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Lessons learned from selling 150,000 towels & robes with Weezie co-founder Lindsey Johnson

by Female Startup Club
September 22nd 2020
00:41:22
Description

Joining me on the show today is Lindsey Johnson, Co-Founder of the luxury towel company you need to know about, Weezie! 

The duo behind the brand, Lindsey and Liz, have been friends for over ... More

doing here, we're in Month two of being part of the hubspot podcast network and I wanted to take a second to shout out another incredible women lead podcast. Being boss with Emily Thompson if you're a creative business owner or thinking about becoming one. Being boss is an exploration of not only what it means, but what it takes to be a creative business owner, freelancer or side hustler. I loved Emily's episode on taking time off as a business owner. It's definitely a really challenging part of running your own business and I recommend giving it a listen, check out being boss wherever you get your podcasts. This is Lindsay johnson for female startup club. Mhm Hey everyone and welcome back to another episode of female startup club. I'm your host, june rasheen and joining me on the show today is Lindsay johnson, co founder of the luxury towel company. You need to know about Weezy. The duo behind the brand, Lindsay and Liz have been friends for over a decade now and after looking for a set of towels that we all dream about, Liz realized she couldn't find exactly what she was looking for and neither could any of her friends, the two set out to create a towel company that was best in the industry and after almost a year of development, launched their company with great success.

Their tails are made in Portugal through a third generation family owned manufacturer and they've worked to create the soft plush fluffy and absorbent towels you really want to live in your bathroom. They also offer embroidery services so you can customize them as you please in this episode, we're covering the business side of building an e commerce brand, how they found their manufacturer and lessons learned along The way after selling more than 100 And 50,000 towels. And if you're looking for more nifty tips and tricks, you can tune into my instagram or Tiktok at Dune rasheen, where I post daily quick tips, how to guides and other useful bits and bobs relating to all things business and e commerce. And lastly, if you haven't done so already, please do subscribe, rate and review the female startup club podcast so you can get notified of our new episodes every week and help other is find us. This is Lindsay for female startup club do you? It's safe to say that most of us have been doing more online shopping lately, right?

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You'll learn everything from winning ad creatives to identifying your target KPI S implementing retargeting funnels and deploying scaling strategies to increase your revenue to upwards of seven figures per year. We currently have an introductory offer on the website for $149 and $30 from every sale is proudly donated to the Malala Fund, a charity that's working towards a world where every girl can learn and lead email startup. Capri since Lindsay, thank you so much for being on female startup club today. I'm so excited to talk to you about your brand of course, thank you so much for having me do and I'm so excited Yeah. Do you want to first start by telling our audience what Weezy is and a little bit of an overview. Sure. I'm so easy. Was founded in the fall of 2000 and 18. We are a direct consumer e commerce luxury bath business. So we sell customizable luxury bath towels and robes much more to come soon in the bath category as well.

And why we started was really I co founded the business with one of my very good friends and she had this experience where she went to go register for bath towels for her wedding. She was engaged and she was a graphic designer by background. So very interested in aesthetics, but also really wanted like a super high quality performing product especially when someone else is buying it for you off your registry. She was like a little bit less price sensitive and I think she normally would have been and when she went to a retailer, you know big department sort of pick out her tells, She found the process to be really overwhelming and there were so many different brands and so many different options and a lot of jargon she didn't understand like I couldn't really figure out why you know one time would be $100 and other tiles, $10 like what was really the difference there. Um And when she finally picked a brand and got the product, she was really disappointed with the quality especially for the amount of money that was spent on the product. Um And she was also very disappointed in the appearance of the product. So she got embroidery with her new married monogram on it and she just thought it was like way too small and it looked really kind of like okay dated and it wasn't like a fresh exciting kind of purchase for her.

And she sent a text message to a bunch of girls saying like does anyone have a bath towel brand they love like I just went through this process. The towels actually are terrible, like they don't absorb water, they're just moving water back and forth in my body, like my husband refuses to use them. Like, the embroidery options are so ugly, like why is this so hard to find. Um and I was one of those people on that text message. And so it really sort of was an innocent text to a friend and it snowballed my background is in finance and I was investing in early stage businesses at the time and she kind of one off me, do you think this is a good idea? Should we start this company? Um I was in business school at the time as well, so it was kind of like a great confluence of events that let us to where we are today. So that's so cool. And when you received that text message, did you know, like straight away, that's what I'm interested in doing Or was it kind of an evolution over time? Definitely an evolution. I am like very pessimistic by nature.

