$20K/Month – Building A Party Gift Boxes and Balloon Installations Business – Jamie Taylor of Confete Party Box
INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 43:56)
Sponsors & Partners
Jamie Taylor, the founder of Confete Party Box, shares the story of building a Party Gift Boxes and Balloon Installations Business and then pivoting to Virtual Party Boxes during COVID. Jamie shares her lessons in growth, B2B sales, and future plans.
Jamie Taylor, the founder of Confete Party, a gift box business that makes it easier to build relationships and celebrate life’s most important moments. She discusses her entrepreneur journey, the inspiration for her business, and her experience with marketing and growing the business. Taylor started the business in 2010 and has since expanded the business to include larger-scale installations for corporate companies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the business shifted to virtual party boxes, and now focuses more on gifting items for milestone moments and celebrations. She advises entrepreneurs to keep their day job when starting a business and to focus on building relationships rather than just making sales. The speaker mentions the importance of networking relationships in business and the need for patience and consistency when building these relationships. She also discusses some of her favorite tools and tips for entrepreneurs, including Trello for productivity and the book “The Mountain Is You.”
- 00:00:00 In this section, Sushant interview Jamie Taylor, the founder of Confete Party, about her entrepreneur journey and some of the strategies and tactics she used to start and grow her business. Jamie discusses how she always wanted to own her own business from an early age but didn’t fully know about business and networking until she worked at a chamber of commerce. She was motivated to start her own business because she wanted to have freedom and flexibility to do the things she wanted, and because she was a mom who wanted to spend time with her son. Jamie quit her job and went full in on starting Confete Party, which makes it easier to build relationships and celebrate life’s most important moments with curated gift boxes. She advises others to keep their day job when starting a business, as it removes the worry about paying bills and allows for a slower, more strategic approach.
- 00:05:00 In this section, Jamie Taylor discusses the inspiration for her gift gifting business, Confete Party Box. She started the business when she was looking for ways to make her sister’s graduation memorable and then expanded it to do large-scale installations for corporate companies. However, everything came to a halt when COVID-19 hit, and her business shifted to virtual party boxes. Taylor then continued to evolve the business and now focuses more on gifting items for milestone moments and celebrations. The pandemic has impacted the business, and now gifting is a much more competitive market. Despite this, Taylor plans to continue growing the business through SEO efforts and to continue expanding and innovating in the gifting industry.
- 00:10:00 In this section of the video, the speaker discusses the importance of corporate gifting in their business, specifically for customer appreciation and employee thank-yous. They mention that their product is curated and easy to choose, making it a timesaving way for busy individuals and businesses to find the perfect gift. The speaker also discusses the challenges of being a small business and being completely self-funded, which makes it tough to maintain inventory and have a wide range of options. Despite these challenges, the goal of the business is to increase their direct to consumer audience, but in a more natural, organic way.
- 00:15:00 In this section, the YouTuber discusses their business venture in the gift box industry. They describe the organic growth of their business without any significant financial investment. They mention the personal money they used to start the business, which has since turned into a six-figure company. Despite the challenges and hard moments, they admitted that their experience of managing their business on their own has been invaluable. The biggest investment for them was their website, which cost around $17,000. They also talk about the shift in their business from party boxes to gift boxes, with installations still being a significant part of their operations. The YouTuber’s businesses are primarily B2B, and they fulfill orders by making custom packages for clients that require specific items. They mention that fulfillment is done in-house, but they also ship out products to clients who require it.
- 00:20:00 The YouTube video titled “Jamie Taylor” shares information about a company that provides gift boxes for various businesses and industries. They offer customized gift boxes and real estate agent specials and can be ordered online or in bulk. Their process involves a consultation with the client to understand their brand and aesthetic, followed by the creation of a proposal with various options. The company stresses building relationships with clients, which has helped them keep many of their initial customers. The company uses in-person interaction and social media marketing, and considers hiring a salesperson for active outreach to small to medium-sized businesses.
- 00:25:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Jamie Taylor”, the speaker discusses their experience with marketing and going out for their business. They mention that managing the business and doing these tasks can be overwhelming. Last year, they realized that this is not what they should be doing and that they needed to hire someone to handle these tasks. They now hire someone who engages and interacts with people in laser tag, making it easier for them to focus on their tasks. They mention that a lot of people are not aware of the existence of businesses that offer this service, which makes it difficult for them to acquire new customers. The speaker mentions that corporate gifting is a great way to do it because it offers a personalized touch. They mention using websites like Fair to find new brands and companies. In terms of marketing and acquiring new customers, they suggest focusing on local events and direct interactions with people. They also mention online marketing as being effective. The goal from all of this is to build relationships with customers and keep them coming back for more.
- 00:30:00 In this section, the speaker discusses their business, which involves corporate gifting clients with personal relationships and email marketing. They mention that they do not rely on interaction from clients who order from their website, but rather focus on direct outreach and email communication with returning clients. The businesses fulfillment, warehousing and infillment are done in-house on their own, with some subcontractors to assist during larger months. Looking five years in the future, the speaker sees the business expanding inventory and incorporating technology for easier gifting, such as an online portal for corporate companies to add their own information and purchase gifts on-demand. They mention that their biggest mistake was relying on natural business luck and not focusing on a marketing plan to generate continuous traffic. Entrepreneurs can learn from their experience to not solely rely on natural business and to set up detail marketing plans.
