and messaging.  In this powerful and transparent episode, Betsy and I talk about the mission behind Bloomwolf and how Betsy and her husband Luis actively weave their personal beliefs into their everyday business practices. Betsy shares details about developing and expanding her product line, including mistakes they made in their first product runs. We also talked about business finances.  At the beginning of 2020, Betsy and Luis set out to increase their annual revenue by 25% and they exceeded this in the first 8 months of the year.  Betsy talks about tools they use to track their financial progress and what they’ve done to pivot their business model to stay on track with these financial goals, despite the pandemic. And, we capped off the convo talking about  TikTok.  How she’s using it to promote her brand and products, how she gained 7,500 users in her first month on the platform and what she  does to plan out her marketing for the year.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why she decided to start a business instead of pursuing medical school How they got started with zero background in business Their process of developing their first products How Betsy decided which products to add into her line Why she’s decided to be more vocal about social issues and the action steps they’re taking Her process for planning out her marketing strategy How she and Luis decided to reach for a 25% increase in annual revenue What they’ve done to pivot this year to stay on track toward financial goals New things they’ve implemented that weren’t in their 2020 plan Where they’re currently at in their revenue goal Tools they use to track their financial progress Her experience with using TikTok for her business   RESOURCES: Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine MEET BETSY:  Bloomwolf Studio is a Latina owned & operated illustration and design studio based in Orlando, Florida. Launched by husband and wife, Luis Sosa and Betsy Garcia, Bloomwolf Studio was started in November of 2015 after Betsy forewent her plans of applying to medical school. With the unwavering support of Luis, and no formal art training, Betsy began illustrating again in the summer of 2015, after not doing so for many years. This period helped renew her passion for art and helped cement her purpose, pushing her to follow her dreams of pursuing art as a career. Since then, thanks to Betsy’s passion and determination and Luis’s continued support, Bloomwolf Studio has evolved into the creative business it is today and has exhibited at national trade shows, participated in hundreds of pop-up markets, and their products are carried in over 400 small shops and boutiques nationwide. Bloomwolf’s small, but mighty team of three is now based in sunny Orlando.   CONNECT WITH BETSY:   Website: https://bloomwolfstudio.com Instagram: @bloomwolfstudio Facebook: @bloomwolfstudio TikTok: @bloomwolfstudio   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

29 September 2020


172 | Faire Summer Market Recap with Katie Hunt

172 | Faire Summer Market Recap with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! Today I want to chat with you about the recent Faire Summer market and share both insights and concerns after leading hundreds of people through what is likely our first of many online trade shows. I’m happy to report that our Paper Camp alumni community and LABS members had some strong sales during the show.  Some received a handful of orders, while others secured more than 40 orders in a two day span.  In addition to the cash influx, I was pleased to hear that many in our community received wholesale orders from new stores they had never worked with and many had reorders from past accounts who were reconnecting. In this episode I’m walking you through pros and cons of these types of shows, why I’m not a fan of discounting your products to get sales and why you should continue your marketing post-show.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Benefits of the Faire Summer Market Concerns about the Faire Summer Market Why I don’t like discounting to get sales My reasoning behind why you shouldn’t be overly reliant on a single tool for your business. Why you should continue your marketing efforts beyond any specific show The non-financial benefits of doing a show RESOURCES: The Glory Days Co.   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

22 September 2020


171 | How to Take Professional Product Photos with Your Smart Phone with Chaitra Radhakrishna, PinkPot Studio

171 | How to Take Professional Product Photos with Your Smart Phone with Chaitra Radhakrishna, PinkPot Studio

Hey friends! With the world being such a visual place, more and more of our customers are relying on product photography to tell them a story. We only have a few seconds to quickly grab our customers’ attention and get them engaged in what we’re selling. That’s why in this episode I’m talking with Chaitra Radhakrishna. Chaitra is the founder of PinkPot Studio, a Shopify design and photography studio specifically for product-based business owners.  Chaitra shared so much valuable information in this episode about how to nail your product photography. You’ll hear about the 7 different product shots that you can take (and tips on deciding which shots to take). She also shares her 5 step process for taking photos with your smartphone which, spoiler alert: you don’t need to invest in fancy equipment or tools.  Be sure to listen with a notebook handy because she gives us so many insider tips on using the “rule of thirds”, apps she recommends for editing photos and her secret formula for editing photos in lightroom: making the whites low, turning the highlights up, going high on shadows and low on blacks.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Common mistakes business owners make when it comes to product photography The 7 different product shots all business owners need to know about Her 5 step process for taking product photos with your smartphone Why she recommends shooting on cloudy days What the “rule of thirds” is and why you need to keep it in mind when shooting product shots Her app recommendations for editing photos Chaitra’s opinion on using Lightroom presets What tools she suggests you use in Lightroom instead of presets Her advice on not over editing your photos What services she offers in her business, PinkPot Studio RESOURCES: Rifle Paper Co. Instagram Bloomwold Studio TikTok Snapseed Adobe Lightroom Free 5 Day Product Photography Course   MEET CHAITRA:  Chaitra is the founder of PinkPot Studio, a Shopify design + photography studio for product-based businesses. With over 4 years of experience in web design & development in the software industry, she started her own design studio in 2015 when she moved from India to the United States. New country, new business - it was nerve-wracking, but luckily her business took off and she never looked back. She thrives on helping women entrepreneurs create a bigger visual impact online and grow their businesses through conversion focused Shopify design and product photography. She has been featured and spoken at Alt summit, Craftcation, Snap conference, ConvertKit and Creative market among others.   CONNECT WITH CHAITRA:   Website: https://www.itspinkpot.com Instagram: @pinkpot.studio Facebook: @pinkpotxo Pinterest: @pinkpotxo   SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

15 September 2020


170 | Running a Business Remotely with Christine Herrin, Everyday Explorers Co.

170 | Running a Business Remotely with Christine Herrin, Everyday Explorers Co.

Hey friends! Ever considered what it might be like to run a business remotely? Or even in a completely different country? That’s exactly what today’s guest, Christine Herrin did when she moved to the Philippines for a year while continuing to run her business in the United States. Christine has such a cool story and was actually chosen to participate in the Adobe Creative Residency Program in 2016 which is where she initially began building her product-based business, Everyday Explorers Co.  Christine and I covered a lot in this episode around what that residency program was like and how she got started in her business. She shares what processes and systems she put in place to run her business while living overseas. She talks about how she leveraged her strong relationship with her manufacturer and outsourced fulfillment while she was abroad.  Christine is a member of our PTP LABS community and a Paper Camp alumni.  It’s been so amazing to watch her business grow and evolve.  There’s a lot to learn in this episode -- systems, processes as well as how she created a monthly release cycle for her direct to consumer sales channel Listen in for all her tips!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Christine’s experience of being chosen to be in the Adobe Creative Residency program How she started working on her business during the residency program What types of products and how many SKUs she has within her business How she merged her scrapbooking and travel interests with the business needs Her process of managing new product releases How she keeps up with discontinuing products with frequent launches How she’s used assets from past stamp kits for new product development What systems and processes she put in place when moving from the U.S. to the Philippines  What it was like working with a fulfillment center and how she decided which one to use How she set up a production schedule for herself Her marketing strategy for the one-month release cycle of products Why she feels like product makers shouldn’t be afraid to innovate and push beyond “industry standards” What’s coming next with Christine and Everyday Explorers Co. For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp170 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

8 September 2020


169 | Strengthening Our Customer Experience with Jordan Kentris, A Good Day

169 | Strengthening Our Customer Experience with Jordan Kentris, A Good Day

Hey friends! Have you ever considered what it might be like to marry your interests and passions within your business? In this episode, I brought on Jordan Kentris of A Good Day, a bespoke experience studio specializing in custom stationery, events, branding and user experience.  Jordan has taken his love for physical products and his background in User Experience (UX)  to create a better customer journey for his clients. We talk about what he’s done to create this process for his customers and the benefits that come with developing a strong focus on customer experience. He gives us a better look into how you can incorporate this into your email marketing strategy and what data you should be looking for to create change within your business. Be sure to take notes because Jordan shares a few concrete strategies you can implement and his favorite tech tools for tracking customer engagement on your website. If you want to learn more from Jordan, join us in Proof to Product LABS.  He’s one of our LABS members and we have a special Coffee Chat coming up where he’ll answer user experience questions for the group! ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   How he’s begun to merge the two sides of his business together Why this work is important to Jordan How he goes about creating a strong user experience What you can do to create and market your products in a way that relates to your ideal customer Why Jordan doesn’t like focus groups  The direct benefits he’s experienced by placing a strong focus on customer experience What you should be looking for within your analytics to create change His recommendations on the UX, user experience and customer journey for people on your email list How email marketing can give the feeling of a one on one conversation with customers How Jordan defines success in his business and life What he’s focusing on for the rest of the year within his business For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp169 SLOW STEADY GROWTH ARE HOW STRONG BUSINESSES ARE BUILT Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ Inside Proof to Product LABS, you’ll receive the support, education and accountability to move your business towards your goals.   ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our 12-month group coaching program built specifically for product based business owners. SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

1 September 2020


168 | Reframing a 'No' Into a 'Not Right Now' with Tiffany McGraw, Paper Rehab

168 | Reframing a 'No' Into a 'Not Right Now' with Tiffany McGraw, Paper Rehab

Hey friends! It’s no secret that putting yourself out there can be a huge hurdle for many entrepreneurs. In today’s episode, I was joined by Paper Camp Alum and LABS member, Tiffany McGraw of Paper Rehab. Tiffany gives us insight into her own experience of overcoming the vulnerability of pitching herself as an entrepreneur by reframing the word “no” to “not right now” in her mind.  Tiffany has a wonderful mission behind her brand which was designed to normalize and focus on mental health care, especially for those in the African American community. She initially started her business to fulfill her dream of seeing herself reflected on greeting cards. She shares so much wisdom in this episode about how she overcame challenges that she’s faced in her business, mindset changes she made around making a living selling greeting cards and why you need to know your “why” for doing what you do.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: One thing Tiffany wishes she knew before starting her business What she was doing before starting Paper Rehab How her calling of creating a greeting card line followed her into all of her positions  The main focus and mission of Tiffany’s product line Where she pulls inspiration from for her greeting cards Challenges that she faced within her first year of business How she discovered PaperCamp and made the decision to do it Mindset shifts she’s had to overcome around making a living in this career path Revenue streams that she’s set up for her business Tiffany’s thoughts on knowing your “why” Why she reframes “no” to “not right now”  What’s next for Tiffany and Paper Rehab Her advice on taking opportunities and being consistent For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp168 Join the Paper Camp E-Course Waitlist! Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of their favorite shops - big and small.  Our Paper Camp alumni can be found in Target, Nordstrom, Container Store, Barnes & Nobles, Urban Outfitters and independent boutiques around the world. In Paper Camp we teach industry standards for product development, pricing, where to source your products and wholesale sales & marketing strategies.  And, this fall we’re adding some special content for how to navigate wholesale during covid.  Specifically, how to reach out to stores without feeling slimy or salesy, how to market for online trade shows and how to leverage online tools for more sales. Paper Camp sells out every time we offer it, so be sure to jump on the waitlist to get first dibs on tickets! Registration opens August 24th and class starts August 31st! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

25 August 2020


167 | Marketing for Virtual Tradeshows with Katie Hunt

167 | Marketing for Virtual Tradeshows with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! As more and more of you are dipping your toes into the world of virtual tradeshows I’ve been receiving questions on how to build out strategic marketing plans for these events.   That’s why today I am exploring the tactics you can implement to help reach more of your wholesale customers at a virtual tradeshow event. You’ll learn how you can determine if a virtual tradeshow is the right fit for you and your budget. I discuss using a tiered outreach system and all of the different avenues I recommend using (plus tips for optimizing each one!)   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Questions to ask yourself when considering attending a virtual tradeshow Why I recommend a tiered outreach system The importance of email marketing and getting in touch with your leads How you should be utilizing snail mail before and after the show (and things you can include in mailings) How to leverage your social media and tips for what to post, repurposing and being active Why you should be customizing your online showroom How you can make the most out of your marketing by making sure that your branding is cohesive and aligned with your overall marketing strategy For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp167 Join the Paper Camp E-Course Waitlist! Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of their favorite shops - big and small.  Our Paper Camp alumni can be found in Target, Nordstrom, Container Store, Barnes & Nobles, Urban Outfitters and independent boutiques around the world. In Paper Camp we teach industry standards for product development, pricing, where to source your products and wholesale sales & marketing strategies.  And, this fall we’re adding some special content for how to navigate wholesale during covid.  Specifically, how to reach out to stores without feeling slimy or salesy, how to market for online trade shows and how to leverage online tools for more sales. Paper Camp sells out every time we offer it, so be sure to jump on the waitlist to get first dibs on tickets! Registration closes August 29th and class starts August 31st! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

18 August 2020


166 | Connecting with Customers with Kate Murray, Quick Brown Fox Letterpress

166 | Connecting with Customers with Kate Murray, Quick Brown Fox Letterpress

Hey friends! As we all continue to navigate through this pandemic it’s important that you continue to connect with your customers and build strong relationships with them.  Something as simple as checking in with your wholesale clients or retail customers can go a long way in making them feel cared for. That’s exactly what today’s guest, Kate Murray of Quick Brown Fox Letterpress has done to make sure she’s supporting her customers. In this episode, Kate shares her story of how she got started in the printing industry. She talks about how she saved an old letterpress from the scrapyard and spent three months bringing it back to life. Kate and I talk about the various trade shows she’s done and her different revenue streams. She also discusses the biggest challenges she faces within her business and her plans for expanding her product line beyond just stationery.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Kate got started with Quick Brown Fox Letterpress Her process for finding her first letterpress Kate’s experience of doing a kick starter campaign The restoration process of the letterpress she purchased How Kate got into wholesale and her first tradeshow from the beginning What revenue streams Kate has within her business Her experiences with doing trade shows What types of marketing she uses to reach her customers Why now is the time to check up on and support each other How she’s built a community for stationery designers  The most challenging part of running and building her business over the last 5 years What she’s most proud of in her business What’s next for her business For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp166 Join the Paper Camp E-Course Waitlist! Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of their favorite shops - big and small.  Our Paper Camp alumni can be found in Target, Nordstrom, Container Store, Barnes & Nobles, Urban Outfitters and independent boutiques around the world. In Paper Camp we teach industry standards for product development, pricing, where to source your products and wholesale sales & marketing strategies.  And, this fall we’re adding some special content for how to navigate wholesale during covid.  Specifically, how to reach out to stores without feeling slimy or salesy, how to market for online trade shows and how to leverage online tools for more sales. Paper Camp sells out every time we offer it, so be sure to jump on the waitlist to get first dibs on tickets! Registration opens August 24th and class starts August 31st! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

11 August 2020


165 | Gaining Focus and Overcoming Limiting Beliefs with Jessica Eley

165 | Gaining Focus and Overcoming Limiting Beliefs with Jessica Eley

Hey friends! Does being an entrepreneur ever make you feel overwhelmed? Maybe you’re having tons of business success and checking things off of your to-do list but you still don’t feel satisfied at the end of the day. I’m a firm believer in creating strategic plans and taking action in business. Sometimes, however, our mindset, boundaries, personal beliefs and the stories we tell ourselves can make executing those plans harder than necessary. In this episode, I was joined by Jessica Eley, a mindset coach that helps high-achieving entrepreneurs get where they want to go (while enjoying the path there).  We explore the practices and strategies you can use to boost your confidence and change your mindset. Jessica shares why it might be success that’s actually holding you back in business and why you must always remind yourself that you have options!  Jessica and I discuss pushing forward, what to do if you’re feeling stretched thin and taking the time to understand what you truly want to be doing.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Who Jessica works with and how she helps them Her advice for people who are feeling maxed out and stretched thin How to shift the way you’re thinking into a more positive outlook Why it’s essential to consider all of your options Why Jessica believes that success holds people back more than failure How to push forward into the success you want to build Why you have to let go of identities that you feel like you have to have Tools you can use to boost your confidence and mindset How “or thinking” is slowing you down What types of programs Jessica offers For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp165 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

4 August 2020


164 | Building a Multi-Faceted Creative Business with Amber Kemp-Gerstel, Damask Love

164 | Building a Multi-Faceted Creative Business with Amber Kemp-Gerstel, Damask Love

Hey friends! Have you ever wondered what it might be like to turn your hobby into a business? That’s exactly what today’s guest, Amber Kemp-Gerstel did and today she came on to talk about her journey in the crafting industry. Amber is a powerhouse. Not only does she have a blog called Damask Love but she also runs YayDay Paper Co., selling digital products and leveraging a subscription model. You might recognize her from NBC’s TV show, Making It (she was a finalist in 2018) or from being the host of Disney Family Sundays on Disney+.  In this episode, she talks about how she got into her business and how she was able to start working with big brands in the industry. She shares some tips for how she sends pitches and why you have to make it really easy for people to say,  ‘yes!’ We also talk about why representation matters and how the creative community can step up to uplift other artists, crafters and makers of color. This is very important work that we’re taking seriously at Proof to Product and I appreciated her for sharing her thoughts and opinions about how we can take steps forward with grace (even though we may make mistakes along the way). ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Amber went from working in family and child psychology to being a strong force in the crafting world The lightbulb moment where she realized it was time to quit her job How she got into working with brands like JoAnn Fabrics and Martha Stewart Living What Amber includes in pitches she sends to brands Why you should make it simple for people to say “yes” to you Why she decided to do a business model built off of digital products and leveraging a subscription model Her tips for marketing your products to your audience How Amber makes her voice heard despite the lack of diversity and visibility for women of color in the crafting space Why representation is needed in every industry Why you should do the things you can practically do to better the community for everyone  What Amber is working on right now in her businesses For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp164 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

28 July 2020


163 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: Which Revenue Stream Should I Focus On?

163 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: Which Revenue Stream Should I Focus On?

Hey friends! I know right now has been a very confusing time for so many of us... I actually brought on Meg Sutton today for a hot seat episode to really dive deep into where she should be focusing in her business.  You might be familiar with Meg as she has been on the podcast a few times before and is a long time client of mine. Meg Sutton is the boss lady and doodler behind Belle and Union and As her company has evolved and COVID has changed the economy, she’s felt unsure of where she should be focusing her time and energy to ensure long-term stability for her business.  We take a look into her numbers including income percentages, expenses, the challenges she’s facing and her future goals. We did an exercise and I gave her some of my best advice to help her gain some clarity around what channels of her business she should make her priority. The chat I had with Meg revealed some things that she could focus on and think about over the next few months. I advised her to take a deep look at what she could do to cut down expenses in her brick and mortar shop and why she should do some forecasting when looking into her next brick and mortar location. I know many seasoned business owners are facing similar situations to what Meg is going through right now so I wanted to share this conversation in hopes it could inspire you and help bring clarity for you in your own business!  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What Meg does in her business, Belle & Union What she’s working on and what she needs help with right now in her business The things that Meg is hoping to rethink business-wise What her business revenue looks like for the wholesale, retail and custom channels What her time, money, heart and impact looks like in relation to those channels Katie’s advice for Meg about referring out for the custom side of her business What Katie advised Meg to do about the wholesale and retail side of her business Meg’s experience with the landlords for her retail space and thoughts about moving spaces Katie’s homework for Meg around vision planning, trimming expenses and forecasting For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp163 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

21 July 2020


162 | Pinterest Strategies with Diana Keeler, A+ Pins

162 | Pinterest Strategies with Diana Keeler, A+ Pins

Hey friends! Does Pinterest sometimes feel like just another social media platform you have to keep up with? I’m here to tell you this: it’s so much more than that. Pinterest is a powerful search engine, much like Google and by leveraging your Pinterest strategy, you could potentially be bringing tons of traffic to your website.   That’s why I wanted to bring on Diana Keeler. Diana has worked for and contributed to some of the biggest editorial outlets in the world and now works with retailers and editors to capture the attention of new readers and potential buyers on Pinterest.    Today Diana and I talk about playing the long game of Pinterest. We talk about everything from how to get started, why you need to optimize your pins and keywords and what tools to use to create a consistent pinning strategy. We also chat about the Verified Merchant Program that Pinterest recently rolled out and why you should consider investing in advertising on Pinterest.    If you’re ready to up your Pinterest strategy or want to learn how to bring over more people to your website from Pinterest then this is the episode for you!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   Misconceptions that people have about using Pinterest How she got nearly 150,000 sessions to her blog from Pinterest How she’s seen growth on her email list with little incentives Mistakes that people make when getting started on Pinterest Why you need to have clear descriptions for your pins Why your Google Analytics is more valuable than Pinterest’s analytics tools The tool she recommends  to simplify your Pinterest strategy The type of graphics you should focus on when creating pins Why you need to claim your website and have a business account on Pinterest How Pinterest is upping their game for product makers using the Verified Merchant Program What Diane does to help people grow a stronger Pinterest presence Her thoughts on why you should be using Pinterest ads For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp162 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

14 July 2020


161 | Optimizing Our Website with Jessica Freeman, Jess Creatives

161 | Optimizing Our Website with Jessica Freeman, Jess Creatives

Hey friends! Did you know that when someone lands on your website you only have 5 seconds to capture their attention? That’s not a lot of time, so I wanted to bring on an expert to help you better understand how you can maximize those 5 seconds and get people to stick around longer.    Whether you’ve been in business for many years or are just getting started you’re in for a treat with this guest, Jessica Freeman. Jessica Freeman is the founder of Jess Creatives. She is a web designer, tech strategist, and an expert in all things SEO and website optimization. Jessica is someone who has a wealth of knowledge in this field and has been a huge help to me and my business for the last five years.   She shares so much helpful insight today about leveraging keywords for SEO (including how to research keywords and where to put them on your website). We talk about the mistakes many business owners make on their websites so you know exactly what to avoid!    We chat about everything from navigation bars and product thumbnails to her thoughts on using carousel images. She also shares tools you can use for research and analyzing your audience’s behavior. Be sure to stick around to the end to hear the three takeaways that I want you to get from this episode!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   The biggest mistakes she sees people making on their websites Strategies you can utilize to maximize the first 5 seconds that a visitor arrives on your website Why Jessica doesn’t recommend using carousel images on your website Her advice on minimizing the number of navigation buttons  Jessica’s thoughts on putting product thumbnails on your homepage Why SEO is important for online businesses (especially product-based business owners) How to do keyword research for your SEO strategy The details you should be looking for when doing your keyword searches Where you should include keywords on your website How often you should look at Google Analytics and the things you should analyze Her thoughts on heat map tools and how to use them to better understand your audience Jessica’s advice for new business owners on optimizing their websites from the start The advice she has for seasoned business owners on gaining more visibility on Google searches For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp161 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

7 July 2020


160 | Creating Sister Brands with Stephanie Clarke, Dahlia Press & Chloe Clarke Paper

160 | Creating Sister Brands with Stephanie Clarke, Dahlia Press & Chloe Clarke Paper

Splitting your company into two sister brands is not for everyone. However, it could be an option for you if you are finding yourself with very different product offerings (and a discrepancy in exactly who you're targeting). That was the case for today’s guest, Stephanie Clarke.    Some of you might remember Stephanie as she’s been on the podcast before. If you need a refresher, make sure to go back and listen to Episode 21 where we talked about how she’s built her team and her packaging solutions. Stephanie is the founder of two sister brands, Dahlia Press and Chloe Clarke Paper. Dahlia Press is her wholesale and direct to consumer business and her new brand, Chloe Clarke Paper was created for custom work such as wedding invitations and branding projects.   In this episode, you’ll get to hear her story of what inspired her to split her company into two different brands. This has been a great move for Stephanie both personally and professionally and she shares how it’s improved the quality of her life and business.    Stephanie gives us insight into what she did to make this dream a reality including who she leaned on for support during this transition and the things she did to make it go as smoothly as possible. If this is something you’ve been considering for your business, you’ll want to listen closely as she shares her advice on moving forward with this transition. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Stephanie’s business model has changed over the past year How separating the brands has helped to smooth processes of marketing, communication and more Stephanie’s decision of deciding to split the brands How her decision has improved her quality of life and the ways the business runs Her reasoning behind the naming of her businesses What tactics and messaging she used for her rollout The timeline of creating the sister brand, Chloe Clarke Paper What kind of help Stephanie hired to make this vision a reality The things she did early on to make this transition seamless What tools she uses for her social media strategy Her advice for someone who is considering making a similar transition What’s in the works for Dahlia Press and Chloe Clarke Paper For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp160 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

30 June 2020


159 | How & When to Discontinue Product with Katie Hunt

159 | How & When to Discontinue Product with Katie Hunt

We spend years growing our product lines, working hard to add more SKUs and expanding into new product categories. But at what point is it too much? How much product is too much? On today's Proof to Product episode, Katie Hunt talks explains when you should consider discontinuing product. She also offers strategies for what to do with your discontinued inventory to recoup some costs.   ON TODAY'S EPISODE: When is an appropriate time to discontinue products When you shouldn't discontinue something How to get rid of inventory when you decide to discontinue a product An example of a flash sale or fire sale Why donating discontinued products might be a good option for you Why you might want to bring in someone else for a fresh perspective   Full show notes at: https://bit.ly/PTPEp-159 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

23 June 2020


158 | Creating Workflows for Her Business with Stephanie Harvey, exit343design

158 | Creating Workflows for Her Business with Stephanie Harvey, exit343design

Slow and steady growth is how strong businesses are built. This is something that I strongly believe and is exactly what today’s guest, Stephanie Harvey has done as she has grown her business.   Stephanie Harvey is the artist and entrepreneur behind exit343design. She’s a Paper Camp alumni who's been in the business since falling in love with screen printing during college in 2007. What first started as a passion project and side hustle evolved into her full-time gig after a 10 year slow and organic growth.    She and I dive deep into the marketing strategies she uses to nurture the retail and wholesale sides of her business including how she leverages email and why she’s gotten into blogging.   We also explore why she’s building an operations manual to document the systems and processes within her business. You’ll get to hear what tools she recommends for building these systems and how she uses them to set up her processes. Stephanie also shares what she wishes she knew before starting her business and why it’s important to be frugal, but not cheap when making investments into your business.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Stephanie started her business and what products she sells Why Stephanie believes in slow, organic growth  What sales channels Stephanie uses for her business How Stephanie has built the retail side of her business and what marketing tactics she’s used Stephanie’s experience of using blogging to grow her business How she leverages email for her retail and wholesale business Incorporating workflows to make things run more smoothly What Stephanie does to approach her workflow process The tools that she uses to manage her inventory What Stephanie wishes she knew before starting her business Stephanie’s plans for what’s next in her business  For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp158 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

16 June 2020


From the Archives | Why you can’t rely solely on social media for sales with Nicole Walters, The Monetized Life

From the Archives | Why you can’t rely solely on social media for sales with Nicole Walters, The Monetized Life

This week, we are amplifying the voices of black artists and business leaders by re-running three of our previous episodes. Have you ever come home from a long day at your corporate job and realized like, “Okay, so my job is feeding my family, but definitely not my soul.” What do you do? Well, today's Proof to Product guest is telling us how she figured it out. By age 28, Nicole Walters was a highly-paid executive at a Fortune 500 company, managing multibillion dollar accounts, but something wasn’t right. So Nicole quit her corporate job, and she made waves when she quit in front of 10,000 people while live streaming on Periscope. She went on to open her own private business and product development consulting firm, The Monetized Life.  As Nicole’s audience ramped up so did her revenue—she made $11,000 in the first three weeks of working with small business clients full time. Now, when she’s not hanging out with her husband and their three foster kids, she shares her secrets to earning “passive income” with other entrepreneurs through her wildly popular online course, 1K1Day. “I teach people how to add commas to their bank accounts,” says Nicole. “They learn that they don’t have to trade time for money.” On today's episode, Nicole and I sit down to talk about common mistakes she sees eager entrepreneurs making and why old school sales strategies still work. We also talk about why you can't rely solely on social media for sales, the importance of having multiple revenue streams and why you need to treat your business like a business from day one.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Common mistakes Nicole sees eager entrepreneurs making Tips on where to focus your marketing time and money The problem of relying on social media platforms  Benefits of sticking with the old school methods What really gets customers in the door How to make a 40-50 hour work week feel like 4 hours The lessons Nicole took from corporate life and applied as an entrepreneur Her strongest marketing tool today Nicole’s favorite success stories How saying no is a form of self care  Advice for brand new business owners and entrepreneurs experiencing growing pains  The importance of acting like a business from the get-go What success looks like for Nicole today For full show notes and resources, head to https://bit.ly/FromtheArchives SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

11 June 2020


From the Archives | Shifting the maker mindset with Genesis Duncan, Graphic Anthology

From the Archives | Shifting the maker mindset with Genesis Duncan, Graphic Anthology

This week, we are amplifying the voices of black artists and business leaders by re-running three of our previous episodes. When we first start our businesses, more often than not, we don’t have the big picture idea of what our brand or business will look like down the road. So many of us embark on this so-called maker’s journey, where we truly discover our strengths, opportunities, and long term vision for our business. Lucky for us, one of our talented Paper Camp alumni, Genesis Duncan of Graphic Anthology, is joining us today on Episode 138 of Proof to Product to share her experience and advice for other makers on the path.  Based in Portland, Oregon, Genesis started Graphic Anthology in 2010 with just three art prints and an Etsy shop. Almost a decade later, her product line has grown to include a wide range of greeting cards and gift items that focus on joy, simplicity, and strengthening relationships with those you love most. Today's episode is a powerful one and I know it will resonate with many of you. We talk about how Genesis started her business as a creative outlet and hobby, and why she had to shift her mindset and step into her role and title as an entrepreneur and business owner. Genesis also shares how adding a line of Spanish greeting cards was not only beneficial to her business, but also her personal development.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What products Genesis makes and sells The sales channels she utilizes How she decided to start her own business  Life’s hurdles and how they led Genesis to where she is today Finding silver linings and following your heart Advice for shifting your mindset from maker to business owner How Genesis manages the tactical aspects of Graphic Anthology The importance of picking deadlines and sticking with them  How Paper Camp helped solidify her business mindset What Genesis does to differentiate her products in the market Testing products, taking risks, and discovering new segments Advice for other small business owners and creative CEOs  For full show notes and resources, head to https://bit.ly/FromtheArchives   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

10 June 2020


From the Archives | The long game of licensing & surface pattern design with Jeanetta Gonzales

From the Archives | The long game of licensing & surface pattern design with Jeanetta Gonzales

This week, we are amplifying the voices of black artists and business leaders by re-running three of our previous episodes. Today we have a great episode in store for you with guest Jeanetta Gonzales, a Los Angeles-based graphic designer, and illustrator. Jeanetta began her career as a graphic designer working for corporate companies such as WedMD, Mattel and The Disney Store. She later parlayed her digital and fine art skills into surface design working as a textile designer and style guide designer for consumer products and creating illustrations and art that she licenses to manufacturers for products sold online and in major retail stores. On top of all of this, Jeanetta also runs her own online store where she sells her art on print items, mugs, fabric, home decor items and more. On today’s episode, Jeanetta shares her experience with licensing and tells us why you have to be in it for the long game. We talk about why relationships are so important in business, why it’s necessary to create art and products with a unique point of view, and her goal to spread joy through a variety of creative means.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Common misconceptions that creative entrepreneurs have about licensing their work Tips for people that are putting together their portfolio How Jeanetta defines her artistic style and keeps it original The importance of experimenting What it took to overcome fears of failure and success Her 10 year journey of learning and creating When Jeanetta started to see traction in own design work What she learned from tradeshows Being okay with not being perfect  Pivoting from her day job and shifting into licensing  Jeanette’s favorite products to produce  Her advice for other creative entrepreneurs and what’s coming up next  For full show notes and resources, head to https://bit.ly/FromtheArchives   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

9 June 2020


157 | How Do I Pay Myself As A Business Owner with Katie Hunt

157 | How Do I Pay Myself As A Business Owner with Katie Hunt

Hey friends! Are you making sure to pay yourself for your work? There’s often a big misconception that only new business owners struggle with how to pay themselves for their time, effort and expertise. However, it’s no secret that both new and experienced entrepreneurs run into this problem from time to time.   I wanted to make things a little easier for you so in this episode I shared two simple strategies for how to pay yourself based on where you’re at in your business. You’ll hear why you need to pay yourself, how to choose a format of payment that works for you and why you should get on a payment schedule. I also explored why you should keep it simple (and automate where possible), the importance of revisiting your numbers as things change and of course, why you should seek advice from a CPA or financial planner.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  The misconception that only new business owners struggle with paying themselves How I paid myself at the beginning of my business  My recommendations for paying yourself as an experienced business owner How you can look at data and analytics as a point of reference in when making decisions about how much to pay yourself What to look at when deciding how to use your profits  For full show notes and resources, head to: bit.ly/PTPEp157 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join the wait list for Proof to Product Labs, our new group coaching experience coming soon!     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

