Why review sites are critical to building in the bedding category, with Eucalypso's Elle Liu
Updated: Feb 3, 2022
Hello and welcome back to the show. It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl! On the show today we’re learning from Elle Liu, the female founder behind Eucalypso.
Eucalypso makes modern sustainable bedding spun from 100% natural eucalyptus fibers for the perfect combination of silky soft, breathable, and ultra ecofriendly. And they’re Designed for hot sleepers like me and people with sensitive or acne prone skin.
We’re talking about how she scaled her business to 7 figures while working a full time job, review sites and why they’re important for this category and her best and worst advice. Oh and tune into her 6 quick questions at the end where she tells us about a major fail she had recently and what she was able to learn from the process.
And while I’ve got you here! Let me take a hot second to shout about my book, Your Hype Girl. We have officially set the launch date for Feb 28th and it is all hands on deck getting everything ready for the launch so please mark the date in your diary and get ready to be part of the movement. If you’re listening to this, I know you’re just as excited as I am and I cannot wait to share it with you. The countdown is on to February 28th.
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
Yeah, so my name is Elle Liu I'm the founder of Eucalypso, a modern sustainable eucalyptus spending company. And so you calypso, we make all of our bedding, which are sheets, pillowcases. Do they cover you name it.
00:05:45Edit And they're all made from 100% natural eucalyptus fibers, which is really great because it's super eco friendly, but it's also really soft and cooling. So if you're like me, you're a hot sleeper or you have sensitive skin, eucalyptus bedding is a really great solution for that. And so that's a little bit about what I do. I'm our company. So two things firstly love eucalyptus love the smell of eucalyptus. Miss eucalyptus in my life coming from Australia and two, you're speaking my language? I'm an over heater and I am always like, my God, I need sheets that are cool. I I hear that as a pain point. I know you would not believe how many people are actually hot sleepers. I'm the same way and that that was actually what had inspired me to start you calypso's because I wake up in the middle of the night and I'd be drenched in sweat and I have no idea what's happening. And I actually was talking to my dermatologist a little bit about it, and I was telling her, you know, I'm waking up in the moment and I'm sweating.
00:06:51Edit And I'm also getting these random breakouts. I don't know what's causing it. And she told me to look in my bedding. And the reason for that is because the way the cotton can be woven, it can trap sweat and bacteria, which causes things like night, sweat and acne breakouts. Because if you think about it, going back to science class, heat rises, right? So your body releases heat when you're sleeping. And if you have something covering over you, that's not moisture wicking is not letting the heat through, it causes you to sleep hot. Oh, my gosh, I didn't know that. That's so interesting when you, kind of, like, discovered that point? Like when your dermatologist like, opened your eyes to this, Did you immediately think here's an opportunity to start a business? or did you like go and think to yourself, oh, I should see if other people have the same problem or like what was your thought process in that moment? It was definitely more of the ladder. I was just kind of looking for a solution, to be quite honest with you. I never really thought of myself as an entrepreneur, you know how you talk to people and they're like, oh, I always knew I was gonna start a business.
00:07:56Edit Ever since I was a kid in school, I was selling nominated. I'm so the opposite. I'm like, I perfectly fine working and getting a steady paycheck. So I was very much on my own personal problem and I was kind of looking into what other people were doing and there's any solutions out there and that's kind of what started it. And it was totally not to start my own business at all, which is hilarious and it ended up being that way. So what was the like moment that made you be like, oh my God, maybe I could start a business and like maybe I am going to be a business owner and an entrepreneur. Yeah, that's a great question. So prior to founding you calypso, I was working in tech as a product manager and I really love my job, it's so much fun. And so I had a lot of extra time after work and my then boyfriend now fiance was telling, he's like why don't you do something with your time? Right? Maybe you can, instead of watching netflix, you might want to like channel it and do away because you're so smart and you know, there's a lot of things I like to work on and I was like, you know what, I'll start an Etsy store because I was like maybe like jewelry or something.
00:09:02Edit But then this is around the same time that I was experiencing these night sweats and all of these things. And so as I was googling and looking to solutions, I was looking realizing, hey, there could be an opportunity here for someone else that may or may not be me. I just want to start my Etsy store, do something small. But the more I learned about it and the more I looked into what kind of options there are and kind of, if there's any innovations in this space and I love to innovate even in my tech job, I was thinking, hey, this is the challenge that I could potentially take on, wow, that's so cool. And if you're going to break down kind of like those early steps to actually getting started to actually having a brand, what were the kinds of things you were doing to get it up and running. So I think that what is really amazing about this time is that we have access to all of these resources, google, all of these things that previously people haven't. And so the first thing I did was kind of look into the problem, right? So I learned as much as I could about cotton bedding and its benefits and its detriments.