- 00:35:00 In this section of the YouTube video, the speaker discusses the importance of staying consistent with marketing and planning in business. They mention how they have started blocking out entire days for this purpose and having a marketing girl to help them. They also talk about the trend of seasonality in business, with holidays being a big driver of sales. The speaker is then asked to give one book recommendation for entrepreneurs and chooses “The Mountain Is You” by Brianna Wiest. They also mention two innovative products or ideas they are excited about: ClickUp for content marketing and Bandolier, a little purse that has become very popular. The speaker discusses a business or productivity tool or software that they recommend, which is Trello. They also mention a peer entrepreneur or businessperson they look up to, Jaclyn Johnson with Create and Cultivate. Finally, the speaker talks about tips on networking and building relationships, which they say are crucial in their line of business.
- 00:40:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the importance of networking relationships in business and how it’s crucial to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. They emphasize the need for patience and staying consistent in building these relationships, noting that it takes time for their business to grow and finally giving in to their dream of having more freedom and flexibility to spend time with their family. Now, the speaker is looking for consistency and structure in their business as their son is moving to a different state, and they’re focusing on scaling their business in a more organized way. The speaker finds their story
People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode
Book: The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery by Brianna Wiest
What You’ll Learn
Interview with Jamie Taylor of Confete Party
|[00:00:28] Welcome Jamie Taylor to TrepTalks|
|[00:00:49] Motivation to Start the Business|
|[00:01:27] Early Business Experiences|
|[00:02:51] Going All In on Entrepreneurship|
|[00:03:16] Starting the Gifting Business|
|[00:05:00] Shifting During COVID|
|[00:08:57] Post-COVID Business Growth|
|[00:13:39] Discussing a Gifting Idea|
|[00:15:12] Organic Growth of the Business|
|[00:17:29] Investments and Learning from Experience|
|[00:19:44] Fulfillment and Shipping|
|[00:21:46] Building Relationships in Business|
|[00:22:25] Unique Value Proposition|
|[00:24:10] Active Sales Outreach and Marketing|
|[00:25:05] Importance of Delegating Tasks|
|[00:25:26] Engaging and Interacting with Customers|
|[00:26:53] Sourcing Products and Vendors|
|[00:28:16] Using Fair for Vendor Sourcing|
|[00:29:15] Customer Acquisition and Retention|
|[00:30:45] Team Structure and Fulfillment|
|[00:32:23] Business Expansion Plans|
|[00:34:17] Learning from Mistakes and Marketing Consistency|
|[00:35:57] Seasonality in the Business|
|[00:36:36] Book Recommendations for Entrepreneurs|
|[00:38:00] Exciting Innovations in E-Commerce and Retail|
|[00:38:56] Recommended Business or Productivity Tools|
|[00:39:18] Businesses Doing Great Things|
|[00:40:00] Networking and Relationship Building Tips|
|[00:41:00] Best Business Advice Received/Given|
|[00:43:00] Reflections on Entrepreneurial Journey|
In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party
- Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery by Brianna Wiest)
- An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: ClickUp)
- A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend/Productivity Tip. (Response: Trello)
- A startup or business (in ecommerce, retail, or tech) that you think is currently doing great things. (Response: Bandolier )
- A peer entrepreneur or businessperson whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Jaclyn Johnson of Create and Cultivate)
- One networking tip or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships.
- Best business advice you ever received (Response: Have patience and allow your efforts to naturally evolve over time, understanding that it takes time to see the benefits of your work, similar to a rubber band stretching before it eventually snaps and results manifest.)
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey there entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant and welcome to TrepTalks. This is the show where I interview successful e commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.
And today I’m really excited to welcome Jamie Taylor to the show. Jamie is the founder of Confete Party. Confete Party makes it easier to build relationships and celebrate life’s most important moments with their curated gift boxes. And today I’m going to ask Jamie a few questions about her entrepreneurial journey and some of the strategies and tactics that she has used to start and grow her business.
So Jamie, thank you so much for joining me today at TrepTalks. Really appreciate your time. Yeah. Thanks for having me. So very interesting business, uh, you know, gifting, uh, e [00:01:00] commerce business. Um, can you share a little bit, I mean, you know, I was doing a little bit of a research and I read the headline. I quit my job to start, you know, this business.
So can you share, uh, I mean, you must’ve been really motivated or, you know, uh, what I need to work for myself. the background story. What really motivated you to start this business and why a gifting business?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Um, you know, I from I don’t like a really early age. I actually always wanted to own my own business.
So my actually my first business that I never really took off with was, um, an interior design business. I have a background in interior design. And during that time, it was actually the crash of the market. But there was actually a lot about business and networking and building a business that I didn’t fully know at that time.
And until I continued my career with different jobs, um, I actually started working at a chamber of [00:02:00] commerce. And that was when I really got to see like how the small business world works, how people really grew their business. And that kind of ignited my. I mean, really it was kind of like, well, if they can do it, I can do it was really my attitude.