26 May 2020


156 | Successful Hiring Strategies with Natalie Gingrich, The Ops Authority

156 | Successful Hiring Strategies with Natalie Gingrich, The Ops Authority

Hey friends! Are you ready to get back time in your business to work on the projects and tasks that you really love? The ones that will help you to move the needle further toward your goal?  If you’ve been busy doing all of the things then you might be wondering if now is the right time to hire in your business. That’s why I brought on Natalie Gingrich from The Ops Authority. Natalie has been in operations for two decades and now she helps online business owners with support and strategy for the operational side of their business. We get into everything you could possibly want to know about the best hiring practices. She shares how you’ll know when is the right time to hire and how you can get crystal clear on the job you’re looking to hire for. Natalie explains why this is critical and how an application is a key component in finding the right team member for the role. She and I discuss how to measure the value that team members are adding to your business. She also discusses why you’ll want to invest a good amount of time in hiring to avoid mishaps like turnover or unrealistic expectations on either side of the hiring process.  This episode is packed with so much hiring wisdom so grab a notebook, listen closely and be sure to download Natalie’s free hiring guide for the next time you’re looking to outsource in your business. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Natalie knew she was ready to hire her first team member within her business Pain points and indicators to be on the lookout for when deciding if it's time to hire What you should think about when deciding what to DIY and what to outsource How to get crystal clear on what the needs are in your business Why you need to create a true job description to reduce turnover How to find the right people for the job Her advice on choosing the right candidate at the right price for the job How to measure your return on investment using key results areas Natalie’s thoughts on trial periods and onboarding processes How you can use the Hiring Plan for your next hire Her plans for launching an association and what’s coming next in her business For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp156 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

19 May 2020


155 | Using a Fulfillment Warehouse with Jomana Siddiqui, Pences Design Studio

155 | Using a Fulfillment Warehouse with Jomana Siddiqui, Pences Design Studio

How amazing does it sound to have someone else take over your packing and shipping needs? Think about it… How many hours a day (or even a week) could that save you?  Having a fulfillment warehouse that takes care of this for you could lend you time in your busy schedule. It might even be able to save you money in the long run. In this episode, I had the pleasure of talking about that with Paper Camp Alum, Jomana Siddiqui.  Jomana is the creative behind 3, yes you heard that right, 3 different businesses. She runs a graphic design business called Pences Design Studio, a retail business named modernEID all while authoring a lifestyle blog.  We get into what her experience was with working with a manufacturing company in China. Plus, the hiccup she faced after working with them. She shares how using a fulfillment center changed her business for the better. Jomana also discusses how connections and being in the right place at the right time can help land partnerships with brands you dream of working with.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Jomana got started with her three different businesses How she balances the time she spends on each of her companies Using content batching to get work completed Her manufacturing process and how it’s evolved over time How working with a fulfillment center was a huge turning point in her business Jomana’s worries about using a fulfillment center  Her experience of working with a manufacturing company in China The process she went through to find new manufacturers How her partnerships with Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Walmart came about What she wishes she’d have known when starting her businesses What’s next for Jomana’s brands For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp155 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

12 May 2020


Special Edition | Taking our Business Temperature with Katie Hunt & Kristen Ley

Special Edition | Taking our Business Temperature with Katie Hunt & Kristen Ley

Earlier this week, my friend Kristen Ley of Thimblepress and KristenLey.com and I hosted a free webinar where we talked about taking our business temperature.   As small business owners so much of our time is spent working with our head down working on the most urgent and pressing things that need our attention.  Taking your business temperature means that you’re intentionally making time to stop and look at the bigger picture vision, strategy and execution of your business plans. Today’s episode is a replay from the live webinar we hosted.  We talked about how often you should be taking your business temperature, where to start if you’ve never taken your business temperature, and Kristen and I share examples of things we’ve learned about ourselves and our business by doing these check-ins.  I also share the four key factors I consider when making decisions in my business and explain how you can leverage them, too. Before we jump in, I wanted to remind you that May 8th is the last day to join Proof to Product Labs as a Founding Member.  Founding members get 5 incredible bonuses including my profitability calculator and production schedule planner AND they lock in our discounted rate of $49/month for as long as they are a member.  The bonuses will go away and the price will jump to $79/mo starting May 9th.  So head to prooftoproduct.com/labs to secure your founding member spot! ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How often we should be taking our business temperature What types of things we should review & look at in our business Examples of something I started doing more of based on these check-ins Examples of things I started doing less of Four key considerations for making business decisions Where new businesses should start with their business check-ins When to hire a bookkeeper   RESOURCES: Kristen Ley’s free Facebook Group PTP Podcast episode with Greg Higdon of Grow the Books CONNECT:   Kristen Ley, Thimblepress - @kristen_ley and @thimblepress   YOU DON’T HAVE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS ALONE! Get 12 months of coaching & community inside Proof to Product Labs ✔ Live monthly masterclass​ ✔ Live monthly group coaching calls ✔ Resources & tools built for product businesses ✔ Private community (not on Facebook!) ✔ Exclusive discounts from our PTP Partners Plus 5 Founding Member bonuses that will save you time, money and effort! ​All for only $49/month through May 8th!  Join us!     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

7 May 2020


154 | Writing Copy That Converts with Prerna Malik, Content Bistro

154 | Writing Copy That Converts with Prerna Malik, Content Bistro

Hey friends! Are you ready for copy that converts? If you said yes, which I am sure you did then I am positive you’ll enjoy today’s episode. I had a conversation with Prerna Malik, a certified conversion copywriter and co-founder of Content Bistro.  Prerna has mastered the recipe for writing copy that balances persuasion and personality with the scientific precision of conversion science to ensure that you are maximizing sales. Prerna shares some of her BEST copywriting tips (and mistakes to watch out for!) She goes in-depth on how to use tools such as heat mapping to measure if your copy is working for you. You’ll hear what you should look for when hiring a copywriter including what you should have in place beforehand. She also shares why your copy needs personalization to be effective. If you’ve got copy that just isn’t giving you the results you desire then you’ll definitely want to hear this episode.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The most important piece of content for your website How Prerna got into conversion copywriting What conversion copywriting is The types of projects Prerna does for product based business owners and eCommerce shops Why you must personalize copy if you want to build relationships and see results How to know if a copywriter will be a fit for your brand voice Why your copy needs to have the same vibe throughout platforms The assets and details you need to have ready before hiring a copywriter Why every email sequence needs to have a marketing goal  Why you need to have your audience established before writing copy Mistakes that product based business owners are making with regards to their copy Tools to pay attention to and how to leverage measuring metrics What Prerna’s working on for Content Bistro  For full show notes and resources head to bit.ly/PTPEp154 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

5 May 2020


153 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: How to Set Financial Goals for Your Business

153 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: How to Set Financial Goals for Your Business

Hey friends! You might know that you need to set financial goals for your business. But maybe you feel like you have absolutely no idea where to start. Maybe you feel overwhelmed even thinking about it? Whatever the case, if that sounds like you then you’re in for a treat with today’s live coaching session. I caught up with Paper Camp alumni, Jessica Baskin to give her the low-down on setting financial goals for your business. Jessica got real about the financial mindset challenges she’s been facing and together, we broke them down. I offered her a few actionable steps she could take to get her more aligned with her numbers. We talked about how she could get clear on who she’s speaking to which would improve her marketing efforts (and in turn get her closer to those financial goals). This conversation uncovered a few of the best practices for determining what your highest and best use products (or services) for your business. Of course, I also gave Jessica some homework around her financial goals where she’ll be taking a look at the good, better and best financial number goals. This is essential because if you know your goals, you know exactly what to aim for.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Jessica got into her business and started Joy Lark Studio Jessica’s main goal that she wants to improve upon on in her business  The two ways that Katie advises companies to approach their finances when setting financial goals Creating good, better and best number goals for yourself so you know what to aim for Identifying the revenue streams that are the highest and best use for your business Katie’s advice for Jessica about getting crystal clear on which audience to speak to first Why your outreach strategy may be different depending on your audience Making a marketing plan to help you hit your financial goals Why you should have a backup plan for slower months of business to continue pushing toward your financial goals For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp153 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience OPEN NOW! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

28 April 2020


152 | Chasing the Bright Side with Jess Ekstrom, Headbands of Hope

152 | Chasing the Bright Side with Jess Ekstrom, Headbands of Hope

Hey friends! With the current state of our world, I thought it’d be great to bring someone on the podcast who radiates optimism and confidence. In this episode, you’ll be hearing my conversation with Jess Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope and the author of Chasing the Bright Side.  Jess and I dive deep into how she’s built her business and it’s growth over the past eight years. Through her years in business, she’s learned how to find new solutions to support her customers on both the retail and wholesale side. We also talk about how she’s had to pivot her business during this time which prompted her to host a virtual conference. She shares how she got the co-founder of Netflix to speak at her conference (pretty cool, right?!) She also talks about why she believes in “throwing darts and seeing what sticks” in her business.  We get into what it truly means to chase the bright side. She gives her advice about maintaining your childlike optimism throughout life. Jess and I discuss how to use downtime to recenter yourself (which can bring forth more creativity and innovation!)   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What prompted Jess to write her book, Chasing the Bright Side Being optimistic about your products and the impact they have on the world Her advice on the steps to take to become more optimistic Why Jess believes confidence is more important than knowledge Maintaining a childlike optimism as you get older Why Jess started Headbands of Hope Trusting your gut when making decisions How she’s shifted her mission for her business over the past year How Jess has built her business on “throwing darts and seeing what sticks” Hosting a virtual tradeshow on YouTube Figuring out how to continue to provide value during this time Pivoting their donation model to help overcome the mask shortage that hospitals are facing Using your downtime to recenter yourself to help spark creativity and innovation What the My Bright Side campaign is and why she started it What’s coming next for Headbands of Hope How Jess got the cofounder of Netflix to be a speaker at her virtual conference For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp152 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join the wait list for Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience coming soon! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

21 April 2020


151 | Proactively innovating through tough times

151 | Proactively innovating through tough times

Last week I shared how I’m getting back to basics and what I’m focusing on in my business right now.  And, today I’m bringing some of my mastermind clients back on the show to talk about how they are proactively taking steps to diversify and strengthen their business.  Today’s episode features Lisa Sarmento from Tiramisu Paperie, Kiwi Schloffel from Craft Boner and Sara McNally from Constellation & Co. and Snail Mail Superstar Some key take-aways that I want to point out from today’s episode: This episode is a great example of how different companies have been affected by covid-19. It is also a great reminder that while there are a lot of things happening around us right now that we CAN NOT control.  There are a lot of things we do control. We do have power to make changes to our products, shift our messaging and pivot how we’re supporting our customers. I’m really proud of these ladies, and everyone in my mastermind group for being agile and creative in how they are doing business right now.  We all need to keep pushing forward — and they are doing just that.    Be sure to check out our #papercampalum hashtag on Instagram to see new products, promotions and behind the scenes of the small businesses in our Paper Camp community.   I’ve also included the links to today’s guests in our show notes -- thanks for supporting small businesses! LINKS: Proof to Product Mastermind  Lisa Sarmento, Tiramisu Paperie - www.tiramisupaperie.com | @tiramisupaperie  Kiwi Schloffel, Craft Boner -  www.craftboner.com | @craftboner  | Youtube Sara McNally, Constellation & Co - www.constellationco.com | @constellationco  | Snail Mail Superstar  Follow the small businesses in our Paper Camp Community on Instagram by using the #papercampalum hashtag   SMALL WINS LEAD TO BIG WINS Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join the wait list for Proof to Product Labs, our new community experience coming soon!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

14 April 2020


150 | Getting Back to Basics

150 | Getting Back to Basics

Hey friends! As much of the world is currently in isolation and practicing social distancing, I wanted to encourage you. I hope this episode will help you find direction in this uncertain time and remind you to keep pushing forward. To be completely honest, my head was spinning with things that I wanted to say but I know we’re all facing completely different circumstances.   None of us have ever faced something like this before and we’re all going through something different from one another. Business advice isn’t a one size fits all and what works for one person may not work for someone else so today I want to share what I’m doing in my business in case it’s relatable or helpful for you.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  How right now is an unprecedented time and we’re all dealing with this in different ways Setting priorities within the business Taking a look at your business finances to examine your runway and unnecessary expenses Stripping down to the basics of executing certain processes Connecting with your people - clients, colleagues, community members For Full Show Notes and Resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp150 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join the wait list for Proof to Product Labs, our new group coaching experience coming soon!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

7 April 2020


Special Edition | CARES Act Resources for Small Businesses

Special Edition | CARES Act Resources for Small Businesses

I sat down with my financial planner, Mary Beth Storjohann today to talk about financial relief and resources for small businesses available through the CARES Act. Today we’re talking about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (also called EIDL), the Paycheck Protection Program (also called PPP) and the Deferral of Payment of Payroll Taxes. This is an ever evolving situation right now, so Mary Beth is sharing the current details with us today, April 3rd.    Remember to stay calm, I know things feel stressful right now but there a a variety of options and forms of aid available to all of us.  I encourage you to reach out to your CPAs & financial planners to figure out which plans are best for you. And, if you decide to apply for PPP, apply with the bank that you’re currently doing your business banking with. Check the links below for more information: LINKS: EIDL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianthompson1/2020/03/29/getting-cash-for-your-small-business-through-the-cares-act/#c053e4d43a0a https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance Lender Match: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Info: Borrowers https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP--Fact-Sheet.pdf https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/023595_comm_corona_virus_smallbiz_loan_final.pdf https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/2/9/29fc1ae7-879a-4de0-97d5-ab0a0cb558c8/1BC9E5AB74965E686FC6EBC019EC358F.the-small-business-owner-s-guide-to-the-cares-act-final-.pdf https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-anatomy-of-the-2-trillion-covid-19-stimulus-bill/   Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join the wait list for Proof to Product Labs, our new group coaching experience coming soon! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

4 April 2020


149 | Let's encourage one another with Katie Hunt & Friends

149 | Let's encourage one another with Katie Hunt & Friends

Kristen Ley recently asked me and our peer mastermind group to come together for a free webinar to support & encourage other small business owners.  It was such an amazing conversation that I asked Kristen if we could rerun the audio version here on our podcast, so today’s episode is just that. Today’s episode features feedback from me,  Kristen Ley of Thimblepress, Tonya Dalton of Inkwell Press, Jenn Jett of The Well Summit and Myrna Daramy of Myrna & Co.   We discuss how we’re handling COVID-19 in our own businesses, recommendations for other small business owners, how to serve your customers, what to prioritize right now and we even share how we’re navigating working from home with children. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How small businesses can navigate COVID-19 Why community is so important Why now is the perfect time to invest in yourself & your business What we’re prioritizing in our own businesses Tips for working at home with children What we’re optimistic about during this weird & crazy time. For full show notes and resources, visit bit.ly/PTPEP149 Small Wins Lead to Big Wins Building a business is a long game, won with patience, fortitude, intentional decisions and passion.​ ​​Slow sustainable growth is how strong businesses are built and we want to help you get there. ​Join the wait list for Proof to Product Labs, our new group coaching experience coming soon!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

31 March 2020


Special Edition | Greetabl Rolls Out Platform Partner Program

Special Edition | Greetabl Rolls Out Platform Partner Program

I was on the phone with Zoe Scharf of Greetabl this morning and  we decided to hit record on our conversation. As you may remember, Zoe is one of our Paper Camp alumni and she was on episode 50 of Proof to Product telling her start up story, then she came back for episode 88 where she talked about email sequences and how they love on their clients. Today we’re talking about a new program that Zoe and the team at Greetabl are launching to support small business owners and independent makers called The Platform Partner Program. Listen on for details about how the program works, how you can apply and what Zoe feels optimistic about during this Covid-19 pandemic. RESOURCES: www.greetabl.com Application | www.greetabl.com/apply 050 | How angel investing fueled their business growth with Zoe Scharf, Greetabl 88 | Email Sequences, Sales Funnels and Facebook Ads with Zoë Scharf from Greetabl   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

26 March 2020


148 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: Expanding Into New Product Categories

148 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: Expanding Into New Product Categories

Hey friends! Has the thought of expanding into new product categories crossed your mind lately? You aren’t alone! In fact, today I had on a Paper Camp alumni for a live coaching session where we chat ALL about her hopes to expand into new product categories. It can be pretty scary to try to logistically plan for expansion but I think today’s episode will be really helpful for all of you who are looking to bring on more products to serve your people. What are the first steps to this process? For today’s guest, Tomi Hill of Little Happy Things, we broke down the steps she needs to take to make this happen and since it was a coaching episode, I gave her my advice and some homework so she could start taking action right away! I challenged her to start thinking and dreaming big about the new product category she’d want to layer in and to start setting some goals around that. We broke through some of the barriers that have been holding her back and had a frank discussion about diving deeper into the people you really want to serve. At the end of the day, it’s about recognizing WHO your customer is at the core - what kind of solutions are you providing for them? What problems do they have that your products solve? What stores do they shop at? We also touch on digging into the financials (because knowing your numbers is key to success) and looking through your numbers from both a retail and wholesale lense.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Tomi got into her business, Little Happy Things Transitioning away from wooden dolls into enamel pins, stickers and other gift items Making the leap from an Etsy shop to a wholesale model Making all of your products cohesive with one another Determining which products sell the best (and honing in on those) Looking at your products from a financial and passion perspective Layering in one new product category at a time to figure out the manufacturing process, fulfillment and the numbers (and of course, profits!) Getting to know your audience personally and finding out what they want and need Dialing it back to the basics, no matter how new or seasoned your business is For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp148 SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

24 March 2020


147 | Expanding Products Enhanced Her Brand with Rebecca Townsend, Seaside Designs

147 | Expanding Products Enhanced Her Brand with Rebecca Townsend, Seaside Designs

Have you ever considered how building a strong brand can make you stand out and ultimately help your business stand the test of time? Today’s guest is Paper Camp alumni Rebecca Townsend. Rebecca is the owner and creative director of Seaside Designs. She literally built her whole business around her love for the beach and sea. Pretty fascinating, right? The business didn’t always come easy and she’s had to overcome many ups and downs through her entrepreneurial journey. She rode the rocky tides of being a business owner and now she’s riding the waves of success. In this episode, she shares her story of navigating a huge rough patch that made her shut down her business and the story of her resurrecting it and bringing it back to life.  We talk about her experience of overcoming burnout and figuring out a way to work smarter, not harder. She shares her research and development process for products and how she balances the financial risks of expansion (you might be surprised to hear how she does it). Rebecca gives her advice for other business owners who want to expand into new product categories and shares what’s next for Seaside Designs including why she’s decided to focus on sustainable packaging.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Why Rebecca has kept her brand identity the same throughout the years in her business How she’s built her brand based on her vision The evolution of her product mix How she got into wholesale after being discovered by local retailers at craft shows Going through a rough patch, being burnt out and closing her business Making a plan to bring her business back in a more sustainable way How Paper Camp helped her to streamline processes for inventory and production Bringing more products back into the mix and designing her products to be a cohesive line Her process for research and development of products How she balances the financial risk of expansion The benefits she’s seen with widening her product mix Tactics she uses to leverage social media as a marketing tool Using social media to connect with both retail and wholesale customers Rebecca’s advice for business owners considering new product categories What Rebecca has coming up for her business, Seaside Designs For full show notes and resources, head to http://bit.ly/PTPEp147 SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

17 March 2020


We're worried too. Tips for preparing your small business for a crisis.

We're worried too. Tips for preparing your small business for a crisis.

Hi Friends — I know that things in the world feel heavy and uncertain right now, so I wanted to share some important reminders and tips: This won’t last forever. Stay calm and remember that this won’t last forever. I know the uncertainty is unnerving, and we all have different circumstances that we’re dealing with — but this will end at some point.   Understand your finances. Take a look at what you have in your business and personal reserves. Look at your monthly expenses and see what you can curb temporarily (tech, supplies, reduce or postpone your next new release, etc). We don’t know how long this will last, so be conservative in your spending.   Assess your income streams and anticipated revenue for the next 3-6 months. What orders or projects may be postponed? How can you incentivize your current customers?   Do you have savings to lean on?   Identify supplemental income options If product sales are down, think about picking up design work or other freelance gigs on Upwork, Fiver or through your local communities. Consider small business loans - SBA loans, Fundbox, Kabbage, even PayPal offers small business loans if you need some extra cash temporarily. As a last resort, you can also pull money out of a retirement account or 401k. There are large fees associated with early withdrawal and the market is down right now, so I don’t recommend this unless absolutely necessary   Have a back-up / continuity plan Who can you trust to run things if you or a family member gets sick and you’re unable to work. My financial planner recommends identifying a few people who understand the business and who you trust to step in if you need to step out. This could be family, a friend, or even a colleague.   Use this time to work on your business. Back-end systems & processes, update our website, play creatively, design new products, take photos, update your catalog, pre-plan social media content or write emails…. All of the things that you’ve been putting off, use this time to prep what you can for when things get back to normal.   Change your messaging. Remember that many of your customers are also small business owners and they are feeling their own stress & anxiety. If you’re sending out marketing emails, change your messaging — acknowledge what’s going on in the world, how we’re all in this together and ask how you can support them.   Sales are going to be slower right now because people are concerned about their personal lives and their own businesses. But, reaching out to clients and letting them know you care will help to build the relationship — which they will appreciate when this is all over.   Give yourself time to process your feelings. We all react to stressful situations in different ways.   We all are dealing with different personal and business circumstances.   Give yourself time to process how you’re feeling, what your concerns are and how you want to proceed. Take care of yourself, your family and your team — that is the main priority right now.   Leverage our community You have a whole group of people here who understand what it’s like to run a small business. We’re all feeling the crunch & uncertainty — but we have each other. Share what’s working. Check in with each other. Let’s help to keep each other calm and focused on getting through this together. We will get through this. We will be ok.

13 March 2020


146 | Leveraging point of sale systems in a brick & mortar with Biff Ulm, MN Nice Enough

146 | Leveraging point of sale systems in a brick & mortar with Biff Ulm, MN Nice Enough

Hey friends, have you ever considered how you could leverage point of sale systems for trend tracking and buying decisions? Biff Ulm, founder of MN Nice Enough came on the podcast today to share how he uses technology to help grow his business and how he relies on the help of sales reps to ensure his store is stocked with products that are a fit for his customers. Biff has a rich background in the product based business industry and has seen all sides of it including owning his own brick and mortar business, selling eCommerce, doing wholesale, as well as creating his own products. He’s done it all and has a vast wealth of knowledge in this line of business. In this episode, we talk about everything from the challenges he’s faced from having multiple streams of revenue, what numbers he tracks, how he cultivates wholesale relationships and the importance of studying what bigger brands are doing in their businesses.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Biff’s background in the product based business industry His experience in selling retail at a brick and mortar, online sales, wholesale and creating his own products Challenges he’s faced from having different streams of revenue  His three key principles and the motivator that keeps him going The technology he uses to help guide his business decisions and how he leverages data to pick up on trends in his store What numbers Biff tracks on a regular basis  His preferred method for cultivating wholesale relationships and finding new products Biff’s experience with using sales reps for his business Studying what bigger companies are doing in their business What’s coming next for MN Nice Enough For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp146 SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

10 March 2020


145 | Transitioning From Etsy to Your Own Website With Rebecca Inkrote, Bex Marie

145 | Transitioning From Etsy to Your Own Website With Rebecca Inkrote, Bex Marie

Today’s guest Rebecca Inkrote has a fantastic story that I can’t wait to share with you guys. She gives her insight on the best ways to transition from a third party platform to your own website (plus how to build brand recognition and steps to make it go smooth). Rebecca got her start in the creative entrepreneur space when she started making soaps as a hobby. It quickly turned into a business that brought her into Facebook groups with other handmade business owners and it was there where she recognized how much she could help entrepreneurs in this space. As a graphic designer, she was well versed in the areas of technology and found this niche of hers to be an area she could stand out in. In this episode, Rebecca shares how she stumbled into this path, the growing pains one can face when transitioning from a third party platform to their own website and the benefits of having your own eCommerce website.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  The biggest mistakes that Rebecca sees product based business owners making on their website and eCommerce shop How Rebecca stumbled into teaching others and helping them build their own website Growing pains from transitioning from a third party platform to your own website Benefits of having your own eCommerce website Steps to take when transitioning to your own eCommerce platform How getting your domain to match your brand name helps with brand recognition What services and digital products Rebecca offers for clients Educating and empowering her clients to take charge of their own websites Rebecca’s thoughts on Shopify, WordPress, Squarespace, etc. and choosing what systems to use Where Rebecca sees her business moving going forward For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp145   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

3 March 2020


144 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: When should I launch to wholesale?

144 | Coaching with Katie Hunt: When should I launch to wholesale?

Hey friends! We’re going to be switching things up a little for today’s episode. I’ve decided that once a month we’ll be airing a live coaching session with one of my coaching clients or a Paper Camp alumni on the podcast. It’ll be a short, hot seat format coaching session where the guest will talk about what they’re working on and what they need help with. I’ll be giving them my candid off the cuff advice, recommendations and even some homework because we’re all about taking action! For our first live coaching episode, I was joined by Paper Camp alumni, Shirlee Fisher of Quiet Lines Design. She has a few hesitations and questions about the timing of her launch and the wholesale market. We work through the three things she needs to prepare and make ready before the launch so she can launch her products confidently. In this episode, we chat about lining up your launch with the release cycles of the stationery industry, why having 40+ skews will help you get more customers and why sometimes you have to wait until things are ready.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Shirlee got started in her business, Quiet Lines Design What she’s currently working on in her business and what she needs help with Planning to launch to coordinate with certain events and cycles Why you need to feel confident in what you’re creating  Why the PTP team recommends having 48 skews during Paper Camp How sometimes it’s necessary to wait until things are ready The biggest fears that Shirlee has about product launches Katie’s homework for Shirlee and listeners  Getting strategic with a tiered outreach approach to building relationships For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp144

25 February 2020


Special Edition | NY Now & NSS 2020 (Part 2)

Special Edition | NY Now & NSS 2020 (Part 2)

Part 1: Last week I took a whirlwind trip to New York to visit with more than 40 of our Paper Camp alumni who were exhibiting at NY Now and the National Stationery Show. It was so exciting to see everyone’s hard work live and in person — their new products were innovative, their booths were beautiful and their confidence was shining through. It was awesome. While I was there, I was able to grab some time with a handful of our alumni to talk shop about the show, goals they set and how they plan to follow-up after the show. We’re breaking this into a two-part series. The first part features several of our veteran exhibitors from the Paper Camp family including Rebekah from Wild Ink Press, Christina from Public School Paper Co, Beth from Little Goat Paper Co, Jeni from E. Frances Paper and Juliana from Good Juju Ink. In Part 2 on Thursday, we’re sharing interviews with Paper Camp alumni who were exhibiting in the emerging artists’ section as well as first-time exhibitors!  Today’s show features Rachel from Hazel & Dolly, Chandler from Joy Paper Co, Lisa from Rhino Parade, Janine from Kwohtations, Tammie from Tiger Pocket Press and Juana from Loteria Press. ON TODAY’S EPISODE : Rachel Barlock: Hazel + Dolly Chandler Cooksey: Joy Paper Co. Lisa Mohar: Rhino Parade  Janine Kwoh: Kwothations Tammie Bennett: Tigerpocket Press Juana Meneses: Loteria Press   RESOURCES:  Paper Camp E-Course   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

20 February 2020


Special Edition | NY Now & NSS 2020 (Part 1)

Special Edition | NY Now & NSS 2020 (Part 1)

Part 1: Last week I took a whirlwind trip to New York to visit with more than 40 of our Paper Camp alumni who were exhibiting at NY Now and the National Stationery Show. It was so exciting to see everyone’s hard work live and in person — their new products were innovative, their booths were beautiful and their confidence was shining through. It was awesome. While I was there, I was able to grab some time with a handful of our alumni to talk shop about the show, goals they set and how they plan to follow-up after the show. We’re breaking this into a two-part series. The first part features several of our veteran exhibitors from the Paper Camp family including Rebekah from Wild Ink Press, Christina from Public School Paper Co, Beth from Little Goat Paper Co, Jeni from E. Frances Paper and Juliana from Good Juju Ink.   In Part 2 on Thursday, we’re sharing interviews with Paper Camp alumni who were exhibiting in the emerging artists’ section as well as first-time exhibitors!  Today’s show features Rachel from Hazel & Dolly, Chandler from Joy Paper Co, Lisa from Rhino Parade, Janine from Kwohtations, Tammie from Tiger Pocket Press and Juana from Loteria Press. ON TODAY’S EPISODE : Rebekah Tennis: Wild Ink Press Christina Williams: Public School Paper Co. Beth Roszkowski: Little Goat Paper Co.  Jeni Laundon: E. Frances Good Paper Juliana Kissick: Good Juju Ink   RESOURCES:  Paper Camp E-Course   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

18 February 2020


143 | Bootstrapping Success with Cecily Moore, The Paper Curator

143 | Bootstrapping Success with Cecily Moore, The Paper Curator

For Cecily Moore, her business, The Paper Curator, started as a blog and over time, transitioned into a product based business. She first began her journey while working at a job and trying to find the next step in her career. She thought, “why not start a blog?” From there she began to document the creative endeavors she pursued in her everyday life before launching her first products.   She gives us a breakdown of her first craft show experience, her Paper Camp journey and what she’s learned from attending the show. We chat about how putting ample effort into her research and development has helped her build a sustainable business.    Today’s episode dives deep into what it means to bootstrap your business and build everything from the ground up. She talks about how she decides whether to invest in equipment to help her create her products, how bootstrapping has integrated into her wholesale strategy and budget and what it’s been like scaling her handmade products into wholesale.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  How Cecily started a blog before transitioning to a product-based business Learning to hold herself accountable by structuring her posting schedule Making the shift from being a hobby to a full-fledged business Her first craft show experience and how she prepared to launch her products How Cecily ended up coming to Paper Camp and her goals for attending the show How taking her time on research and development paid off when getting inventory and fulfillment in place Why Cecily believes in bootstrapping success and how this looks in her day-to-day business operations How Cecily makes decisions on whether or not to invest in equipment for creating products What has made wholesale an easier process for her  How her bootstrapping mentality has been integrated into the wholesale strategy and budget Making a long-lasting impression in her first trade show Cecily’s advice for someone starting a creative business What’s coming for The Paper Curator For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPEp143 SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

11 February 2020


142 | The Hourly Rate of Exhibiting at a Trade Show with Katie Hunt

142 | The Hourly Rate of Exhibiting at a Trade Show with Katie Hunt

Hey friends, when you’re building your wholesale business there’s no doubt that you’ll be headed to trade shows to get your product out there and in front of the right buyers. The reality is, trade shows are expensive and you don’t want to waste a single minute while exhibiting.  In this episode, I reverse engineer what it really costs to exhibit at a trade show from an hourly rate perspective. This will help you to realize how much every hour counts while exhibiting and the importance of using your time to connect with others, write orders and doing market research. It’s not the time to be admiring other people’s products or talking to your booth neighbors (there’s plenty of time to do that during break down or set up or even after hours). I talk about why you need to know your numbers, how Paper Camp helps attendees to know where to save money and where to splurge during shows and the importance of preparation. ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Thinking about trade show expenses from an hourly rate perspective A breakdown of how much it costs per hour to exhibit Why you need to stay in your booth when exhibiting at tradeshows The importance of knowing your numbers How Paper Camp helps you become aware of where to save and where to splurge on shows Why you should be prepared before investing in trade shows For full show notes and resources, head to bit.ly/PTPep142 SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