It's just part of who I am and Liz is very optimistic. So it's actually a perfect balance, but she was like, definitely held bit, we're starting this company and I was always very much like, I don't know here all the things that I think could be difficult about this or that I don't necessarily believe in the problem because I hadn't experienced it as a consumer and I think that's so important when you start a business to like have had that real pain point. You're not just like solving a problem that's not really a problem. So Liz you know, tasked me with, why don't you go try to buy some towels right now? And so I went online and kind of replicated the same experience that she had and I started asking all of my friends and my network, where did you buy your towels? How much did you spend on them? When did you buy them? And it was just kind of very shocking to me that there was no kind of a clear um no one was loyal to their bath towel brand and no one was like excited to recommend their product to you. And so once I had enough of those conversations, I was like, all right, you know, I will definitely like to see this through in terms of like whether or not we should start this together. And I think that's a huge part of it too, is even if there's a problem and we had identified a problem, you need to make sure that you are the right person to solve it and that you can actually solve the problem right?

Like sure we could sit here and list all the problems we saw, there's a laundry list of things she was complaining about that. I was able to replicate online, but unless you actually have a solution for them, it's, there's no really reason for being so step one was kind of like defining that problem and we did that actually through a business school class. So I asked her, even though she wasn't in business school with me, to split the homework with me for this class, 50 50. Um and so I said, you know, one will get to test like how we work together because we were friends first, Like do we actually, you know, work well together and we have complementary skill sets and through this process over the course of the three months, we can say like what is the real problem? And then to like, can we actually solve it? Um So like can we go manufacturer product that is higher quality, Can we do it for a lower price point? We make the customer experience more enjoyable, more seamless. Um you know, easy online and we do it through a brand that brings joy and make something fun out of something that I think people previously thought was sort of a mundane commodity, so we spent like the three months doing that, and by the end of it I pitched it in class two, a couple of Vcs and to my professors and all the students and kind of, at the end of that, I had multiple people come up to me afterwards being like, you just have to do this, you guys have like, you know, there's just, you can't ignore this anymore.

And that's sort of what was the turning point for me, okay, like we've done the work, we think we can solve this problem and I think the two of us are the two people that are, you know, uniquely positioned to tackle this. So it was definitely not something that I was like jumping to do when I saw that text message, but once I had spent all the time with Liz kind of going through the data, talking to customers, talking to manufacturers and going through this class, that's when I really was convinced. So it's definitely a journey. Yeah, I've been do you think that you guys were wanting to be entrepreneurs like younger in life? Because I know you were, you know, she was a bustle, you were in finance, you were working in the corporate world, had you had that inkling to be entrepreneurs at that stage. I hate to speak for Liz but I think if she was honest she would say that she had, so she actually had started a sleep mask business, it was called Tempe row. Um she basically saw a need in the market, she couldn't find sleep mask that she loved and so she wouldn't actually created them and she got picked up in a few different magazines.

It was a totally one woman show and that was probably like 57 years ago now and that was something that she was doing as a total side hustle while she was working in a corporate job at bustle myself. I'm definitely always been like the more bureaucratic kind of like study stable, climb the corporate ladder career path up until now, so I did the investment banking internship at morgan Stanley, I went through the Black rock and asset manager that I went to a hedge fund, so I very much was not on the entrepreneurial path, but what sort of scratched my, I guess something I got my attention I should say was when I was leaving the hedge fund and going into business school, I started meeting with a bunch of entrepreneurs in new york, just trying to figure out what I wanted to do next because I was realizing I wasn't passionate about my day job, which was working at the hedge fund and I got so excited when I would talk to entrepreneurs. Um and so I actually thought I was going to go be a venture capitalist, so I went to business school thinking I can combine sort of like my finance acumen with getting really excited about these early stage consumer businesses and so that's why I went to business school was to become, you know, in new york consumer VC and I was doing some angel investing on the side, so I'd meet entrepreneurs invest in their businesses.