And, um, you know, I’m somebody who really values, I work hard, and I like to work. Um, but I also wanted my own like freedom and flexibility to do some of the things I wanted. So I, I’m a mom and I have a one, he’s 14 now, but at the time. He was about five and I just didn’t feel like I wanted to choose between like going to his activities or having to work.
And so it was like, how can I find something where I can do both? And that was what really, I guess, motivated me to. Start my own thing. So I didn’t, I am quitting.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, did you, I mean, that’s, that’s very interesting. Did you quit before you actually got it, got your business going, or did you kind of like, [00:03:00] you know, I’m quitting and I’m going 150%, uh, I’ll put everything in and I’ll see how it goes.
And if it doesn’t succeed, you can always go back to the corporate world or, you know, whatever you were doing. So which, which route did you take? I quit.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Okay. Okay. I went full in. So I’m definitely somebody who likes to go full into something. And so I had, uh, quit my job. I started to do this and honestly, looking back, it’s funny because a lot of advice that I give to other people is like, keep your job and kind of build it because there are, I mean, there’s pros and cons to me to doing either one, either way, right?
Like going all in, you can really focus on it and do it full time. Um, which is what I really wanted to do, um, and we, I, we had had enough money and savings to be able to do that for a period of time. Uh, but it’s funny, because I do give people advice now that, um, sometimes I feel like the less risky route would be to [00:04:00] kind of keep your job and try to build something on the side.
But, um, I tend to like to go full force into things when I go and decide to do them.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, yeah, I think I have also in the past went 100 percent in and, you know, having had that experience. Now I realize and if I have to give advice to someone, I will say, um, definitely keep your day job because it kind of removes that, you know, you’re not worried about like your part of your brain is not worried I.
Uh, you know, uh, paying my rent and, and those kinds of things, even if you have a little bit of savings and you’re still thinking, Hey, I’m eating into my savings. Um, but yeah,
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: yeah. And I, part of it really, like, I think part of it, I just gave somebody that advice because I think what happens when you do, and if you are trying to make money doing that, you end up starting to take things that you maybe wouldn’t have just to take the income.
And so I feel like at times that can kind of get you a little bit. Off route, um, [00:05:00] from where you want to go. So I feel like that’s a little bit of the, the struggle when you’re relying fully on that.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Why, why the gift gifting business? And can you share a little bit about how you came up with the idea and, uh, you know, what kind of really attracted you to a gift kind of an e commerce business?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Yeah, so our road has been a little windy, which I’m sure most entrepreneurs would tell you the same thing, but what I actually first started out, um, was a party in a box was the first concept and idea, which was to put Instagram mobile parties in a box that you would send to people’s houses and they would be able to set them up.
And this was kind of at the time before. These elaborate parties really started to become a thing. So it was like, Oh, kind of taking my design background. Um, and that really stemmed from doing that for my sister. She isn’t the most creative needed somebody to help make my niece’s graduation memorable. So she was like, can you just [00:06:00] design it?
Like I can set it up, but I just need somebody to like, tell me like what to pick and what to get. And that’s what really kind of started the idea of that business. And. As we started with that, we, we, I started doing these organic balloon garlands that are now really popular. But at the time, this was seven years ago, a lot.
It was just kind of hitting a trend that people hadn’t quite seen yet with balloon installations. And so oddly, I had put one and had posted it on our Instagram and that took off like wildfire. People were constantly emailing us about how would we come up and set it up for them. And so talking about wanting to make additional income, we kind of really started going that route.
We were still doing party boxes and setting them up, but a lot of our income, it was like we caught a wave that I had never intended to catch, and we just rode with it. And [00:07:00] It just grew, um, so fast and we started doing large scale installations for corporate companies, um, and doing kind of event design.
And so our business kind of shifted. Well, then that brought us up, that brings us up to March of 2020 and everything came to a screeching halt because it was COVID and we still had our online business that was kind of going, but most of our revenue was Um, events that we were doing. And so when COVID hit, we kind of went back to the drawing board and started looking at, okay, how can we, and what can we do to one, keep our business alive?
Um, since we can’t do events anymore. And that was where we came up with the idea of doing, um, Virtual party boxes. And so, and really, I attribute our online website and people finding us on there. We had custom boxes were always an option. So somebody could [00:08:00] email us and tell us what they what they wanted.
And 1 of those was somebody said, Hey, my coworkers having a baby shower. We’re no longer able to get together. Can you design. Um, you know, 15 gift party boxes so that we can all celebrate on zoom together. And so, um, that started becoming we started getting more inquiries of that and we kind of launched our virtual party boxes.
And so things kind of. Continue to evolve during COVID because we had some people that were looking for party boxes, but then we had people that were really looking just more for gifting items. And so that was how our business kind of evolved from confete party box to confete gifts and party boxes.
Um, so our boxes definitely still have a celebratory flair, but they’re definitely a little bit more gift focused and ways to celebrate those milestone and moments. And We just have kind of continued to go that way with them. So
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: coming out of coming out of COVID. Has [00:09:00] it kind of affected your, you know, direct to consumer kind of a business or has it kind of stayed the same?