4 February 2020


141 | Bookkeeping Strategies with Greg Higdon, Grow the Books

141 | Bookkeeping Strategies with Greg Higdon, Grow the Books

Does the thought of bookkeeping make you feel uneasy? I know that for so many creatives, knowing your numbers and doing your bookkeeping can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why I brought on today’s guest because let’s face it... The reality is that even though numbers aren’t always our favorite, they are essential for knowing your business’ financial health and profitability. Today you’ll hear from Greg Higdon, founder of Grow the Books, a bookkeeping company for small businesses. Greg helps entrepreneurs with a done for you service but he also helps those who want to DIY to understand what they need to know about reconciling their numbers. We explore the topic of bookkeeping and how you’ll know when it’s time to outsource this task to someone else. We also talk about what questions you should ask before hiring a bookkeeper, the importance of setting aside time to do your bookkeeping and why sometimes you need to have someone outside of your business looking at the numbers.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Misconceptions that small business owners have on bookkeeping and knowing their numbers How often a bookkeeper reconciles for their clients Programs and systems that Greg recommends for bookkeeping Having extra reconciliation to verify transactions are correct Problems that can occur when you don’t reconcile with the bookkeeping software What you should have in place before hiring a bookkeeper Knowing your numbers so you can get a good idea on your return on investment Questions you should ask before hiring a bookkeeper Greg’s advice for people who want to DIY their books Setting aside time to do your own bookkeeping Why it’s beneficial to have someone outside of your business looking at the numbers Leaning into your weaknesses and asking for help in those areas What’s next for Grow the Books   KEY TAKE-AWAYS: “A bookkeeper is the one that does the day to day, like categorizing your transactions. Anything going in and out of your bank accounts or credit card counts is what a bookkeeper does.” - Greg Higdon   “It's good to have that extra reconciliation in there just to make sure you're verifying everything's correct.” - Greg Higdon   “Looking at where the money's coming in and going allowed me to make better decisions in my business and I put it off because I was intimidated by it. I didn't want to deal with it. I had other things that felt like they were more important. But the minute I did start paying attention to it, I felt like my business grew.” - Katie Hunt   “I definitely recommend bookkeeping software.” - Greg Higdon   “I think it's very helpful to have someone just kind of walk you through the steps of what you need to be doing monthly.” - Greg Higdon   “Once you have the technology and once you've got the training on how to do it, then it's about leveraging that and making sure, well, doing the work and making sure you've got it all there, but then leveraging it for your business so that you're making smarter better decisions.” - Katie Hunt   “I know even with my own business, what I've realized is just putting something on my calendar is big.” - Greg Higdon   “We make time for all of our clients and all of our customers and yet we have a tough time making time to do these things for ourselves.” - Katie Hunt   “I know that as a business owner there are a lot of things that you have to do. I know that from my own business and it's hard to get to certain things in your business.” - Greg Higdon   “When I hired a bookkeeper, it opened my eyes to the possibilities of how I could grow my business better. It opened my eyes to where my money was truly coming from revenue-wise and which portions of my business were most profitable.” - Katie Hunt   RESOURCES:  Quickbooks Online Xero   MEET GREG: Greg Higdon is the Founder of Grow the Books, a bookkeeping company for small businesses. With over 13 years of experience in education, he teaches his clients so they are empowered and armed with a clearer understanding of what their numbers mean for their business decisions. When he isn't balancing books and helping clients you can find him roasting coffee, drinking coffee, and reading about coffee.   CONNECT WITH GREG:   Website: http://www.growthebooks.com Facebook: @growthebooks Instagram: @growthebooks Pinterest: @growthebooks Email: greg@growthebooks.com   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

28 January 2020


140 | Adding products to a service based business with Robin Long, The Balanced Life

140 | Adding products to a service based business with Robin Long, The Balanced Life

Today we’re so happy to have Robin Long on for Episode 141 of Proof to Product. Robin is the founder of The Balanced Life,  a website that provides quick and effective Pilates workouts for busy women. Robin made the transition from the traditional teaching model of working in studios, gyms and training private clients to serve her clients online.  On today’s episode, Robin shares how she shifted from the more traditional service offering into a successful membership model for her service based business. She tells us why she has decided to grow her business slowly and organically - ensuring that she’s building a business that fits her lifestyle and brings her joy.  Robin and I dive into how she’s used drop shipping to add additional income streams to her business and why she decided to create physical products for her service based business. She opens up about her experience with building her team including why going on maternity leave has helped her to put more strategic systems in place. We talk about setting boundaries, hesitations she had before moving to a membership model and her advice for someone who is just getting started in business.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Why Robin shifted from the traditional teaching model of pilates to serving clients online How she came to have a membership model, community-based program Hesitations that Robin faced when moving to a membership model Setting boundaries for yourself as an entrepreneur How Robin uses the drop shipping method in her business Robin’s thought process behind adding products to her service-based business Using products as a membership perk  Challenges she’s had since adding products to her business Why Robin believes in slow, intentional growth for her company Robin’s experience of growing from a solo entrepreneur to building a team How being forced to give up control has been a blessing for her Taking a sabbatical and putting systems in place for a seamless workflow Robin’s advice for the business owner who is just getting started Gaining inspiration from other industries and taking that into the fitness world to do her own thing What’s next for The Balanced Life   RESOURCES:  Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself   MEET ROBIN: Robin Long lives and works in sunny Santa Barbara, CA as the founder and CEO of The Balanced Life – a website that provides quick & effective Pilates workouts for busy women. She is a certified Pilates instructor and passionate about creating programs that empower, strengthen, restore, and rejuvenate her clients from the inside out. She believes in a guilt-free, balanced approach to health & fitness and is passionate about helping women love and care for their bodies in the midst of busy lives. Outside of The Balanced Life, she can be found chasing her 6- year-old daughter, 3-year-old son, and 1-year-old twins, sneaking in 10-minute workouts during the kids' bath time, and spending time at the beach. CONNECT WITH ROBIN:   Website: https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/ Facebook: @thebalancedlife Instagram: @thebalancedlife Pinterest: @robinlong   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

21 January 2020


From the Archives | Special Edition | NSS / NY Now 2019 - Part 1

From the Archives | Special Edition | NSS / NY Now 2019 - Part 1

Hey Friends! Winter show season is kicking off so we thought we would re-run this episode from last year. We have alumni going to Atlanta, Japan, Las Vegas and of course NY Now and NSS in February. It is show season so we wanted to get this front and center for you so you could get ready for your show or just here what is going on at market. Enjoy! -------------- Hey Friends! I just got back from NY Now and the National Stationery Show in New York where more than 39 Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni and speakers exhibited this year. It was an incredible trip, for everyone from first timers to seasoned pros, and I’m so excited to share the highlights with you on the Podcast this week!  This year is the first time that these two shows have run at the same time.  The National Stationery Show has typically been held in May, but moved for February to co-locate with NY Now.  The move of NSS caused a bit of a stir within our industry, and our Tradeshow Bootcamp community and the move of the show is one of the topics we’re addressing on the episodes this week. We had alumni exhibiting at both NY Now and the National Stationery show, so we decided to break up this week’s episode into two parts. On Part 1, airing today,  we revisit the best parts of the National Stationery Show with Cecily Moore of The Paper Curator, Jenna Puente of Paper Wilderness, Rosanna Kvernmo of Iron Curtain Press, Genesis Duncan of Graphic Anthology, Krystal Whitten of Krystal Whitten Studio and Joe Mihalow of XOU.

16 January 2020


139 | Letting go of sales reps, employees & downsizing her product line with Kristen Ley, Thimblepress

139 | Letting go of sales reps, employees & downsizing her product line with Kristen Ley, Thimblepress

Happy 2020 friends! For our first episode back in the New Year, my friend Kristen Ley of Thimblepress is back on the show. Kristen was first featured on Episode 4 of Proof to Product back where we talked about how she fell into business backwards and discussed tips on partnerships and collaborations. That episode was recorded back in early 2017 and since then, Kristen has done a lot of soul searching and ridden the waves of transition and upheaval in both her business and personal life. On today's episode, Kristen bravely shares what she learned from her journey. She talks about why she decided to let go of all her sales reps, say goodbye to 15 employees, downsize her warehouse and office space and discontinue over a hundred SKUs in the Thimblepress line. Kristen not only shares her journey of reevaluating what she wanted to get out of her business, but also how she implemented those changes. Today's episode is a heartfelt one full of advice, wisdom and encouragement for anyone feeling stuck in their business or worried about the changes they need to make. Friends, remember this is your business. You set the rules and at any time you can decide to go a different way. I hope Kristen's story helps you and I hope you enjoy it.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: -        What external success can look like from an internal perspective -        Big wake-up calls and dealing with worse case scenarios -        Differentiating personal success from society -        Advice for individuals and business owners walking through tough times -        Getting back to the basics & reevaluating the model -        How to avoid social media comparison traps -        Why Kristen decided to cut all her sales reps and get back to the drawing board -        The importance of keeping direct communication with wholesale & retail partners -        Having the courage to say goodbye -        The heart-wise money tool -        How to deal with feelings of imposter syndrome -        What’s selling and how to deal with what’s not -        Balancing wellness and business -        Kristen’s big plans for 2020   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:  “It was keep going, go, go, go, go, keep achieving, keep achieving, keep achieving. And I don't think I even registered how I was functioning in my daily life until I had a really big wake up.” – Kristen Ley “I got to a point I was so sad that I was like, "All I can do is pray and move forward." – Kristen Ley “I really looked to the world to define what is successful. I looked at others to define what I should be doing. I looked at everybody else except for me to say what do you want? So I had to redefine what I wanted." – Kristen Ley “I just love to make products. I love to draw art. I love to create. And I love to create joy in other people's lives. That was my why. ” – Kristen Ley “In the world we live in, we get so caught up in what other people are doing on social media. It’s just the world we live in. We see the beautiful pictures, but we don’t see the things behind those photos.” – Kristen Ley “It is easy to get wrapped up in feeling like you're chasing the next thing in your business, especially when you're just hustling and growing.” – Katie Hunt “It’s not about getting off the phone quickly, it’s about asking, “What’s going on in our world, in our economy? Tell me about your life.” Because at the end of the day it’s all about relationships.” – Kristen Ley  “We need to regularly be reassessing why we're doing this. To make sure that we are on the right path and we're focused on the right things.” – Katie Hunt “If it's not taking up a whole lot of time and it's not draining you emotionally, and it's still making good money. That's where you need to be spending your time.” – Katie Hunt “Working with female entrepreneurs has been one of my most cherished heart passion projects of my life. It brings me so much joy, and if I can prevent one person from walking through that struggle that I walked through, let's rock and roll.” – Kristen Ley “Don't put yourself into shock by trying to do all the changes at once. Give yourself grace.” – Kristen Ley “Don't go just dumping energy into things without walking through the journey of how it will impact your person.” – Kristen Ley “Running a business is hard work. You can't change that, but you can change your mentality of how you approach things, and you get to choose.” – Katie Hunt LINKS Website: https://kristenley.com/ Instagram: https://instagram.com/thimblepress Https://instagram.com/kristen_ley   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

7 January 2020


2019 Look Back & Look Forward with Katie Hunt

2019 Look Back & Look Forward with Katie Hunt

As we head into the holidays, I want to take a moment to reflect back on 2019 and look forward to what’s in store for 2020. I encourage you to do the same!   2019 was an amazing year around here.   We published 58 podcast episodes this year and surpassed 400,000 downloads.  This show has been live for almost 3 years and during that time we’ve taken very few breaks.  We bring you fresh, new content weekly and sometimes multiple times a week and I have a small team of highly talented people that ensure each episode gets to your ears — and I’m eternally grateful for each and every one of them.  This podcast wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for them.   We welcomed over 150 new students to the Paper Camp family through our conference and online course.  Our conference moved to a new venue that gave us more room to spread out both inside & outside — and lots of amazing natural light.    I often joke that I want people that come to Paper Camp to feel like they are being welcomed into my home and surrounded by new friends — this venue is a great spot for us to connect, learn and grow together.   And, this year, we underwent a major rebrand transitioning my 8 year old business from its original name Tradeshow Bootcamp to our new name Proof to Product.  This project stretched me in so many ways as a business owner — I re-evaluated our audience, our programming and we made some major shifts to ensure that we’re serving our audience and making the biggest impact possible.      We built out a new website that has a ton of resources specifically for product based businesses — we have three free masterclasses, the blog, podcast episodes, case studies & alumni highlights, plus our favorite tools & vendors that we love.   2019 was a year of reflection and stripping away the things that were no longer working for me, the business and all of you so that we can bring you even more in 2020.   Looking ahead — We have some incredible things lined up for all of you in 2020.    For the podcast, we’ll be back on January 7th with a new episode featuring my friend and Paper Camp alumni, Kristen Ley of Thimblepress.   Kristen has made some incredible and intentional shifts in her business Ince the last time she was on the show.  She let go of her national sales reps, downsized her product line and reduced her team of employees.  She re-evaluated what she wanted in her life & her business, then made changes that have led to beautiful results.  I’m excited for you to hear her story.   We’ll host our Paper Camp conference February 25-26th in Los Angeles to talk about product development, selling wholesale, sales & marketing strategies as well as exhibiting at trade shows.  This is more of a workshop vibe than a conference — we cap the program at 30 people so that you can get to know everyone there and we have time dedicated to 1-1 time with our speakers.  February will be the only time we offer our Paper Camp program in-person.  But, we will have the 4-week online course available twice in 2020 — once in the Spring and once in the Fall.  Stay tuned for more detail there.   And, we’re bringing you something brand new in 2020 that we’re still working on and I can’t share, yet.  But it will involve live trainings with me and guest experts on things like marketing, sales and scaling your business, regular office hours where you can pick my brain and ask me questions and access to a wider community of product developers across multiple industries.   I’m not quite ready to spill the beans on this one, but we’ll share more details as its ready.   And, lastly as we head into the holidays I want to thank all of you for being here and making Proof to Product what it is.  I firmly believe that by sharing our stories, our expertise and resources — all of our businesses will thrive.   So, thank you for being here, thank you for listening, for sharing the show with your friends.   I hope you had a wonderful holiday season surrounded by family and friends.   I’ll see you in 2020!

20 December 2019


138 | Shifting the maker mindset with Genesis Duncan, Graphic Anthology

138 | Shifting the maker mindset with Genesis Duncan, Graphic Anthology

When we first start our businesses, more often than not, we don’t have the big picture idea of what our brand or business will look like down the road. So many of us embark on this so-called maker’s journey, where we truly discover our strengths, opportunities, and long term vision for our business. Lucky for us, one of our talented Paper Camp alumni, Genesis Duncan of Graphic Anthology, is joining us today on Episode 138 of Proof to Product to share her experience and advice for other makers on the path.  Based in Portland, Oregon, Genesis started Graphic Anthology in 2010 with just three art prints and an Etsy shop. Almost a decade later, her product line has grown to include a wide range of greeting cards and gift items that focus on joy, simplicity, and strengthening relationships with those you love most. Today's episode is a powerful one and I know it will resonate with many of you. We talk about how Genesis started her business as a creative outlet and hobby, and why she had to shift her mindset and step into her role and title as an entrepreneur and business owner. Genesis also shares how adding a line of Spanish greeting cards was not only beneficial to her business, but also her personal development. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What products Genesis makes and sells The sales channels she utilizes How she decided to start her own business  Life’s hurdles and how they led Genesis to where she is today Finding silver linings and following your heart Advice for shifting your mindset from maker to business owner How Genesis manages the tactical aspects of Graphic Anthology The importance of picking deadlines and sticking with them  How Paper Camp helped solidify her business mindset What Genesis does to differentiate her products in the market Testing products, taking risks, and discovering new segments Advice for other small business owners and creative CEOs    KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I think in the back of my mind I always wanted to run my own business, but I will say I resisted it a lot in the beginning.” - Genesis Duncan “I am a child of entrepreneurs. Both my parents had their own businesses, so from an early age knew what  I would want to do.” - Genesis Duncan “I became an entrepreneur by accident actually.” - Genesis Duncan “Business started to dry up and stuff, and so I kind of really was like, "I need to do something. I need to do something creative, I need to do something for me."- Genesis Duncan “People come to greeting cards because they're trying to say things or they are trying to feel more connected.” - Genesis Duncan “I am a firm believer that all of the different things we experience in life are there for a reason.”   - Katie Hunt   “There is this shift, where you go from making something for someone to asking how can I do that efficiently? How can I do that sustainably? Yeah, it was the game changer.” - Genesis Duncan “I know a lot of us with small businesses don't really resonate with the title, CEO. It just feels so corporate and so big. But really, but we are. We're the visionaries for these brands, and that sometimes means the creative aspect of our business becomes a smaller piece of what we do on a day to day basis.” - Katie Hunt “After doing Paper Camp, it just really gelled a lot of things in my mind. I realized, "All right. We got to get serious here." Like this is happening.”  - Genesis Duncan “Paper Camp made me realize how hungry I was to grow my business. I met other people who were ahead of me and they weren't in suits and ties. They were very fun people talking about how they were making their business work and they were starting families or whatever.”  - Genesis Duncan “My favorite thing is that we don't have to follow the same path. We can make this whatever we want.  We can make things fit with the life we want to have.” - Katie Hunt “There's always going to be more opportunities that are going to come down the pipeline.” - Genesis Duncan LINKS Website: http://graphicanthology.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/graphicanthology Facebook: http://facebook.com/graphicanthology   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.  Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.  Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof       SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

17 December 2019


137 | How I juggle day to day work & family life with Katie Hunt

137 | How I juggle day to day work & family life with Katie Hunt

Hey Friends, in episode 136 I walked you through how I do my annual strategic planning for the business.  I got into the weeds sharing what reports I look at, how I analyze that data and then how I schedule things out to ensure that I’m not overloading myself, my team or my family with my grand plans! Ha! Now that we’ve covered the question about big-picture planning, I want to circle back on the requests I received to share how I manage my day to day flow of family life & business life.  For episode 137, I'm sharing what my day to day looks like with four young children (currently ages 3 to 9 years old), a growing business and an active family life. I talk about strategies I use to make my shortened workdays more productive including batching tasks, delegating more and not checking my email a million times a day. And, the biggest tip I can offer is to remain flexible -- because my day to day is constantly changing and I'm guessing yours is too. What works for me now, wouldn't have worked a few years ago and may not work for us one year from now. But, give yourself space and permission to make changes as you go.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

12 December 2019


136 | How I do my annual strategy planning with Katie Hunt

136 | How I do my annual strategy planning with Katie Hunt

Hey friends, I have been getting a lot of requests from people curious about how I map out my annual plan for the business, and how I work my family schedule into that. I’m going to be honest, balancing a busy family schedule and a very busy business schedule can be hard. There's a number of things that I need to consider and weigh in on when I'm making decisions in my business. And that really ties into how I plan my year because I don't want to overload myself with too many things, only to do all of them less than stellar. I want to do my best at everything. In this episode, I get granular about how I do my big picture, strategic planning each year for my business so that I'm not overloading myself, my team or my family.  I talk about what reports I look at, how I analyze what's working and what's not working to decide which programs, products and services we'll offer the following year.   Reports I pull: 2019 YTD Profit & Loss statement 2018 Profit & Loss for year over year comparison 2019 Marketing calendar so I can see where income coordinated with program sales   Things I look at for each revenue stream (including any sub-categories): Profitability Time spent Excitement / Passion Level Impact   Tools I use: Quickbooks online Downloadable Calendar from MaylemMade on Etsy  Huge wall post-its    Quick links to thinks I talked about: Paper Camp  Mastermind Friends of Proof to Product Facebook group Proof to Product on Instagram   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.  Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.  Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

10 December 2019


135 | The economics of selling products with Michelle Loretta, Sage Wedding Pros

135 | The economics of selling products with Michelle Loretta, Sage Wedding Pros

Remember your high-school economics class? Okay good, because today’s episode is going to be nothing like that. Today we’re making numbers, margins, pricing and market metrics fun with Michelle Loretta, a business consultant, financial strategist and founder of Sage Wedding Pros. Before launching her own business, Michelle worked as an accountant for Deloitte, sales and marketing manager for DDLA and merchandiser for Coach. Since then, she’s applied her corporate and entrepreneurial expertise to wedding businesses worldwide and launched herself onto the live-event space as a frequent speaker at professional conferences.  Through Sage Wedding Pros, Michelle also produces her own next-level summit known as The Be Sage Conference. I have had the privilege of attending twice, once as a speaker, and it truly is an amazing program. For those of you who don’t want to miss it, Michelle’s next conference is coming up in Austin in February of 2020.  On today’s episode, Michelle and I talk about business planning, the economics of selling products and how financial decisions in your business affect your operational plans. We promise, whether you’re creative or business minded, this episode will inspire you to start drafting all of your next big business plans.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Michelle’s journey and background  What inspired her to start her own stationery business How blogging evolved into hosting workshops Benefits of getting your business plan on paper Reframing your financial goals as business milestones The economics of selling products Trading margins for volume  Considerations for pricing physical vs digital products Common mistakes made during go-to-market  Tips for pricing your products  Numbers. Numbers. Numbers. What’s up next for Michelle & the Be Sage Conference   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “Everyone has a backstory that we weave into the businesses we're creating and in that way we can help one another.” - Katie Hunt    “The wonderful thing about the traditional business plan is that it really forces you to look at all aspects of your business, not just the ones that come comfortably.” - Michelle Loretta    “You can't make a marketing decision without thinking of the financial aspects. Every financial decision links to an operational and marketing decision.” - Michelle Loretta   “Every decision needs to come back to how does this fit with the overall goals, the overall focus.” - Katie Hunt    “When you're selling direct to consumer, that’s one  thing, but moving from 5,000 to 15,000 orders you have to ask, ‘do I have an operational structure that can support that?’  - Michelle Loretta   “If you price it too low, you won’t make any money on your products. If you price it too high, you'll price yourself out of the market and nobody's going to buy. So you really need to know your personal numbers.” - Katie Hunt    “Pricing is actually a marketing decision. It's not a financial decision. It's a marketing decision that you test financially.” - Michelle Loretta    “Knowing what your numbers are doing is so critical from season to season, month to month, quarter to quarter, year to year.” - Michelle Loretta    “It's hard to be good at all things. My recommendation is create your first channel, and then only after you’re profiting and you're thriving with it, expand into the second channel.” - Michelle Loretta    “If you're not happy with what you're earning, that's the red flag that you need to be aware of. That’s when you need to boost profit margins by 2% to 5% in the next year.“  - Michelle Loretta    “You need to know your margins, you need to create benchmarks. You need to try to best your benchmarks.”   - Michelle Loretta    LINKS Conference: besageconference.com  Website: http://www.sageweddingpros.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SageWeddingPros Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sageweddingpros/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sageweddingpros/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/SageWeddingPros   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.  Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.  Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

3 December 2019


From the Archives | Prioritizing profitable projects with Kelly Parker Smith, The Homebody Society

From the Archives | Prioritizing profitable projects with Kelly Parker Smith, The Homebody Society

Happy almost-Thanksgiving Proof to Product Friends! This week we’re taking a break to spend time with loved ones and we hope you are all able to do the same. In case you find yourself on a road trip, waiting to catch an airplane or with some much-needed downtime, we’re sharing three great episodes from the archives.    It’s a binge-worthy week starting on-    Tuesday you’ll hear how Johnny & Joanna at Letterfolk reinvented the Letterboard   Wednesday Nicole Walters will remind us why we can’t rely on social media for sales   And on Thursday, I’ll talk with Kelly Parker Smith about prioritizing profitable projects.   Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners in the United States.  I’m grateful for all of you and I hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you for listening and supporting Proof to Product.  We’ll be back with a new episode on December 3rd!

28 November 2019


From the Archives | Why you can’t rely solely on social media for sales with Nicole Walters, The Monetized Life

From the Archives | Why you can’t rely solely on social media for sales with Nicole Walters, The Monetized Life

Happy almost-Thanksgiving Proof to Product Friends! This week we’re taking a break to spend time with loved ones and we hope you are all able to do the same. In case you find yourself on a road trip, waiting to catch an airplane or with some much-needed downtime, we’re sharing three great episodes from the archives.    It’s a binge-worthy week starting on-    Tuesday you’ll hear how Johnny & Joanna at Letterfolk reinvented the Letterboard   Wednesday Nicole Walters will remind us why we can’t rely on social media for sales   And on Thursday, I’ll talk with Kelly Parker Smith about prioritizing profitable projects.   Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners in the United States.  I’m grateful for all of you and I hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you for listening and supporting Proof to Product.  We’ll be back with a new episode on December 3rd!

27 November 2019


From the Archives | Reinventing the letter board market with Johnny & Joanna Galbraith, Letterfolk

From the Archives | Reinventing the letter board market with Johnny & Joanna Galbraith, Letterfolk

Happy almost-Thanksgiving Proof to Product Friends! This week we’re taking a break to spend time with loved ones and we hope you are all able to do the same. In case you find yourself on a road trip, waiting to catch an airplane or with some much-needed downtime, we’re sharing three great episodes from the archives.    It’s a binge-worthy week starting on-    Tuesday you’ll hear how Johnny & Joanna at Letterfolk reinvented the Letterboard   Wednesday Nicole Walters will remind us why we can’t rely on social media for sales   And on Thursday, I’ll talk with Kelly Parker Smith about prioritizing profitable projects.   Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners in the United States.  I’m grateful for all of you and I hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you for listening and supporting Proof to Product.  We’ll be back with a new episode on December 3rd!

26 November 2019


134 | How to pitch yourself to podcasts with Caroline Hull & Brittney Lynn (Part 2)

134 | How to pitch yourself to podcasts with Caroline Hull & Brittney Lynn (Part 2)

Okay, so did you catch Episode 133 (Part One) with Caroline Hull and Brittney Lynn on Tuesday? We talked about the dos and don’ts of pitching and podcasting. Caroline and Brittney shared real stories, tips, and advice from their experience in the podcast world. If you missed it, definitely push pause and go back and listen to that episode first, because today we’re catching up right where we left off.  Today, Brittney, Caroline and I are sitting down to continue our conversation about podcasting. We’re talking about how to pitch yourself, how to prepare for a podcast interview, and how you can support the show when your episode airs!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Next steps after you’ve landed the interview  The importance of following technical instructions How to maximize your messaging  What to do the day of recording Why you should always share your experience Gratitude that goes a long way  Tips so that everything goes smoothly Pep talk & positivity    KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “If I send you the technical information, I would like you to follow it. There is a reason why I am asking you to wear headphones with a microphone, in a quiet room, please.” - Caroline Hull  “The last thing I want to do is say, "We can't use your episode because you weren't prepared." That's really difficult.” - Caroline Hull  “Bring real-life examples. Storytelling is effective because people like to hear about what other people's experiences are.” - Brittney Lynn “Know the takeaway or call to action, that one thing you want to drive the audience to do.” - Katie Hunt  “Sometimes it takes a long time to see a listener turn into a customer, so know the metrics and know what you're doing.” - Katie Hunt  “Most podcasters are not making money podcasting, and we are doing this because we love it, because we want to share your story.” - Caroline Hull “Even if you just share it in your stories on Instagram, it means the world to us, because again, we put so much time and energy into these podcasts.” - Caroline Hull “You never know who is connected to who, so you just want to treat everyone with respect.” - Brittney Lynn “Just keep it cool. Build relationships, make connections, do your part to help promote it. Do your part.” - Katie Hunt  “This media is growing so much, and if you're not involved in podcasting in some way, now is the time to jump in.” - Caroline Hull “Podcasts help you connect more intimately with someone that may be new to you, because putting in your headphones and listening to a podcast episode, you feel like you get to know a person even though you've never met them.” -  Brittney Lynn “We all have our own story and path and experiences. The more that you're willing to share, the higher the probability that you're going to get onto podcasts. You are the only person that has experienced your own experiences. Nobody can take that away from you because you are the only you in the world.”  - Brittney Lynn   LINKS Caroline Website: https://www.wildhomepodcasting.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildhomepodcasting Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildhomepodcasting/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wildhomepodcasting/   Brittney Website: https://brittneyllynn.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brittneyllynndotcom/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/brittneyllynn/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brittneyllynn/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/brittneyllynn   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

21 November 2019


133 | How to pitch yourself to podcasts with Caroline Hull & Brittney Lynn (Part 1)

133 | How to pitch yourself to podcasts with Caroline Hull & Brittney Lynn (Part 1)

I am really excited about our topic and guests for this week because two of my team members, Caroline Hull and Brittney Lynn, are joining me for two special episodes about how to pitch yourself to podcasts. Caroline and Brittney both have experience working in the podcasting world. Caroline owns her own podcast editing company, Wild Home Podcasting, and Brittney Lynn specializes in PR management. Today’s we’re covering everything what to do and what not to do, how to prepare for an interview and what you can do to spread the word once the podcast airs. For some background on the amazing ladies who help me run Proof to Product, Caroline Hull has seen all sides of podcasting. As the co-host of the Creative Biz Rebellion podcast, she’s been on the receiving side of many podcast pitches. Caroline has also been featured on dozens of podcasts by other people, including Episode 45 of Proof to Product where she talked about the importance of taking a break in business.   Brittney Lynn also knows the ins and outs of podcasting. As my PR manager, Brittney sees all the incoming pitches from people who want to be on Proof to Product. She also regularly pitches media opportunities to her clients for Podcasts and traditional media. You can hear more about the type of work Brittney does on Episode 66 of Proof to Product.  We hope you enjoy Part 1 today and stay tuned for Part 2 on Thursday!  ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The best and worst podcast pitches   Advice to make your pitch really stand out  Why you should always relate back to the listener How to personalize your pitch How to handle follow-ups Why you should know exactly who you’re addressing Tips for avoiding acting like a robot  KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   ”You can't just go in and be like, hey, my product is awesome and like you should have me on your podcast.” - Brittney Lynn “When I can tell that they've actually listened to the podcast, that’s a really huge thing.” - Caroline Hull “Businesses are built on relationships, so take a little bit more time to customize what you're saying to people and refine the ask.” - Katie Hunt  “Include the topics of what you can talk about on that podcast and how you can bring value because that's really what's going to differentiate you from other pitches.” - Brittney Lynn “Keep it short and sweet and get to the point and go from there.”  - Brittney Lynn “Come at it with the perspective that you’re communicating with another human being. How would you want to be communicated with?” - Brittney Lynn “Just because they come on the podcast doesn't mean that everybody's going to go run and buy their product because that's not what the purpose of our podcast is.” - Caroline Hull LINKS Caroline Website: https://www.wildhomepodcasting.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildhomepodcasting Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildhomepodcasting/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wildhomepodcasting/   Brittney Website: https://brittneyllynn.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brittneyllynndotcom/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/brittneyllynn/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brittneyllynn/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/brittneyllynn   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.  Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.  Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

19 November 2019


132 I Creating great photos & social media content with Alisha Cohen of  LISH Creative

132 I Creating great photos & social media content with Alisha Cohen of LISH Creative

Today we’re lucky to have Alisha Cohen on Episode 132 of Proof to Product. Alisha is the founder and creative director of LISH Creative, a content agency for vibrant lifestyle and hospitality brands. Alisha took the leap to found her company in 2016 when she realized she had to leave agency life to break out on her own. Since then, Alisha and her team have created content for some of the world's leading brands including Nickelodeon, Nestle, General Mills, Facebook, Dunkin' Donuts, Delta Airlines, and Benefits Cosmetics.    On today's episode, Alisha shares her start up story and how she grew her business through determination and grit. She tells us how she taught herself to take professional photos using just her iphone and to create engaging content for social media. Alisha and I also talk about tips for preparing for photo shoots, the importance of having a shot list and helpful photo editing apps. We dive into what’s working and not working on social media today, how Alisha has now moved from having an in person team to a virtual team and all of the challenges that go along with that.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What Alisha does and what a content agency is  How she got into the field and what she did before content creation Where Alisha gets her grit and drive  How she connects with big brands and what collaboration looks like  The importance of putting out good work, consistently to build your brand Alisha’s number one tip for other creatives What’s working right now in the online space and what’s not  Advice for taking great photos without all the fancy gear  Questions to ask before scheduling a photoshoot Avoiding pitfalls  The fine line between inspiration and replication Reality vs perception of running a small business  What’s next for LISH   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “When you can bring on different team members that specialize in different areas, you are ultimately producing better work for your clients.” - Alisha Cohen   “When you do good work, it's a lot of word of mouth.” - Alisha Cohen   “Businesses are built on relationships, and the contacts you make on a project today may lead to additional work down the road.” - Katie Hunt    “We only put out the kind of work that we want to come in.”  - Alisha Cohen    “I sign contracts that say influencer agreement, so I have to take on that term as much as I don't like it. No one loves the term, but what else do you call it?” - Alisha Cohen    “Social media is evolving so quickly and there's different roles that people are playing and different ways that we can get involved.” - Katie Hunt     “You find what you like and what you don't. Management was definitely something that wasn't my cup of tea. So I kind of just hand it off, and don't really worry about the metrics too much.”  - Alisha Cohen    “It's unbelievable how much trial and error can go into one shot. So don't expect your first try to be awesome.”  - Alisha Cohen    “You want to know what you're going to be using these photos for and what the goal is, and then have a list of everything you want to capture so you don't forget anything. That was my big mistake. I kept forgetting things because I didn't have a list.”  - Katie Hunt     “If you look at our client journey that we have with each person, 80% of the work is the pre-work, is the shot lists and everything. So don't underestimate the time that needs to go into that.”  - Alisha Cohen     “It can be tough to do the virtual thing, especially when you've been in person, and the type of work you is real in-person high touch.” - Katie Hunt   “It is so important to continually post and to continually interact with your community, whether that's reactively or proactively.”  - Alisha Cohen    “One thing I face on social media quite a bit is I think people think my business is a lot larger than it is. It's myself and a handful of contractors, and I want people to realize we're a small business just like them.” - Katie Hunt   “It's a lot different than what you see on the internet, that's for sure.” - Alisha Cohen  LINKS Website: http://lishcreative.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/alishylishy Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/alishyishy   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.    Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.    Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