00:10:06Edit And so some of the things I found were what we had just talked about that it's not exactly a moisture wicking. It can cause things like night sweats, it can contrast bacteria which causes breakouts. And so I thought that was a huge problem. But really the thing that pushed me to personally tackle it is that I also discovered that cotton is one of the most dirty and thirsty crops as it takes a lot of water, it takes a lot of pesticides to grow into harvest, which is really not eco friendly and I try to live my life as eco friendly as I can and try to make eco conscious decisions. And so for me that was a problem that was worth tackling. So I learned about all of these issues and then I looked into alternatives. What other fabrics are there? What is out there? Is there anything that occurred exists? Can I, you know, iterate upon that and I didn't really find anything I love. So I started googling different mills and manufacturers I could talk to, luckily I was living in new york at the time. And so I was so close to the garment district, had access easily where I could go take a subway to meet with different textile companies.
00:11:15Edit And so I got in contact with them and started reaching out and started learning more about the problem and the solutions and so at some point you're obviously working a job, you're Googling at night, trying to figure things out, you're trying to find a manufacturer, you obviously find someone that you are able to work with. What are the kind of hurdles that you were facing during that process. I I spent probably over a year traveling to different places talking to different military manufacturers. There were a few things that were really important to me. One is this eco friendly aspect, right? As I had talked about, I wanted something that was way better than cotton and done in a way that's really sustainable and clean and those kind of fabrics don't really, there's not a lot of that that exists. Cotton has pretty much saturated the bedding space. And so to find the fabric that is super eco friendly, it's kind of, you have to really dig for it. So that was my first criteria. And then the other ones were just the working conditions, right?
00:12:17Edit I want to make sure that they treat their workers right, that things are being done in a way that's socially responsible that I agree with. And so I would all over, I went to Mexico, I went to Asia, all sorts of different countries. I went to europe Portugal and it wasn't until I went to Austria and I met this mill there that I'm currently working with that, I really found a good fit in terms of, you know, all of these different aspects that I was talking about. That's so cool. I don't know if I've met anyone before who produces the product in Austria. How interesting. Yeah, it's so funny. Yeah, it's funny because since we make things from eucalyptus, when I say Austria, people always say, are you sure you're not, it's not Australia. Yeah, Oh my God, I love that. So you're still hustling in your business, you find the mill, you launch the business while you're still working right, you're still working full time at your job. I think at this point you're working at a mix, I think I read right?
00:13:19Edit Yes, that's right, yeah, you put the business online, how does it go? Like what's the early days, like how do you start getting the word out there? So what was really great was that I knew prior as I was kind of exploring that I wanted to start a business, I was in the process of sourcing fabrics and whatnot. And so at that time I decided to grow my own instagram because I figured that if I grew my own instagram, I can at least get a following, get the word out there and potentially move some of those people over to my brands instagram. And so having my own instagram, following even those really small was really helpful and those actually were, what really helped me get a lot of the word out there initially is kind of leveraging my own network leveraging people who were following me and seeing if they could help me get the word out. And so I put my business on the internet, nothing really happened to be quite frank, which I was actually expecting. And then the two things I did initially was one, I set up a google adwords campaign because I wanted to make sure that there was someone who's looking for eucalyptus sheets that they'd be able to find it because it didn't really exist out there at the time.
00:14:31Edit And then the other thing was I leveraged my social network and try to get the word out there with my own circle and I think within the second day I actually got my first order was from someone totally anonymous and that was super, super exciting because I was really not expecting that at all and I was like, it's working, which is awesome, What was that first year, like, like are you still working at the MX kind of side of things during that first full year? Yes, so I actually, I've had my business for three years now and I've had a full time job until three months ago, so I've been working full time this whole time, right? And so the first year I was still working in MX, what was really great about where I was working was that I was actually working in what we have called open at the time, which was for, to help support small businesses. And so the teens and the groups I was in was really helpful for supporting small businesses and that's actually where I got a lot of my inspiration from, a lot of my support from and I'm still really close with a lot of people, I still work with aerodynamics to this day, but it was really hard to work a full time job and then to do something on the side and also for people to kind of take what you're doing on the side seriously, which is a challenge I expect probably a lot of people face when they're working full time and also doing something on the side, you're kind of blowing my mind because I read that you built the business to seven figures and I'm just kind of realizing that you've done that while working full time until three months ago, which I'm just like, wow, go you, that's amazing.