Or is it still
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: growing? It’s still growing. We had a tough year last year and because there was a shift from people going back to the workforce and so virtual party boxes weren’t quite as popular anymore. And so now gifting is a much more competitive market. And so I was trying to get that. That lion’s share, um, and just trying to get our name out of doing that.
So that has been the hardest part is that shift in what people were looking for. Uh, and also like we saw the power of Google, like we were one of the only businesses that had virtual party boxes on their website. And so people were just finding us on Google through our SEO naturally. And so once people stopped searching for that, we saw a slow in our, um, web traffic.
But we kind of just, again, went back to the drawing board and said, okay, who is our ideal [00:10:00] client? Um, and how do we find them and search them out? And a lot of the businesses that we work with, even though anybody can buy a box off of our website for birthdays and anniversaries or any celebration, a lot of what we do is corporate gifting, um, for client appreciations or employee thank yous, those kinds of
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: things.
I think that makes a lot of sense. Uh, do you, do you, so, you know, there’s like your B2B, uh, sorry, B2C business, you know, anybody can go on your website and, and that’s, I guess, a different customer persona. I’m assuming the value proposition there is anybody who’s kind of busy or who doesn’t want to take huge amount of time.
Like they, they come to your website, curated. list of items that they can choose from, create a gift box and you know, basically it’s a time saving way. Uh, and on the B2B side, of course, you know, you’re bringing kind of that, that experience here. You’re helping them put everything together. Um, which like, which side are you, [00:11:00] um, kind of more focused on as a business?
Do you see more, uh, like, where do you spend most of your time trying to, you know, do the customer acquisition and things like that?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Uh, corporate gifting. Definitely. Uh, the, the online and it’s funny because we’ve been trying to kind of position see where, I mean, we’re a small business. So I think one of the challenges we have is that I’m completely self-funded, so I don’t have a ton of money and keeping an inventory is a really tough.
Business to be in. So it’s like trying to keep inventory low. Um, and so that’s probably one of our biggest challenges is when you have consumers that are just coming to your website, usually want like a plethora of options. And so I would say that while we have a good range of options, it’s. It’s probably not enough or wide ranging.
And most of our product has been built from the custom boxes that we’ve done. So that’s definitely been a little bit more of our focus. The goal would [00:12:00] definitely be to, um, increase our direct to consumer, um, audience, but as we’re, but in a more natural organic way. So, but that’s definitely our, our focus is getting our name out through our custom corporate gifting.
And in that I struggled with, um, who is our. Audience, like who is going to buy a box from us? I struggled with that for a little while. And what I realized is you’re not, I’m not going to buy a gift box necessarily for my friend who lives down the street. Most likely I’m going to like take her out for dinner or go do something.
But a lot of the people that buy for us are people that don’t live near each other, whether they live in a completely different city that might be a couple hours away, or they live in a different state. It’s a way for them to still be there for them when they can’t actually be there.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I have had, uh, some idea.
I guess I’ve encountered challenge where, you know, you meet someone, let’s say you, you get introduced to someone and, you know, maybe they [00:13:00] did a favor for you and you want to kind of, you know, thank them. Maybe you want to buy them a small gift, but you don’t necessarily want to ask their like, you know, home address.
Maybe you just have, you know their email address. Um, there has to be a way where, you know, you can basically send someone an email saying, you know, this is the gift that I want to, uh, send you. Do you want to accept it? If yes, you know, they basically enter that. So, so the sender never sees their home address, but the recipient has a way to accept that gift.
Um, Do you think there’s any merit to that idea?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Um, I do actually think there’s a ton of merit to that idea. And actually, a lot of in the corporate gifting world, there’s a lot of, um, especially with like big tech companies, like they don’t want to be asking, um, a lot of, they don’t want to be sharing.
Their employee’s information. And so there’s a huge market, I think, for being able to send gifts that way. And then, and we’ve talked [00:14:00] about this, like, how can we add that as an option? Um, even adding, so for example, being able to provide the email address and then giving them an option of being able to like, choose either from these gifts or they could build their own gift.
Um, because I think a lot of the worry that people have is. Am I gifting them something that they actually want? And that is always our goal is to gift things to people that they actually want at least a couple of the items in the box that it’s not going to be something that they’re just going to toss.
And that’s been what we’ve been trying to kind of change with a lot of corporate companies is. Yes, we can add your brand and your logo to it, but let’s do it in a more elevated and conspicuous way where it’s not like yelling at them as soon as they open the box. But more or less it’s like these are items that they actually wanna have and there’s like a tasteful way of adding your logo.
’cause I feel like a lot of people don’t really care to have like their company logo, you know? Like they’re not gonna put a candle with the company logo, like sitting out in their house. [00:15:00] Right? Yeah, yeah, for sure. So finding more of an elevated approach to being able to do them.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So when you started, I mean, to me, it seems like your business kind of came, came to this place in organic way.
So I’m, I’m, I’m assuming that there wasn’t really a moment where you, you had to say, maybe there was some, sometime where you had to say, okay, I’m going to spend like, you know, 20, 30, 000 to buy the inventory, but there wasn’t like, I’m assuming there wasn’t a huge investment that you had to make. And you said, you know, it’s really all your personal money.