12 November 2019


131 | Deciding what to delegate with Katie Hunt

131 | Deciding what to delegate with Katie Hunt

Hey friends, it’s just you and me today on a special mini episode of Proof to Product! This week, I want to talk to you about delegating. There comes a time in most businesses where you are going to want to start hiring a team. For some of us, we hit a wall, we start to realize we're overwhelmed, and we just simply cannot do it all. If you want your business to grow, delegating is a key skill that I want you to have. So I recently did a free master class about delegating where I identified four steps to figuring out what you need to delegate. I realize not everyone is able to watch masterclasses, so I want to run through some of these strategies here. Now, the master class covers these in more depth and I'll show you examples, but for right now, let's run through these key points. Step One: Track your time.  Before you can hire someone, you need to know where you currently spend time in your business. Ideally, I'd like you to spend a week tracking everything you do, and that includes how much time you spend on social media, talking to clients, checking email, engaging with your clients or your customers. Whether you're updating your online site or packaging product, track it. You can use time trackers online, like Toggl, or use a spreadsheet to check off what you're doing throughout the day. It's really up to you how detailed you want to get. I don't want you to analyze the time yet, just track it. As you're doing this, you may see some habits that you can adjust to save you some time. For example, maybe you're spending too much time on social media. Any hands raised? Mine is.  Step Two: Get Organized So in this step, you'll want to organize your time blocks into what I'm calling buckets. Create some very high-level buckets of where you spend your time. This could be product development, marketing, accounting, administration, or even family, personal things. I usually have a bucket for that, but feel free to make these what you want and what suits your life. Add any others that work for your business, too. Use the information you collected in Step One to help you decide what buckets you need and group similar types of projects together. Within these bigger buckets, I want you to break things down into smaller tasks. In the accounting bucket, for example, you might have bookkeeping and taxes, payroll, invoicing, all of those things, right? In the marketing bucket, you'll probably have writing your product descriptions, writing your social media captions, content scheduling, research, advertising that you're doing. All of that would fall under marketing. Get all of your time tracking information organized.  Step Three: Analyze It  This is the step where we look at where you're spending your time and how these buckets fit together. Here are some questions I want you to ask.  What is taking up the most time in your business?  Which tasks do you love to do?  Which ones are your favorites?  Which tasks feel like they drain you?  Which tasks are revenue generating?  Which ones are bringing money into the business? Which tasks do you not need to do yourself? There's a lot of things that we do in our business. Most of the time, most of us are working just one person shop and we're handling all the different things, but there's a lot of things that we're doing on a day to day basis that we could be delegating to somebody else.  Keep in mind that what works for one company may not work for you. So don't jump on the bandwagon and hire somebody for let's say social media marketing just because some of your friends are. Really focus on what is going to make the biggest impact for your business. Once you've determined where you're spending your time and which tasks you want to take off your plate, it is time to think about bringing people onto your team. Step Four: Hiring  It is important to hire people who have specific expertise, especially if it's a project-based thing or they have a very specific role. For example, you would not want to hire a general virtual assistant to take care of your books for you. You would want to hire somebody that has a bookkeeping background, or is an accountant, or has done this for other small businesses. You wouldn't want to hire a social media manager as a full time employee without first trying her out as a contractor. So really focus on hiring the right people in the right roles for your business to make delegating more comfortable for you, and it will make it more successful as you bring on new teams. Delegating can feel scary. It can feel scary relinquishing control, giving other people responsibilities within your business. Start to peel back the layers small. Pick small projects to offload first. As you start to get more comfortable, you'll gain confidence, and then you'll honestly want to outsource everything, including things in your personal life. If you want to learn more, I encourage you to watch my free master class for more information on how to delegate. This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about what kind of team members you will need so that you can hit the ground running and streamline into the new year. You'll be amazed at how much more you can get done when you start delegating to others!  To learn more about delegating, check out our FREE masterclass, DECIDE WHAT TO DELEGATE IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS.   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.    Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.    Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

5 November 2019


130 | Balancing a Brick & Mortar Shop and Wholesale Line with Meg Sutton of Belle & Union

130 | Balancing a Brick & Mortar Shop and Wholesale Line with Meg Sutton of Belle & Union

Are you ready for round two? Because we are! This is the second of two special episodes this week, featuring Paper Camp alumni who are taking us behind the scenes of what it’s like to run a manufacturing business and brick and mortar retail shop simultaneously. Yesterday, on Episode 129 we heard from the Los-Angeles based, Katie Wilson. Now today, on Episode 130, I’m sitting down with Meg Sutton, the founder of Belle & Union, based in San Antonio Texas. Meg first shared her startup story back on Episode 7.  If you’re curious about how Meg launched Belle & Union and the motivation behind her products, definitely head back to give that episode a listen. Today we’re diving even deeper into Meg’s business journey. We’re sitting down to talk about how Meg decided to open her brick & mortar shop, how she layered that into her existing business model, and how she keeps perspective through it all.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  -       How Meg balances time between wholesale and her shop -       The importance of great employees -       What Meg does to carve out time for creativity -       Some misconceptions about stocking for retail vs wholesale -       How Belle & Union has evolved over the years -       What Meg wishes she knew before opening her shop -       Choosing your location wisely -       Advice on how to deal with the unexpected -       How diversifying revenue streams has impacted neighborhood visibility -       What’s up next for Meg and Belle & Union   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I need to be better about saying, "Okay, Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 to 1:00, that's my creative time. But as any creative knows, you can't really force it.” – Meg Sutton   “I'm not a great people manager. I can be a leader. But when it trickles down, like I kind of need somebody else to handle that.” – Meg Sutton   “Having a good support system truly helps, especially as you start to scale your business. You can't do it all. You shouldn't be doing it all.” – Katie Hunt   “I will be the first to admit I have not been the best about figuring out that balance with my time to the point that I know our product line has suffered because of it.” – Meg Sutton   “There are things we're not good at. There are things that drain us. There's things that just we shouldn't have our hands on, or we don't need to have our hands on.” – Katie Hunt   “No matter what your business is. Wholesale, retail, pantomiming on the sidewalk, whatever it is,  know your numbers.” - Meg Sutton   “It's totally appropriate to keep something in the retail space, even if you're not selling it in the wholesale space. I think that's another misconception.” – Katie Hunt   “As hard as this last year has been in retail, I don't regret it. I love having the store.” -  Meg Sutton   “I love the community that we've built, and I want to be able to expand on that even more.” – Meg Sutton LINKS KENDRA SCOTT HOW I BUILT THIS WEBSITE: Belle and Union Co.  FACEBOOK: @belleandunionco   INSTAGRAM: @belleandunionco   TWITTER: @belleandunionco   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

31 October 2019


 129 | Owning 2 brick & mortar shops and wholesale business with Katie Wilson, Crush, Touch & The Good Twin

129 | Owning 2 brick & mortar shops and wholesale business with Katie Wilson, Crush, Touch & The Good Twin

This week on Proof to Product we’re bringing you not just one, but TWO episodes with two special Paper Camp Alumni who are sharing what it’s like to run a manufacturing business and brick and mortar retail shops simultaneously. Today on Episode 129, Katie Wilson, founder of The Good Twin, and owner of two Los Angeles-based retail shops, Crush and Touch, returns to the show to share what it’s like to be a buyer, how being a retailer has changed over the years, and how she markets her own wholesale line to other buyers. You might remember Katie from Episode 6 of Proof to Product where she first shared her startup story with us. If you haven’t heard that episode yet, it’s definitely worth heading back for a listen. Katie’s had an amazing business journey, and over the years, she has been a contributor to many tradeshow recap episodes, a frequent speaker at our Paper Camp conference and an incredible mentor to many in our industry. We’re thrilled to have Katie back today to share more of her experience and we hope you take away some great nuggets of advice. Coming up tomorrow, Episode 130 with Meg Sutton of Belle & Union. ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  -       Katie’s first shop -       What inspired her to expand -       The types of products sold at Crush and Touch -       How Katie decides what to stock -       Dealing with concerns about competition -       Forging a unique experience for customer retention -       Calculating risk -       The importance of knowing what you want & need -       Making the most of handiwork & imagination -       Startup costs and maximizing labor hours vs dollars -       Planning for the best and the worst -       The do’s and don’ts of pitching and presenting to stores -       Reframing failure to make improvements    KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I smash everything in, and I get it all done, and I really love it, but it's amazing how much your hours in a day can expand if you need them to.” -  Katie Wilson   “Sometimes when we want to do something, we kind of undermine ourselves in terms of how much work, how much time, how much energy this really, truly takes.” – Katie Hunt    “I actually carry nail polish, because I'm a big proponent of nail art is actual art.” – Katie Wilson   “It's a very fun little baby, but it's a totally different side of my brain that I have to access to run it.”  ¬- Katie Wilson   “I love the things that I make, but I'm really passionate about a lot of the things that my friends make, or other people that I admire make.” – Katie Wilson    “I'm okay with a healthy amount of financial risk. But in terms of the entrepreneurs that I know, I would say that I tend to go small and steady versus just jumping in with both feet.” – Katie Wilson   “My mantra is, always play the long game. You want to make sure that you know what's right for you, that you know what you need, and what your expectations are out of your businesses, and what you need to survive, and also what you need to be happy. Because those are two different things.” – Katie Wilson   “That initial push is a lot of money, and you got to stock that store, and even if you're doing bonkers business, that's a slow game to earn that money back.”  ¬- Katie Wilson    “I always plan for my absolute worst month, and I say like, "Okay, if I can run on this, then I can do anything,” – Katie Wilson.    “I'm living out here. I'm just trying to do my thing, and not to hurt your feelings, but I have days when I'm back there, I'm not wearing lipstick. Don't call me. I don't want to see you right now. I'm not public ready.” – Katie Wilson    “If you are going out and leaving samples, or if you're mailing samples to stores, only send two to three at most. Do not send your entire product line, especially if you're selling something other than paper products.” – Katie Hunt   “Following up is key. And so is taking cues.” – Katie Wilson   “Just remember that everyone's human, the buyers are human, we're human. Sometimes we need those reminders.” – Katie Wilson   “That not so good stuff is how we make improvements, and it's how we build stronger business. So they're not failures. It's just another way to expand what we're doing and do it well.”  - Katie Hunt       LINKS Website: http://thegoodtwin.co Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegoodtwinco/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegoodtwinco/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/thegoodtwinco   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

29 October 2019


128 | Utilizing an Ambassador Program with Danielle Nagel, Dazey LA

128 | Utilizing an Ambassador Program with Danielle Nagel, Dazey LA

Being a product based business owner takes a lot of creativity on all fronts- in your designs, in operations, your marketing and how your reach people and tell your story. Now there are so many different platforms and technologies it can be hard to know where to start or which platform to choose. On today’s Proof to Product episode with Dani Nagel, the founder of Dazey LA, we sit down to talk about the importance of finding platforms that work best for your creativity and that start your kind of conversation.  Dani founded Dazey LA as a fashion brand focused on empowering women through conversation and community. She intentionally built a business that supports her personal values. Each design is hand drawn by Dani and then manufactured to order in Los Angeles, California.  On today's episode, Dani and I talk about how her corporate and startup experience shaped her business perspective. We discuss sustainability, community building, and how Dani built Dazey LA from the ground up. Dani talks about how transparency and showing behind the scenes processes of her marketing and product development has helped her business. And we dive into Dazey LA's ambassador program, which tools they use, how they structure it, and how it has helped them build the retail side of their business.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  The spirit and inspiration behind Dazey  LA How Dani uses her clothing designs to start a conversation Making the switch from corporate life to full-time freelance  What Danielle learned working for a start-up company How Dazey grew out of Dani’s studio apartment  Using Instagram to tell the real Dazey LA story  Coping with copy-cats and look-alikes  Dazey’s daily marketing tactics Why Danielle decided to start an ambassador program  How the ambassador program took off  The size of the Dazey  team today   Dazey’s make to order model and zero-waste goals Advice for new product designers and what’s up next for Dani & Dazey  KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “Every step of the way with Dazey, I've just been very intentional about aligning my messaging and my values along with my brand and my aesthetic. And somehow it worked out.” - Danielle Nagel “I really try to design things that I want to wear, and I want to promote. I just follow what feels right to me. I try to stay true to myself in everything that I do.”  - Danielle Nagel   “So through Instagram Story I just started to transparently share the highs and lows of running a business, the fun behind the scenes, and all the nitty gritty I remember wishing I could see when I was working for these corporate companies.” - Danielle Nagel   “When we're just starting out, we want to look bigger than we are because we want to be taken seriously, and we want people to purchase our products. But then it gets to a point to where maybe we want people to know we're small and nimble.”  - Katie Hunt   “At the end of the day, I feel like my art stands on its own, and my messaging and branding is really strong. I know that the sharing transparently has been what has helped my business grow.” - Danielle Nagel   “At my corporate job I was always trying to push the rules, always getting in trouble. So it's really fun having control of my own brand and be able to say, "Screw it, I'm going to share everything. I'm going to share designs before they're released. I'm going to share how I made them."  - Danielle Nagel   “When I started Proof to Product, I felt like if we all get together and share what we know all of us will thrive. All of us will grow stronger together. And now, we've got this great amazing community.” - Katie Hunt   “We use our platform as a space to create conversation, and we really want that to be a back and forth conversation. We design along with our audiences. I ask their opinions.” - Danielle Nagel   “I'm okay with sacrificing crazy profit margins to be able to have a company that aligns with my values, and create something our community really cares about, that’s a great conversation starter.” - Danielle Nagel   “I'm always chasing what's next and what's new. So whenever I get to refresh the brand it's so exciting for me.”   - Danielle Nagel LINKS Website: http://www.dazeyla.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dazeyla Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dazey_la/ https://www.refersion.com/   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

22 October 2019


127 | How I moved our team's emails & drive files to a new domain in under an hour with Katie Hunt

127 | How I moved our team's emails & drive files to a new domain in under an hour with Katie Hunt

If you were following our rebrand earlier this year, you probably remember that there were two technical pieces that really scared me as we were rolling out the rebrand.  The first was switching over our Instagram handles and making sure that we were keeping our larger account as our primary account for Proof to Product going forward.   You can hear how I did that here on a past podcast episode. The second thing was switching over our email accounts. And I don't know why this made me so nervous. I think it was because we were on the Google platform and we had so many files in Google Drive -- calendars, files, etc. I felt like it wasn't just switching the emails, it was also making sure all of those files migrated over to wherever we needed it to go. I basically wanted everything packaged all nicely under our new Proof to Product domain. After several months of dragging my feet, I made the switch in two phases..  I did it myself in Google Suites and it took me less than an hour. I was pleasantly surprised with how simple the process was, so I want to share the steps with you here: Adding the new domain to your existing Google Suite Account Sign into your G Suite Account Add your new domain as a secondary domain in your account.  You will need to verify that you own the domain and the steps are different depending on who you host with. Once verified, make the new domain your primary account in G Suite. Changing our Team Emails Go into the Users section of G Suite (in your admin panel) Select one user at a time.  You’ll have to manually do this for each person and repeat the process. Once in their user profile, you’ll see their name@ your old domain.  Click the drop down menu that shows your old domain and choose the new domain for the email. Click “OK” to save the new email. After you click Ok, it will ask you if you want to add an alias so that any emails that are sent to the old domain (tradeshowcamp.com in our case) will be forwarded to the new domain (prooftoproduct.com in our case).   Say Yes.   Once you make this switch any emails sent to your old domain or your new domain will still go to that individual.   Everyone will also still have access to their old emails, Google drive files, Google calendars and anything else that had access to previously within your Google Suite. Key-take aways: Leverage help.  The G Suite Customer Service was incredibly helpful and provided solutions that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Don’t be intimidated by Tech.  Block off time to do the hard things that make you nervous.  You may be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is

15 October 2019


126 I Knowing you’re enough with Kelly Higdon of Calibrate Your Year

126 I Knowing you’re enough with Kelly Higdon of Calibrate Your Year

A few weeks ago I posted a poll on Instagram asking how many people out there were also feeling pulled in too many directions. More than 50 responses came in, 100% agreeing they felt overwhelmed and overscheduled. It might be the time of year, it might be the season of business, but I think we can all agree we need to find a way to create some blank space on the calendar. To handle this situation,  I asked my friend Kelly Higdon of Calibrate Your Year to join me on Episode 126 of Proof to Product.  For some background, Kelly is a former psychotherapist turned business coach who helps entrepreneurs grow their business without the soul suck. She believes that a successful business is one that contributes to a happier life and when she isn't working, she's traveling with her family, dabbling in art and listening to live music. On today’s episode, Kelly and I talk about burnout. We talk about knowing you're enough within your business, and Kelly share how she manages to block off over 200 days a year for rest and family time. Yep… you read that right… 200!!!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Misconceptions people have about building downtime into their life & business The unintended side-effects that can come from hustling too hard Looking back on make it or break it moments Why it’s important to always, continuously check-in with yourself Steps you can take to safeguard your wellbeing and balance business  How to embrace minimalism Questions to ask yourself in critical moments Tips for prioritizing relationships  Why you should schedule life before business  What Kelly’s working on for 2020  KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I exhibited at a trade show five days after I miscarried because I felt like I had to be there, which is so ridiculous. In hindsight, I should have taken time for myself to rest and heal and take care of my body and my family.” - Katie Hunt  “Life presents things. Your health will present things, your relationships will present things. And then you have to decide, based on your values, based on who you are, what needs to shift to sustain a good life.” - Kelly Higdon “I was teaching and speaking at conferences all over the place, running through airports with my breast pump. It was insane and I got to the end of the year and realized this is not sustainable. I can't keep doing this.” - Katie Hunt  “There are lots of different ways to serve, lots of different products to create. So it’s really about getting down to the essence of what you want to do and what you want to be known for.” - Kelly Higdon “Planning ahead, I know what days I have to fit my business into. From there I can figure out when I'm going to host events, what the launch cycle looks like for that. And it has to fit into those spaces.” - Kelly Higdon “I will tell you straight up, I'm a recovering workaholic. It is an addiction. I have to just always be aware of that.” - Kelly Higdon “Define whatever it is that you want to have a good life. And deconstruct it to find that number your family needs to live a good life.” - Katie Hunt “I'd rather have simple businesses that provide a good living than wreck myself.” - Kelly Higdon “People, when they don't address who they are as a person, they'll repeat this in all their relationships, particularly in their business.”  - Kelly Higdon LINKS Website: http://calibrateyouryear.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHigdonLMFT/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/kellyhigdoncoaching   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

8 October 2019


125 | Moving from wholesale to licensing with Erin McManness of Paper Raven Co.

125 | Moving from wholesale to licensing with Erin McManness of Paper Raven Co.

As product-based business owners and entrepreneurs, so many of us are under constant pressure to juggle the design and operations sides of our businesses. It can be hard to focus on both moving product and creating the designs for that product, especially when we’re juggling online, wholesale and licensing accounts. Turns out, you don’t always have to do it all. Today’s Proof to Product guest, Erin McManness, is a Paper Camp alumni who’s lived every side of the business and decided to stick to the parts that are most fulfilling for her. I’m excited for you to hear her story.  Erin is an illustrator working in Atlanta, Georgia. She's been freelancing full time for five years under her brand Paper Raven Co., which started as a small greeting card line and now includes licensing for an assortment of cards, gifts, fabrics, and home décor. Erin incorporates her values and love for the environment in her work by printing all of her cards on 100% recycled paper in the United States. She also donates $1 from every sale to her reforestation partner, One Tree Planted. Over the course of her career, Erin has collaborated on projects with companies like Macy's, Target, Trader Joe's, Publix, and Aldi. In October, she's releasing her second book, The Art Starts In The Heart: An Inspirational Guide To Making Meaningful Art. On Episode 125, Erin and I sit down to cover all of the above. We talk about how Erin has built the licensing arm of her business, the pros, and cons of flat rate and royalty payments and why she's made the decision to ramp up her licensing arm and slow down on the wholesale side. We also talk about Erin's new book, so enjoy! ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  - The inspiration behind Paper Raven Co.  - How Erin’s evolved from one stationery line, to multiple product categories, licensing and more - What it’s like to collaborate and design for big brands - The importance of going out and asking for what you want - The difference of working with both smaller and larger brands  - Advice on how to navigate negotiations and creative collaborations - How to trust your gut and choose the right projects  - Flat rate fees vs royalties  - The 3 questions Erin asks herself before choosing to work with brands - Making room for life beyond work  - Why you should double check a company’s tracking & metrics before signing a royalty deal - What inspired Erin to make the switch to 100% recycled paper products and partner with One Tree Planted - How to research, evaluate and choose ethical companies to work. with - Tough decisions, book celebrations, and what’s next for Erin    KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “You need to go for what you want and if you want something, tailor your portfolio and go ask for it.” - Erin McManness  “At tradeshows, and Instagram, too, you never know who's watching. You never know who's paying attention to you or where the next great opportunity will come from.” -  Katie Hunt  “I love to work with smaller brands because they can be really flexible and they're not this big, huge company. There's a lot of creative freedom and things like that.” - Erin McManness “My rule is that if I get excited and I listen to my body, and my body is like, ‘Yeah, whoa, let's go. This is so exciting, I'm so inspired by this,’ I'm like, "Yeah, let's do it." - Erin McManness “Saying no is difficult for a lot of people, myself included. But when we say yes to everything, we run ourselves ragged and we’re not focused on the things that are really the most important.” -  Katie Hunt  “I really try to be intentional about structuring my business with what brings me the most joy, what I absolutely love doing.” - Erin McManness “I was ready to move on, but I was so worried about proving that I was a financial success out on my own that I just hustled and hustled and hustled, and I put things off to the side.” - Erin McManness “I realized making art is really what I want to do. Making the art is the most important thing to me.”  - Erin McManness “I just want it to be me, I don't want an empire. I just want to be happy, make art, make things that make other people happy.” - Erin McManness “I try to do my research about companies that I work with. Are they ethical? Do they have practices that I can be proud of to be associated with?”  - Erin McManness “It’s super important that there are shared values between us and those we're partnering with or collaborating with.” – Katie Hunt LINKS Website: http://www.ShopPaperRavenCo.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paperraven.co/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paperravenco/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/paperravenco/ https://onetreeplanted.org/   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

1 October 2019


124 | How do I know if a store is a good fit for my products with Katie Hunt

124 | How do I know if a store is a good fit for my products with Katie Hunt

You’ve likely heard me say this here on the Proof to Product podcast and in our emails, but I’m a firm believer that relationships are they key to running and building a successful business. Everyone from our team, to our customers, to our colleagues, to our vendors plays a significant role in our personal growth as well as the development of our company. Your relationships with wholesale buyers, are no exception.   BUT HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT STORES? HOW DO YOU CONNECT ON A PERSONAL LEVEL WITH THE BUYER? HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A STORE IS A GOOD FIT FOR WHAT YOU SELL?   These are common questions, so let me share some ideas:   FOCUS ON QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. I often hear people say that they want to be in hundreds of stores. But, I’d argue that it is more beneficial (especially in the beginning) to work with a smaller group of stores that order from you regularly. It’s much easier to provide great customer service and build meaningful relationships with a smaller pool of customers. And, it gives you time to refine your internal systems and build a strong foundation so that if you do grow your wholesale line to a point when you have hundreds of stockists, you’ll be able to keep up. Set realistic goals when you’re starting out and remember that fewer customers isn’t necessarily a bad thing.   GO BEYOND THE WEBSITE. The internet is a fantastic place to research potential wholesale partners, but there is so much more to a business than just their website. How is the store showing up on social media? Who are their customers? What other brands do they buy from or do they engage with on social media? Which shows are they attending and talking about? What types of products do they feature? I’m not advocating stalking, but the more you know about a potential shop the more effective your first point of contact will be. You’ll also have a clearer idea if your products would work in that store.   START A CONVERSATION. Again, don’t stalk. But don’t be afraid to engage with people in your industry, particularly shops you admire. Comment on their social media, like their posts, send an email introducing yourself and your line. Or, send a note (on one of your cards!) and let them know you’ve enjoyed their emails / social media posts / their window display was cool. Relationships take time to build and I know you’re busy juggling one thousand other things on a daily basis. But, if stores don’t know about you, they aren’t going to buy from you.   And that brings us back to relationships.   These stores are your customers. Focus on customer experience, building real connections and delivering on your promises.   Be professional, polite and use every point of contact as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your buyers.   At Paper Camp we'll dive deeper and explain how to identify the right stores for your products, then we'll provide you with strategies for how to reach them.  Our Paper Camp E-Course starts on September 30th and we'd love to have you. Enroll or join the wait list at www.prooftoproduct.com/papercamp.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

26 September 2019


123 | Packaging Your Products without breaking the bank with Katie Hunt

123 | Packaging Your Products without breaking the bank with Katie Hunt

Can we talk about product packaging for a minute? You want your products to look unique and stand out from the crowd, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it.   There are so many packaging options available, and it’s important to know when to follow the crowd and use standard packaging and when to get creative and do your own thing. Ultimately, your product packaging must make it easy for the end customer to understand what your product is and how they can use it. And, from a business standpoint, you want to ensure that your packaging looks great, is scalable and doesn’t cut into your profit margins. Here’s where to focus.   - Keep it Simple - Keep it On-Brand - Keep Costs Down   We dive into each of these during today's episode.   Also, our Paper Camp E-Course starts on September 30th and we'd love to have you.  Enroll or join the waitlist at www.prooftoproduct.com/papercamp.   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

25 September 2019


122 | Four key take-aways from Paper Camp

122 | Four key take-aways from Paper Camp

I’m recording this on a Sunday evening, just two short days after I finished hosting our 16th Paper Camp conference and I’m just now getting a chance to reflect on everything we did at Paper Camp and the amazing feedback we had from our students.  In this episode, I want to share some of their key take-aways with you here on this episode.   But first I want to preface this conversation by saying we cover a lot of ground at Paper Camp.  This is our signature program and we’ve helped over 1,000 small businesses on how to get their products on the shelves on their favorite retail shops.   We talk about product development, sales tools for wholesale, sales strategies - working with reps and tech solutions like Faire, marketing to wholesale buyers and the nuts and bolts of exhibiting at shows.   As you can imagine, it is a very rich, full two days.     I tell you all of that to let you know that we modify each Paper Camp conference for the cohort that is there.  They tell us where they are in their business and what they need help with. So, we tailor each conference and course to the attendees that are in attendance; and that is what is reflected in these student take-aways   Now, let’s get to the meat of it.   Here are the top four take-aways our students left with:   Validation.  They are on the right track, making smart decisions in their busines and they are not alone.  They left feeling validated in the decisions they’ve made thus far and confident in the steps ahead.  Road Map.  They have answers and know where they are going next.  They were given strategies, tools and next steps for their specific business at Paper Camp and now they just need to do the work.  Many of them felt relief knowing they have a road map in place. Community.   So often creative entrepreneurs feel like they are working in silos.  So, to sit in the same room as people who understand them, are working towards similar goals and building similar businesses is refreshing.  Having an safe space to openly share resources and strategies without feeling like you’re in direct competition is a special thing. Options.  They realized they have a lot of options for how to create their work, diversify their revenue streams and build a sustainable company.  There is no one size fits all approach, but now they have information to make the best decisions possible for the business they want to build   In addition to the student’s takeaways, I also want to share with you our speakers’ final parting words of wisdom:   Rachael Hetzel from Pistachio Press reminded people that there is no one way to build a business.  We all do things differently, and that’s what makes our products & business unique.  Doing what you love and being confident in your decisions is what will make your business grow stronger.  We’re in a unique and supportive industry that o   Kimberley Yurkiewicz from Crow & Canary reminded people that they are not alone.  If they have a question, its likely someone else has that same question.  So, reach out to the community, lean on your peers and leverage the Paper Camp community as you continue to grow.   Katie Wilson from The Good Twin encouraged our students to embrace incremental growth.  She acknowledged that everyone is building their businesses in a unique way and there is no “right way” to launch to wholesale or release new products.   She reminded everyone that even though they all have the same tools, advice and strategies from Paper Camp, that their journeys will be unique. Take comfort in your path and be proud of what you’re building.   Carina Murray from Crow & Canary advised people to push themselves to cultivate a unique point of view with their products.  While there is an insecurity around being different, embrace it -- buyers are hungry and want to see innovation.     And, I reminded everyone that slow steady growth is how strong businesses are build.  Be intentional, strategic and confident once they decided on a path. Trust yourself to make the right decisions   These are just some of the things we talked about at Paper Camp.  I wanted to take you behind the scenes as to what we do at Paper Camp as well as what our key take-aways were.  I hope you find it helpful as you’re navigating decisions in your own business.     And, I want to remind you that our online program -- the Paper Camp E-Course is open for enrollment and we only have a few seats left.  Registration will close this week and we’ll start classes on September 30th. Get more information and register at proooftoproduct.com/papercamp.   I look forward to working with you!