I actually sat on the board of um as an observer on the board of one of the companies and that was really when I was like sitting in these board meetings and found myself like probably talking too much asking too many questions, like giving too much advice even though I had never done it before um and one of the VCS in the board meeting was like you are like sound like an operator, you know like you're asking questions like an operator and you really want to get in the weeds whereas like an investor is typically a little bit more high level or can be and I was like, I never thought about you know moving from finance onto the operation side and so when I went to business school, I interned um at a few different places in new york while I was in school um one of which was like a direct to consumer e commerce business um the feminine care space called lola and that was my first sort of like seeing behind the hood of how these companies really worked and that's what kind of got me excited was like okay, I actually feel like I could do this and I like really want to sort of scratch my edge of being an operator so I had never really worked as an operator before, we see, so it's not something that I thought that I would do in terms of being entrepreneur but I, now that I'm in the seat, I absolutely love it and I still am like actively looking at investments on the angel investment side and like love finance still, but I think being an operator allows me to combine that with also the kind of like the tangible execution side of like really working at a startup which you just don't get many finance roles.

Yeah, and it sounds like you guys have a really, you know, you have the complementary skill set, but then you both also dabbled in e commerce with the sleeping mask brand and having interned at Lolo, which gives you that a basic foundation to get started with, but I want to talk about what actually happens next after you guys have completed the three months, you are told that you should continue and pursue the idea you like, yep, let's put our savings into this or are you thinking friends and family around? How did you get started with the capital? So we actually didn't raise money. Um given my background, I think I knew a lot about that process and like had some good connections in the VC world, should we decide to go that route, but also given my background and that I was actively kind of against it, not because I don't think that's the right path for many people, but it just wasn't the right path for us and what I mean for that, I mean by that is, you know, we felt strongly that we could bootstrap this with our savings and like force ourselves to prove whether or not this would work and it could be a real viable business versus kind of going the other way where it's like you raise money then try to launch the business and when you do that, you give up, I'll obviously a lot of equity.

Um and so for us, I had seen that play out, you know time and time again and was thinking, you know, if we can do this, let's do it off of, you know, fund the business off of profits and try to like really get scrappy. And we cut so many corners, like we talked to a lot of the fancy branding agencies and a lot of the fancy pr firms and like all these things that cost just like astronomical amounts of money. And I had seen that playbook work for other founders and so I was thinking, okay, great, we'll just go raise a couple million bucks and we'll go higher X, y, and z and this will work. But I think it was, I'm so glad that we sort of paused and said, do we really need all this stuff and can we just do this a little bit scrappy er and be comfortable with a much slower growth trajectory and if you can kind of get comfortable with that, say this is not gonna be an overnight success, it's going to be a slog and it's going to take us, you know, not days or months, it'll take us years to get to where we want to be. Um and you get comfortable with that in exchange for getting to keep control of your business and kind of own equity and not have necessarily outside parties on day one, I think it's like a total luxury to be able to do that.

So we were very lucky and that, you know, we didn't hire a lot of those fancy partners, so therefore we didn't have like huge bills to pay upfront outside of of course the inventory. Um so buying inventory is not cheap, so it definitely took like a chunk of change. I was able luckily to take a loan out for my parents to help us with those early days, but we bootstrapped it for the first, I guess almost it was a year being dropped it for a year and we did eventually take outside capital from angels, friends and family a year end and that was because we felt we were really building the business with handcuffs on, so we were turning a profit, which is great, but we weren't turning enough profit to then go make those bigger inventory advice or invested in a new product line or to kind of really improve the areas of the business that we saw, we needed to hire the right people. I mean it was just the two of us and our embroidery er er on down day one. Um and so I think you kind of get to a point, there was like an inflection point where it was like, okay, we really need to hit the gas and we can't hit the gas without money.

And I think that was an important realization for us. Um, I was so happy that we did it for a year on our own because I gave us the confidence that this was really going to work and it could be a profitable business on its own. Um, and it also gave us kind of a leg to stand on in negotiations with investors to, because we had real history and progress to show and financials to speak to, which able to, you know, allowed us to get evaluation that we were excited about. Not something where we felt like we were kind of like, um, in the lesser seat of the negotiation if you will. So that was kind of our trajectory. And I can't say it enough that it's different for every company is different for every founder, whatever you choose to do, fundraising wise is totally specific to how you want to run your business. So it's not to say that the way we did it is right for everyone, but it was definitely right for us. How did you come up with evaluation? Just as a, as a side note before we continue. Yeah, it's an art, not a science. Um, so I always say to people when they're trying to figure out what they're worth is to go ask the market what you're worth.