Um, How did you see that risk? And like, are you now in a comfortable position where you, you think that yes, the investment that you had made, like, kind of, um, made that money back? And now, now it’s that you’re kind of like in a more, uh, uh, stable position, uh, in your business.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Yeah, I think that we’re getting [00:16:00] there.
So initially, um, to be upfront, like initially we put in 5, 000. So to me, yes, I’ve made, I mean, it’s now a six-figure business. And so I think that just the knowledge and experience that I’ve taken from quitting my job to doing this, like that’s invaluable experience that I’ve had, like that’s non-monetary.
Um, and there’s definitely been some. Really hard moments where I’ve questioned whether or not I want to continue to do this. Is this, you know, I think that all entrepreneurs have that, those moments of, is this going to become what I envision it to be? And, um, but you know, when you look back, it’s like, man, I’ve learned so much more about myself.
Um, about how to run a business, how to start things on my own without relying on other people. Um, so I think those are invaluable experiences outside of money or finance. Um, but they’re, my biggest investment was actually my website that [00:17:00] cost a lot of money, um, to get that, to be able to have. Yeah. And that we just did actually two years ago, my dog just barked.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I didn’t do
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: it. Um. I’m going to open the door. I can let her out. It’s very good.
So, yeah, I think that, um, I think that the 5, 000 actually wasn’t the, that wasn’t the starting the business actually wasn’t the hardest part for me. Um, it’s the continually like the growth and the learning and the scaling part that I feel like is, um, you know, been the most difficult, difficult, but you definitely have to kind of just see what people are wanting and try to kind of figure that out, but I don’t know.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, how much did the website cost? I mean, you said the website cost you a lot of money. 16, [00:18:00] 000. 17, 000. Wow. Okay. So this is Shopify website, right?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Yeah. So When we really transitioned originally, our website was a lot more about the party boxes and the balloons. And when we started to shift, the gift boxes are very different.
We’re still doing installations and it’s actually still a very big part of our business right now. And so it’s almost like we’re operating two completely different businesses that somewhat work together because we do a lot of corporate, um, events. So they kind of go hand in hand, but they’re different.
So when COVID… About 2 years ago, um, what I wanted was 1 inventory source, um, but we could still do prepackaged boxes, but then people could build their own box from our same inventory. And so that was where it became really expensive was trying to do. Those things that have one inventory source, um, and then we achieve that.
So now we’re in the process of actually completely [00:19:00] separating our balloons and gift box companies separate. So balloons are still on there and that’s, um, somewhat on there. So we’re actually in the process of having a completely different website for that. Um, and separating the two businesses completely.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: when someone, um, Um, I mean, you’re primarily B to B. So I guess when you receive an order, um, does the company say, I want, you know, make make a package for me custom package for me that has like a bottle of, you know, uh, champagne, chocolate, you know, soap, whatever. Um, and then in terms of fulfillment, like, are you doing some of these, you know, I see you’re sitting like this kind of your warehouse, right?
Do you do? Do you? Do you do that packaging yourself and kind of, uh, do the fulfillment yourself? Are these businesses kind of like in your neighboring area or would you also ship out like these packages to [00:20:00] like, uh, across the country and things
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: like that? Yeah, we ship out across the country, and we’ve done, you know, we’ve done boxes for, um, Google and Microsoft and to small businesses as well.
We do a lot of, um, real estate agents. And so if they’re wanting corporate gifting, um, you go onto our website and you do, you fill out an online form. It gives us a little bit more of an idea of what you’re trying to achieve. What your price range might be for your gift boxes. Um, are you doing them one at a time or do you want them all shipped out at the same time?
So for example, we just did some for, um, Clinique and their ambassadors and they wanted them all shipped out at the same time. Where a lot of real estate agents want them shipped out as they have like closings. Um, and so we do it both ways. So on demand or all at once. Um, but what we’d like to do and our tagline and slogan that we kind of use is like putting your brand in their hands.
So our goal is to, whether it’s through the online [00:21:00] form, we can hop on a call with you and get an idea of what it is that you’re trying to achieve. What is the overall aesthetic and vibe that you’re going for in the box. And Then we’ll do a little bit of research on your social media and your website, just so that we have a good idea of what your brand is.
And then we’ll create a proposal with a couple of different options to kind of bring that to life is kind of what our simplified version of our process. Awesome.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, I mean, running a small business is difficult. And with something like this, I mean, I I’m assuming there’s probably these days so many different options with like, you know, where people can even for corporate gifting, you know, it’s like, there’s probably a wide range of options out there.
How do your kind of Is it at the end of the day? Is it really coming down to building relationships? So like, you know, if you can get your foot into the door with like, let’s say a real estate company, and you’ve kind of kind of [00:22:00] build that relationship, your goal really is to continue building that relationship year after year and have having that customer not, you know, going out and shopping around, but, you know, sticking with you.
Um, In terms of value proposition, like what, what do you think that you, uh, you know, how are you separating your business from like all the other businesses or competition in the markets?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Yeah. So I think that one thing that’s a little bit different about our company is that we have that celebratory flair.
There’s a lot of gift box companies that are Beautifully designed have a more the word that I kind of use, like, uh, very like, um, empathetic and sweet. Ours is the goal is to kind of like BDA in their day. So I feel like that is what differentiates us. Ours is a little bit brighter, uplifting, um, hopefully motivational.