24 September 2019


121 | The Joy of Missing Out with Tonya Dalton

121 | The Joy of Missing Out with Tonya Dalton

Do you ever sit down at the end of a long day of work, after checking box after box off your to-do list and still think, wow, I have so many more things I should get done. This feeling of overwhelm is common for small business owners and mompreneurs alike and it’s the reason today’s guest, Tonya Dalton, was inspired to write her new book, The Joy of Missing Out.    You may remember Tonya from Episode 26 of Proof to Product, where she shared her start-up story of founding inkWELL Press and how she built systems and processes for both work and home. Since then, Tonya has been featured on Real Simple, Entrepreneur, Inc., Apartment Therapy, Lauren Conrad, and HGTV. In 2019, Tonya received the  Enterprising Woman of the Year Award and was named North Carolina's Female Entrepreneur to Watch by The Ladders. Tonya is truly a productivity expert and has made it her mission to help other women reduce and remove the overwhelm in their lives through her inkWELL Press products, liveWELL Method Course, Productivity Podcast, and book that comes out October 1st.    On today's episode, Tonya takes us behind the scenes of The Joy of Missing Out. She shares her motivations for writing the book, why she chose to weave stories in as lessons, and the power of saying yes and no. I also discuss a personal story of my own that Tonya shares in her book. If you’re looking for ways to reduce overwhelm in your life and carve out more time for the things that matter most, this one's for you!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  What inspired Tonya to write The Joy of Missing Out The importance of being raw and honest Where to start when you get feel caught spinning in circles  How to identify your priorities and true North Star Misconceptions about what’s urgent vs important Letting go of the idea of balance to embrace the idea of movement Advice for coping with feelings of guilt The value of free-time and white space to boosting productivity Ultradian rhythm is and why it’s important  How Tonya uses her white-space and free time The sandwich strategy and how to use it Tools, resources and bonuses being released with The Joy of Missing Out  KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “We're overwhelmed by our tasks, overwhelmed by our own to-do list. And I wanted women to see that it is possible to live the life you want and to achieve greatness without spreading yourself so thin, without making yourself do everything.” - Tonya Dalton  “It's not always easy to say no, to live with intention, or to let go of the guilt that we feel making these choices. And I think was really important to just be raw and honest about that.”  - Tonya Dalton  “The best teachers are those that have been through difficult times and are open to sharing both how they got through it as well as the messy parts of dealing with it.” - Katie Hunt “None of us get through life with all successes, without any failures. It's the things that we stumble on, the things that we fail at, those are the things that make us resilient.” - Tonya Dalton “Instead of trying to go the 50 different steps, why not choose to do five? Why not do less and focus in on what's important.” - Tonya Dalton “If everything is perfectly equal and even, there's no movement. You have to have some imbalance in order to move forward.” - Tonya Dalton “I think that's the problem is when we are trying to do everything, we end up doing nothing.” - Tonya Dalton “The biggest mistake some people make is thinking periods of rest are a reward for great work, but periods of rest are actually a requirement for great work to happen. We need some white space in our lives, some breathing room where we can actually innovate and be creative.” - Tonya Dalton “Often the grace we give to others far exceeds the grace we give ourselves.” - Tonya Dalton “I am so guilty of putting out the fires and letting that pull focus, because it's right in front, whether it's my kids or my team or whatever it is. But using the priority list over the to-do list recently has shifted my mindset around that.” - Katie Hunt LINKS Website: https://inkwellpress.com/ Facebook: http://facebook.com/tonyaidalton Instagram: https://instagram.com/tonya_i_dalton Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonya_i_dalton Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1400214335   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

17 September 2019


120 | Managing a wholesale & retail e-commerce shop with Kaitlin Fontenot, Kait Studio

120 | Managing a wholesale & retail e-commerce shop with Kaitlin Fontenot, Kait Studio

On the Proof to Product Podcast we cover so many topics, from marketing and operations to tradeshows and product launches, but today I’m super excited to have Kaitlin Fontenot on the show to talk about what every product-based business absolutely needs to be successful in our modern world - a well-built eCommerce platform. Kaitlin is the founder and lead designer of Kait Studio, a branding and web design company specializing in retail. Kaitlin is passionate about helping entrepreneurs feel more confident with their online presence so that they can show up in other areas of their business where they are needed daily. In addition to running a successful studio that develops e-commerce sites, as well as digital marketing, social media, and branding strategies, Kaitlin is also a mom and head of a rapidly growing team.    On Episode 120, Kaitlin and I sit down to talk about how you can best prepare before building an e-commerce site and ways to manage both online wholesale and retail shops. We talk about hiring, building a team with intention, and the importance of delegation. Kaitlin and I also discuss some misconceptions some product-based business owners have about e-commerce platforms and she shares a few important social media marketing strategies you definitely should start leveraging today.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  How Kaitlin built her business and the kind of work Kaitlin specializes in today Her favorite projects to work on   The importance of integrating your website into your strategic plan Misconceptions about managing an online presence  Strategies for driving and maintaining traffic on your ecommerce site What types of product pictures work on various social media platforms How Kaitlin plans and executes the web build process  The pros/cons of various e-commerce platforms  Best practices for brands selling in both retail and wholesale  How to get more eyes on your site & tips for widening your reach Hashtags, videos and other tactics you shouldn’t be ignoring The life-changing benefits of delegation KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “If I had to pick one aspect of my business that I completely loved and was so passionate about, it would be the design development side” - Kaitlin Fontenot “People would ask, “Who's growing your Instagram account? Who's helping you with all of this? Is it just you?” And I would just say, "Yeah, you know, it's me. I built the site. I'm doing all of this myself."  - Kaitlin Fontenot “You need to be leveraging your website in a very strategic way to not only get people coming through to your site, but to get them engaging with your products and purchasing your products and engaging with your brand.” - Katie Hunt  “You have to think about the amount of time people are spending on social media and how they're getting to your website. There's so much that goes into it, and you have to know your customer 100%.” - Kaitlin Fontenot “I truly believe that if you're solving problems for people, especially through your website or your online shop, they will convert into paying customers.” - Katie Hunt  “Everyone's customers are different. Everyone's audience is different. So really, it's all about what your audience is responding to the most.” - Kaitlin Fontenot “Once the build phase is done sometimes people get stuck. They don't move forward with any other strategies. So I always recommend the website is done, step away. Let's try some other things. Go to Instagram, go to Pinterest, see what you can do.” - Kaitlin Fontenot “Hiring a team, it's really scary. But as a mom and a business owner, it has been the most life-changing thing for me.” -  Kaitlin Fontenot “I was doing everything myself for a very long time, had small children at home and when I started delegating and outsourcing, even just small pieces, it changed my life. I was able to do more in the business and focus on the high-level strategic things that needed my attention.”  - Katie Hunt  “Find someone you feel comfortable with, that's okay with answering your questions no matter how crazy you think they are. Find someone who understands where you're coming from because it is a big investment and anyone you work with should understand as a business owner themselves.” -  Kaitlin Fontenot   LINKS Website: http://www.lovekait.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/kaitstudio / http://instagram.com/kaitlinfontenot https://tsbc.teachable.com/p/delegating    SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

10 September 2019


119 | Sustainable sourcing in fashion with Kelly Shanahan, The Ziran

119 | Sustainable sourcing in fashion with Kelly Shanahan, The Ziran

Behind every great business is an even better story. Kelly Wang Shanahan, creative director and founder of the Ziran fashion design company has just that - an amazing story. Kelly officially started her line in June, 2016 after becoming disillusioned with the luxury fashion industry, particularly it's waste and fast fashion mentality.   While researching ancient fabric techniques in China, Kelly discovered a special fabric called Xiang Yun Sha silk and instantly fell in love with its luxurious beauty and cultural significance. Today all Ziran pieces are made from this special silk, which is imported from China, and designed and manufactured locally by Kelly in Los Angeles.    Today on Episode 119 of Proof to Product, Kelly shares the long process of finding the silk, building a relationship with the silk boss in China, and gaining exclusive rights to use it with our products. Kelly shares her passion for sustainability, what inspired her to keep going through this long process, how she leverages story and influencer marketing, and why relationships are a key component to business success.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  The Ziran products and what makes them unique How Kelly traded “the lawyer plan” for fashion entrepreneurship Hurdles that product based businesses face  Finding customers and leveraging social media  The sales channels and marketing channels Kelly utilizes  How Kelly got connected with the right vendors and manufacturers Misconceptions about influencer marketing The importance of building relationships for the long term Building a network in the fashion industry  Kelly’s advice for others starting out in the business Coming up next for The Ziran...   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I went to China, I visited the silk farm. I saw how they made it. I was completely blown away, and then that's when I was like, this is what I want to do.” - Kelly Shanahan “I feel like especially with social media, there's so much noise, so I try to make everything ... every collection or drop have a deeper story and have a meaning behind it.” - Kelly Shanahan “I've tried to be more strategic with the influencers that I align with to make sure that they are actually supporters of the brand in an authentic way, and they actually vibe with it.” - Kelly Shanahan “I'm proud that I've been able to do that and help bring this ancient thing into modern times and make it relevant today.” - Kelly Shanahan “You work so hard on this thing and then you send it off into the world and you hope it brings everyone else just as much joy as it did you.” - Katie Hunt “What kept me going is just wanting to continue ... wanting to preserve and save this craft.” - Kelly Shanahan “In a world where everybody is consuming everything so quickly, lots of machines are making things, there’s just a tangibleness to these handcrafted products, I know it's something different, there's nothing else like it.” - Kelly Shanahan “There's kind an openness among those of us who are making clothes in Los Angeles where we're open to share what we know, because we all know how hard it is and we're in it together.” - Kelly Shanahan “When one of us finds success, all of us gain success from that. And the more we can share, the stronger all of our individual businesses will become.” - Katie Hunt “You got there for a reason on your own, so you should follow your gut and your intuition too.” - Kelly Shanahan LINKS Website: https://theziran.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theziran/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theziran/   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

3 September 2019


118 | NY Now & National Stationery Show Summer Recap with Katie Hunt

118 | NY Now & National Stationery Show Summer Recap with Katie Hunt

This past week I traveled from Los Angeles to New York for two trade shows — the National Stationery Show and New York Now. We had just over 35 alumni exhibiting between the two shows, and while I was there, I had the chance to catch up with them about their exhibiting experiences.   Today’s compilation episode features interviews with 8 of our Paper Camp alumni. We talk about why each chose to exhibit where they did, they walk us through their decision-making process, what their goals were for the show and… tips they want to share with you all! Hope you enjoy!    NY Now: Shayna from Steel Petal Press Sarah from Fancy Seeing You Here Jodi from the Neighborgoods    National Stationery Show: Alicia from Slightly Stationery Beth from Little Goat Paper  Shannon from Shannon Kirsten Illustrations  Brittany of Brittany Paige Designs Jane from Greetings from Bergen Street   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

27 August 2019


117 | How to Time Your New Product Releases with Katie Hunt

117 | How to Time Your New Product Releases with Katie Hunt

Creating new products and tinkering with new design ideas is why most of us went into business. It’s the draw of the creative process. We love to brainstorm, create and then create some more. And it keeps our businesses exciting and alive—for us and for our bank account.   Releasing new products is our ticket to business growth. It sets us apart from the competition and shows retailers that we're serious about our business and our product line. But it’s important to realize that timing is a major factor with new releases, particularly when you’re selling wholesale.   At Paper Camp, we talk a lot about scheduling and timing, but the three things we need to consider are:   - Timing - Frequency - Reorders   We dive into each of these during today's episode.   Don't forget to download our free workbook:  How To Build a Profitable Product Line or connect with us in our Friends of Proof to Product Facebook Group    SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

20 August 2019


116 | How to know if you're ready for an Integrator with Kristin Kaplan

116 | How to know if you're ready for an Integrator with Kristin Kaplan

As entrepreneurs and product-based business owners, there comes a time for all of us when we have to make the decision to pivot. The pivot period can be a tough and turbulent time, but today on Proof to Product, my friend Kristin Kaplan is here to tell us how she managed to gracefully pivot away from her successful wedding planning business after 10 years to begin working as an integrator for online entrepreneurs. Kristin now creates strategic plans, action steps and manages profitable, sustainable businesses. She is also the host of the Planning for Profit Podcast, the creator of The Pricing Workbook and the founder of Plan to Profit, a monthly program to help visionary business owners reach their goals. On top of all that, Kristin also balances life as a wife, mother to three kiddos, organization addict, beauty & skincare lover, marathoner, and wine drinker (she needs at least one vice to manage all of the above).   On today’s episode, Kristin and I are talking about what it means to be an Integrator - what they do and how to know if you’re ready for one. We also talk about pivoting in business - the fears surrounding it but also how it shows growth as a CEO and money mindset, particularly how to positively frame your thoughts around money. If you’re looking for advice on how to manage it all, or how to make your pivot period easier, this episode is 100% for you!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Kristin’s entrepreneurial path  The difference between Project Managers and Integrators Why Integrators are often born out of Virtual Assistant roles  Her areas of expertise and how she helps clients  The importance of focusing on revenue-generating tasks Tips to improve your goal setting How to know if you’re ready for an Integrator The pricing range for hiring an Integrator Why it’s natural to pivot in your business  How little nudges can lead you in a whole new direction The exciting parts of closing one business to open another Strategies for resolving  your money hangups  Advice for first-time entrepreneurs  What’s up next for Kristin  KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “My job is to come into someone's business, help plan out all the processes and systems and everything. My job is to make everything happen.” - Kristin Kaplan  “Money is just a tool. It's not the scary evil thing that we all have to be afraid of. It's okay to build a profitable business that makes you some.”  - Kristin Kaplan  “My biggest strength is being able to take a really big goal or vision and then break it down into pieces so that it actually gets done.” - Kristin Kaplan  “It's so helpful to get an outside perspective on what your goals are, what your financial goals are, what you're trying to accomplish, what kind of impact do you want to make in your business.” - Katie Hunt “Sometimes as creatives, everyone wants to chase the new shiny object that's right in front of them.” - Kristin Kaplan  “I wish people would play a little more and set bigger and bigger goals because once you start setting huge goals, even if you don’t meet most of them, you play at a different level, take bigger risks and invest more.”  - Kristin Kaplan  “It's super fun to do the vision board, but then, how exactly are you going to make that happen...like specifically?” - Kristin Kaplan  “A piece that a lot of creative entrepreneurs just struggle with is how  to create the stepping stones they need to get to the final product or end goal that they want.” - Katie Hunt “Once you hit that point of like, all right, I'm looking to bring on my second or third team member, I’m ready to operate as the CEO, that's the time to think about hiring an integrator or project manager.”  - Kristin Kaplan  “It is hard to stay in the exact same place for decades on end. It gets old for most of us. I feel like we're all in this natural journey.” - Kristin Kaplan  “It's natural to pivot. We have to continue to stay relevant in our businesses and that's what pivoting is. It's just continuing to evolve as a person, as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, and how we interact with our customers.” - Katie Hunt “Pivoting is evolving.” - Kristin Kaplan   “Just focus your attention on being positive, being grateful, feeling abundant, and try to move away from any feelings of negativity and scarcity.” - Kristin Kaplan     LINKS Website: https://www.kristinkaplan.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristinckaplan/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristinkaplanLLC/   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

13 August 2019


115  | Scaling a handmade jewelry business with Dani Paquin of Agapantha

115 | Scaling a handmade jewelry business with Dani Paquin of Agapantha

We’ve heard a lot of fun origin stories on the Proof to Product Podcast, but today’s episode with Dani Paquin, founder of the jewelry company Agapantha, is an extra sweet and serendipitous start-up story. Dani founded her jewelry company in 2004 somewhere on a dusty road as she was touring the United States as a singer-songwriter. Between tours, Dani worked at her home in Brooklyn assembling jewelry for other designers, but at that moment on the road, she finally realized she had to bring her own designs to life. So Agapantha was born and an important artistic shift was made.  What does Agapantha mean? It's the first flower that Dani's grandmother taught her to say. Today, Dani pays homage to her and the inspirational women in her life by naming each collection after someone special. Her delicate, minimalist layering jewelry that is sold in boutiques around the world and Agapantha recently celebrated 15th years of business.  On today's episode, Dani shares her start-up story. We talk about how she slowly and thoughtfully grew her jewelry line over the years and how she scaled production for a handmade product. Dani also encourages all of us to just keep going - because you never know where things will lead.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  How Dani got started making jewelry  What inspires her work  The way Agapantha has evolved over the years  How frequently Dani releases new pieces  Pain points of catering to both retail and wholesale  The first role Dani hired for  The importance of training and trusting your team  How Dani shifted her business model and scaled up  What she learned from 15 years of entrepreneurship  Beneficial mistakes and resources that helped Dani get where she is today Advice for individuals just starting out KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “Let's be real. We're all trying to do the job of about one million people.” - Dani Paquin  “I've been working really hard to find great people that I can trust and I can give things away. To try to start focusing more on what I'm really good at and what I want to do.” - Dani Paquin  “There are times where even if we have a team, we still have to get our hands dirty. It's still our company. We have to do the work.” - Katie Hunt  “It took me a long time to be okay with having someone in my space that I didn’t feel like I needed to talk to or feel like I had to entertain. That's a big change when you're used to working alone.” - Dani Paquin  “Manufacturing is one of those big pivots decisions. It's an opportunity for growth but it can be scary.” - Kaite Hunt “I'm in the midst of my first project where I'm manufacturing overseas for a much larger scale project than we could do on our own here. It's really exciting and really scary. But I feel like a doorway into something new.” - Dani Paquin  “Ultimately it always comes back to how much I love what I do and I don't want to do anything else. Just to just keep going, one day at a time. One foot in front of the other. You do your best.” - Dani Paquin  “Once you embrace making mistakes and failing, not as a failure, but as an opportunity for growth, then you know what not to do. You have to get through that In order to go farther. There's no way to do it without that.” - Dani Paquin  “If you meet someone and you have an instinct about them, that you're not going to get paid or something's off, trust your instincts. Don't be in a store just to be in a store.” - Dani Paquin  “We're artists and designers and that doesn't mean we’re bad at business. But often it means that the business side is not what we’re focusing on.” - Dani Paquin  “It's always nice to have an outside perspective weighing in on your business decisions because it's so personal to you. It's so close to you. It is your art.” - Katie Hunt  “It's okay to say "no" to some things that don't feel right. Keep going. Or know when to quit.” - Dani Paquin    LINKS Website: http://www.agapantha.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/agapanthajewelry/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/agapanthajewelry/   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

6 August 2019


114 | E-Commerce Strategies & Abandoned Cart Emails with Arianne Foulks, Aeolidia

114 | E-Commerce Strategies & Abandoned Cart Emails with Arianne Foulks, Aeolidia

Has being an entrepreneur and your own boss helped unlock new skills or uncover new parts of your personality? It definitely has for Arianne Foulks, founder of Aeolidia, a design studio specializing in designing and developing custom e-commerce websites using Shopify, as well as logo design, product packaging, product photography, content creation, and business naming. Before starting Aeolidia in 2004, Arianne was shy and avoided talking to clients over the phone. Today, after 15 years in business and growing her team to more than twenty-three employees, Arianne is bold in her business. She speaks and teaches at events, hosts business owner brunches, and looks forward to talking with people about their companies.   On today's episode, Arianne and I chat about how she built her agency and grew her team over the years. We talk about common misconceptions some creative entrepreneurs have, the advantages of using Shopify, and the importance of abandoned cart emails. Arianne also shares details about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, an investment program that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through education, capital and support services.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Common misconception creative entrepreneurs have about branding, marketing, and websites What really goes into a logo and behind a brand  How Arianne moved into the branding, marketing, website world Aeolidia’s  e-commerce checklist  The importance of digging into data and analytics and knowing what's working and not working Why Arianne is a fan of Shopify for product based businesses Advice for shop owners on how to prevent abandoned carts  What sets Aeolidia apart from the competition How Arianne helps clients stick to their deadlines  The balance between business results and personal service  How having a baby forced Arianne to grow and delegate in her company  Resources, mentors, and  programs that have contributed to Arianne’s success KEY TAKE-AWAYS:  “The logo is the very tip of the iceberg of your brand. But when you know what's going on with an iceberg, most of it is underwater. At Aeolidia it’s all the underwater stuff that we love people to get started with first.” - Arianne Foulks “Customer service is really the foundation of building a good business.” - Arianne Foulks “I'm a firm believer in hiring people that are smarter than me and that can teach me a thing or two.” - Katie Hunt “I was a customer service pro by the time I got started working with clients, and that gave me such a huge leap in being able to just jump into it and do a good job.” - Arianne Foulks “It turns out that running a business is a very creative pursuit whether you're designing things or not, and I really find it satisfying the whole way through.” - Arianne Foulks “One of the quotes that's always in my head, I just think all the time is ‘What got you here will not get you there.”  - Arianne Foulks “There are some people that feel like, “Well, I hired you to design it and develop it. Just create it.” It's like, “Well, no. You as a business owner have to tell us what kind of copy, what kind of images, what kind of details you want on that.” - Katie Hunt “You have to remember that people who are almost buying something from you are really into it. It's something they actually want, so they're not unhappy to see it again.” - Arianne Foulks “You should be fairly aggressive about sending people the emails because they're already not buying the product from you. They've already decided not to. It's not like you can lose them any more than that.” - Arianne Foulks “If people don't know about your products, they're not going to purchase them.” - Katie Hunt  “I started realizing it's really fun to just run the business. It actually is a creative pursuit.”  - Arianne Foulks “I think my husband's least favorite words for me are, “I have an idea.” - Katie Hunt    LINKS Website: https://aeolidia.com/ Facebook: http://facebook.com/aeolidia Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/aeolidia.shipshape/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/aeolidia   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

30 July 2019


113 | Why you can’t rely solely on social media for sales with Nicole Walters, The Monetized Life

113 | Why you can’t rely solely on social media for sales with Nicole Walters, The Monetized Life

Have you ever come home from a long day at your corporate job and realized like, “Okay, so my job is feeding my family, but definitely not my soul.” What do you do? Well, today's Proof to Product guest is telling us how she figured it out. By age 28, Nicole Walters was a highly-paid executive at a Fortune 500 company, managing multibillion dollar accounts, but something wasn’t right. So Nicole quit her corporate job, and she made waves when she quit in front of 10,000 people while live streaming on Periscope. She went on to open her own private business and product development consulting firm, The Monetized Life.    As Nicole’s audience ramped up so did her revenue—she made $11,000 in the first three weeks of working with small business clients full time. Now, when she’s not hanging out with her husband and their three foster kids, she shares her secrets to earning “passive income” with other entrepreneurs through her wildly popular online course, 1K1Day. “I teach people how to add commas to their bank accounts,” says Nicole. “They learn that they don’t have to trade time for money.”   On today's episode, Nicole and I sit down to talk about common mistakes she sees eager entrepreneurs making and why old school sales strategies still work. We also talk about why you can't rely solely on social media for sales, the importance of having multiple revenue streams and why you need to treat your business like a business from day one.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  Common mistakes Nicole sees eager entrepreneurs making Tips on where to focus your marketing time and money The problem of relying on social media platforms  Benefits of sticking with the old school methods What really gets customers in the door How to make a 40-50 hour work week feel like 4 hours The lessons Nicole took from corporate life and applied as an entrepreneur Her strongest marketing tool today Nicole’s favorite success stories How saying no is a form of self care  Advice for brand new business owners and entrepreneurs experiencing growing pains  The importance of acting like a business from the get-go What success looks like for Nicole today KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “If the only place that you're selling is on your social media platform, well guess what? It's not yours. You don't own it.” - Nicole Walters “Word of mouth is still good. So all that matters that you're actually able to get to people who have mouths and are able to spread the word. Old School still works.” - Nicole Walters “Make sure that you're telling your story authentically and being honest about who you are. Because if you do that, if you tell your true story, well guess what? You'll never get it wrong.”  - Nicole Walters “Wear your heart on your sleeve, because it's that same heart that'll put cash in your pocket.” - Nicole Walters “It was time for me to quit and I decided to do in grand fashion. I decided that I wasn't just going to burn the bridge behind me. I was going to singe it and blow away the ashes.” - Nicole Walters “I was ready to become an entrepreneur. So instead of taking those tools to fat cats at multi-billion dollar companies, I'm taking them to everyday entrepreneurs who are using them to feed their families and their souls.” - Nicole Walters “I get to see the change and the transition and the transformation in people's families and livelihoods. Being able to really put money into people's pockets instead of watching it go to a new Gulfstream jet or a new golf membership at a country club, you know, it's really, really rewarding. And I love it.” - Nicole Walters “I’ll be the first one to tell you if I'm doing my job well, guess what? We shouldn't work together forever.” - Nicole Walters “Look at the quarterlies, look at your revenue and your expenses, all of it. There might be certain quarters that are slow, but if you can plan for that and know about that in advance, it just sets you up for the longterm.“ - Katie Hunt “I'm a mom and I'm married and the other side of it is honestly, I couldn't keep up with my business if I didn't get healthy. That's the reality of it.”  - Nicole Walters “There's this misconception of self care, that it’s going and getting a manicure and/or like, you know, or going to get coffee or whatever and it's like self care comes in so many different forms.” - Katie Hunt “I'm allowed to say no to things that don't serve me because if I say no, then I'm taking care of the things that do serve me. And that is a form of self care.” - Nicole Walters “You want to seize opportunities, but at the same time you need to protect your time and your sanity.” - Katie Hunt “Act like a business if you want to get paid like one, get out there and get your legal stuff in order. Make sure that you understand the importance of finances, quick books, getting all that stuff done and I know it's big and scary.” - Nicole Walters “The minute you take a dollar, you are acting like a business and you need to get paid like one.” - Nicole Walters “Sometimes we get in our own way, we overthink things or we don't relinquish control when we need to or we're afraid to bring on more team members to handle things because we think nobody can do it the way we can.” - Katie Hunt  LINKS Website: http://nicolewalters.tv Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonetizeThyself/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicolewalters/  Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/NapturalNicole Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/napturalnicole Twitter: https://twitter.com/napturalnicole     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!    ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

23 July 2019


112 |  Scaling a Subscription Based Business with Samantha Barnes of Raddish

112 | Scaling a Subscription Based Business with Samantha Barnes of Raddish

Hey friends, have you heard of Raddish? It’s a super cool monthly cooking club that empowers kids to build confidence in the kitchen and beyond. Today’s guest, Samantha Barnes the CEO and founder of Raddish, founded the company after working as a middle school teacher. A mom of two, Samantha realized the kitchen was the best place to connect with her kids in a meaningful way, and in true entrepreneurship fashion, she was inspired to start her own company. Samantha’s passion for family is visible in every aspect of her company. As a female founder, she is committed to running results-oriented and flexible company built on autonomy, working smart, and a positive work/life balance.  On today’s episode, Samantha and I dive into her subscription based business model and how it has evolved over time. The two of us talk about her business journey, how the company started out of her garage, how her team has evolved, the logistics of getting her product to market. We also talk about the pros and cons of running a subscription based business, how she learned how to delegate, what she does when she’s feeling burnt out.    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  How Samantha got the idea for Raddish Why she decided to go with a subscription model  The benefits of growing slow and working by trial and error  Creating continuous content and dealing with unexpected hurdles The steps Samantha took to scale up   Her decision to keep her team lean and mean  How Raddish cultivates the customer experience Learning to delegate when it’s not your strength Avoiding shiny distractions for the long term goal Lessons Samantha learned in her business journey Two things she does to stay grounded in the chaos  KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “We did not go into it having some large strategy. We learned by doing. We launched on Kickstarter in October and we shipped our first kit in January.” - Samantha Barnes "In the beginning, we were simply finding the right tool and trying to get the right quantity and have it delivered at the right time. And now we're able to go out and we custom-create our tools.” - Samantha Barnes “I live in a small house in Los Angeles. So it had its own challenges. We would have easy ups all throughout the backyard and our production line had to go out into the backyard because we couldn't fit in the garage anymore.” - Samantha Barnes “Because we are self-funded we are really careful about how we grow. Making sure we have the great product, making sure that we're minimizing our churn and really keeping members for longer is important.” - Samantha Barnes “It’s a critical growth step as an entrepreneur. It's like, okay, I need to start delegating more and releasing control so that we can grow and so that we can get more done in a day.” - Katie Hunt “We call our Facebook group users the Raddish army because they come to bat for us, you know, they really want to help families understand exactly how great the product is.” - Samantha Barnes “We're definitely a word of mouth product and started that way, and that is definitely how we got off the ground.” - Samantha Barnes “Delegating is not my strength, it's something I have had to learn and I continue to learn.” - Samantha Barnes “I have the right people in the right seats and I just have the expectation that somebody is going to get that done and I don't micromanage or oversee the process.” - Samantha Barnes “My whole motivation was hiring people that were smarter than me that could teach me things. Take the tasks, run with them, and I trust them to do it well and do what we need to head towards the goal.” - Katie Hunt  “Learning from others and being open to learning and talking to as many people as you can and experiencing as many opportunities is really important. That’s the big picture idea.”  - Samantha Barnes “I mean, I love baths and manicures and pedicures, but if I have free time, I’m thinking what can I do that's really going to inspire me and make me feel better and make me kind of reset. Reading has been a big one for me over the last couple of years because it does feel indulgent too.” - Katie Hunt  LINKS Website: http://Raddishkids.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/raddishkids Facebook group: http://facebook.com/groups/raddishfoodandfamily/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/raddishkids    SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

16 July 2019


111 | Realizing You Don't Want an Empire with Kiwi Schloffel, Craft Boner

111 | Realizing You Don't Want an Empire with Kiwi Schloffel, Craft Boner

On today’s episode of Proof to Product I’m sitting down with a gal I greatly admire, who I have had the pleasure of working with for a few years now through Paper Camp and my Proof to Product Mastermind coaching program. Meet Kiwi Schloffel, the brains and brawn behind Craft Boner, a stationery gift brand with the sole focus of making people chuckle. That’s a common theme in greeting cards, Kiwi takes it seriously. Her goal, in her own words, “Is to make you laugh. Not in the ha-ha-I’m-being-polite kind of way but actual big belly laughs that make your eyes water and give you an annoying stomach cramp because you just can’t stop.”  Over the course of the last eight years, Kiwi opened a retail space then decided to leave that retail space. She expanded her product line to more than 300 SKUs across multiple product categories and then recently discontinued over half of those products. She amassed an Instagram following of over 16,000 people just like that, and today we are talking about all of it. Kiwi and I sit down to talk about the transitions, the fears, and how making these shifts have allowed her to do fewer things even better within her business. Kiwi acknowledges that she's still figuring out her next steps, and that’s why this interview is so important. At the end of the day, no matter how successful, aren’t we all just trying to figure it out? I hope you enjoy this fun episode!    ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  What led Kiwi to start Craft Boner How she turned her blog into a product based business The first products Kiwi ever sold  Transitioning into wholesale  Balancing the love to create and the reality of outsource to scale How Kiwi decided which skews to keep and how cutting skews can lead to greater freedom The importance of intentional business shifts  Benefits of embracing the way your individual, unique brain works  How Kiwi realized she didn’t want a business empire  Logistics of switching  KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “In my heart I'm just an introvert who wants to make things.” - Kiwi Schloffer “When I moved home I was like, you know what, I'm going to be that millennial cliche. I'm going to live in my dad's basement and try to do my own thing.” - Kiwi Schloffer “It’s something a lot of people don’t realize. When you first start a business, it's so, so slow. You can always find stuff to do, but there's just not usually a lot of money coming in.” - Kiwi Schloffer “When I started in my dad's basement, the dream was always to make this my full time gig. But I honestly never thought it would happen.” - Kiwi Schloffer “I didn't even have any framework. I didn't even know what the ladder was. I didn't even know, I knew what a skew number was, but I was like, I don't know what that has to do with me.” - Kiwi Schloffer “We don't know what we don't know at the beginning.” - Katie Hunt “My experience is never, ever, ever been from a business perspective, it's never been about margins. It has always been about what can I make and how can I make it fun? “ - Kiwi Schloffer “I'd stay up until four in the morning because I had a full time job at that point, and I was like, I can not keep doing this, something has to change.” - Kiwi Schloffer “Business is not one size fits all. It is not a step ladder that we're all climbing with the same steps. It's truly like a rollercoaster with zigzags where we take two steps to the right and then go up and back or whatever.”  - Katie Hunt “I've always approached something like, I can do this myself, and not finding people that can do it for me. So now it's been a weird shift to realize  I can design this thing and someone else can make it. That's crazy. ” - Kiwi Schloffer “I told myself I can figure out inventory systems, the accounting. I can figure out all this stuff. I can hire people, add more products, more overhead, I can be a boss. I can be a CEO, I can manage people, and look at spreadsheets and figure out orders. And I hated that idea.” - Kiwi Schloffer “I still don't have it figured out. I'm still in my exploring phase and figuring out what I like, what I don't like. But it's been really exciting.” - Kiwi Schloffer   LINKS Website: http://www.craftboner.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/craftboner Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/craftboner/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/craftboner/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/craftboner   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

9 July 2019


5 tips when applying for scholarships with Katie Hunt

5 tips when applying for scholarships with Katie Hunt

Scholarship applications for our Paper Camp conference opened today, July 5th and will stay open until July 12th so I wanted to hop on here and share 5 tips for how to put your best foot forward when applying for scholarship opportunities, like ours.   A little background first….  Giving back is an important piece of the Proof to Product mission and we offer one full tuition scholarship to each and every Paper Camp conference and e-course that we offer.   Since 2011, I’ve awarded over $100,000 dollars worth of scholarship funds to our students.   And, in that time my husband and I have reviewed tons of scholarship applications.      Here are our 5 ways to stand out in your scholarship application:   Share your story — why do you do the work you do, what inspires you when you’re creating your products.  What are your goals for the business? Focus on WHY you want to attend Paper Camp and how you think the experience will positively impact your business. Be open to sharing what’s working and what’s not working in your business.  None of us build these businesses alone and if we know where you’re struggling, we can help. Show your personality — in the video and in your written application.   We look at your websites when reviewing applications, so don’t copy & paste your about us page :) Do follow application instructions carefully.  For example, make sure you change your privacy settings on your video so that anyone with the link can watch it.  If you submit an incomplete application or we can’t view your video, we won’t be able to consider your application.   We want to know who you are, why you’re building this business and why you think Proof to Product can help you.   Easy enough, right?   If you’d like to apply for our Paper Camp scholarship, head on over to www.prooftoproduct.com/scholarships   Applications for this round will close on July 12th at 5pm Pacific Time.     If you are listening to this episode after that, I’d encourage you to join our email list so you’ll be notified when our next round of scholarships open!   Good luck everyone and thanks for listening!