So what I mean by that is when you're raising money, ask investors what, what they think you're worth. Um and note that they're they're looking out for themselves. They're going to discount whatever you probably really are worth. And I think any kind of tangible facts you have about businesses in your industry that you can point to and say okay, this company's in my industry, this is what they were valued at or this is what they were bought for um in the way that they were bought for relative to what the revenue is. Like here's what the multiple was. So if you apply that to our revenue, this is what our valuation to be. Just any kind of data you can collect from recent exits or other founders you've spoken to about what they were valued at in their rounds the better because it just gives you more kind of like talking points about why, why you're worth what you think you're worth. Um And for us and also just kind of immediately narrowed the field of who we were going to work with once we said like we're definitely going for X. Valuation. And if you don't think we're worth that, then like that's fine we'll move on to someone else. So uh I think that was very helpful um to us just having those connections in the VC world and having this angel investors, we could call on that can help us think through it.

It is definitely an art not a science like you don't you can't plug in a couple numbers like press equals X. Valuation and it depends on the market dynamics to I mean like D. C. Has gone through being in favor to out of favor and all those things will play into what you're worth when you raise money for sure. Does it also impact like now that you've done around with angel investors, would you still have to pursue going down the route of VC or could you be like, yeah, we were done with just that round essentially and we're not going to take on more investment and we're just going to that's our that's our plan and our hope I would be very happy to never raise money again and just fund the business of profits. And again, that's like a deliberate decision. I think you have to be really patient and many businesses to do that. And that's hard. Sometimes like no listener both very ambitious people. So sometimes it's frustrating to be like, oh God, like we wish we could go to X, Y and Z. Right now we don't have the funds to do it instead. We have to wait to do that. You know, expansion or whatever it might be.

And so that's hard. But I think it's it's given us a lot of discipline and what we're going to invest in and why and when you're not just like trying a million things and seeing what works and going after that. You can only really try like one or two things and you want to make sure that those are the right things you're testing. Whereas if you have a lot of capital you have, you're moving a lot quicker. You're doing a lot of those things at once and then kind of going with what works where, so their growth through after. You might be a lot quicker than what we see is will be or is, But I think for us keeping control of the equity and growing the business with profitability has given us a lot of discipline. I think um in building what we think will be a really long term play. Yeah, for sure. And with that, you know, I've heard a lot from women that I've spoken to on the show about the strings that come attached to having venture capital specifically and what it means to have venture capital. You know, there's always the analogy of being in a marriage and this kind of thing, if you have only the angel round of investment, are they the same kind of strings?

Like do you have people on the phone every day that you need to be answering to or is it a little bit more relaxed to have that and then not move forward with Bc. I think it's totally dependent on who those angels are and those investors are because everyone is different and I think it is a marriage for us. We certainly have the luxury of kind of running the business on our own terms. So when you raise money from venture funds, they're going to, you know, potentially structure board seats, they're going to structure, you know, voting rights, they're going to ask for certain things in many cases, sometimes not, especially early stage they might not, but they might have a little bit more rights. Whereas when you raise money from individuals, typically the checks are a little bit smaller. Um, and they can't necessarily kind of like get anything in return for those checks other than just their equity investment. So that's how we've structured it where everyone invested just for equity. There are no board seats or any type of voting rights that have come with those investments.

And for us, that's works because Liz and I are able to kind of make decisions on our own terms and do things how we want to do them. Now. That's not to say that there haven't been times when I actually wish we had a board because there are tough decisions, right and things that come up that what gosh, it really would be nice to have like a third party or for third or fourth person to kind of weigh in on these decisions that we're making. So I don't think that I'm, I'm saying we'll never have a board, but in these early days it's really nice to be able to do things on our own and I do have all their contact information of course I can call them whenever I need, get advice, get their opinions. But at the, the end of the day, Liz and I kind of like hold the keys. Um, and I don't think that would necessarily be the case if we had venture capitalists who they have a whole group of investors that they have to serve, right? So they have a fund that has to perform, they have to return capital. Whereas the people we took money from, it's just their money. And so there's no other group of individuals that they're having to jockey for. So it's just a different dynamic.