That’s kind of the goal of ours. Um, you know, we also. I think what differentiates us is we do a [00:23:00] lot of lower order quantities. Our goal is to help not just big businesses, but small businesses stand out, um, in the crowd. And so that is 1 of our, 1 of our big options is like, how can we help the smaller businesses stand out in a, in a market?
But relationships are key and. As a digital company for a long time, I really focused on our digital marketing and I kind of forgot my days of the chamber where the people that you meet and the relationships that you have a lot of the business that we have gotten and have kept with us have been the people that are closer to us and know us.
And so we’ve really started to look at how do we. Get our name out there and then keep those relationships with them. And so a lot is in person interaction. Um, and then we still, of course, couple that with. You know, social media marketing. Um, and we’ve really dove deep into really building our email marketing system and keeping in contact with people that way.[00:24:00]
And just trying to, um, yeah, just make it easier for people to know about us. But it is, it’s a big job when you’re.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the, the way I’m thinking is, um, you know, you almost need a salesperson who’s kind of doing active outreach every day, right? Like, uh, calling, calling into different companies.
Um, maybe not, not corporations, because I think there’s probably a lot more red tape there. But, you know, small to medium sized businesses like your target kind of business that, you know, that you’re going after, you know, it’s like active outreach, maybe sending them like little sample little gifts, it’s also that, you know, you’re in there.
Um, because I think, you know, any business-like real estate, uh, they’re so busy, usually like in their own business. I would assume that they’re not necessarily going out searching on Google. I mean, maybe maybe only if like they actually need this item. [00:25:00] Um, so what do you think about like doing some sort of a sales outreach kind of thing?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Yeah, when we last year were the first year that, um, I remember thinking that I’m more, I, my background, I love marketing and I love going out, but a lot of times it can be really overwhelming when you’re also trying to manage the business and do all of these other tasks as well. And so it was funny last year was the first year that I thought.
That that is not what I should be doing. And that that really probably should have been my first hire. My first hire was, uh, packing and fulfilling, um, because that would free up my time to kind of go out and do that. But now we’re at a point where it’s like, okay, yeah, we need to have somebody who is constantly engaging and interacting and, um, getting in front of people.
So that’s. Been part of our marketing plan for about the last six months and it’s definitely starting to pay off, but yeah, you’re right. Um, cause a lot of it’s top of mind just having, being there and being in the room because people [00:26:00] do need those gifting. Um, but like you said, they don’t know that that’s even an option.
Or that these types of businesses exist. And so, it was getting them to just kind of know it. And then for a lot of times, like for realtors, it’s a no brainer. Like you said, they are so busy that they don’t even think about hiring that out. And so, once we tell them like what we do and how we streamline it and put it on autopilot for them, they’re like, oh my gosh, done deal.
Like why. Why would I not do that when it still offers like a personal touch to it? Yeah,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: definitely. Um, in terms of the products themselves, um, do you curate them, them yourself? Like do you, do you receive feedback from customers, and you know, what kind of gift ideas they’re looking for? Um, do you buy them like in North America itself, or do you go like internationally to, uh, to purchase these items?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: We, we do. We are, we, we have a very. [00:27:00] Particular way that we want our boxes to look and our brand. I think you can kind of tell that through our website. So that definitely influences who we buy from and what we buy, um, packaging wise, like we definitely look at packaging. Um, the next step is to definitely like, who is the company?
So, uh, we like to buy. If we can from smaller businesses, um, we do buy a lot locally from our own town. Um, but we buy across the United States. We have bought a few and like Canada. Um, but not too much, but we definitely kind of look at what the overall. Style is, and then what are their kind of brand values?
Um, where are they made? Um, and that’s usually how we source it. But the nice thing with like custom corporate gifting, for example, is we’ll get people that’ll say, hey, I want everything local from our area. And that’s kind of the great thing about corporate gifting versus just buying off our website is we can [00:28:00] design boxes for your specific needs and buy things specific to what you’re wanting.
And we’ve had those requests before. So
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: do you use this, uh, this website to fare for, to, to see, like, to check out new, new brands and things like that.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: I do. Like, honestly, it’s amazing. Prior to fair being a thing, um, cause they’re really not that old, but when I had started really with even like the party supplies, there was no.
A way to find easily find wholesalers. And so I remember kind of stalking other people that had party supply businesses that had products that I might want to carry. And then I had to figure out who those vendors were. And then it was so much legwork to figure out how, but, um, I use a lot of fair and then usually I’ll try to actually go direct to.
The vendor after that point and buy from them directly. But yeah, it makes it very easy.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: in [00:29:00] terms of, um, I guess, marketing and PR and really the customer acquisition. I know you spoke a little bit about that, but, um, are you, um, are you doing anything like what’s what’s working the best for you right now in terms of new customer acquisition?
And then I guess once you have a customer, um, how do you you. Yeah. Ensure that, you know, they’re continuing to buy from you year after year and so forth.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Yeah. So, um, you know, I feel like right now we’re still trying to decide what is the best way, but I would say that our local events and in person interaction are.