5 July 2019


110 | Business partnerships with Minna Khounlo-Sithep & Jacqueline Snyder, The Product Boss

110 | Business partnerships with Minna Khounlo-Sithep & Jacqueline Snyder, The Product Boss

So many of us are solopreneurs, but have you ever met another small business bad-ass and totally clicked? That’s what happened for today’s guests, Minna Khounlo-Sithep and Jacqueline Snyder, voices behind The Product Boss Podcast. For some background, after Minna had her first child she was inspired to start Lil' Labels, write-on kids labels that are sold at retail giants like Amazon, Walmart and Jet. At the same time, Jacqueline was running her own product based business, Cuffs Couture, and growing her international sales. Jacqueline reached out to Minna in a business Facebook group, and the two totally hit it off. Today, Jacqueline and Minna work together to teach business owners how to grow their product-based businesses with smart strategy and a community around them. In addition to running the podcast, they each still own their own businesses.  On Episode 110, we’re all sitting down to talk about the pros and cons business partnerships, how Minna and Jacqueline divide responsibilities, and what to look for if you’re considering taking on a new partner. We also talk about how Minna and Jacqueline juggle their multiple businesses, and they share their top tips for product based business owners.  ON TODAY’S EPISODE:  What inspired Minna and Jacqueline to start their own businesses The evolution and importance of celebrity endorsement How Minna and Jacqueline met  Moving from online, becoming friends, and deciding to partner up Hesitancies of forming a partnership Dividing responsibilities How Jacqueline and Minna balance their individual businesses with The Product Boss The importance of implicit trust  Questions to ask yourself before finding a business partner Strategies for dealing with day to day stressors Shifts Jacqueline and Minna have seen in the industry  Alternatives to tradeshows and advice for scaling your business What’s up next for The Product Boss KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I dug in and I figured it out, and I had the tenacity of a pregnant woman going to give birth. So the rest from there just was it seemed easy.” -  Minna Khounlo-Sithep “I'm very much a book learner. So it was in my mind that I could just learn all about Amazon. I was already a fan of Amazon, so I basically schooled myself on Amazon.” -  Minna Khounlo-Sithep “I was in my 20s and going out and wanting to dance and have no purse. I always hated having to put my purse under like a jacket in the corner at bar. And so I created Cuffs Couture, which were fashionable, chic wrist wallets.” - Jacqueline Snyder  “We started a business without realizing we were starting a business, and yeah. She's not a serial killer. So at least a good thing, right?” - Jacqueline Snyder  “We get so many ideas going as entrepreneurs. We just know how to do things. We kind of know how to execute or figure it out along the way. And then on top of it, we really did have a great connection.” -  Minna Khounlo-Sithep “We approach things very differently, and the thing is we get along really, really well. But I think the key is we trust each other implicitly.” -  Minna Khounlo-Sithep “Big brands are not as agile as a smaller entrepreneur. We can try something today and if it doesn't work tomorrow, we can shift gears, or we can try again in a different way.” - Katie Hunt “My biggest thing with being a partner is like, "Am I doing enough? Am I showing up and handling my role? Am I doing enough?” - Jacqueline Snyder  “It's highly psychological, lots of mindset, and you have to be able to see that other person as a full partner that has all these fears and joys too. So you're always trying to balance that out.”  -  Minna Khounlo-Sithep “We're complete opposites as far as personality wise or approaches. But we definitely have the same love for so many things. We love our families. Our why is exactly the same.”  -  Minna Khounlo-Sithep “I don't think I would work well with a partner. Maybe I'm too bossy, I don't know. Too decisive. But I think that's why I find partnerships so fascinating because when you have two of the right people together, amazing things can happen.” - Katie Hunt “The face of product entrepreneurship and a product business is really changing, which is why you can see why stories are so important. Learning how to sell with your story and those personal brands is more important than ever before.”  -  Minna Khounlo-Sithep “The opportunities have shifted for product based businesses, and the customer has changed quite a bit too. So it’s an interesting dynamic how we have to adapt as product based business owners.” - Katie Hunt LINKS Website: http://www.lillabels.com; http://www.theproductboss.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/lillabelsco; http://instagram.com/theproductboss   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.  WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!  ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

2 July 2019


109 | Discontinuing an entire product line & starting over with Alicia Heater, Slightly Stationery

109 | Discontinuing an entire product line & starting over with Alicia Heater, Slightly Stationery

Do you remember when you first started your business? How about your first card? Do you ever go back and look at work you were doing in those early stages and wonder, what was I thinking?! I know from experience it can be cringe-worthy or just hilarious, but that’s the beauty of the business journey! Today on Proof to Product we’re welcoming Paper Camp alum, Alicia Heater of Slightly Stationery, to share her business beginning. When Alicia started Slightly Stationery, it was with the belief that women be encouraging and loving to each other through the timeless art of handwritten notes (Oh, and that these handwritten notes should make people chuckle, and also be super cute, too.) Today, continuing this spirit of mutual support, a portion of all Slightly Stationery proceeds go to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world receive a good education. On Episode 109, Alicia talks about how she started her first line, the changes she made along the way and what she learned at Paper Camp. We discuss the financial challenges of business and why giving back is a key  part of Slightly Stationery’s mission and values. Alicia also shares the importance of taking advice, not being afraid to start over, and what it’s like today to have cards in more than 400 stores throughout the U.S. including Paper Source and Anthropologie. We hope you enjoy this fun episode, and that it inspires you to look back at how far you’ve come in your business journey too!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What prompted Alicia to start her stationery line Why she pivoted from custom wedding invitations to greeting cards Following your heart and making decisions based on your strengths Starting from scratch Taking advice and knowing where to improve How to hone in on your audience When Slightly Stationery releases new product Mistakes Alicia made when she first started with wholesale Changes she made to her business after Paper Camp The importance of patience and persistence Differences between big and small company buying cycles    The steps Alicia took so she could start pulling a salary from her company   How she chose a philanthropic organization to give back to What Alicia is most proud of in her business KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I was doing a lot of custom work and not making any money on it, so I wondered is there's something out there that I can design one time and sell it a whole bunch times?”  - Alicia Heater “It's an experiment in those early years in business. How do I want to structure this? How can I make it sustainable for the long term? And profitable and make it my full-time gig.” - Katie Hunt “When you’re buying a card in a store, you're buying it because this is perfect for this one person. I had this thought of like I'm trying to design for everybody, so I wasn't designing those kind of cards.” -  Alicia Heater “I scrapped the idea of trying to design cards that are going to be so generic and good for everybody, because then they're not really special for any one person, and those are the ones that sell.” -  Alicia Heater “When it feels like you’re selling the same thing as everybody else, you need to really find what's unique about your products, and really promote that.” - Katie Hunt “When I turned that filter off of my ideas, it opened up a lot of things.”  - Alicia Heater “People will pick up a card for the way it looks, if it’s cute, but they'll buy it because of what it says.” -  Alicia Heater “I had no idea, so I went and did a bunch of Google searches on like how to sell wholesale and learned so much more about that when I did Paper Camp” -  Alicia Heater “Right after Paper Camp, I went out and was working harder at going to get more reps rather than going to get more stores, and it really empowered me to go do the right things. It was a chain reaction.” -  Alicia Heater “Now they're emailing me, and Anthropologie's like, ‘Oh, this card’s doing so well for us. Can we carry some more stuff, too?’ and I'm like, hmm. Let me think about that for a second. Yes!” -  Alicia Heater “Being able to have a business where I can do what I like doing, and it pays the bills, too, is really incredible, and I feel really blessed to have that, so I'm proud of that.”  - Alicia Heater “Even when you're not making much money, you can still give back.” -  Alicia Heater LINKS Website: http://www.slightlystationery.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slightlystationery Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slightlystationery/ Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/slightlypaper     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

25 June 2019


108 | Shifting our definition of success with Ginger Lyons, Buffalo Girls Salvage

108 | Shifting our definition of success with Ginger Lyons, Buffalo Girls Salvage

Hey friends, welcome back to Proof to Product! Today’s guest is Ginger Lyons, a serial entrepreneur who believes positive attitude, abundance mindset, and perseverance are the keys to a successful business model. A military veteran, Ginger is the creator behind Buffalo Girls Salvage, a jewelry design company that transforms salvaged copper, metal and bullet casings into beautiful, handmade pieces.   Since 2012, Ginger’s company has been inspiring women and honoring law enforcement officials through creative designs. She is also passionate about investing in mainstreet America, supporting small businesses and coaching female entrepreneurs.   On today's episode, Ginger and I talk about her incredible “backward” business journey. She shares what it was like to have a storefront, employees, national manufacturing network and the opportunity to appear on Shark Tank, and why she pivoted her business to stay true to her ‘why’. We talk about how our definition of success often changes over the course of time, how entrepreneurship is always a choice, and the importance of sharing our journey to help others.   I hope you enjoy Ginger's story of growth, strategic pivoting, and the lessons she learned along the way!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Ginger’s first business What she learned about herself from her experience in the military Her job as a main street manager in Texas The types of products and core customers at Buffalo Girls Salvage Why Ginger treats her wholesale and shopify accounts as two separate companies The materials and process that goes into creating jewelry   Advice for entrepreneurs trying to do it all Fears Ginger had about expanding her team and ensuring quality control Ginger’s backward business journey Important questions to ask yourself as a small business owner How Ginger said “no” to Shark Tank and stayed true to her “why” What’s next for Ginger, Buffalo Girl Salvage and how she’s encouraging more women entrepreneurs KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I think some of us were just born with it. And we discover later in life that's what it is. But there's this feeling of entrepreneurship.” - Ginger Lyons “As an entrepreneur in general, I love the idea that we can all contribute to ... I know it sounds cliché, but the American dream. I love that we can all make an impact.” - Ginger Lyons “As a main street manager for a city in the state of Texas, I discovered how important main street is in America. We need small businesses and we need to keep them alive. ” - Ginger Lyons “If I can give any advice ... it’s start asking for help as fast as you can, and getting help in the things that you know you can afford to get. Even in the smallest details, it's important to have others alongside you and not be the-everything-girl.” - Ginger Lyons “As entrepreneurs, we're doers. We want to do all the things and it's hard to give up control.” - Ginger Lyons “It's hard to give up the control. In the early stages we worry about paying somebody else and we worry about delegating and having the management skills to manage another person too.”  - Katie Hunt “I believe in the main street, and I believe in us bringing up boutiques, and helping our fellow entrepreneurs develop their businesses. We have to do as much as we can in the US so that we can build up that together.”  - Ginger Lyons “That’s just life as an entrepreneur. We’re faced with adversity, we’re faced with challenges, we’re faced with tons of decisions and we just have to choose to keep going.”  - Katie Hunt “I firmly believe we are all born with what our path is in life. And our job is to figure out what that is. And so if you spend too much time looking at the path of everyone else around you, you are never going to find the success that you were supposed to find for yourself.”  - Ginger Lyons “If you're being told “no”, fine. Move on. Seriously. Just get over the “no’s”. And put yourself in positions to do hard things that are uncomfortable.” - Ginger Lyons LINKS Website: https://buffalogirlsjewelry.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buffalogirlssalvage Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buffalogirlssalvage/   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

18 June 2019


107 | The long game of licensing & surface pattern design with Jeanetta Gonzales

107 | The long game of licensing & surface pattern design with Jeanetta Gonzales

Welcome back to Proof to Product, all you small business hustlers, and creative entrepreneurs! Today we have a great episode in store for you with guest Jeanetta Gonzales, a Los Angeles-based graphic designer, and illustrator. Jeanetta began her career as a graphic designer working for corporate companies such as WedMD, Mattel and The Disney Store. She later parlayed her digital and fine art skills into surface design working as a textile designer and style guide designer for consumer products and creating illustrations and art that she licenses to manufacturers for products sold online and in major retail stores. On top of all of this, Jeanetta also runs her own online store where she sells her art on print items, mugs, fabric, home decor items and more. On today’s episode, Jeanetta shares her experience with licensing and tells us why you have to be in it for the long game. We talk about why relationships are so important in business, why it’s necessary to create art and products with a unique point of view, and her goal to spread joy through a variety of creative means. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Common misconceptions that creative entrepreneurs have about licensing their work Tips for people that are putting together their portfolio How Jeanetta defines her artistic style and keeps it original The importance of experimenting What it took to overcome fears of failure and success Her 10 year journey of learning and creating When Jeanetta started to see traction in own design work What she learned from tradeshows Being okay with not being perfect Pivoting from her day job and shifting into licensing Jeanette’s favorite products to produce Her advice for other creative entrepreneurs and what’s coming up next KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I don't really think it's necessary to spend a whole year working on a portfolio or something like that. It's fine if you just have several collections that you're really proud of and get them out there.” - Jeanetta Gonzales “You don't want to be a copycat. You really just want your own work and your own vision and you're own visual point of view to come through.” - Jeanetta Gonzales “I really encourage people to experiment a lot, because that's where the happy accidents happen and that's where you're going to find the things that you really love to do.” - Jeanetta Gonzales “I always had this fire in me since I was a little kid to just do something different. To kind of go against the norm and it took me a long time to really get there.”  - Jeanetta Gonzales “Even if you do a show and you're ready for that, and you put heart and soul into it, it's never perfect. You're never going to be as ready as you think you want to be.” - Jeanetta Gonzales “Just when we start to get comfortable in one thing, that's where things take a little bit of a turn. It's part of the growth process, but it is uncomfortable and there is that underlying fear, am I making the right choices?” - Katie Hunt “I’m a firm believer that things happen on the time frame they should. Yeah sure, we could go back and change things, but would we still be where we are today if we did?” - Katie Hunt “In my own journey I've had to go around and around a lot, but it's all good. Now I'm older I can definitely see how it's all coming together.” - Jeanetta Gonzales “It is a long game. You just have to see how that plays out, and just know that if you're going to commit to something like licensing that it's not an overnight thing.” - Jeanetta Gonzales “So much is relationship based. If people know they like you and can trust you and you'll do a great job, it's going to open the door for more licensing opportunities.”  - Katie Hunt “When we know where we want to go, it makes it easier to build that path to get there.”  - Katie Hunt LINKS Website: http://JeanettaGonzales.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nettdesigns Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nettdesigns/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jeanettag/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/nettdesigns     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!   ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

11 June 2019


106 | Product diversification and scaling wholesale with Alex Gagne of Chez Gagne

106 | Product diversification and scaling wholesale with Alex Gagne of Chez Gagne

Today on Proof to Product we’re welcoming Paper Camp Alum, and founder of Chez Gagne, Alex Gagne! Alex attended our Paper Camp Conference back in February of 2015 before debuting her wholesale line at the National Stationery Show. Since then, Alex has gone on to expand her product offering, add new team members, and achieve her vision for the Chez Gagne brand.   Chez Gagne is a paper and gift brand that offers greeting cards, wine and spirit tags, mugs, wine glasses, candles, and rocks glasses. Alex currently sells to 1,500 stores throughout the world, works with sales reps nationally, and exhibited at six trade shows this winter alone. With more than 93% of Alex’s annual revenue coming from wholesale, much of her time is spent planning, prepping and traveling across the country for trade shows.   On today’s episode, Alex is sharing with us how she does it all. We talk about how greeting cards became more than just her creative outlet and how Alex made the jump from paper goods to other products. We also how Alex decides which new product categories to pursue, challenges she faced in her business journey and key factors to Chez Gagne’s exponential growth. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Alex switched from software to stationery How she decides to move forward with a product line Her theory on making things nice or funny Incorporating optics and organization into merchandising Alex’s process for research, development, manufacturing and pricing Why everything Alex produces is something she uses The importance of managing your margins Challenges of storing hard goods vs stationery Tactics for mitigating risk and designing sustainable products How Alex grew to 1,500 active accounts in 4 years Future plans and products Alex has in the works KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “It's strange to look back now, but I've actually always made greeting cards for people. I've always sent Valentines Day cards. And that's been something that I've done for years.” - Alex Gagne “It came full circle.I found something I was able to communicate my sense of humor with, as well as greet people and make them laugh.” - Alex Gagne “Our business is based on the model of, "If you can't make it nice, make it funny." So we have a little bit of everything.” - Alex Gagne “Everything we've ever brought into the line has been something that I want to use. We will never bring anything into the line that is something that I wouldn't use. That, for me, is totally disingenuine.”  - Alex Gagne “The agility of being a business owner is a very special thing, in that we can decide to move forward with something or we can decide to cut it from the line. We can't always do that in corporate America.” - Katie Hunt “There's only so much risk you want to take with a new product category.” - Alex Gagne “We pulled our best selling phrases from our greeting cards, and put them on mugs. And now we're putting them on wine glasses, they're on rocks glasses, they're on candles.” - Alex Gagne “As a business owner. I don't want to put anything out there, that I know is never going to be used again. We're producing so much crap as a society, that it's hard sometimes to put out gift items, because you feel like it's going directly to a landfill.” - Alex Gagne “Bottom line is, people want to have an experience these days. They don't necessarily need a lot of junk in their lives, but they want to have an experience, and I think people have an experience with our products.” - Alex Gagne “Once we get something set up, then we can turn, and focus on other aspects. But it's always shifting.” - Katie Hunt “It's been a lot of hustle. It's been a lot of late nights, and I'm really fortunate to not have to really do that as much anymore. There was definitely a time there, where I was staying up until 2:00 in the morning, every night, reaching out to retailers, finishing out orders, just trying to make it work.” - Alex Gagne “It's hard to delegate. I am a control freak. And I think being a letterpress printer is probably really a good indication of that.” - Alex Gagne “The brand perception for people who are very wary of curse words, or snark and sassy humor, has been a challenge for us. But it's also been a reason we've done incredibly well.” - Alex Gagne LINKS Website: https://www.chezgagne.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/chezgagne/about/?ref=page_internal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chezgagne/?hl=en   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

4 June 2019


How I swapped my Instagram handles with Katie Hunt

How I swapped my Instagram handles with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt walks us through how she swapped her Instagram handles during the Proof To Product rebrand and shares three lessons she learned in the process. Find us @prooftoproduct on Instagram and tell us what you thought of the episode! And check out our new site and resources at www.prooftoproduct.com

31 May 2019


105 |  Digital marketing strategies for product businesses with Allie Morris Nute, Verb House Creative

105 | Digital marketing strategies for product businesses with Allie Morris Nute, Verb House Creative

Our guest today is Allie Nute, the creative lady behind Verb House Creative. Allie provides content creation, digital marketing management and consulting services to incredible, creative businesses - businesses with personality, heart and dedication. Allie calls them her client-friends.   On this episode, we are talking about misconceptions that creative entrepreneurs have around marketing and how Allie helped one of her customers increase their wholesale sales by 250%. We also find out why fewer emails is often-times more impactful, why you don't need to be focusing on all of the social media platforms, and when it's best to pick one and run with it. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: What types of services Verb House  Creative offers The difference between social marketing and digital marketing How Allie got started with her marketing career Common misconceptions product based business owners have about creating and executing a marketing plan The benefits of getting an outsider’s perspective Advice for handling marketing logistics How Allie helps clients transform their businesses Simple steps and tips you can implement in your business today The importance of knowing your audience and product cycles and avoiding “vanity metrics” How having a family has changed her approach to business The Bespoke Content Club and what’s coming up next for Verb House Creative KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I wish I could tell everybody in every industry in the world, try to pick the channel that’s gonna be best for you. Is it gonna be Facebook or is it gonna Pinterest?”  - Allie Moris Nute   “It’s really key to get some outside help, because marketing is hard, it is paralyzing and you have a million other things to do, but this really has to get done.” - Allie Moris Nute     “We can undersell ourselves, or undersell our successes we've had, but somebody coming from the outside can take a look at the bigger picture and bring a unique perspective to it.” - Katie Hunt   “Too many people are trying to do too many things.” - Katie Hunt   “We all feel like we are really, really busy, and that's because we are. But if you don't sit down to actually make time for strategic marketing, it's just not gonna get done.” - Allie Moris Nute   “We can tell if a brand or retailer is just sending out emails just because they feel like they need to hit that certain mark, or if they're really taking the time to create content that we really care about and that their customer really cares about.” - Allie Moris Nute   “I'm a firm believer that it takes a solid, good two to three months to really see the effects of good marketing, good content and good strategy.” -  Allie Moris Nute   “I wanna make sure that we're a good fit in terms of how this person's fitting in with the group but also that their business is at a point where they'll be able to really, truly leverage the group and all that we're doing to enhance their business.” - Katie Hunt   “When you're a small business owner it's not just your business, you are so wrapped up in your business, and your business is so wrapped up in every other aspect of your life, it really extends to everything.” -  Allie Moris Nute LINKS   Website: http://www.verbhousecreative.com Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/verbhousecreative Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/verbhousecreative   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

28 May 2019


104 | Turning a hobby business into a thriving retail shop with Audrey Woollen, Urbanic

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.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The inspiration and motivation behind Urbanic How Audrey found her true passion in Los Angeles   The benefits of working festivals and farmers markets Establishing a customer base and curating your brand Giving up a big paycheck for a bigger dream The types of products merchandised at Urbanic Choosing specialty items that keep things exciting   Making the most of a small space How Urbanic has evolved since opening 13 years ago Creating events that bring the LA design community together under one roof The power of a positive  customer experience How Audrey balances business and motherhood The challenges of running a brick-and-mortar store Seeking out new lines, tradeshows, and what Audrey looks for in submissions What’s up next for Urbanic and what Audrey has planned for next year KEY TAKE-AWAYS:     “Ever since I was a little girl, I had a huge passion for paper products, whether it be sending people cards or picking out my back to school supplies. I took that very seriously.” - Audrey Woollen   “I remember having the moment, literally stopped in my tracks, and tears came to my eyes, I'm like, "This is what I wanna do." I would feel so happy to create an environment for people to come shop, and to be able to curate that.” - Audrey Woollen   “It was all really a hobby at that point, it was just something I loved, and it wasn't generating much income at all. But it was pushing me closer to wanting to do more.” - Audrey Woollen   “I was getting more and move involved in the industry, and seeing what was out there, and falling more in love with what I was finding, and wanting to have a, create a bigger experience.” - Audrey Woollen   “When we're in a corporate job or a freelance job and we're trying to build our business on the side, there's no perfect time to go all in the business, right? There's usually something that pushes us over.”- Katie Hunt   “Because I was on Main Street and Santa Monica, I was able to set up at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market each Sunday. I could do more in that day than I did, like, an entire week.” -Audrey Woollen   “It was completely a huge risk. But the spot opened up, and I just sorta got there at the right place and time, and just sort of went for it.” - Audrey Woollen “I knew that if I was gonna continue just doing that for a paycheck, then I was gonna lose out an opportunity to do something that I really wanted.” - Audrey Woollen   “We have a customer base of people that are faithful to us and have made it a destination even in greater LA.” - Audrey Woollen   “In the industry that I'm in, and this avenue that I picked, there's always something that is a feel good moment, not to mention babies and birthdays and celebrations and weddings, it's like all the best stuff in life.” - Audrey Woollen     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, Proof to Product has worked with  thousands of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

21 May 2019


103 | Marketing our Rebrand with Katie Hunt, Proof to Product

103 | Marketing our Rebrand with Katie Hunt, Proof to Product

This is Part 3 of our three-part series exploring Proof to Product’s exciting new rebrand. On Part 1, which was Episode 101, guest host Caroline Hull and I talked about why I decided to change my business name from Tradeshow Bootcamp to Proof to Product. On Part 2, we dove into the logistics, business formation, legal decisions, and building out the new website. If you missed those two episodes, I encourage you to head back and listen to 101 and 102 first!   On today’s episode, Caroline and I are breaking things down to talk about the marketing plan. Specifically, how we rolled out the new site and the news about the Proof to Product name change.   Our audience has been such an important part of this process, and I’m so excited to share all of these new changes with you. I hope you enjoy Part 3 of this three-part series and be sure to check out our new online home at prooftoproduct.com!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How to communicate a big business change to your audience Why Katie decided it was important to tell alumni first Creating the I Am Proof to Product Campaign Identifying and marketing high impact programs Doing fewer things better Why Katie is offering more free content Storytelling instead of selling How to join the #iamprooftoproduct celebration   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:     “It's a celebration of our community that we're all growing up because we are all growing up together.” - Katie Hunt   “Proof to Product brand is not just about me. It's about all of us.” - Katie Hunt   “I love in-person events, I love live classes where people are on live and asking their questions and we have the back and forth collaboration and conversation about it.” - Katie Hunt   “I want to make sure that we're putting our time and attention into the things that are making the biggest impact for our community and allowing me to serve them the best.” - Katie Hunt “I want to show that we're just growing up, we're tightening things so that we can do a better job.” - Katie Hunt   “Everyone should go back to the beginning and look at why they’re doing what they’re doing because it really will help shape what you do moving forward.” - Caroline Hull   “Highlighting our community members is truly what we're all about.” - Katie Hunt   “I want to just give. I want to give, give, give, give, give as much as we possibly can to our audience.” - Katie Hunt   “We just want people to tell friends. We want people to go sign up for the new options that we have, watch the videos we have, really engage with what we built.” - Katie Hunt   “If my story can help somebody else, that's what I'm here for. That's the whole reason I do this podcast and why we do the programming that we do.” - Katie Hunt   LINKS Squarespace Web Developer: Susannah Carpenter   SEO Consultant: Myrna Daramy     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!   ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

16 May 2019


102 | Logistics of Our Rebrand with Katie Hunt, Proof to Product

102 | Logistics of Our Rebrand with Katie Hunt, Proof to Product

Welcome to Part 2 of a three-part series exploring Proof to Product’s exciting new rebrand. On Part 1, which was Episode 101, guest host Caroline Hull and I talked about why I decided to change my business name from Tradeshow Bootcamp to Proof to Product, and all the fears I had going into the transition. So if you haven't caught that episode yet, I encourage you to go and start there!   Today, on Episode 102, Caroline and I are diving into the logistics behind the rebrand, from the business formation and legal decisions to marketing planning and building Proof to Product’s new website. Tomorrow, on Episode 103, I share our marketing plan, how we’re rolling out the new name and the best parts of our beautiful new website.   Our audience has been such an important part of this process, and I’m so excited to share all of these new changes with you. I hope you enjoy Part 2 of this three-part series and join in to celebrate with us!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The value of starting with a website analysis   How Katie tackled the new web build and transition Her decision to switch from Wordpress to Squarespace Choosing the right web developer for the job The importance of breaking tasks up into manageable chunks Why Katie started the rebrand process by getting advice from an attorney What goes into a trademark Little logistics that pop up along the way How to dream big without getting overwhelmed KEY TAKE-AWAYS:     “I looked through all of the blog posts and looked at the traffic of like how many people were really looking at these things. And we narrowed it down to our top performing content.” - Katie Hunt   “One of my motivations for wanting a new site was just a clean slate. I wanted to start over on a new host where things were secure and everything felt good.” - Katie Hunt   “I had done so much work. I wire-framed the whole thing, I knew exactly what I wanted on the site, and I just needed somebody that could build it.” - Katie Hunt   “It's like anything you're hiring for, you know, you want to make sure that it's a good fit, whether it's a long-term position or routine or position or even just a per project. You know, you want to make sure you're getting the right people on the bus. ” - Katie Hunt   “When you have these big projects that take up so much time, it's really nice to have that help.” - Caroline Hull   “I will say it's a huge team project… everyone had their piece and it wouldn't have been possible without everybody.” - Katie Hunt   “If you’re considering changing a name like this, you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row, that your business is being treated like a business and you want to make sure you get that right before you launch.” - Katie Hunt   “It’s ironic because I've done this for other people, helped build and figure this out for other people, but sometimes it's so hard to do for yourself.”  - Katie Hunt   “You do the best you can. You get the big pieces done and out there. Then, if there are other things that you can tackle, you can do those later.” - Caroline Hull   “One thing I would tell people, whether it's a rebrand or launching a new site or whatever it is, take that time to dream big, map out your big wishlist as if time and money and everything were no option.” - Katie Hunt     LINKS Squarespace Web Developer: Susannah Carpenter   SEO Consultant: Myrna Daramy     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!

15 May 2019


101 | Why I Rebranded to Proof to Product with Katie Hunt

101 | Why I Rebranded to Proof to Product with Katie Hunt

Hey Friends, it’s so good to be back! Did you catch yesterday’s announcement? We have BIG news! Tradeshow Bootcamp is now Proof to Product, and we've launched a brand new website for the Proof to Product brand. To celebrate, we are doing things a little bit differently on the Podcast! We are turning the tables and I’ll be your guest for the next few days. TSBC Alum, Caroline Hull guest hosts and we go behind the scenes for three full episodes, unveiling the exciting shifts I made in my business.   This week, on Episodes 101, 102 and 103, Caroline and I dive headfirst into the Tradeshow Bootcamp to Proof to Product rebrand. Today, on Episode 101, we’re talking about why I decided to change my business name and all the fears that were behind it. Tomorrow on Episode 102, Caroline and I tackle the logistics including Proof to Product’s new website, the legal decisions, and the business model. Then on Thursday, during Episode 103, I share our marketing plan, how we rolled out the new name and the new website.   Our audience has been such an important part of this process, and I’m so excited to share all of these new changes with you. I hope you enjoy this episode, and listen in to find out how to get involved to celebrate with us!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Katie made the decision to rebrand and change her business name How Tradeshow Bootcamp evolved over eight+ years Facing fears around outgrowing and rebranding What Katie did to find the right look and feel for Proof to Product Finding the confidence to lean into growth The importance of getting back to basics Katie’s process for reconnecting with the audience How Katie handled the switch The amazing new resources available at prooftoproduct.com KEY TAKE-AWAYS:     “I'm going to get super vulnerable here with all of you guys. Because all of you are my people and this has been a process.” - Katie Hunt   “I felt like, ‘Gosh, Tradeshow Bootcamp just doesn't articulate all the different things that we do and how we help business owners.’” - Katie Hunt   “I worked with, no joke, four different designers who I highly respect and admire and I love their work. And we just couldn't land on anything that felt right.” - Katie Hunt   “I felt we're outgrowing the brand. I felt it was growing up and yet I kept hitting walls.” - Katie Hunt   “We had all these resources available on all these different ways, but we weren't communicating it. And that was really frustrating for me.” - Katie Hunt   “We started Proof to Product and that kind of took a life of its own.” - Katie Hunt   “I broke it down to the basics. I went back to whose our audience? What kind of programming do they need? What kind of problems do we need to solve for them?” - Katie Hunt   “Rebranding isn't just about picking a new name and picking a new logo. This is about looking at the entire picture. And making sure that it all works and fits together and makes sense for your audience.” - Caroline Hull   “I'm a firm believer that we need to go back as entrepreneurs and constantly be reevaluating. Who are we working with? And what are we giving them and how are we providing maximum value to them?” - Katie Hunt   “We grow and evolve as people, and our businesses grow and evolve too.” - Caroline Hull   LINKS Squarespace Web Developer: Susannah Carpenter   SEO Consultant: Myrna Daramy     SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!   ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

14 May 2019


Katie Hunt | Spring Break + Big News Coming!

Katie Hunt | Spring Break + Big News Coming!