00:16:10Edit Are you able to share, kind of like in that first year, What kind of revenue you got? two and like, at what point were you saying to yourself, I'll quit my real job and go full time into this. Like, was there a certain like milestone that you wanted to hit? Yeah, totally. Um, so I think like most people, I was planning quitting my job when my salary or what I was making at, you calypso would match my salary, which is kind of really hard when you're working in tech because as I'm sure we all know a lot of tech salaries can be overinflated, and so it was definitely a little bit more of an extra hurdle for me, so when I was working full time, I was just making sure that I was, you know, using extra time I had outside of work to grow my business, and it was really important for me to keep my job because at one point I had to make the decision as to whether I want to sell fun and bootstrap or to raise money and I thought for a long time about it, that's something I still kind of think about, but I know that just to kick things off, I want to bootstrap for as much as I can, as long as I can, and so that was why it was really important for me to still have a full time job so that I can still have that source of income so that I can keep following it into my business and I've been doing it for, you know, the past three years until finally what I was earning did actually match my salary, but still, at that point I was still trying to decide, you know, it is really important to have that steady income and it wasn't until I think I felt super, super secure and comfortable that I decided to kind of take the lead and what was your thinking?
00:17:52Edit You just mentioned a second ago around, you know, your choice between bootstrapping and like fundraising and going out and raising money, what was your thinking around that? Why did you decide to choose the bootstrap model? So that's something that I kind of have been thinking about for a while, the way that I approach it is that I started the business so that I can do the things I want to do, I can take the business in whichever direction I want, I can, you know, move as fast or as slow as I can and I can have 100% ownership, that means that, you know, if I want to take vacation, I can, if I wanted to release a new product, I can, and I don't really want anyone else to really kind of have a say in it because otherwise for me that would feel like I'm working again, I don't want to work for anyone else, I want to work for myself. And so that's a big thing and I know that when you're taking VC money, you essentially have stakeholders, which is a great thing because you're responsible to other people and that keeps you moving forward button on the downside is that you have stakeholders who may not agree with you and then you have to kind of go with whatever they're saying.
00:18:58Edit I also know that the other thing is that once you take money, you kind of have to keep taking money because you are accelerating your growth and you have to hit benchmarks and for you to keep that growth, that you know, extremely fast growth, you have to keep taking money, you have to keep fundraising and for me that's something that's not appealing. I started business so that I can run my business, I can create the products, I can do all of these things. I'm not interested in spending 90% of my time pitching and fundraising and then the other 10% of my time managing other people to do. I think managed, I think running a business is the most exciting part and so those are coming to two big factors that played into my decision, so far. I think it's so important to like, have that, you know, serious self audit to be like, what are my goals, what do I want my life to look like? And like, there's such a thing, you know, at the moment when you look at the media and you look at the landscape, there's such a celebration placed on people who raise money and you know, go down that pathway and it's like, that's great and it's great if that is the direction that you want to take and you want to go really, really fast and you want stakeholders and all that kind of thing.
00:20:06Edit But I think it's so important to audit who you are as a person, what your goals are and make sure that you're sticking to that North Star and not getting swept up in the kind of way media portrays and puts a spotlight on raising capital. Absolutely, Dude, I'm I'm really glad that you said that because I think that's definitely the case. We really celebrate and you see all of these amazing entrepreneurs who raise so much money, but there's also a lot of people who are who run million billion dollar businesses who are not on the cover of force or times or anything like that and they live quite a great life and I think that's admirable as well. Yeah, 100%. Yeah, it's it's a very interesting landscape when you're kind of like why are we celebrating the fact that you've just raised money? It should be. I don't know, it's weird, I feel I feel torn about it sometimes. I'm like it's a it's a weird space at the moment. I still feel torn about it as well. I want to go back to, I kind of like moved more into money, but I want to kind of go back to marketing to understand your sort of approach to growth and marketing over the last three years.