Actually, better for us and it’s what we’re doing. And then a lot of our online marketing has worked really well. So those are two things that we’re kind of laying into a little bit more. And then the goal from that is to really kind of dive them into our email marketing so that we’re staying in contact with them on a regular basis.
Um, [00:30:00] we have, especially with our corporate gifting clients, we have a lot of personal relationships with them and the aspect of. Personal being that we actually have their email that we’re able to email and interact that way. Cause a lot of times when people order off our website, like there’s zero interaction between us.
So if we have new, um, sales or private sales that we do for, um, returning clients, we will email them directly. Um, so it’s really kind of boosting our email marketing and creating a more relationship through that and keeping them in contact with us and, and just direct outreach. Which I think direct outreach is actually probably the best way.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, I would, I would say so. Yeah, for sure. Um, what does your team look like
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: right now? My team is very small. It just consists of myself, and I have a fulfillment manager and a, um, marketing manager. And
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: you do all the fulfillment, so, um, and warehousing and fulfillment, [00:31:00] uh, on your own, or do you utilize any third-party logistics..
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: providers also?
We do it all on our own. And we have some subcontractors that will come in and, um, help out when we. You know, have larger months. Um, but we tend to keep that in house because we feel like our boxes are really our faces of our business. Cause a lot of people don’t ever interact with us. So for us, the way the box looks when somebody opens it up is really important to us, and so that’s why we kind of keep the fulfillment in house.
Um, so it lays out really nice. Yeah,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: that makes a lot of sense. Um, what does, um, how do you see your business? Let’s say five years down the road. Do you continue to, you know, one, one thing that you mentioned was, you know, a big part of this business is have really having a wide range of items. And, you know, of course, unless you kind of make a huge investment to buy a lot of inventory, I think that’s, you know, [00:32:00] that’s, that’s probably very risky.
Also, so do you just continue seeing building your business, uh, adding new items to your inventory, um, going after, you know, just really continuing the same model and continuing adding new customers or do you see, uh, your business in a different way? Let’s say, you know, 3 to 5 years down the road.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: You know, that’s a great question.
It’s actually one I’ve been really like toying with on where, where do we see ourselves going? Uh, I think the goal for us would be to continue to scale and get more consistent traffic on a regular basis. Um, expand our inventory, but then also Add in more technology to make it easier for people to gift.
So like you were saying, for example, um, being able to send somebody a gift just with their email address, um, with corporate gifting, having an online portal that the corporate companies can go in and, um, [00:33:00] add in their own information and do things a little bit more on demand and on their time. So I think the idea would be to just build on what we’ve already, the foundation we’ve already created, um, and have just making it easier for people.
One of the things that we are actually launching is a, um, we’re doing a soft launch right now, but it’s a semi-custom program. So, there’s a lot of small businesses that don’t want to order, you know, a minimum number of boxes, or they want the boxes to not all be the same. And so, our semi-custom program actually allows them to take our ready to ship gifts that are on our website.
Um, and we will actually remove our branding and add their branding on there and they just buy the boxes off the website. So, it’s a nice way to keep like a lower order minimum quantity, but then they can order it when they want. So, another, just easier way for small businesses to be able to gift as well.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, in every [00:34:00] entrepreneur’s journey, there’s always. Mistakes made, lessons learned, failures, um, throughout your journey of, you know, starting and growing this business, what has been like a one or two top things that there has been a learning experience for you or mistakes, or you consider them to be failures?
What did you learn from it? What can other entrepreneurs learn from your mistakes?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Um, I think that my biggest mistake was that. I was relying on the natural business and, and I do say natural, because I think that we got very lucky, especially during COVID we were featured in the New York times and, you know, there was just some things that really worked well for us and we were lucky.
Um, I think that I relied on that to stay coming in and didn’t do a lot to continue to generate. So I think what I really learned was setting up your marketing plan and having and not just [00:35:00] setting it up, but having it be consistent and sticking with it for a long period of time. And so, you know, that’s a hard thing as a business, especially when you’re starting out just on your own.
It’s like, you’re trying to do all of the things. So staying consistent with emails or on social media can be really tough. Um, but one of the things that I finally have started to do is blocking out an entire day to get my marketing and plan done for the entire month. And now I have a marketing girl that’s kind of helping to keep our blog posts and those things going.
But I feel like that was my biggest thing was not focusing on there will be times in every business where time is tough and, um, you’re not seeing as many orders or you’re not seeing as much. And if you don’t have a system in place to continue outreaching and staying in front of it, then I think those times will be harder for you than if you did have something in place.
And so that was my biggest lesson was just feeling like it always was going to naturally come in.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So there’s definitely a, probably in your [00:36:00] business also, there’s a big element of seasonality. Also, right. It’s, uh, there’s probably more gifting around, like some of the big events, like the holidays or Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Father’s Day, things like that.
Do you, do you see that, that kind of a trending?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: your business? Definitely. Yeah. A lot of holidays tend to be really big. Um, and then obviously the holidays at the end of the year, um, notoriously, I think, and I, I actually feel like I see with a lot of businesses, but, um, you know, January, February, March tend to be our slower months of the entire year, but then it usually starts to ramp up after that.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So now I’m going to move on to our rapid-fire segment in this segment, I’m going to ask you a few quick questions and you have to answer them maybe in a word or two or a sentence or so. So the first one is one book recommendation for entrepreneurs and why? Oh my gosh.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Okay. It has to be just one.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: or more.