Over the next few weeks, the podcast will be taking a Spring Break.   No, we won’t be lounging on the beach, or having cocktails by a pool.  Although we hope that all of you are able to build in some rest and relaxation into your days!   Instead, the Proof to product team and I are busy cooking up something big that will enable us to serve all of you better and help you build your businesses faster.   Our small but mighty team will be putting all of our time into this super secret project, so we won't be airing new episodes of the podcast for a few weeks.   While we’ve got our heads down working hard, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to some of our most popular episodes of so far this year.   I’ve included links in the show notes so you can find them quickly and easily.   Also, if you could take two minutes to leave us a 5-star rating or write a review in Apple Podcasts, I'd greatly appreciate it.  Reviews and ratings help us get more eyes on Proof to Product, which provides more opportunities for fresh content, discounts and resources for all of you.      Thanks so much for listening, for supporting me and the show.  We'll be back soon with some exciting news!   Fan Favorites: Megan Auman on product photography and leveraging Pinterest for sales    Tanya Wheeless on why never wanted to be an entrepreneur and the value of investing in professional development   Lichia Liu, Gotamago on pursuing her passion, building a team and creating systems and why she thinks it is important to jump before you feel ready    Sara McNally, Constellation & Co. on juggling a manufacturing business and retail shop, utilizing interns and falling in love with letterpress    Lillian Farag on licensing, collaborations and the growing pains of being an entrepreneur

23 April 2019


100 | Special Edition | Proof to Product's 100th Episode

100 | Special Edition | Proof to Product's 100th Episode

Hey friends, can you believe it?! This is Proof to Product’s 100th Episode! It’s been amazing to watch this podcast, which began as a creative way to connect with members of the stationery community,  grow into so much more - a platform, resource, and launching point for stationery and creative entrepreneurs alike.   Over the last year and a half, we’ve heard some incredible, inspiring startup stories from entrepreneurs making physical products, just like you. We have talked about successes and struggles, mindset shifts, and the importance of taking action to reach your goals. Entrepreneurs like Katie Wilson of The Good Twin, Rachael Hetzel of Pistachio Press, Mary Phan of Very Mary Inspired, Ronnie Williams of DeFrance Printing, Taylor Elliot of Taylor Elliott Designs, Natasha Case of Coolhaus, and Viola Sutanto of Maika Goods, just to name a few, all shared their stories, struggles and advice of growing and thriving in business.   To celebrate this 100th milestone, we’re revisiting our favorite episodes and the Proof to Product lessons that continue to inspire our lives and business. We’re honored to share the personal stories of our amazing audience members and hope you enjoy this special edition episode! ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   Jean Marie Opus, Little Feet’s Opus Amanda Farrand, Grief Biscuit Elana Hopman, Annabel Reese Christina Green, The Cardinal Collective Mele Williams, Plucky Press Brooke Spare, Cheeky Beak McKinley Bryson, Lucky Bat Paper Co Janine Kwoh, Kwohtations Lauren Ashley Barnes, Pineapple Sundays Design Studio   Rongrong Devoe, Rongrong Illustration Mackenzie Vance, Smitches       SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

16 April 2019


099 | Emily Asher, Emily Rose Ink on shifting her focus to custom wedding work and creating a better client experience

099 | Emily Asher, Emily Rose Ink on shifting her focus to custom wedding work and creating a better client experience

Today on the 99th Episode of Proof to Product I’m joined by our friend and Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni, Emily Asher. Emily is an artist, calligrapher and the owner of Emily Rose Ink, a boutique wedding stationery studio based in Chicago. Emily started designing wedding stationery as a side hustle while working as a high school English teacher, but since taking the leap to make it her livelihood, her wedding stationery has been featured in countless publications and blogs, including Vogue, Martha Stewart, Style Me Pretty, and Oh So Beautiful Paper.   Early on in her business journey, Emily made the decision to intentionally narrow her focus, from art prints and greeting cards, to custom wedding stationery. Although this felt like a risk at first, this allowed Emily to perfect her design aesthetic, grow customer relationships, and solidify her business foundation. As a result, Emily's wedding stationery business took off and her designs made celebrity status. Seriously... She just did Hillary Swank’s invites!   On today's episode, Emily shares her startup story. She talks about how she got her foothold in the stationery industry, what inspired her to dive fully into her business, and why it was important for her to narrow her focus to solely doing custom wedding work. Emily also shares what she learned from celebrity weddings, how she manages her growing business today, and what’s coming up next for Emily Rose Ink!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Emily got into hand lettering and calligraphy The turning point when she decided to start her own business Her decision process for focusing solely on weddings How she streamlined and strengthened her business foundation Emily’s favorite project management tool The importance of continuing to evolve What it was like to do Hillary Swank’s wedding invitations What she learned from celebrity weddings How Emily manages her team and employees What’s up next for Emily Rose Ink   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I was thinking, “Oh, it'll be something fun and creative for me to do on the side." The more I got into it, I was really struck by how awesome it was that you could actually make a living doing something creative.” - Emily Asher   “Paper Camp was actually a big turning point for me because I met so many other people who were making a living and supporting themselves full-time with stationery.” - Emily Asher   “As I started to get more wedding clients, who are really my ideal clients, I started to be more inspired.” - Emily Asher   “I felt I was splintering my marketing a little bit by doing greeting cards and art prints, and the wedding stuff, because they weren't necessarily geared towards the same person. So I decided to just try and pursue the wedding thing and that really exploded for me.” - Emily Asher   “By focusing on weddings, it allowed me to really fine tune all my systems and focus on what was going to serve the clients better.” - Emily Asher   “There's so many details that go into starting a business; logistics and organization, and the systems. I feel like it took me two years to get all my systems down and I'm still constantly changing them.” - Emily Asher   “Take a look at how you can automate, streamline and build systems or step-by-step processes so that you can easily bring people on board to help with things.” - Katie Hunt   “Just being able to say that I did that level of wedding helps me have confidence in charging my worth for projects that are really time-consuming.” - Emily Asher   “It's good to take some time to reflect on, "What am I doing this business for? What's my main motivation here? Is it freedom or flexibility? Is it the money?" because those priorities will shift at different times in the business depending on your own personal circumstances.” - Katie Hunt   “It's all about figuring out what are your employees strengths and skills and how can you best apply them to the things that need to be done in the business. Sometimes it takes a little while to figure out.” - Emily Asher   “You wanna have the right people on your team, but you also wanna make sure that the work that they're doing is aimed at their areas of expertise, and their skill sets.” - Katie Hunt   CONNECT WITH EMILY ASHER: Website: http://www.emilyroseink.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilyroseink Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/emilyroseink   JOIN US FOR OUR FREE MARKETING CLASS APRIL 10th!   Did you know 98% of visitors are leaving your site without taking action? It can be SO frustrating when visitors come to your site, look at all the amazing things you have going on, and don’t take the next steps you want them to – like buying your product or joining your community. It can feel impossible sometimes, like all the people you drive to your site are slipping through your fingers like sand. But – there’s a solution!   Lindsey Morando from Hello Bar is presenting LIVE on the next steps to turn those visitors into sales and long term customers. Sign up to save your FREE spot for April 10th, 2019 at 12PM PST!   Register for April 10th Class: http://bit.ly/ptphellobar SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

9 April 2019


098 | Lindsey Morando, Hello Bar on how to simplify your marketing

098 | Lindsey Morando, Hello Bar on how to simplify your marketing

Lately, I’ve had lots of feedback and questions from our audience regarding the struggles of marketing strategy. It can be so hard to know where to direct your time and energy with so many social and marketing channels available now, and that’s why I’m really excited for you to hear this week’s episode with Lindsey Morando, the Director of Marketing for Hello Bar. Lindsey has more than fifteen years of experience in business development and marketing that spans multiple industries including health & wellness, SaaS, lifestyle, and hospitality. No matter which industry she is focusing on though, Lindsey prides herself on the creation and implementation of engaging grassroots and online marketing tactics that convert fans into paying, happy customers. When Lindsey is not moving the marketing needle for businesses, she is a marketing professor at the San Diego Fashion Institute and the author of It's Just the Beginning, Break Up, Get Up & Walk Away.   Today, on Episode 98, Lindsay is sharing a ton of great marketing and business advice. She talks about the number one challenge she sees small business owners facing today, her three strategies for simplifying marketing and ...  (drumroll please) together we announce our free marketing class coming out on April 10th. This class is specifically designed to help you Capture More Emails on Your Website, and make the most of your marketing efforts. Head to the link to find out more and register, and happy listening!     ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The number one challenge Lindsey sees in small businesses 3 Steps to simplifying your marketing strategy Free offers that work well for e-commerce How to identify your strongest channels Advice for elevating key products What streamlining does for profits How Hello Bar supports small biz marketing efforts Ways to make pop-ups less annoying A sneak peek at our free April 10th marketing class   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “The biggest challenge is people are feeling overwhelmed and trying to figure out what is the best way to actually get more sales and get more leads in the door.” - Lindsey Morando   “When we try to do it all ourselves, we not only spread ourselves too thin but we kinda take away the specialness or the effectiveness of all of them.” - Katie Hunt   “The people that I find that are most successful are the ones who hone in on one or two marketing channels and make them their absolute best marketing channel.” - Lindsey Morando   “It's not just double tapping a picture, it's actually commenting, asking questions, engaging - and if you can do that consistently you're going to see some huge traction in your business.” - Lindsey Morando   “Whenever you offer, and whatever you're using to collect information should ultimately either be a part of your free product or something that leads someone down the path to buying from you because at the end of the day, you are a business and that's what you need to do.” - Lindsey Morando   “Always be thinking about ways that you can interact and engage your audience, and then get them to start thinking a little more.” - Lindsey Morando   “What it’s really about, is what is your signature item that brings in the most cash for your business?” - Lindsey Morando   “When you're focused on one thing you can serve your audience so much better.” - Katie Hunt   “How do you get people? Is it about the design? Is it about the headline? We really focus on the education behind that so our users don't even have to think twice about how to actually start collecting more leads.” - Lindsey Morando   “If you really take the time to get to know your ideal client, who's coming to your website and put the right offers in front of them, with the right timing - they're going to be far more likely to take it.” - Lindsey Morando   “Look at the user experience and make sure that it feels really seamless. It should a part of your customer journey, not a big stop sign that's really annoying in your customer journey.” - Lindsey Morando   “We need to be thinking very strategically about how we're not only bringing those new customers into the fold and onto our email list but then how we're nurturing them afterward and creating that journey for them.” - Katie Hunt   CONNECT WITH LINDSEY MORANDO: Website: http://hellobar.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hellobar/   JOIN US FOR OUR FREE MARKETING CLASS APRIL 10th!   Did you know 98% of visitors are leaving your site without taking action? It can be SO frustrating when visitors come to your site, look at all the amazing things you have going on, and don’t take the next steps you want them to – like buying your product or joining your community. It can feel impossible sometimes, like all the people you drive to your site are slipping through your fingers like sand. But – there’s a solution!   Lindsey Morando from Hello Bar is presenting LIVE on the next steps to turn those visitors into sales and long term customers. Sign up to save your FREE spot for April 10th, 2019 at 12PM PST!   Register for April 10th Class: http://bit.ly/ptphellobar SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

2 April 2019


097 | Ilana Griffo on pivoting, hiring a licensing agent and rethinking failure

097 | Ilana Griffo on pivoting, hiring a licensing agent and rethinking failure

Welcome back to another episode of Proof to Product! Today’s guest is Ilana Griffo, an illustrator, designer, author, and Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni! Like so many of you fellow entrepreneurs, Ilana built her business from the ground up. She began by launching her own stationery line, moved into designing her own product lines, signed major licensing deals with nationally recognized brands like Pier 1, Homegoods, and Michaels, and just published her first book, Mind Your Business. The key to Ilana’s success? She points to the way her business is always transitioning, pivoting to get to where she wants to go!   On today’s episode, Ilana and I sit down to talk about her career journey and the lessons she learned along the way. She talks about how she got her start in the stationery industry, why she decided to hire a licensing agent, and how that has freed her up to do more creative work. We also talk about pushing yourself to create for fun, fighting for your value, and rethinking failure. Ilana shares some examples of tough situations she went through in her business and how they resulted in some of her proudest moments.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Misconceptions people have about the small business life   How to ask for what you want The difference between giving up and letting go Tips for putting together a first portfolio What happens after you sign with an agency   How Ilana turns comparison into inspiration Finding silver linings in self-doubt The importance of fighting for your value Ilana’s intention behind Mind Your Business Celebrating then and now   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “One of the biggest philosophies I have is that you need to ask for what you want.” - Ilana Griffo   “I always wanted to create artwork that makes me happy, that makes other people happy.” - Ilana Griffo   “These pivots haven't been, I'm going to give up. They've just been, I'm going to let go of this so that I can move on to something better.” - Ilana Griffo   “It's always scary to make a change, it's always scary, because we don't know what's on the other side. We don't know if that's going to end up being more successful, or if we're going to feel like we fell flat on our face.” - Katie Hunt   “Transitioning into a new role is always a conversation, it's always making a list, it's always the pros and cons, and you will never feel 100% ready.” - Ilana Griffo   “Licensing has been a whole new world that I didn't know existed, and now that I'm doing it more, I'm just learning so much about the industry.” - Ilana Griffo   “It's amazing to see my work on products that I know I couldn't manufacture on my own. I can make a greeting card, but I can't make one that has a popup and holographic foil and all these things.” - Ilana Griffo   “Do things for fun, and then turn them into collections that you would want to buy.” - Ilana Griffo   “If you don't feel that self-doubt, then you don't have the fire of an entrepreneur, because that's what keeps us going every day. It’s that  fire that's saying, work harder, or smarter. Do more. Reach for what you want.” - Ilana Griffo   “Before, I put my value into how happy the client was, or how many clients I had booked, or things like that. And now I put it into how I feel about myself.” - Ilana Griffo   “We will get through this, and you'll figure it out, and it will lead to another experience, a notch on your belt of how you're going to handle things going forward.” - Katie Hunt   “Share the process, share the ups and share the downs, just makes it so real and makes people want to follow along.” - Ilana Griffo   “I want to write down my goals and make sure I'm in line with those, but I also want to sit back and enjoy the ride, and feel really proud about what I did.” - Ilana Griffo CONNECT WITH ILANA GRIFFO: Website: http://www.ilanagriffo.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sugarandtype/ Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sugarandtype Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/ilanagriffo/   LINKS For another great episode on licensing - Episode 84   JOIN US FOR PROOF TO PRODUCT’S 100th EPISODE! Call In: http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/     Over the last year and a half, Proof to Product has shared almost 100 startup stories from entrepreneurs making physical products, just like you. We have talked about successes and struggles, mindset shifts, and the importance of taking action to reach your goals. We are quickly approaching our 100th episode and we want to do something special to celebrate all of you, our listeners. We want to hear your proof to product story and share it with our audience. To participate, head over to http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/ and leave us a voicemail with YOUR story. Then tune into episode 100 to find out if we included you!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

26 March 2019


096 | Julie Richardson, Unblushing on rebranding to a new name and fresh look

096 | Julie Richardson, Unblushing on rebranding to a new name and fresh look

Hey Friends, it’s Tuesday! Which means we’re back with another episode of Proof to Product, and this week I’m sitting down for a very fun interview with former PTP guest, Julie Richardson. You may remember Julie from Episode 20, where she shared her startup story and told us how she built her Etsy shop, Julie Ann Art, into a successful wholesale enterprise. If you haven’t heard her story, it’s definitely worth heading back for a listen!   For some background- Julie founded Julie Ann Art shop in 2008 and quickly gained the attention of the internet with her combination of raw illustrations and irreverent wit. Her brand brought a refreshing take to stationery, and with features in People, Bored Panda, Refinery and more, her side hustle hobby grew into a national lifestyle brand.   In 2019, Julie Ann Art rebranded as Unblushing to better represent the strong-willed, unapologetic voice that is quintessential to her stationery and gift brand. On today’s episode, Julie and I dive into this recent rebranding experience. We talk about how she knew she was ready for a new name and a fresh look, how she narrowed down potential names, and how she ultimately decided on Unblushing. Julie pulls the curtain back on what happens behind the scenes during a rebrand, shares her roadmap for planning the transition and tells us how she dealt with the unexpected details she never saw coming. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Julie decided to rebrand after 10 years How she went about selecting a new name Her action plan for orchestrating the transition Tips for other entrepreneurs planning to rebrand What she did to keep customers in the loop about the switch The benefits of hiring out specific projects Julie’s plans to connect locally   What’s up next for Unblushing   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I started Julie Ann Art as a creative hobby. There was no intention. It was just for fun. That was 10 years ago, we're not a hobby anymore.” - Julie Richardson   “I definitely had fear going into it, but at the same time, I just knew that I was ready to take that leap and take that risk.” - Julie Richardson   “I basically started a list, went to thesaurus.com and just tried to think about what the brand had become, who our customer was, what traits they had, or how I considered them to be” - Julie Richardson   “Rebranding helped me to look at social media in a different way, because just with my brand, it's witty, short captions. It was nice to see people's response to me writing in paragraphs and telling stories.” - Julie Richardson   “I tried so hard to get everything right. At the same time, I expected something to go wrong. Not everything can be perfect. You can't think of every little detail.” - Julie Richardson   “it was a huge product, but it's been really rewarding to get the response, and people are as excited as we were, so that makes me feel good.” - Julie Richardson   “Sometimes we're a little too close to these things, and somebody else can come in with their fresh eyes, and build something even better than we could envision.” - Katie Hunt   “Make a list. Make lots of lists. That was my number one go-to.” - Julie Richardson   “When you talk about something, you need to light up and love it. If you're not completely happy in what you're doing, it is time to pivot and find the next direction.” - Julie Richardson   “My inspiration was coming from the brand that was already created. I was just renaming it after what it already was.” - Julie Richardson   “I feel like my customer is basically living next door to me. I just need to meet them, you know?” - Julie Richardson CONNECT WITH JULIE RICHARDSON: Website: https://unblushing.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/unblushingco Instagram: http://instagram.com/unblushingco   JOIN US FOR PROOF TO PRODUCT’S 100th EPISODE! Call In: http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/    Over the last year and a half, Proof to Product has shared almost 100 startup stories from entrepreneurs making physical products, just like you. We have talked about successes and struggles, mindset shifts, and the importance of taking action to reach your goals. We are quickly approaching our 100th episode and we want to do something special to celebrate all of you, our listeners. We want to hear your proof to product story and share it with our audience. To participate, head over to http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/ and leave us a voicemail with YOUR story. Then tune into episode 100 to find out if we included you!   SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

19 March 2019


095 | Amy Tan , Amy Tangerine on customer engagement, collaborations and her book, Craft a Life You Love.

095 | Amy Tan , Amy Tangerine on customer engagement, collaborations and her book, Craft a Life You Love.

Hey friends! This week on Proof to Product I’m sitting down with Amy Tan, founder of the creative lifestyle company, Amy Tangerine. I’m really excited to have Amy on the show, because not only is she a creative entrepreneur that designs online content as well as fun, tangible products like t-shirts and craft supplies, she also teaches workshops around the world, makes YouTube videos, consults with awesome brands and wrote the book, Craft a Life You Love. Amy believes everyone has a story to tell, and her mission is to inspire women everywhere to feel joy and confidence by infusing creativity, fun, and intention into the everyday.   On today’s episode, Amy shares how she got her start as an entrepreneur and how her business has evolved over time. She gives advice for curating an authentic and organic social media presence, and the best way to approach contracts and collaboration. We also talk about her favorite mediums, how she connects with her audience and how she decides which partnerships and collaborations to say yes to. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Amy enjoys Instagram as a medium Her perspective on vlogging How she keeps her YouTube channel authentic   The importance of separating self-worth from “likes” What Amy did to monetize her Instagram organically How she learned to negotiate contracts Amy’s three criteria for collaboration Legal advice for freelancers and influencers How writing a book helped Amy heal and deal in difficult times A sneak peek at what Amy’s got going on in 2019   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “My parents always instilled this value of you can do anything you put your mind to and your heart in, they really had this vision that the American dream was to work for yourself.” - Amy Tan   “I had all these ideas for side hustles, without knowing that that's what they were. I magically somehow ended up turning a lot of hobbies into work. ” - Amy Tan   “It’s so valuable to try different things and you don't actually have to go all in on something. You can dabble.” - Amy Tan   “There's so many things that you can learn and I just think that experimentation is the best way to do so.” - Amy Tan   “I really wanted people to get a feel of what it was like as a small business owner, as a creative entrepreneur who sits in a studio working and have that dialogue and that feeling that you're right alongside me in the studio creating, and on the adventures that I take.” - Amy Tan   “I feel like it's still me being on Instagram. I'm still authentic, I'm still real. I'm still the same person. Even though the content that I share might vary to a certain degree, I just love being able to do that in such a fun format.”  - Amy Tan   “I experimented with different types of videos. Sometimes I would do a tutorial, sometimes I would talk straight to camera, sometimes it would be short, sometimes it'd be longer. I played around and I took the pressure off of myself for making things perfect.” - Amy Tan   “You're trying to be true to yourself and you're not trying to create an image just to appease people.” - Katie Hunt   “Sometimes I actually don't want to post that many pretty things because I don't want people thinking that all I'm focusing on is the pretty aspects and nothing bad is happening in my life. That is so untrue.” - Amy Tan   “Show the type of work you want to be doing and then that'll ultimately attract the same type of people that are interested in it.” - Katie Hunt   “I do love helping people and working with people. But at the same time, I realize that my time is really limited and I can't be spread too thin because I've been there before.” - Amy Tan   “Why are you starting this business to begin with? Who do you want to serve and how you want to make an impact in their lives? Because if you don't have a reason for starting this business, then it's not truly a business, if you're not solving problems.” - Katie Hunt   “I don't have a rate sheet. I don't believe in her rate card. I believe everything is a conversation.” - Amy Tan   “I don't know if you know this, but you can't really tell an entrepreneur what to do.” - Amy Tan CONNECT WITH EMILY MARKS: Website: http://amytangerine.com/ YouTube: http://youtube.com/amytangerine Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amytangerine/   JOIN US FOR PROOF TO PRODUCT’S 100th EPISODE! Call In: http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/ PAPER CAMP E-COURSE     Many of you have been patiently waiting for the return of our Paper Camp E-course and I’m excited to tell you that it’s here. This is a 4-week online program that kicks off March 18.  You’ll get new videos to watch each week on your own and we’ll have a live Q&A call every week with me and special guest experts.   But you’ve got to act fast, because registration closes on March 16. If you’ve want to see your products on the shelves of retail stores big & small, if you want to launch or refine your wholesale program, or maybe you want to exhibit at large scale trade shows, this is the program for you! We’ll cover product development, sales tools for wholesale, working with reps, marketing to retailers and exhibiting at shows. To learn more and register, head to http://bit.ly/pce2019 I look forward to having you there! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

12 March 2019


094 | Emily Marks, Carina Paper Co on why discomfort can lead to personal growth & how she strategic plans for her business.

094 | Emily Marks, Carina Paper Co on why discomfort can lead to personal growth & how she strategic plans for her business.

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.     ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Emily’s pivot from accounting to stationery Her business launch timeline Planning ahead vs being in the now How she deals with frustrating aspects of the business The need to celebrate what we’ve accomplished Growing into your strengths   The importance of prioritizing for future growth When to take that chance   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “Getting the designs out of my head and onto actual products definitely took the longest time, but then  all the details came together.” - Emily Marks   “I like to try to look at it like my biggest competition is myself.” - Emily Marks   “There's enough people in this industry and in this world, and we all can make a good product, if you have something that resonates with people.” - Emily Marks   “You can't focus just on today. You have to look at the whole, the last few months, and also give yourself a little bit of a break.” - Emily Marks   “Sometimes in that hustle for the next thing, we forget to celebrate what we've accomplished along the way... We need to celebrate the successes that we're having right now.” - Katie Hunt   “I'm a firm believer that you only grow and you only learn when you're uncomfortable because I think when you're comfortable, no matter what you're doing in life, it's just status quo.” - Emily Marks   “As small business owners, we don't always have a ton of time, or a ton of money, and so how do we balance the different needs in our business, and what we should keep on our plate as the CEO?” - Katie Hunt   “You have to make sure every time you're reaching out, you're reaching out with valuable information .” - Emily Marks   “Marketing is just an interesting beast, and I think it's something that is always going to be a challenge for me because it's not as systematic.” - Emily Marks   “Marketing is not a one and done type of thing, it’s constantly reiterating what you're doing and changing things for the different ways that we can communicate with people.” - Katie Hunt   “Especially in the small business world, I think if we spend too much time thinking about it, I won't do it.” - Emily Marks   “Let's get stuff out in the world and see what happens, and then go from there.” - Katie Hunt   “My biggest piece of advice is, make sure the time is right for you, but just do it. Go out there” - Emily Marks CONNECT WITH EMILY MARKS: Website: http://www.carinapaperco.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carinapaperco Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/carinapaperco Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/carinapaperco   JOIN US FOR PROOF TO PRODUCT’S 100th EPISODE! Call In: http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/ PAPER CAMP E-COURSE     Many of you have been patiently waiting for the return of our Paper Camp E-course and I’m excited to tell you that it’s here. This is a 4-week online program that kicks off on June 4th.  You’ll get new videos to watch each week on your own and we’ll have a live Q&A call every week with me and special guest experts.   But you’ve got to act fast, because registration closes on June 2nd. If you’ve want to see your products on the shelves of retail stores big & small, if you want to launch or refine your wholesale program, or maybe you want to exhibit at large scale trade shows, this is the program for you! We’ll cover product development, sales tools for wholesale, working with reps, marketing to retailers and exhibiting at shows. To learn more and register, head to https://tsbc.teachable.com/p/pce. I look forward to having you there! SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

5 March 2019


093 | Mary Phan, Very Mary Inspired on fears, pivots and growth through 10 years in business

093 | Mary Phan, Very Mary Inspired on fears, pivots and growth through 10 years in business

Hey Friends! I can’t wait for you to hear this week’s episode with entrepreneur extraordinaire, Mary Phan. Mary owns a multi-faceted business which includes — Very Mary Inspired and The Sketchbook Series, illustration courses for designers and event planners. Mary is also a TSBC Alumni and just recently published her first book, The Artful Sketch, a gorgeous how-to sketchbook for beginners and experts alike.   Mary has always been drawn to the arts. After beginning her career as an interior designer, dabbling in fashion and staging model homes, she launched Very Merry Events in 2008. Mary enjoyed creating memorable experiences filled with atmosphere and feeling, but she became known for the beautiful, custom illustrations that were an indispensable part of her design process. In 2013, Mary took that love of illustration to the next level, launching The Sketchbook Series to help other event planners and designers master creative drawing.   Today Mary tells us all about her entrepreneurial journey, and how she went from being an interior designer getting laid off, to starting her own business. We talk about the real fears, pivots, and transitions that come with running your own business, and the joy of stepping into your true passion.     ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How she got started with event planning   Dealing with the fear of the unknown Mary’s natural process of sketching and design What motivated her to start The Sketchbook Series Her thoughts on navigating transition periods How Mary uses sketching as a form of communication Advice to anyone else looking to make the leap Balancing life outside of business Writing your own definition of success   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “My friend asked me to be her wedding planner and designer and I said, "Okay, let's just do it and let's figure it out.” - Mary Phan   “Any new thing that I do is always surrounded with oh my gosh, what is gonna happen? It's the fear of the unknown.” - Mary Phan   “That's the true spirit of entrepreneurship. We don't know everything, none of us know everything. We have to just put ourselves out there a little bit and take that risk.” - Katie Hunt   “There are benefits to keeping a day job while you're also starting your business.” - Katie Hunt   “I didn’t look at business as like competition or people as competition. I was very much about supporting and about the community and how can I help?” - Mary Phan   “Entrepreneurship is a huge marathon and it's this huge journey. As soon as I figured out what my "thing" was, that was when things started to change for me.”  -Mary Phan   “It was less about how do I serve an audience, it was what's gonna make me happy because this next season of my life is changing and it's changing without me getting to plan for it.” - Mary Phan   “If I could sketch and nobody paid me for it, I could still do it. I could do it if it was for free.” - Mary Phan   “My thing is stick to what you know, then it became super fun and natural for me.” - Mary Phan   “It's so easy to get deterred by requests from people or things we want to be doing… there's all these things I have my hands in, but that's not my zone of genius or that's not where my passion truly is. - Katie Hunt   “I took the leap in starting the business but this was a huge leap I felt, because I really didn't know ... nothing like this existed.” - Mary Phan   “The hard part of it is there is nobody to measure the success after, you're creating it as you go along.” - Mary Phan   “That's the part about business that's fun. It's the evolution, even bit by bit day by day that we're changing and improving.” - Katie Hunt CONNECT WITH MARY PHAN: Website: http://www.verymaryinspired.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/verymaryinspired/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/verymaryinspired/   THE SKETCHBOOK SERIES: On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesketchbookseries On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesketchbookseries/ LINKS The Artful Sketch : https://www.amazon.com/Artful-Sketch-Step-Step-Artistic-ebook/dp/B07DTF6NF4   JOIN US FOR PROOF TO PRODUCT’S 100th EPISODE! Call In: http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/   PAPER CAMP What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

26 February 2019


092 | Paul Jarvis, Company of One on creating a minimalist business and knowing your "enough"

092 | Paul Jarvis, Company of One on creating a minimalist business and knowing your "enough"

My guest today is Paul Jarvis, entrepreneur and author of the book Company of One: Why Staying small is the next big thing for business.  I read this book over the winter break and so much of what Paul talks about resonated with me.  We live in a world where we’re conditioned as entrepreneurs to strive for more — more revenue, more products, more customers, more followers, more visibility and notoriety. While it’s true striving for bigger isn’t always better, I know many of us still struggle with the big question - How do we grow strong, profitable businesses but in a way that feels good and sustainable?     In his book Company of One and during today’s interview, Paul challenges us to explore a different way of thinking about business. During this episode, Paul and I discuss the contrarian view that business growth isn’t always good, and isn’t always required. We also talk about being a solopreneur, why that doesn’t necessarily mean your working alone, and why we need to know our “enough.” If you’re trying to break the mold, embrace minimalism and find balance in your own biz, trust me, this episode and book will help a ton!   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Why Paul decided to write a book The truth about the single business narrative Examples of how different people define business How to play to your strengths Making decisions based on your best use of time Paul’s perspective on hiring His definition of a minimalist business    The benefits of investing in talent Why he works in flexible processes The importance of interacting with your audience   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I've never wanted to grow a bigger business. I actually really like doing the work, so I don't want to ever stop doing that. ” - Paul Jarvis   “It's always like a personal decision of like, "Is this a skill that I can use? Is this a skill I want to have? Is this a skill that helps anything else in my business?" And if it's not, and I can afford to outsource it.” - Paul Jarvis   “I'm not going to hire somebody for $5 an hour off of Fiverr. I would rather find the best person that can do the job with no management.” - Paul Jarvis   “I believe wholeheartedly in hiring experts, people that can do the work. ” - Katie Hunt   “I believe in hiring people that are smarter than me, that can like improve upon what I already know or teach me things in the process.” - Katie Hunt   “I always try to be the best client. I'll get an invoice, and I'll be like, "I got to pay this in like five minutes or less." Because I know how important that is. I've been on the other side of that.” - Paul Jarvis   “Minimalism for me is figuring out what's needed and cutting out what's not. That makes so much sense in business.” - Paul Jarvis   “Anything that I can make easy or take off my plate is better. So I like to always come up with things that are replicable and simple.” - Paul Jarvis   “I love that the biggest expense in my business is hiring other freelancers. I feel actually really good about that.” - Paul Jarvis   “I think the first time you launch, you're guessing at most things. … But then once you've launched it the first time, then you've got data. Then you can look like did this work?” - Paul Jarvis   “We all want to launch like the next biggest thing, but I think it's faster and easier and better if we launch small at first, iterate, and then grow it slowly based on the market and based on customers instead of just guessing at every single thing right in the beginning.” - Paul Jarvis   “Whether we're providing products or services, we can constantly be improving upon what we're already doing and if we're serving our audience even better, then they're going to want to keep coming back for more from us.” - Katie Hunt CONNECT WITH PAUL JARVIS: Website:  http://ofone.co Twitter:: http://twitter.com/pjrvs   LINKS Company of One on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RzLv9 Convert Kit: http://mbsy.co/convertkit/26032885   JOIN US FOR PROOF TO PRODUCT’S 100th EPISODE! Call In: http://tradeshowcamp.com/ptp100/   PAPER CAMP   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

19 February 2019


Special Edition | NSS / NY Now 2019 - Part 2

Special Edition | NSS / NY Now 2019 - Part 2

Today we’re back with Part 2 of our NY Now and National Stationery Show recap!   As you may have heard, NSS which was previously held in May, moved to February this year to co-locate with NY Now. 39 of our Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni were exhibiting at the two shows and one of the main questions I had for them was -- how have the shows merging affected you?   It was interesting to see the different responses.   If you listen to Part 1 of this series, you’ll hear the that the NSS exhibitors mentioned specific pros and cons of the shows co-locating.  But, when I asked the NY Now exhibitors about the effects, they didn’t notice much of a difference.   Many of our NY Now exhibitors have been exhibiting at NY Now for several shows, doing both the summer and winter show.  Most used to also do the National Stationery Show when t was in May -- so three large NY shows a year. In these interviews you’ll also hear how they are branching out to other shows, and they’ll talk about the difference in these shows and why they ultimately chose NY Now over NSS.   Today’s episode features interviews with Lindsay Henry of Inklings Paperie, Kathryn Hunter of Blackbird Letterpress, Erika Caskey of Chez Gagne, Danelle Bliss of Wishbone Letterpress, Rebekah Tennis of Wild Ink Press, and Victoria Venturi of Paper Epiphanies.   I hope you enjoy this special series! ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   Lindsay Henry, Inklings Paperie Kathryn Hunter, Blackbird Letterpress Erika Caskey, Chez Gagne Danelle Bliss, Wishbone Letterpress Rebekah Tennis, Wild Ink Press Victoria Venturi, Paper Epiphanies     PAPER CAMP   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode! Over the last year and a half, Proof to Product has shared almost 100 startup stories from entrepreneurs making physical products, just like you. We have talked about successes and struggles, mindset shifts, and the importance of taking action to reach your goals. We are quickly approaching our 100th episode and we want to do something special to celebrate all of you, our listeners. We want to hear your proof to product story and share it with our audience.