Yeah. Got it. That's so interesting. Yeah. I never, I never thought of it like that until this conversation. Um, I want to talk about the development of the product. I read that it took you guys about a year to really nail the product and get exactly what you wanted. That luxury feel based on your customer feedback and that kind of bill, not even customer feedback. Just your own feedback as well. What was that process like? And how did you find your manufacturer? Um, that process? Like he said, it was really long and I think that was to our advantage, right? The harder it is to manufacture a product. I think the better position you're in because that means that you'll have less competition because it's hard to do, right? So kind of going back to our initial conversation about when we started the business, it wasn't just like, is there a problem? It's can we actually solve the problem? So for us, um, finding a manufacturer was like that huge piece of the puzzle for us. If we hadn't found our partner and gotten close on the product side, I don't think we would have had to leap of faith to start the business. Um, and so what that meant for us was, so this was actually giving birth to her first child when I went to a textile manufacturing show on my like winter break from business school in Frankfurt.

Um, it's called Heim Text, there's like almost 100,000 vendors there. So I met with a bunch of vendors and I showed up with two huge suitcases of towels. So these are tools that we had tried from every single competitor, we had made notes on them. Like this one is to light this one's too thick. This one's not absorbent enough, this one's soft, but it sheds when you wash it. So, just all these laundry list of complaints. I showed up to the manufacturing show had meetings with probably almost 100 different manufacturers and we would go through my like suitcases of towels and say, this is what we're looking for. This is what we want to make. And I mean 99 out of 100 said like you're crazy, this is what it's impossible. Yeah, exactly. And so they would just say, well, here's the luxury towel we make, you're describing our luxury towel and they would bring out the talent they already created for another vendors out there. And I would say, well, no, I've actually used that towel and here are my complaints about it. So, one out of 100 of those um said to us while we actually know exactly what you're talking about, we're working on this exact product right now and we don't have a us distributor of the product.

So it was really very serendipitous because we met them at the right time where we were able to jump in on that development with them and kind of nail down this is the weight of the towel, This is how observant we want it to be, this is how soft we want it to be. Here's how we wanted to look aesthetically. And so it was definitely a little bit of luck for sure. But I think it also just, we spent, even once we found that we still spent, I think it was probably nine months doing sampling with that. So, it was a long process. It wasn't just like, oh, here's what you're looking for here. It is. And I think that's important when you're manufacturing something is make sure that it's unique and make sure it's something that can, like, stand on its own as an awesome product. It's not just that you're slapping a brand on something that already exists because the reason you customers come back might not be because of your brand, but it will be because of your product, right? They're going to come back because they love the product. And so I think that's something I would say is that it took a really long time. It was, we were of course impatient and wanted to launch like overnight. But I think spending the time to get the product right was so important for us because now we have a product in the market that people love so much they'll come back and recommend to their friends.

And it was worth the long the long journey for sure. I was reading your reviews where a lot of people say this is the third towel I've bought from you for gifts for my friends because everyone loves them. Dada dada dada, which is obviously so key in building a product that has that word of mouth built into it. And that aspect where people want to share it with other people um for gifts and things like that. So cool with that nine month iteration. Like how many different samples did you go through of dozens? I mean it just, it takes a long time to work with factories, right? Because they have other customers that are paying customers at that point. Um and so you kind of have to constantly jockey to put yourself on the top of their list. And so when you give a round of feedback they then have to go create that product and then ship it to you and then it's a really long process. So we would go through many samples. We have them do like three different versions of something at once because we knew how long it was taking. And again like it was a painful very detail oriented process but I'm so glad we didn't rush it because we ended up with where the product we have today.

And at that time were you guys still working in you know the other jobs or were already both working on this full time. So Liz kept her full time job at bustle. I was already in business school at the time. I did have a couple internships. I mentioned one lola and I was also working at an angel network in other B. C. And I quit all of those. Um And so I was just in school and then focused on Weezy Liz stayed at her job for probably until I want. So I graduated may of 2018 and I think she quit right around then and then we launched October of 2018. So while we were doing all this it was very much still like a side hustle and I think that was important for us because we were planning on bootstrapping the business. So we needed to have other sources of income when we when we launched let's talk about the launch. Tell me about your launch strategy, finding your first customers, the marketing in the beginning and what you were doing. Yeah, so our launch, because we didn't have a ton of money in the bank.