00:21:14Edit Obviously in the beginning you said that you were you had your own personal network and you had your own instagram that you've built and you're kind of following there and then you had set up the keywords on google but how do you get from that to where you are now? Like what are the key kind of things that you did that grew the business and allowed you to quit your job, go into this full time and build a profitable business? Yeah, I think obviously the way I think about it, I think marketing is kind of at the backbone of any business that is growth. And so for me, making sure that I have a wide angle lens and marketing is really important, luckily coming from Amex, I had a lot of really great marketing background and so I was able to see how we run the marketing campaigns of other small businesses that we worked with. And so one of the things that I really focus was this idea of omni channel marketing which is very hot these days. But back, you know, a few years ago it was kind of not so much talked about, I would say and that's the idea that you are essentially going to hit marketing at every angle.
00:22:17Edit Right. And so for me, just straight off the bat, I knew that's exactly what I needed to do, even if I was spending very little amount of money. And so that means that paid social, organic social google adwords, making sure that you know, even getting podcast ads and getting pr all of those things that you can still do on a shoestring budget because I know that once they all come together it kind of amplifies the effect of marketing. And so I told you that I had started some google Adwords campaign, making sure I was leveraging my instagram and then immediately I started spending money on social ads on email, making sure that I cover kind of the entire funnel. And so I kind of moved very quickly into marketing as soon as I had all of my, you know, everything in a row, I just kind of moved into marketing immediately and hit every channel that I could And when you look at your kind of channel mix now, what are the biggest revenue drivers for you kind of in the last 12 months For me, that would be kind of everything that's the bottom of the funnel.
00:23:22Edit So it's going to be email marketing and google ads because those are people who have expressed intent, they either looked up your keyword or they signed up for your email list and I think they're kind of in a way the lowest hanging fruit, they're always going to be the people who come back and support them the most when you reached out to them. I think now people, there's so much focus on kind of brand awareness, right? I think marketing on Pinterest and on instagram and Tiktok is so hot and obviously that's super important. But in terms of the impact of your money, I still think that bottom of the funnel, making sure you're really taking care of those return customers of people who have expressed interest is so important. Absolutely. Something else I noticed about your brand when I was googling you is that you have a lot of like on the first few pages of google, you're on a lot of review sites. Has that been a specific strategy or is that something specific to your category to like, that's really important.
00:24:25Edit Yeah, it's definitely in the bedding and mattress space. That's a big thing, is because I think as opposed to a lot of other products with bedding and with matches you really trust what other people are saying in terms of how it feels when you're, especially when you're sleeping in it, right? And what something is like over time, especially if you're selling online. And so I think that really tapping into that, those reviews and the review sites is ultra ultra important because you're essentially getting feedback from other people and getting a sense of what something is like. And I think with our product in specific with you calypso because it feels very different from cotton. It has more of a silkier texture. It's cool to the touch, hearing other people say that it's extremely validating, especially when you're looking at something online and you can't feel it yourself. 100%. Yeah, I think about my own customer behavior and it's definitely needing that kind of like review or recommendation.
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00:26:32Edit Tactically speaking though, how does one do that? Like if there's a small business owner or an entrepreneur early on in the journey and they're like, oh my product would suit that kind of strategy. What do you actually do? How do you get your kind of product reviewed on all those different sides. I think that's where PR plays a huge part for me. Initially I did all of my pR myself and luckily I actually, I think we created enough buzz that we had people reached out to us and asked to review our product, which is really lucky because PR is not my strong suit and I'll tell you that right now, reaching out to other people and following up is so time consuming and it is so hard for me to do, and that's why there's people out there who is great at it. But I would suggest when you're starting out, if you have time doing your own PR is so important. The reason for that is because one allows you to tell your story and to figure out how to tell your story in a way that's marketable, and that's invaluable to your brand experience.
00:27:34Edit And the other thing is just making sure that, you know, you are able to kind of sell your product and know how to reach out and do pr I think as a business owner, knowing how to do a little bit of everything is so important, and so for me, I would just spend three or four hours every day reaching out to people in pr and asking them to review the products and trying to get feedback, and so like gifting them product and then waiting for the review if they're happy to do that, like not a paid kind of placement, is that what you mean? Yeah, that's exactly what it is, and for you, like how do you approach? Obviously you have a bit of a higher price point product. It's not cheap to necessarily for you to be able to gift at scale. How do you approach your kind of gifting and influencer marketing and seeding on something that's a bit of a higher ticket item? I'm glad that you're asking that question because that is something that I think a lot of people don't realize as opposed to a lot of other smaller products like skin care or things like that where it's so easy to ship, it's so easy to get it out. Our cost of product is extremely high and the cost of shipping is really higher.