14 February 2019


Special Edition | NSS / NY Now 2019 - Part 1

Special Edition | NSS / NY Now 2019 - Part 1

Hey Friends! I just got back from NY Now and the National Stationery Show in New York where more than 39 Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni and speakers exhibited this year. It was an incredible trip, for everyone from first timers to seasoned pros, and I’m so excited to share the highlights with you on the Podcast this week!   This year is the first time that these two shows have run at the same time.  The National Stationery Show has typically been held in May, but moved for February to co-locate with NY Now.  The move of NSS caused a bit of a stir within our industry, and our Tradeshow Bootcamp community and the move of the show is one of the topics we’re addressing on the episodes this week.   We had alumni exhibiting at both NY Now and the National Stationery show, so we decided to break up this week’s episode into two parts.   On Part 1, airing today,  we revisit the best parts of the National Stationery Show with Cecily Moore of The Paper Curator, Jenna Puente of Paper Wilderness, Rosanna Kvernmo of Iron Curtain Press, Genesis Duncan of Graphic Anthology, Krystal Whitten of Krystal Whitten Studio and Joe Mihalow of XOU.   Part 2 will air on Thursday and features alumni that exhibited at NY Now   I hope you enjoy this special series! ON TODAY’S EPISODE:   Cecily Moore, The Paper Curator Jenna Puente, Paper Wilderness Rosanna Kvernmo, Iron Curtain Press Genesis Duncan, Graphic Anthology Krystal Whitten, Krystal Whitten Studio Joe Mihalow, XOU     PAPER CAMP   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

12 February 2019


091 | Viola Sutanto, Maika Goods on building a team, time blocking and simplicity in business

091 | Viola Sutanto, Maika Goods on building a team, time blocking and simplicity in business

My guest this week is Viola Sutanto and she’s here to tell us how she made the leap from solopreneur to serial creative entrepreneur, and how she successfully runs multiple product-based businesses. I first met Viola in 2008 or 2009 when she owned the brand Chewing the Cud, a letterpress greeting card company that also sold reusable fabric gift wrap, which distributed to more than 1000 stores nationwide.   Since then Viola has founded MAIKA, a stylish and sustainable soft goods brand inspired by delightful trade and everyday living, and co-founded LimeLoop, a recently launched full-circle shipper packaging company. What impresses me most about Viola, in addition to her superhuman ability to run multiple businesses is how she manages to maintain the same core values across all three companies- although unique in their offerings, each represents a desire to create sustainable, well designed, products that solve problems for their customers.   On today’s episode, Viola and I talk about transitioning from one business to the next, using trial & error to find manufacturing partners overseas, building a team, and time blocking. We also discuss Viola’s perspective on managing transition, how she aims for simplicity in business and what’s up next for her new ventures.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Viola evolved as a creative entrepreneur Transitioning from stationery into textiles Viola’s process for sourcing global manufacturing partners The importance of cultivating the right production partnership The core values that anchor Viola’s three business    How she shifted her mindset in order to scale fast Viola’s journey from solopreneur to creative co-founder Her best approach to running multiple businesses Why streamlining systems and processes is crucial in transition What’s up next for Viola and her multiple ventures   KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “I love product, and I have always dreamed of creating my own.” - Viola Sutanto   “I'm especially inspired by my dad. He really started with nothing, and I mean nothing. He had a little stall in a flea market and then kind of built a business empire out of that.” - Viola Sutanto   “My true passion is creating textile-based products and products that people could use every day, products that are simple and functional and not too precious.” - Viola Sutanto   “There were definitely some unexpected challenges that I wasn't ready for when I first started. Anything could happen along the way. And distance was a challenge.” - Viola Sutanto   “I wanted to make sure that the materials I was using could be certified, that I could very proudly say my materials and my processes are sustainable.” - Viola Sutanto   “You want to know who you're speaking to has their finger on the pulse of what's going on there, and obviously the owner is going to have that.” -  Katie Hunt   “So much of growing our businesses, particularly product-based business, is trial and error when it comes to outsourcing and manufacturing.” - Katie Hunt   “I ended up keeping that little envelope, thinking "Someday, we're going to do something with this." And sure enough, when Ashley and I reconnected … that all blew up into LimeLoop today.” - Viola Sutanto   “We knew from the start this could be a really big idea. We knew we needed to scale fast, and we knew we needed investors. So that was the mindset going in.” - Viola Sutanto   “With every hire I've had at MAIKA, I've always made it a habit to have them document their role so that if a transition were to happen, the next person stepping into their role would require minimal training from me.” - Viola Sutanto   “I'm a firm believer in keeping things lean and mean as best you can. We are small businesses. We need to keep things simple. When we start adding too many layers or too many people, it gets too complex.” - Katie Hunt   “Keep it as lean and as simple as you can from the beginning, and also talk to as many people as you can, people who have been doing this for a while. Ask them for their advice.” -Viola Sutanto   CONNECT WITH VIOLA SUTANTO: Website: https://www.maikagoods.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maikagoods/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maikagoods/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/maikagoods/ LINKS Lime Loop: https://www.thelimeloop.com/ Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/limeloop-reusable-shippers#/   SPECIAL OFFER: 3 Free Months of Gusto!   Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.   Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait. Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at www.gusto.com/proof PAPER CAMP   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

5 February 2019


090 | Part 2 - Rachael Hetzel, Pistachio Press and Briana Feola, Brainstorm on why bigger doesn’t always mean better and communicating your core values to attract the right clients, customers and team members

090 | Part 2 - Rachael Hetzel, Pistachio Press and Briana Feola, Brainstorm on why bigger doesn’t always mean better and communicating your core values to attract the right clients, customers and team members

Today is Part 2 of a two-part interview with Rachael Hetzel of Pistachio Press, and Briana Feola of Brainstorm. On Part 1, which was Episode 89, we talked about freedom versus stability, keeping up with the Joneses and overcoming FOMO. If you missed it, I’d recommend heading back to listen to that one first because today we dive into the details of communication, team dynamics, and client and customer relationships, and much more!     On Part 2, Rachael and Briana share their thoughts on why bigger doesn’t always mean better, knowing your why and communicating your company’s core values so that you’re attracting the right type of clients, customers, and team members. We also talk about not being afraid to revise your business vision, focusing on projects that align with your ethos and hiring for an overall skill set rather than specific ability.     Rachael and Briana have been on the podcast before to share their startup stories. Rachael Hetzel is the owner of Pistachio Press, a boutique letterpress printing and design studio based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pistachio Press produces a wholesale line of sweet and slightly snarky stationery products that are sold nationally and internationally. Pistachio Press also creates social invitations, business stationery, and prints commercially for a variety of clients. If you want to hear Rachael’s start-up story, head back to check out Episode 11.   Briana Feola is the co-owner of Brainstorm, a print shop and collaborative design studio working from a historic mill in Dover, New Hampshire. Brainstorm is rooted in the production of original art prints inspired by science, nature, and the outdoors. They design for people and companies that appreciate the creative process, enjoy collaboration, and want to make something tangible in an increasingly digital world. Briana and her husband, Jason Snyder shared their co-founding story back on Episode 8, so put that one on your listening list too! ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The truth about staying small How to get better at saying no to hiring The intricacies of inviting new employees into your creative space Knowing your strengths and opportunities as a manager The benefits of metrics and benchmarks Why it’s important to find a system that works for you The pros and cons of being your own boss   Finding sustainability and satisfaction within   KEY TAKE-AWAYS: “It's very difficult to explain our vision, and our life as an art piece to somebody who just sees it as a business. It's just different.” - Briana Feola   “I've had multiple right arms of my business, and I try to separate out roles, but it works best for me to have someone that can do all aspects of the business.” - Rachael Hetzel   “After 10 years of doing this I know when to say no and this isn't a job I can do. Actually, it's not a job I want to do.” - Rachael Hetzel   “Our internal values that we have of my family comes first, and all these different things that are important to me. I think we need to be communicating them in our brand messaging out into the world, to customers and clients.” - Katie Hunt   “We do projects when they're fun and if it fits with our schedule ... if it fits within what we are capable of doing, and if we could do it really well.” - Briana Feola   “I would respect somebody for saying no, because I know that that was probably a difficult decision for them to make.” - Katie Hunt   “We're not out to blanket the world in our products.” - Briana Feola   “It’'s hard to say no for yourself in some of those circumstances because there is pressure to bend, there is pressure to maybe go against your priorities, and your values for the business too.” - Katie Hunt   “Ultimately it does comes down to gut instinct, and gut feeling, and whether or not we really want to do it.” - Briana Feola     “When I'm doing strategic planning for my business I'm not just looking at the numbers...I'm also looking at what's the time commitment that is going to be required of me. What's my excitement level for this project?” - Katie Hunt   “Being deliberate is one of the biggest things, and staying true to who you are.” - Rachael Hetzel   CONNECT WITH BRAINSTORM: Website: http://wearebrainstorm.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/wearebrainstorm Instagram: http://instagram.com/wearebrainstorm Twitter: http://twitter.com/wearebrainstorm   CONNECT WITH PISTACHIO PRESS: Website: http://www.pistachiopress.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/pistachiopress Instagram: http://instagram.com/pistachiopress Twitter: http://twitter.com/pistachiopress PAPER CAMP   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

31 January 2019


089 | Part 1 - Rachael Hetzel, Pistachio Press and Briana Feola, Brainstorm on freedom versus stability, keeping up with the Joneses, overcoming FOMO

089 | Part 1 - Rachael Hetzel, Pistachio Press and Briana Feola, Brainstorm on freedom versus stability, keeping up with the Joneses, overcoming FOMO

This week I’m sitting down for a special two-part interview with two incredible entrepreneurs - Rachael Hetzel of Pistachio Press and Briana Feola of Brainstorm. Both have been on the podcast before to share their startup stories and I’m really excited to have them both back to shine a spotlight on what it means to keep things small and intentional as business owners and still grow in revenue and creativity.   Rachael Hetzel is the owner of Pistachio Press, a boutique letterpress printing and design studio based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 2007, Pistachio Press produces a wholesale line of sweet and slightly snarky stationery products that are sold nationally and internationally. Pistachio Press also creates social invitations, business stationery, and prints commercially for a variety of clients. If you want to hear Rachael’s start-up story, head back to check out Episode 11.   Briana Feola is the co-owner of Brainstorm, a print shop and collaborative design studio working from a historic mill in Dover, New Hampshire. Brainstorm is rooted in the production of original art prints inspired by science, nature, and the outdoors. They design for people and companies that appreciate the creative process, enjoy collaboration, and want to make something tangible in an increasingly digital world. Briana and her husband, Jason Snyder shared their co-founding story back on Episode 8, so put that one on your listening list too!   Today is Part 1 of my interview with Rachael and Briana. On this episode, we talk about freedom versus stability, why there is pressure to keep up with the Joneses and why we can’t worry what others are doing.  We also talk about overcoming FOMO, letting go of constantly optimizing and not being afraid to stick to what works best for your business.   On Part 2 which will air on Thursday, we’re talking about why bigger doesn’t always mean better, knowing your why and communicating your company’s core values so that you’re attracting the right type of clients, customers, and team members. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Misconceptions about being an entrepreneur The difference between expanding and burning out What finding homeostasis in life does for business How saying “yes” teaches you when to say “no” The reason you should trust your gut instinct How business decisions come down to relationships Finding your business balance KEY TAKE-AWAYS:   “There's a stigma for entrepreneurs that there's just endless pursuit of growth. Like that's the answer.” - Briana Feola   “Everything in our life just seemed to kind of come together when we made freedom a priority.” - Briana Feola   “We actually say that it's lifestyle versus bottom line. So we're trying to maintain this lifestyle of simplicity because it's a choice.” - Briana Feola   “I think it is being flexible in order to see what the opportunities are and I'm able to make things because I'm the maker in small quantities.” - Rachael Hetzel   “I'd like to say I'm trying to honor my revisionist nature and looking at everything that we do on a day to day basis and get really good at making decisions quickly.” - Rachael Hetzel   “I don't want that empire. I just want my own little piece of whatever my bliss or happiness happens to be.” -  Rachael Hetzel   “We've tasted a little bit of everything because we've stayed so small, we've been able to be nimble so we could try lots of things.” - Briana Feola   “You get those experiences so that hopefully down the road you can learn when to say no to things and to maybe figure out what your personal ideals would be. ” - Rachael Hetzel   “For me it comes down to, is this a one time thing or is it going to be an ongoing partnership?” - Rachael Hetzel   “It's just something that comes with time and just experience. You learn and then you adapt and then you're able to say yes or no based on those things. ” - Briana Feola   “We're micro businesses and our businesses tend to be wrapped up in our identities and they're part of our life. And so for me, business decisions are also lifestyle decisions.” - Rachael Hetzel   CONNECT WITH BRAINSTORM: Website: http://wearebrainstorm.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/wearebrainstorm Instagram: http://instagram.com/wearebrainstorm Twitter: http://twitter.com/wearebrainstorm   CONNECT WITH PISTACHIO PRESS: Website: http://www.pistachiopress.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/pistachiopress Instagram: http://instagram.com/pistachiopress Twitter: http://twitter.com/pistachiopress PAPER CAMP   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

29 January 2019


088 | Zoe Scharf, Greetabl on email sequences, sales funnels and Facebook ads

088 | Zoe Scharf, Greetabl on email sequences, sales funnels and Facebook ads

Zoë Scharf is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at Greetabl, a totally unique gifting service that makes it fun and easy to send creative personal gifts. You might remember Zoë from Episode 50 where she shared her start-up story. If you want to hear more about how Greetabl started and the process of seeking angel investors, I recommend checking out that episode. Today we’re shifting gears though and geeking out on marketing strategies, tactics and how Zoe and the greetabl team make customer experience a top priority.   On this episode, Zoe gets granular telling us how Greetabl uses segmenting to add value to their customer experience. She talks about email sequences, sales funnels through Facebook ads and why Greetable is choosing to optimize select marketing channels rather than spreading themselves thin. We also talk about discovering and engaging with new audiences and even drop in a few trade secrets. ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The importance of genuine interaction with customers Why Greetabl isn’t afraid of emojis How to identify and speak to new segment groups Her tips for differentiating audiences How Greetabl uses email flows to see what’s working and what’s not Creative ways to upsell and add value   The pros and cons of hiring outside ad agencies What Greetabl is launching next   KEY TAKE-AWAYS: “It's always better if people can understand that there are human beings behind the products that they enjoy” - Zoë Scharf   “We're not afraid of emojis, we're not afraid of saying weird acronyms. We throw a LILAS in there every now and then because we do love our customers like a sis.” - Zoë Scharf   “Every time that we identify sort of a different segment or group within our main target demographic, we always try to make sure that we're talking to them too and the way that they want to be spoken to.” - Zoë Scharf   “Trying to figure out how to really provide the value that people want in the places that they want is an ongoing kind of challenge for us.” - Zoë Scharf   “We offer people 10% off their first order when they sign up for our welcome flow, or for our emails. We don't say sign up for our welcome flow.” - Zoë Scharf   “It's not really pushing, like buy, buy, buy. It's more like get to know us, get to know our brand.” - Zoë Scharf   “If you've bought from us once, the first email you'll get, besides the shipping confirmation or an order confirmation, is a thank you email and it's literally just ... it's for fun. It's just a GIF of our entire team high-fiving.” - Zoë Scharf   “We consider customer happiness to be our number one marketing tool.” - Zoë Scharf   “I've learned over time that spreading ourselves out too thin is just not the way that we're able to do it.” - Zoë Scharf   “I'd rather get really good at two or three channels and be diverse enough that we're not completely reliant on one channel but also be focused enough that we can do a good job.” - Zoë Scharf   “I don't know if I'm doing the best job that anyone could ever do, but we're doing better than we did with a lot of the agencies and we're not spending money on them. Right now that's what makes sense.” - Zoë Scharf   CONNECT WITH GREETABLE: Website: http://www.greetabl.com   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greetabl   Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greetabl   Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/greetabl/   Twitter: https://twitter.com/greetabl   LINKS: Klaviyo   PAPER CAMP   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

22 January 2019


087 | Part 2 - Natasha Case, Coolhaus on messaging and storytelling, why leadership and managing are different skills and why its good for entrepreneurs to dream big

087 | Part 2 - Natasha Case, Coolhaus on messaging and storytelling, why leadership and managing are different skills and why its good for entrepreneurs to dream big

Natasha Case is the CEO of Coolhaus, a Los Angeles based ice cream company specializing in unique, sweet-meet-savory flavors. This is Part 2 of her interview. If you missed Part 1 which was Episode 86, I recommend you head back and listen to that one first.   In Part 2 of her interview, Natasha talks about her approach to scaling, how she tackled grocery and scoop shops at the same time, and how she continues to entwine the three arms of the business to support each other. We talked about how she balances deadlines and creativity, the importance of thinking outside the box, and how Natasha’s perspective of leadership and management has changed over the years. Natasha also shared the importance of building new relationships and innovating ideas that keep Coolhaus on top of its game as zealous expansion continues.   Here’s the background scoop on Coolhaus in case you missed it earlier-  Natasha first began exploring the concept of “Farchitecture” – or, Food + Architecture – in her graduate architecture program. She started baking cookies, making ice cream, and combining them into “cool houses”. In 2009 she met co-founder Freya Estreller, and together they staged Coolhaus’ unforgettable launch in a refurbished postal van at the famous Coachella Valley Music Festival.   In less than ten years, Coolhaus has snowballed into a nationwide company. They now distribute to 6,000+ grocery stores ranging from Whole Foods to Safeway to Publix markets with 30 SKU’s including hand-crafted ice cream sandwiches, artisan pints, and chocolate-dipped bars. Natasha has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 for food and beverage and Zagat's 30 Under 30 in New York City. She is also the co-host of the Start to Sale podcast, where she invites the brightest entrepreneurial minds to discuss all that it takes to build a company from launch to exit.     ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How the three arms of her business support each other The importance of tapping into your purpose Why leadership and managing are different skills How the Coolhaus team has grown over the years Why thinking outside the box is critical in a new era of marketing How Natasha’s Angeleno roots influence Coolhaus’s diversity and inclusion Her advice for other entrepreneurs just starting on their journey What’s up next for Coolhaus   KEY TAKE-AWAYS: “Just grinding and doing the work with a sense of purpose, and with a sense of like, "This is something I love and I really want to get it out there." That's the most important thing .” - Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “I just literally wandered into my local Whole Foods and I found the guy stocking the freezer shelf and I asked him, "How do I become a brand that you sell?” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “At that time we didn’t know what's going to hit, so we said let's do a little bit of both .” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “What has made that work is the trucks being that activation, private event, really, that specialty experience. And the shops having that element as well, but being a place to test ideas.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “You have to really learn to understand people and what motivates them and what about what you're doing is going to speak to them.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “As the company grows and you can afford to hire stronger and stronger people, it becomes this snowball effect and I think you learn from them and you become better at what you're doing.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “So trust your instincts, listen to the experts and know when to take the advice, but also know when to trust your gut.” - Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “What does this mean for you in five, 10, 20 years? If this thing went all the way, if it was the biggest it can be, what does that look like? Where does that put you personally?” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “Always trying to think outside the box. That's definitely a big, big part of the marketing these days. And frankly, you often don't have a choice.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “There are so many different ways to put it out there. I think you kind of pick where you can really shine. And anything that you do, how does it align with your messaging and your storytelling? Every single time. You have to hammer it home so hard.”  -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “I think leadership is more kind of in your DNA, like, you instinctually love to lead or know how to inspire people, because that's a lot of what business is, "Are people really believing in your mission?” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus CONNECT WITH COOLHAUS: Website: https://cool.haus/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Coolhaus Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coolhaus/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/coolhaus/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/COOLHAUS Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/coolhausla What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

17 January 2019


086 | Part 1 - Natasha Case, Coolhaus on launching with a minimum viable product and balancing data with intuition in product development

086 | Part 1 - Natasha Case, Coolhaus on launching with a minimum viable product and balancing data with intuition in product development

Natasha Case is the CEO of Coolhaus, a Los Angeles based ice cream company specializing in unique, sweet-meet-savory flavors. The inspiration for Coolhaus started when Natasha was exploring the concept of “Farchitecture” – or, Food + Architecture – in her graduate architecture program. She began baking cookies, making ice cream, and combining them into “cool houses”. In 2009 she met co-founder Freya Estreller, and together they staged Coolhaus’ unforgettable launch in a refurbished postal van at the famous Coachella Valley Music Festival.   In less than ten years, Coolhaus has snowballed into a nationwide company. They now distribute to 6,000+ grocery stores ranging from Whole Foods to Safeway to Publix markets with 30 SKU’s including hand-crafted ice cream sandwiches, artisan pints, and chocolate-dipped bars.   Natasha has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 for food and beverage and Zagat's 30 Under 30 in New York City. She is also the co-host of the Start to Sale podcast, where she invites the brightest entrepreneurial minds to discuss all that it takes to build a company from launch to exit.   We covered a lot of ground in this interview. So much so, that we’re going to break it up into two separate episodes. Episode 86 is Part 1.   On today’s episode, Natasha tells us how studying architecture led her to discover her entrepreneurial spirit and how she turned her side-hustle hobby into a national business. She shares why product development and innovation is not just about market research and data but also about trusting your intuition and how Coolhaus launched with a minimum viable product.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: Natasha’s background in architecture and how it inspired her entrepreneurial spirit   How working at Disney Imagineering helped her conceptualize brand storytelling The pros of combining strengths with a business partner How Coolhaus is reinventing classic flavors for a new generation Why trusting your intuition is just as important as market research The importance of launching with a minimum viable product How the Coolhaus food truck got 100 miles to Coachella Music Festival without an engine   KEY TAKE-AWAYS: “There's always that element of surprise and just trying to be as educated and tactical and excited about really meeting that demand as you can be.” - Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “We have so much in common with the people that we're really trying to target, and I think that creates a lot of authenticity in all aspects of the brand.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “No spreadsheet will ever tell you the thing that was the hugest risk with the biggest reward, and that's so much of what entrepreneurship is about.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “The entrepreneur will have a little bit of that crazy factor and think, "Well, I can do it and I want to create something from nothing.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “I always thought of myself as getting the skills of architecture in a way I would in my head say, or even out loud, that’s beating the system from within. Taking these rules, learning them, mastering them the best I could, and breaking it apart.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “Even in the traditional sense of architecture there is entrepreneurship because I think you are... One, you're an artist, but within this building has to stand up.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “ I'm a big believer in when things are fun, actually, ironically, so much more can get done. So much more work can get done.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “You put food in front of people and it's exciting, it's memorable, it brings people together.” - Natasha Case   “There was nothing on shelf that spoke to us as millennials, and definitely not as women. And so we saw this big opportunity.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “We were actually going to be the first food truck to sell at Coachella. And so, now you remember the truck has no engine. How are we going to get to Coachella?” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “ It was just nonstop and then 5,000 Twitter followers in one afternoon. It was like, clearly there's demand for this.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   “There were no bells and whistles. I mean it was just putting this idea out there and showing that we had this vision.” -Natasha Case, Coolhaus   CONNECT WITH COOLHAUS: Website: https://cool.haus/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Coolhaus Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coolhaus/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/coolhaus/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/COOLHAUS Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/coolhausla SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.   Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.   Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof     What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

15 January 2019


085 | Katie Hunt on the three seasons of business

085 | Katie Hunt on the three seasons of business

Happy New Year, friends!  On this episode Katie Hunt is sharing the three phases of business that every business goes through - often multiple times.   These three phases include: growth, maintenance and streamlining phase. Growth is when we're adding new products, services, systems.  We're in building and expansion mode. One misconception about the growth phase is that its reserved for the early years of business.  But, in reality, the growth phase can happen in the beginning, middle and even the end of our business life cycle. Maintenance is when we take a look at everything we've been building during the growth phase and we realize we need to stop adding 'new' and instead optimize what we've already created.  This could include diving deeper into a specific product category or giving a team member additional responsibilities. Maintaining and optimizing our existing products, services and internal processes is a really important step, but often overlooked. Streamlining is where we clear the clutter from our business -- products that aren't selling or that no longer fit our brand aesthetic; reassessing our client on boarding process for custom work, or our outreach to wholesale accounts we think we'd be a good fit for.   The streamlining phase can be a really powerful one, in that you're creating white space and removing things that are not pushing your business towards your goals. Some things to note about these three phases: I believe each company goes through each and everyone phase, likely multiple times. These seasons are not sequential, meaning you won't necessarily go from growth to maintenance, then streamlining.  You may jump from one to the other, then back to the first again. None of these three seasons are "better" than the other -- but they are all necessary for building a healthy business Each season contains its own challenges, rewards and involves its own transitions and discomfort. Tell us, which season are you in for 2019?   Join our Proof to Product Facebook group and weigh in with what you're working on this year.  We’d love to hear!   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.   Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.   Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

8 January 2019


From Katie Hunt | 6 things I wish for you as we finish 2018

From Katie Hunt | 6 things I wish for you as we finish 2018

As we head into the holidays, the Proof to Product team and I will be taking a break. While we’re gone, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to some of this year’s most popular episodes.  I’ve included links to our top 5 episodes at the bottom of our show notes here so you can find them quickly & easily.   But all in all, we covered a lot of ground in 2018 talking about business finances, licensing opportunities, marketing strategies, selling wholesale, finding manufacturers, exhibiting at shows and the ups and downs of running a business.   Our guests were vulnerable, I was vulnerable. In fact, there were a few episodes I was nervous to air — it felt too raw - but we did it anyway!  Because that’s what this show is about… sharing our struggles, successes, and strategies so that all of us can continue to grow our businesses in a way that feels good to us.   I’m really proud of how Proof to Product has grown and I’m overwhelmed (in a good way) when I receive messages from all of you or read the reviews you leave for the show.  I appreciate you listening and am so glad that the show has positively influenced your life and your business.   As we head into the holidays and 2019, I want to share some important reminders and six things that I wish for each and every one of you...   I want you to continue to make intentional decisions in your business. Decisions that get you closer to your business goals.  Decisions that reflect the season of life that you’re in. And, decisions that further ignite your passions even more.   I want you to make time for yourself and the things that bring you joy in life.  As an entrepreneur it is easy to overwork ourselves. We love what we do and we should.  But, I want you to carve out time over the next few weeks for play. For hobbies. For time with friends and family.   I want you to spend some time reflecting on the progress you’ve made this year.  Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. It happens little by little, step by step.  But we need to celebrate our progress along the way. You worked hard this year and you deserve to be celebrated.   Friends, I want you to remember that you set the rules for your business. You decide what products to sell, whether to sell retail, wholesale or both.  You decide whether to go to shows or hire a team. You hold the power, never forget that.   I want you to remember that if you’re in an uncomfortable state of change, that this usually means you’re in a growth period and that you’re onto something exciting and new.  Don’t let fear hold you back. Try it out and see what happens. If it doesn’t go as planned you can always change direction and try again.   And, I want you to remember that we see you doing amazing work and pouring your heart and soul into your products. This entrepreneurial journey can be tough but also very rewarding.  Remember that you’re not alone. We see you.   I want you to know that i’m grateful for you. Thank you for being here.  Thank you for listening. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season surrounded by family and friends.     I’ll be back with a new episode on January 8th. Until then, happy holidays and happy new year.   Proof to Product | Top 5 Episodes of 2018      043 | Renee Griffith, HeartSwell Co on changing her business name, finding a voice within your brand and why she scraped her product line and started anew   053 | Megan Auman on product photography and leveraging Pinterest for sales   046 | Richele Silva, Richie Designs on leveraging past work experiences and the benefits of growing our businesses slow and steadily   049 | Emily Thompson, Being Boss on why being boss requires vision and hustle, the importance of setting boundaries and being open to saying yes to the right opportunities   051 | Kim Burks, Ramona & Ruth on changing her business name, growing her wholesale program and how reps have enhanced her business What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

21 December 2018


084 | Jennifer Morgan, A Fresh Bunch provides a licensing overview

084 | Jennifer Morgan, A Fresh Bunch provides a licensing overview

Jennifer Morgan is the brains behind A Fresh Bunch, a creative licensing agency where designers and clients collaborate and create something big together. Jenny began her journey into creative licensing in 2002 when she founded Hen and Barley Press, her own successful wholesale stationery business focused on personalized stationery goods.   Jennifer soon realized just how much of her time was spent on everything in her business except design, and discovered many other creative people in the industry were burnt out just like her. Inspired by the opportunity to bring designers and clients together, Jenny founded A Fresh Bunch in 2010.   On today’s episode, Jenny shares how she shifted away from wholesale manufacturing and into creative licensing. She talks about misconceptions that artists have about licensing and provides overview of how licensing works, who it is for, and how a licensing agency, like A Fresh Bunch can help artists diversify their revenue streams.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: How Jenny pivoted her business from wholesale to licensing Her steps to learning about the licensing industry Knowing when to embrace quitting as a strategy for future growth The benefits of collaborating with an agency How Jenny chooses artists to represent Tips and pointers on how to create a strong and consistent portfolio   The best time to submit your artist application to A Fresh Bunch How royalties and compensation structures typically work What projects Jenny is most proud of Upcoming Blueprint Shows What’s next for A Fresh Bunch KEY TAKE-AWAYS: “Back in the day when there was no SP inkjet, printing was still kind of picking off. Digital printing was not even a thing and really the only way to get product out into the world was to manufacture it yourself.” - Jennifer Morgan “ I think at that time, other stationery designers and I we're all kind of scratching our heads trying to figure out, well what do we do now?” - Jennifer Morgan “Once A Fresh Bunch found its footing as licensing brand and fit for the artists working under the A Fresh Bunch umbrella, the decision to shut down Hen And Barley Press felt very easy.” - Jennifer Morgan “I could not have started A Fresh Bunch without having had the experience I had and making the contacts I did with Hen And Barley press.” - Jennifer Morgan “If I could do anything over again, it would probably be that I would have embraced the notion of quitting as a strategy much sooner than I did.” - Jennifer Morgan “It's really about consistency and discipline as much as anything else.” - Jennifer Morgan “In theory you should be pitching to somebody at a time when they are looking for that art, when you're kind of new to the industry, it's hard to know when that is. ” - Jennifer Morgan “We're always looking for a really unique style, a unique voice, a consistent style.” - Jennifer Morgan “We try to provide like checklists and best practices, things that we know from experience have made artists successful.” - Jennifer Morgan “I am super proud of our artist's ability from all these points around the world, to collaborate online with each other to create a diverse collection of looks that is still cohesive.” - Jennifer Morgan “As with anything at a certain point that often comes down to making the difficult choice of, ‘What I'm going to be When I grow up, am I going to be a licensed artist or am I going to run a company?’” - Jennifer Morgan   CONNECT WITH JENNIFER MORGAN Website:  http://www.afreshbunch.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freshbunch Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/afreshbunch/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/freshbunch/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/freshbunch   SPECIAL OFFER:  3 Free Months of Gusto! Gusto makes payroll, taxes, and HR actually easy for small businesses. Fast, simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. Gusto automatically pays and files your federal, state, and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus they make it easy to add on health benefits and even 401(k)s for your team.   Those old-school, clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work. But Gusto is. Now is the best time to get set up for the new year. Don’t wait.   Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at http://www.gusto.com/proof   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

18 December 2018


083 | Danni Hong, oh hello friend on exhibiting at craft shows, owning a brick & mortar store and her journey of scaling up & down to make her business fit her life

083 | Danni Hong, oh hello friend on exhibiting at craft shows, owning a brick & mortar store and her journey of scaling up & down to make her business fit her life

Danni Hong is a designer, business owner, and lover of all things paper. She started oh, hello friend in 2008 and has been hustling ever since at craft shows and trade shows worldwide! Her ultimate goal thru her business is to convey joy thru oh hello friend products and brighten someone's day.   Danni attended Tradeshow Bootcamp’s Paper Camp prior to exhibiting at her first wholesale show, but she has a lot of experience exhibiting at craft shows near and far which she talks about in today’s episode.  We also talked about Danni’s journey of scaling up and scaling down. She shares her experiences exhibiting at craft shows near and far. She also talked about her experience opening a brick and mortar shop and how she decided which products to carry in her store.  Danni also discussed what it was like operating three different arms of her business.   ON TODAY’S EPISODE: The types of products oh, hello friend offers The steps she took after opening her Etsy shop to grow her business Danni’s experience with craft shows & how they benefited her business Her tips & tricks on streamlining processes to be able to do shows How she determines how much product to bring to craft shows Danni’s experience opening a brick and mortar shop How she decided which products to carry in her store Her experience managing multiple arms of her business at once The way that owning a store impacted her customer service & the way she develops her product line What she would go back and change about her business if she could What’s next for oh, hello friend KEY TAKE-AWAYS: “There's potentially thousands of people coming through these shows, and even if a small percentage is taking your business card, that's still your business card going into the hands of potential customers, and them telling their friends.” - Danni Hong “I think there's so much value in going to other cities if you can.” - Danni Hong “I always wanted to open a store.” - Danni Hong “I had been doing craft shows for a few years and I was able to save up enough money to not have to take out any loans or really go into any debt to open the store.” - Danni Hong “When making a decision of what to carry, we carried a lot of brands that are actually friends from the industry, they're all made locally, or letterpressed, hand-lettered, all supporting small artists.” - Danni Hong “I just get a lot of joy from finding something and then bringing it back into the store and then seeing other people's reaction or responses to it.” - Danni Hong “Nothing can really truly succeed when you're just being pulled in so many directions.” - Danni Hong “Take a step back and really examine things that bring you joy, and do more of those things. I'm not saying you can't work hard, I think it's so admirable to work hard, but I just think I just really lost myself in it.” - Danni Hong “Hard work is how we build these businesses and it's how we become successful, but you don't need to be in a constant state of hustle.” - Danni Hong “I think at the end of the day, I just want to be creating products that bring people encouragement or joy.” - Danni Hong   CONNECT WITH DANNI HONG Website:  http://ohhellofriend.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/ohhellofriend Instagram:  http://instagram.com/ohhellofriend SPECIAL OFFER: Proof to Product listeners get 3 free months of Gusto when they run their first payroll. Go to www.gusto.com/proof for more information   What if you could sit in a room with 30 other product makers who are doing exactly what you’re doing -- building a business they love!  You could share resources, leverage each other’s experiences and learn from those who are where you want to be. Imagine the growth potential!   Join us March 14-15th in Los Angeles for our Paper Camp Conference.   Over 800 brands have attended Paper Camp.  Brands that sell to stores like Target, Paper Source, Container Store, Anthropologie and independent boutiques internationally.   This program is for you if you’re a stationery or gift company interested in selling wholesale, exhibiting at trade shows or looking to expand your outreach to wholesale customers.     We believe in the power of community, collaboration and sharing everything we know.  Get all the details and register at  www.tradeshowcamp.com/papercamp SUBSCRIBE To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app. WRITE A REVIEW Writing a review on iTunes will help other product based business owners find Proof to Product as they are working to up level, scale, and build profitable and sustainable companies. FOLLOW PROOF TO PRODUCT Follow Proof to Product on Instagram for the latest updates. JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to www.prooftoproduct.com and sign up for our email list.   SHARE Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know! ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT: Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

11 December 2018


082 | Part 2 - Sarah Parrott Bianculli, Parrott Design on hiring a team, managing multiple businesses and defining success

082 | Part 2 - Sarah Parrott Bianculli, Parrott Design on hiring a team, managing multiple businesses and defining success

Sarah Parrott is the founder of Parrott Design Studio and this is Part 2 of her interview.  If you missed Part 1 which was Episode 81, I recommend you head back and listen to that one first.   Here on Part 2, Sarah talks about hiring a team, how she started slowly delegating and fears she had around letting go of things in her business, we talked about her multiple revenue streams and the pros / cons of having multiple businesses, navigating tough seasons in life while owning a business and how Sarah’s definition of success for her business has changed over the years.   As background, Parrott Design Studio is a letterpress studio in Sebago, a lake town in Western Maine. The studio was established in 2007 by Sarah Parrott with a small Print Gocco, an inexpensive and easy to use screen printing tool that originated in Japan. That same year she took her first course in letterpress, learning to use a Vandercook press.   In 2008 she purchased her own press, an 1898 Golding Jobber platen press. At the time there were no courses to learn on that type of press, and she spent a year teaching herself how to use it. She fell in love with the centuries-old artisinal printing technique and the process of feeding the press one piece at a time, one color at a time. In 2010 she left her job as an event planner to pursue Parrott Design S