We focused really on earned media and press, we didn't hire a pr agency, We did it with ourselves in a freelancer and that was kind of the advice someone had given me was and I think it's different for every industry, but you only get one launch moment, so you know, make it big and like really spend your time kind of making sure that people are talking about it. And especially with press press loves to have like new splashy things to talk about, so work those relationships and set all that up in advance before your launch. And we didn't have money to spend on like facebook advertising or whatever else. You know, other marketing channels are able to do or other you can do on day one when you have like a big budget. So for us, we hired a freelancer who was a friend of ours and the three of us were just like pounding down people's doors about, you know, we're launching this company, would you write about it, would you interview us or to do this? Like here's some free product, we did like a big press preview in new york and invited editors to come check out the product. So everything was very scrappy, but ended up paying off. So the first, the day we launched the business fast company wrote an article about it and that was I think really just like what launched the company and even to this day it's one of our top press hits two years later.

So that is what like set the wheels in motion, got us our first customers and I am so grateful to those editors who took a chance on us when really it was just an idea. But those press pieces, I think made it the reality And what's working for you guys now I read that you have sold over 150,000 towels and robes and you have you know so many thousands of customers, how have you been able to scale that up and what is it that works for you guys really well. So we sort of think about marketing in two buckets, one is brand marketing and that's really everything organic, so are already social media presence, working with influencers, we don't pay influencers to work with them. So everything there is very much like on a gifted an organic basis. Our press used to be events and pop ups before corona and then the second kind of head of marketing for us is the paid acquisition. So for paid acquisition we focus primarily on facebook and instagram and then google as well. So we are still very young in our marketing mix.

We just tested mail for the first time last week. So we'll see how that goes. We're thinking about doing like podcasts and radio and all these kind of fun new channels. But for now on the paid side we primarily spent on facebook and instagram for acquisition. And that's been really fruitful for us. And when you say mail, do you mean like in the mail? Like letters? Yeah, what are you doing? Um so we sent a little a mailer that basically says like introducing wheezy with a bunch of great imagery with some press reviews and some customer reviews in there and it's really just like a total brand awareness play like so when you're going and you're getting your mail, whatever you might have like these catalogs and you'll see this little piece from wheezy introducing who we are. And so we worked with a data business to basically come up with a list of prospects of people that might be interested in the product. And so we will then get to kind of do a look back and a month or two months and say which of those people who got that mail piece actually bought. Um So I'm hopeful that it could be a new kind of acquisition channel for us.

But no, well see that's really interesting. I haven't heard of that before. What's the data company or what do they specifically do? How do they find the people? Yeah, so there's a lot of these different companies who will basically we don't actually get to see the list of people. Um and they they have like proprietary models where you can say here's our customer list. Um and they can say here are people who look like your customers or who are would likely to be interested in this because they bought from these other 10 companies. And I don't get to see who those 10 companies are. I don't get to know who's in their database. I don't even get to know like what geography they are or whatever it is. But we sent it to tens of thousands of people and there's a lot of companies who help streamline this process for you. Again, we did a little bit of a scrappy way and went directly to kind of the databases, which is a little bit more work. However, there's companies I've heard great things about Pebble Post is one who is actually intermediary for you and I can't I'm forgetting the names. I can give them to you after the podcast. But there's these intermediate companies you can go to and say here's what I want to do and then they'll actually kind of work with the companies on your behalf and help with the creative and all that stuff too.

Um So it's definitely a channel other founders have told me Works well for them and I think if it does work, well we might even joke a full blown catalogue one day. So we'll say so interesting. I didn't know that was a thing. How cool. How much does something like that cost? So we do everything in like small test just because like I said we don't have a ton of budget to test a lot of different things at once. We kind of say okay this is our one test for the year or the quarter or whatever it is. Um So our total budget for that was probably around $25,000. And that will be like a big investment for us just to see whether or not it pays off. So it'll all come down to how many people how many people actually buy and then we'll get to calculate, you know what is our ally? What's your customer acquisition costs? And is this the channel worth scaling into? Cool. That's so interesting. I love that. Thanks. What advice do you have for women who want to start a business and have a big idea? I am a big believer in just like doing your research and doing your homework and that for us specifically meant like talking to customers or potential customers.

Um And just being armed with the data. So I think a lot of people out there will tell you whatever I do. You have. It's not a great idea. It's not worth pursuing. Don't put your day job etcetera etcetera. Um And if you have that data. Um And that research in your back pocket, you'll have the confidence to say like, no, you're wrong. Um, and I think that's something for me personally, that was really important, that I was fully convinced with all that research I had in my back pocket. And then once you're fully convinced you just have to kind of ignore the naysayers. So a lot of people told us this was a terrible idea and we were confident enough to say you're wrong, we're doing it. Anyways love that pure confidence. We are up to the six quick questions part of the episode. So question number one is, what's your, why? Our customers? I were just totally customer obsessed at Weezy and I think just like bringing them little moments of delight and joy to their everyday, something we're very passionate about and they make this all worthwhile.