00:28:38Edit She says weigh about £6 and it's huge. And so for us we always try to lead with a smaller sample product. Right? So for us, our pillowcases is one of our bestsellers and it's the exact same product as our sheet set. And so we're not sure if the, the editor or the reviewer is going to be able to, you know, do something will always lead with a pillowcase set and then usually if it's kind of a bigger brand or be really expressed intent, like hey, I'm gonna take photos and I really want to review this will send out the entire sheet set itself. Yeah, that's so clever and I feel like as well for pillowcases you also have that easy opportunity to monogram or customize to still make it special but keeping it on the smaller side not heavy, easy to ship. Exactly. Yeah you totally hit the nail on the head. I love that. Gosh what are some of the hard things about this as a category and industry besides the heavyweight and the shipping? I was actually just talking about this with someone the other day I think betting kind of going back to what we're saying about the high price point right?
00:29:45Edit It's extremely costly to make. Not only because we're using the you know the finest fibers and most high quality products but also because the way that we decided to make it so sustainably it's expensive. It's costly to do things sustainably. And also with our sheet sets it's there's we have to order quite a lot of this. So our M. O. Q. Or minimum order quantity is extremely high. And so if you think about it say you're selling a pencil or something right? If you have to order 1000 pencils and say the pencils are a dollar each. Your startup cost is $1000. Whether she said that's a huge multiplier. So if I have to get 1000 she says which most manufacturers wouldn't even do 1000 because that's extremely low. Or I'm accused we're usually looking at 10,000 or so you need an extremely high startup costs. And so everything kind of gets gets grows exponentially the cost of storing something so big expensive. The cost of shipping is expensive. And so it takes a lot of capital costs?
00:30:48Edit And that's something that I did not realize going into this, don't forget I wanted to start an Etsy store, I was trying to sell like little drool er you know, so to go from that to selling in this really, really competitive space where everyone has, you know, VC funding, it is really, it's extremely competitive, I would say. Hmm, I didn't actually ask you, how did you fund, like the kind of first order and get yourself to launch in the beginning and how much capital did you need to invest? Yeah, So I had started by just taking out all the money in my own bank account and then my parents both put in a little bit of their own money, but I probably put in like 80% of it. And I think all in it was probably about 100 K. For me to start. And that's also including some of the startup costs from Etsy Store, Exacting, right. And that's including like the cost of raw materials and storage and all the marketing and everything as well.
00:31:53Edit Yeah, wow, that's that's crazy, my goodness. From etc. To that. I love it. I know, I know, I guess I gotta do it. You've gotta dive in deep though. Yeah, if you're gonna do it, you better do it. Well, what are some of the fun things that you can shout about that are upcoming This year in 2022? What are you focused on? What's what's on the cards that you can tell us? So lots of very exciting things. So we're releasing some new product. I actually, we're going to be I guess I'll like, you know now maybe it will be launched by the time this airs, but we're gonna be releasing an eye mask which you have been asking for for a long time because it's super great on the skin is cooling and stuff so that's really wonderful working on that forever and then also releasing some new products as well and some new colors. Our customers are always asking us for new colors and things like that and so we're finally getting around to doing that. Oh my God, Fun. What color or colors I should say, we're actually still in the process a little bit of a secret.
00:32:56Edit Okay, Okay, I'll keep my eyes peeled. Yeah, I'll let you know. I love that Two part question. Before we get into the 6th quick question that we do at the end. First part is What's the best advice you were ever given about starting a business or building a business? 2nd part, what's the worst advice that you've been given, wow. Okay, so I think the best advice is that you need to spend money to make, which I think a lot of people forget, especially when you start something from the beginning, especially you're bootstrapping it, you kind of really hold on to that money very closely, right? You want to do everything in on a shoestring budget, but you do realize that you know, there's a multiplier on everything and so when you start actually putting out money, you go from spending $10 to $100 2000 dollars on ads, you start to see the return on that. And I think that's super important and that it seems so easy and simple when you think about it, but it's something that I think a lot of people have a hard time, especially me coming around to witness, it's like nothing.