It doesn’t matter.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: I’m going to give two because I actually just read them, um, atomic habits. I thought was [00:37:00] amazing. And right now, I’m reading, um, the mountain is you,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: the mountain is you, okay.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Uh, the mountain is you from Brianna Weist. And it’s all about self-sabotage, like ways that we tend to self-sabotage ourselves or hold ourselves back.
Um, and it’s a really great, I think, as you’re an entrepreneur, you go through these different phases, you know, from starting to scaling to, you know, in life. And so it’s been a really great, um, book and identifying ways that we might be holding ourselves back from, you know, who are true, like ideal self is.
So that one is actually. I would say more of my favorite, but atomic habits was one of the reasons I was like, okay, Tuesdays are my marketing days and I need to create those habits and create those systems. Um, so when times get tough, like you have a system in place and it doesn’t quite feel as hard.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Uh, an innovative product or idea in the current e commerce, retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about.
I [00:38:00] would say it again. An innovative product or idea that that you feel excited about?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Um,
I don’t know. I feel stumped.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Could be anything. Like, do you use any products that you enjoy using? Do you use any ideas in your business that you think is really great?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Um Well, one that yes, I actually love ClickUp. I just started using that for our content marketing and it’s a really great way to come see your entire marketing plan in one area.
So I love that one.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Um, a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tip?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Um, Trello. We use Trello to do all our managing. Awesome.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, another startup or business, uh, in e [00:39:00] commerce, retail, or tech that you think is currently doing great things. Another business.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: um, like I focus too much on my own business. Um, man, I
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: do buy any product from other business.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: I do actually the one that I love. I don’t have it on here right now is bandolier. It’s like a little purse. Um, that’s probably one of my favorites and they have blown up. They’ve done a really great job. So it’s been fun actually watch their marketing.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Um. A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Jacqueline Johnson with Create and Cultivate. Sorry, what was that? Jacqueline Johnson with Create and Cultivate.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Create and Cultivate. Okay. Um, I know in your, in your line of business, in this business, you know, networking and building relationships is a big thing.
Do you have any tips on [00:40:00] networking or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: Um, well, one, I think it’s just get out there. And go to them, um, to show up and stay consistent. Um, and then one that I’ve actually really been working on this last, I mean, since I started my business, I was very heads down, very focused on building my own thing that I think I really, I don’t want to say I neglected the relationships, but I’ve definitely been, um, just sending like little messages to people that aren’t always business related.
Cause I think a lot of times we can get like in business mode. And so, um, trying to find other entrepreneurs that are in doing similar things or trying to achieve similar things. I think it’s important to surround yourself with them. Um, and just trying to go out for drinks or
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: masterminds. Awesome. Final question.[00:41:00]
Best business advice you ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: I think the best business advice would be one when I was first starting my, um, it was my chiropractor that actually, it was. You know, it takes a while to see the benefits of your work. Um, and so he was the one that was telling me that all of this networking, all of this outrage, all of this work that you’re doing is like a rubber band stretching.
And at some point, that rubber band will stretch or will snap and everything that you’ve been working for will come and, and he was right. And so, a lot of it really was more about patience for me, um, is having patience. Patients to allow things to just kind of naturally evolve the way they’re supposed to.
And I think for me, that’s been the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is it doesn’t happen overnight. Yeah. I mean,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: it’s, it’s a very [00:42:00] difficult journey. Uh, but I think you started out your entrepreneurship journey, like with the goal of having more freedom and more flexibility to spend more time with your family and things like that, you know, A few years down the road.
Now, do you think that you kind of, you know, you’re closer to that goal? Do you, do you feel more fulfilled now? I’ve worked for like, you know, working in a job in the past.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: I would, yes. I feel like I achieved that. I think that, um, lately it’s been definitely a goal of it’s almost kind of that next. That next thing.
So I don’t know that I would say that I have felt fully fulfilled. Like I thought that I would have having that. It has been amazing, but my son is now 14. He’s actually moving to Minnesota. So it’s like now I don’t really need that freedom and flexibility. Like I felt like I needed necessarily before, um, What I now feel like I am looking for in my own business is more, um, [00:43:00] consistency and a schedule, um, to being able to then scale.
I think entrepreneurship can be really like chaotic, especially in the beginning, you’re trying to figure things out. Everything’s really kind of fun. And now it’s kind of the next phase is like, okay, how do we. Stay a little bit more consistent with what we’re doing and still keep that freedom and flexibility, but then scale.
So that’s kind of been my next goal is configuring what that part looks like now that, you know, we’re seven years in.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. Well, Jamie, those were all the questions that I had, uh, really, really appreciated you sharing your story. Uh, very inspiring story and you know, all the trials and tribulations, successes and failures, uh, and you know, all the strategies and tactics that you have used to start and grow your business.
So thank you so much again for sharing your story and for joining me today at TrepTalks and I wish you all the very best in your business.
Jamie Taylor of Confete Party: All right. Thanks for having me.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome.
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