For sure. I love that question. Number two is what's been the number one marketing moment that's made your business pop? I mean, I have to say that fast company article on day one is what set everything into motion. Um, and there's certainly been other moments since then, but I think that was just like a very wow, huge, that's a huge deal for us. Uh, it's still kind of paying dividends today. So that was certainly, it was worth all the effort on the press side. For sure. For sure. Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter, I was pre corona, I was living in new york city and I think meeting with other founders and even investors and consumer businesses. It's just so fun for me. I feel like I learned so much by hearing other people's stories and while I can't do that in person anymore given what's going on, I'd say like podcast honestly have been incredible. You can kind of like feel like you're in a conversation with those founders on the podcast and then linked in. I am like avidly stalking linked and always trying to find new people to connect with and reach out to and even just hopping on the phone for like 2030 minutes and you just learned so much from other people's experiences.

And I think for consumer businesses, your customers like talking to your customers makes you so smart on your company. They like totally can tell you whenever you have a hard decision. Like your customers will tell you what's the right call. Um, so we lean on our customers so much in corona times. I've been doing these like virtual coffees with them and so many things that like we think are such a hard decision or we are having trouble thinking through. They'll tell you like, no, this is what I want as a customer. So I think that's just so important to staying connected to them anyway. You can absolutely for sure. Question. Number four is how do you win the day and that's around your am and pm rituals that keep you feeling happy and successful. My kind of ideal morning is I have a six month old daughter suspending the mornings with her, getting like at least a little bit of exercise and whether that be like a walk with her sometimes or even like a 20 minute video at home, that is really good for my mental state. And then at night, same thing like spending the evenings with my daughter putting her down like bath time and like that whole routine is very much a ritual for us And then I love, you know, ending my day with a glass of wine, cooking dinner.

That's like my total happy place, which is, I know not super exciting, but I mean you definitely, I feel like one is key. It's a cay cay end of the day signifying especially during corona, I'm like can't have in a sense. I know 100 percent Question # five Is, if you only had $1,000 left in your business bank account, where would you spend it? I think um, my gut reaction would be, you know, on our team, but that being said, you know, spending money team is not fruitful if you don't have product, if you're not selling product. Right? So the more tactical answer would probably be honestly like on facebook customer acquisition that way those people will actually have a job. Absolutely And question # six is how do you deal with failure? And that's around a personal experience or just your general mindset and approach. Um, we were one of the values of our business really is embracing failure.

Um, I think that Liz and I have never done this before. We have never started the business, We've never worked in textiles or the design industry. Everything we're doing is new. So we're bound to make mistakes and I think making sure the team knows that making mistakes is okay. It's just part of the process and we're going to be smarter for them. So every time we tried something that feels like, you know for instance this direct mailer, this could be a total fail, who knows, But I think you will never know unless you try and I think being comfortable with that and knowing that even if you fail, you come out on the other end much smarter than you did before you tried something is so important. So that's something that's really key. I think to our entire company culture. Yeah. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast lindsey. I have loved meeting you and loved getting to hear about Weezy. When can the rest of the world access your brand. Um, thank you so much for having me. This has been awesome. So we are online at Weezie towels dot com. That's also our instagram handle Weezie towels and you can check us out there and we have a lot of fun stuff launching this fall and holiday season.

So make sure you're signed up for our email list as well and will be the first to know. Amazing, thank you so much. Thank you Doon. Hey, it's just me here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup Club podcast. If you want to hear more, head to my instagram at Dune rasheen to see my filmed interviews with incredible female founders like Erica from fluffy Beauty Greta from drop bottle and Sammy leo from breeze bomb. And if you like what we're doing here, visit our website and sign up to female startup club dot com to get all of the good stuff delivered straight to your inbox and lastly subscribe to the female startup Club podcast. Mhm Yeah.

Lessons learned from selling 150,000 towels & robes with Weezie co-founder Lindsey Johnson
Lessons learned from selling 150,000 towels & robes with Weezie co-founder Lindsey Johnson
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