00:34:01Edit The worst advice is that if your friends and family don't like support you or don't go into and purchase your product, that is not a good product, there is not a viable product. I think that um depending on what you're selling, it may not be for everyone, right? And I think a lot of people maybe have a really hard time kind of understanding why you're doing the things that you do, I think people need to see success to kind of support in a lot of, in a lot of times. And so even if you know off the bat you're like, hey guys, I'm doing this, do you want to buy it and they're either like why are you doing this or like no, I don't want to buy it, that doesn't mean that you're not going to succeed or that your product is not good. I think there's a lot of other people out there. There's an entire market for things that you're potentially going to start. Yeah, that's key. I really love that. You said that. I think that's like you can't let your immediate circle dictate what you want to do. You've got to like think broader. You've got to think about like the problem at hand and don't let those kind of like close people to dictate what's happening.
00:35:05Edit Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You know what I'm trying to say. I know exactly what you're saying. Yes, I love that. Both. Really great. Worst case, best case advice. Perfect. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode. We are testing out something new here for the next while and we're splitting up each episode into two parts, the main interview Part and then the six quick questions part to make them easier to listen to. So that's part one. Done, tune into part 2 to hear the six quick questions.
So question number one is, what's your, why? Why are you doing what you're doing? Yeah, so my wife is that I want to inspire people to make more eco conscious decisions in the things that they're purchasing, especially when it comes to sleep and wellness. Right? I think people take their sleep so seriously. They take their wellness so seriously and to combine that by purchasing things that are more sustainable that are good for you, I think can have a huge benefit to you your life as well as the environment and so for me, I want to keep making products, whether that's with the calypso or outside the calypso, that's eco friendly, that kind of, that's kind of my North store is to make things that are sustainable. Question # two is what has been The # one Marketing Moment So Far? Oh, the number one marketing moment. So I think our number one marketing moment, we were featured on HD Tv who had dedicated an entire article to us and that I was not expecting that at all.
00:02:19Edit They were super nice about it and randomly reached out to me and it had actually brought a lot of attention not only to you calypso, but the idea of sustainable betting and eucalyptus betting. Um so that was super exciting and I think we had a lot of great customers who came through that. The one thing I will touch upon here is that actually most of our customers are not here because we sell eco friendly product, they're here because they're looking for a solution to night sweats are actually breakouts and so to have that kind of shining moment in the sustainability space, I think it's always really exciting. Yeah, I love that it's like they come because of this problem, but then the sustainability factor is there as well and it like, makes everyone feel really good about their choice and like keeps them a coming back talking about it, It's like a talk ability moment. I love that, That's very cool. I've actually heard that before is like, I don't remember who was telling me, but they were saying that people like to think that sustainability is like where their purchase power is and like that's why they buy something, but actually it's not, it's the secondary thing and it's like there's always something actually ahead of that, the problem I guess.
00:03:24Edit And then sustainability comes. But people like to think that they lead with sustainability but in like actual reality they don't Yeah, to actually complement that. I also heard that people who try to shop sustainable or like sustainable shoppers, they take longer to make a purchase. So apparently they usually come into your website like 5-8 times before they make a purchase. Unlike, you know, I guess non non non eco friendly Trevor, I don't know what they're called but I just thought that was interesting as well right there, it takes them much longer to make a decision about what they're purchasing. I guess they need to make a really educated decision that feels very like confirmed sustainable brand. 100%. Yeah. Very cool question number three is what's your go to business resource when it comes to book podcast or newsletter? Yeah, I might go to so I try to listen to a lot of podcasts. I love podcasts because I don't have a mentor and I don't really have like a huge network of entrepreneurs and so when I listen to podcasts like yours, I feel like I know all these people, they always give such great advice.
00:04:31Edit So I listen to your podcasts, obviously I love how I built this bike, I roz, I think that's just so fun to listen to always, and then I also listen to the modern retail podcast. I think those are probably my three like go to when it comes to entrepreneurship space. Oh, I feel so honored. I think that it just all bring different things to the table of founders at different levels and experience, which I really like. And then I tried to read a lot of books also kind of in the same space and I'm not very diversified, but I've actually recently been reading this book by um this kind of personal hero of mine, her name's Jamie Schmidt and she started shift natural um and ended up selling her company for like nine figures or something. And so I've been loving that book. I just kind of pick up whichever people who inspire me and see what they're up to and read what they're reading? Very cool. I love that I'm going to check out her story. I, I don't know that one question number four is how do you win the day?
