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6 Quick Questions with Katie Wilson, founder of BelliWelli (part 2)

by Female Startup Club
June 23rd 2022

Today on the show we’re learning from Katie Wilson, founder of BelliWelli.

BelliWelli is a functional wellness brand that offers a healthy snack alternative, while also creating a movement ar... More

Welcome Back. Here are the six quick questions. So question number one is, what's your, why? Why are you doing what you're doing every day? I'm matching people with gut issues to, to products that help them. Right? So it's still matchmaking at its core. It's just my wife is, is solving my own pain problem or my own pain point. Um, hopefully doing it for lots of others too. Super cool. Question number two, what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? And if it's the billboard, let's go for second favorite. It's definitely the billboard. Um, 2nd favourite marketing moment. Um this sounds cheesy, but I think the launch, the launch of the actual brand, I was so proud of where the brand netted out and I did not design the brand, right? I love to give credit to the people who did, which is the designers, Sean and Cynthia. I was so proud of that brand when we launched it. I thought it was unlike anything I'd ever seen and everyone told us not to launch this brand, they said they look like condom wrappers and everyone loved loved the brand and we launched it. So for me it was like I knew it, it's amazing.

I love it. I'm proud of that. 100%. Gosh, thank God you're stuck with your gut lull question number three, what's your go to business Resource if you kind of lean into podcasts, books or newsletters, It's 100% my founder group Chat. So I have four founders in a text group chat and I think we probably exchange upwards of 100 messages a day. Um, and we're honest with each other. Right? So it's a circle of trust where we can say, I'm having a bad sales day, What you know, what are you seeing on your end? It's there's, there's no bs, there's no, there's no inflating the truth, right? Which happens in all industry, especially like on linkedin, right? It's a circle of trust and we all support each other. Um, and founders right there, advisors are great books are great. All of those are great resources. But when you're really building the business, other founders, I think are your most valuable resource because they're literally going through it with you making the same mistakes in real time or slightly ahead of you, slightly behind you, that's been life saving, life changing for me in this context.

Amen Network is so important. The relationships you keep is so important. Question. Number four is how do you win the day? What are your AM and PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated. I like to just work really hard. Um, so that's a bad answer, but I'm up at six. Um, I have to interface with customers many, many, many, many times in the day for me. That's, that's where I feel like I had a successful day. If I'm not talking to customers, I, I start to notice that I feel panicked and out of the loop and like I don't have a good pulse on the business. So I start the day interacting with customers and I end the day interacting with customers, um having actual conversations with them and um I feel like I do a worse job of running the business. If I'm, if I skip those steps, that's an interesting answer. I love that. It's the first time I've heard that on the show, I'm sure I'm supposed to say meditate right or take me time, but I don't, you know, balancing the mom thing with the business thing. Um it's challenging, right?

I'm super honest about the fact that I think that's really hard to do. So I should mention like, you know, leaving your computer for a minute and like running downstairs and seeing a child just smile is like really good quick perspective and gives you some like, gosh, you know, that email or that probably was worried about upstairs five minutes ago is not a big deal. Just, you know, my cute, you know, little toddler smile and tell me a funny joke. It's like an amazing reset. Absolutely. Question # five is what's been your biggest money mistake in the business and how much did it cost? Yeah, early on formulation. So, um, it's, it's like a good short story, but again, an example of where we leaned into community. So when we first launched the product, we launched it with stevia Thinking that Stevia is low five map, right? Our brand goals are low fat gluten free vegan, no sugar, alcohols, fiber probiotics. So it fit those parameters. We launched the product with stevia and our community hated it. Um I mean they told us loud and clear, we hate stevia, we don't want to buy anything with stevia in it.

So made a really difficult decision from the hospital to scrap it and reformulate without stevia um very early in the business. And so it took me like five days of getting those that that feedback and those comments and to make the decision. It just like I said um I thought it, I thought I don't mind stevia so it was truly a matter of leaning into what the community told me they cared about. So we we tossed product and reformulated without stevia and the rest is history. People loved it. Oh my gosh, what was the turnaround time they like to reformulate? We reformulated at production, which 100 out of 100. Don't recommend. Our formulate er was really amazing but it was, it was like chaotic. Phone calls me from a hospital bed calling her like how does it taste her sending products to me in an Uber to the hospital was in the height of covid. So my husband having to sneak them into the hospital room so I can taste them, it was horrible. But we turned it around within like two days. So I mean it sounds really easy just to take stevia out and replace it with something else.

Most people, right, who run a CBD business? No, that's not that easy. Um when you're making something at scale like that in a co packer. So horrible, hard, but worth it and we've lost money doing it for sure. If you are you able to share, like, a figure amount of how much product you would have had to have gotten rid of? It wasn't, it was in the, like, We were making smaller runs at that point now we make runs of 100,000 units, but at the very, this was literally the month that launched, we're making runs of like 20-30,000 units of product. Still a lot of products, but um not, you know, not what it would be today, which would be catastrophic. Yeah, I mean, that's still a lot at the time. It felt huge. Yeah, it's still it's still a lot, feels huge to me, incredibly risky. Decision, right? It was our lunch month, right? We were launching that month, so we it felt like the worst decision to be making. But looking back, I mean, it was clearly so right, right, It was like literally as soon as Stevie was out of the bars, people went crazy for them, wow, that's so interesting.

Gosh, And last question question # six is what is just a crazy story you can share, good, bad or otherwise, from your journey in business so far. I mean, it's I we've talked about a couple of times but like just what comes to answer or comes to mind. Well 11 thing comes to mind how they can't hear much about it, but we filmed a tv show the week we got out of the hospital. And that was a crazy journey in itself. But can't talk about that tv show because it hasn't aired yet. But anyway, so that that comes to mind. But I mean just launching a business from the hospital with all the Nicu doctors and nurses and was just an insane, very cool looking back, right? I mean like the first one, C. R. Baby, every war was a belly welly onesie. I mean this poor baby is like a belly welly baby, but so that was that that will go down as wild. Uh wild and the best and worst ways. Um I mean my memory of like about to be put under to get this emergency surgery was like telling them that we had to launch the business the next day.

Um It was just totally chaotic. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They were like, and then I literally woke up and I was like, I need to see my baby. Is she okay? She's okay? Okay. I need my laptop. They probably still think I'm totally like crazy, but it was, it was what it was. Yeah, I'm sure there, although like your biggest cheerleaders. So that since inception. Yeah, there's still some of our literally our best customers, which is cool. Oh my gosh, Katie, you are crazy and so awesome. And I have loved this chat and everything you're doing. This is so cool. This was awesome. Thank you very much for coming on the show. I really appreciate you having me. It's been so much fun chatting with you and reliving all this for a minute. You don't do enough of this when you're running it right? It's just taking that moment to reflect on, even though it's been a very short journey, it's the fun is in kind of, I don't know, examining the journey once in a while and saying, gosh, oh, we've got this far. Okay, one step at a time, one ft in front of the other. Let's do it again. Um so thank you. Oh my gosh, you're so welcome. If your marketing and e commerce brand, you already know that data changes everything.

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6 Quick Questions with Katie Wilson, founder of BelliWelli (part 2)
6 Quick Questions with Katie Wilson, founder of BelliWelli (part 2)
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