00:05:33Edit What are your am or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and motivated and successful. Well the first thing is I sleep on my you calypso sheets so amazing, like that extra fresh plugs for myself and I'm just kidding. Um but it does feel really great. I the way I usually start the day is I always start the day by writing what I need to do that day. Um So I have a huge list. I actually have every friend of me, I always have like a million things on my list and my things to do, and I just start by crossing it off and start like, tackling the easiest things to do. So for me, list making is a huge thing, and then, you know, I get my morning and t and I just kind of try to get everything I can out of the way in the morning and at night, I always take sometimes on wine, I try to read these books that I've been trying to get more into and just really unplug from cellphone and anything like that. I love that. I actually just started using, I don't know if you've heard of it, the productivity planner by intelligent change, that the people who do the five minute journal, and it's like for people who like to take lists, but like, they break it down into more like, you know, core priorities, because I find like sometimes I just get swept up in so much of the like, admin and emails and things like that, that I like put on the backburner, the most important thing that's going to take the longest and then by the end of the day I'm like, I didn't do that thing that I just should've done first.
00:06:59Edit So it's like helping me prioritize and like be more productive on the things that like really shift the needle and move me forward. And so far I'm loving it. I'm the exact same way. I also love how we both have our handy, like just in case, you know, we need to stay on track. Sometimes I'll be like downstairs or upstairs and I'm like, oh my gosh, where's my list? What am I supposed to be working on? I love that question, No five, what is the most important spend of a dollar for you right now in the business? The most important, spending a dollar? Um I'm going to go back to what I was talking about before with the bottom of the funnel marketing. I think that's always the most impactful is when you have people who have demonstrated their interest in your product, they want to hear more about it. So for me that's kind of email marketing and just, you know, making sure that we're retargeting marketing and anything like that because I think when it's really important to reach out to people whose demonstrated interest, right?
00:08:02Edit They were saying how it takes someone eight times seeing your name or your product to where to kind of really like click in their head and so if you think about that it's taking all of these people so many times I've seen your name or your product that they actually showed interest and that's kind of one of the, the nicest compliment a customer can pay you. The least you can do is to spend your dollar and make sure that you're really taking care of them. I love that so much. That is so nice. Please take care of your customers. I agree. I'm with you. Question # six, last question is what's been a major fail that you can share And how did you deal with it? A major fail. That's a good question. I feel like I need to think about that. So I think a major fail for us. Oh, actually it's actually very top of mine. So I am very hands on. I designed all the proud of myself. I do everything myself essentially. And for me, you know, a huge part of betting is the color and our customers take our colors selection is very, very seriously.
00:09:07Edit And so we've got a request for a pink color, like a cute pink color forever. And I'm not the biggest fan of pink setting for me, it's just like, you know, cutie girl room. I like much more neutral kind of sophisticated color ways. Anyway, so I was like, you know, instead of doing a pink, we'll do kind of like a pink beige mix, you know, because I like beige. Pinky beige. That's kind of cute. So it's kind of kind of dual tone color in, in sunlight. It's much more of a beige, but in darker light. I thought it was brilliant. I thought it was so cute. Our customers hated it. They are like, I don't get this color. This is not, this is why did I get beige? I ordered pink. Why did I get pink? This is like way to Beijing like all of these questions. And so we've been in the process of trying to kind of like come out of this color for a while now because of my mistake. So I guess the lesson learned is to always do your market research, make sure that you're testing. I think I just got way too excited with this color.
00:10:11Edit So now we release a separate beige and a separate actual pink that we call whisper pink and people are much happier when you order pink and you receive pink. Do people love the whisper pink? They do. They really do. They are like this is the color I'm looking for. But it's so funny because now that we kind of sold out of this like pinky beige color that we've had. I have so many customers and I'd be like, I love that color, where can I get it? I'm like, no, it's not coming back. It's not coming back. Exactly. That is so funny. Yeah, wow. At least there wasn't a lot of like wastage, where you just couldn't sell through it and it was going to be like, you know, I don't know. I had no had no life, totally. Yeah. At least he sold out through it. But that, that money spent on those inventory, you probably could have gone to better things. Got it. So the learning here is listen to your customer and test exactly.
00:11:14Edit And think about what you're studying your money. I love it. Oh my gosh, l thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your journey so far with you calypso.