$6K/Month – Hand-Designed Greeting Cards, Stickers, and Stationary Brand – Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Company
INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 59:36)
Sponsors & Partners
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Company, shares the story of building a stationary retail brand offering hand designed and in-house printed greeting cards, stickers, planners and other stationary items. Kayla shares her passion for paper printed products which she designs and prints herself. Kayla has received a strong traction on Etsy (and why Amazon did not work for her) and also talks about strategies and funnels she uses to bring customers to her website and retain over the long run. Kayla also shares about using sustainable materials in her products.
Kayla Hutchinson, the creator of Lucky Dog Design Company, shares her entrepreneurial journey and experience building a business while working a full-time job. She delves into her product selection process and highlights the importance of sustainability in her business. Kayla also discusses the benefits and challenges of manufacturing with a US-based company and her experience with licensing her own designs. She talks about her fulfillment and shipping process and the effectiveness of free shipping in online commerce. Kayla shares her experience with Instagram and the importance of self-care in entrepreneurship, as well as advice on productivity and sales and marketing for entrepreneurs.
- 00:00:00 In this section of the interview, Sushant asks Kayla Hutchinson about her entrepreneur background and how she became an e-commerce entrepreneur. Kayla mentions that she has been involved in the paper world since she was two years old, making handmade cards and graphic designs. She also owned a custom event stationery business for eight years and worked as a newspaper reporter before that. Kayla considers herself a creative person and has many creative outlets, including embroidery, hoop dancing, calligraphy, and digital illustrations. She started Lucky Dog Design Company as a creative outlet and not just as a side hustle. She has two employees and is fully committed to the business.
- 00:05:00 In this section of the YouTube video, Kayla Hutchinson discusses her experience building a business while also maintaining a full-time job. She describes the struggle of balancing the many responsibilities of running a business while also trying to spend time with family and friends. She is patient and strategic in her approach to building her business, taking time to learn from her mistakes and grow in a strategic way. She also discusses the importance of finding balance in her life as a creative individual and the value of having a co-founder who complements her skill set, allowing for a healthy yin and yang in the project’s development.
- 00:10:00 in this section of the video, the speaker discusses their business and product selection. They started out with greeting cards and later expanded to stickers, notepads, and other desk and office related products. They mention that adding more product categories has helped drive revenue and cater to a wider audience. They also talk about their personal relationship with the products they sell and how they’re passionate about providing the best selection possible. Overall, the speaker seems to be a creative and strategic business owner who is constantly exploring new ideas and adjusting their product selection to meet the needs of their customers.
- 00:15:00 In this section of the video, the speaker discusses the process of designing and manufacturing products for their business, Kayla Hutchinson. The speaker mentions that they are a design person and that designing has become more democratized with the use of AI and tools like Cana, which allows people to easily create different designs. The speaker also highlights the importance of sustainability in their business, using recycled paper and windmill-powered factories. They mention that they don’t outsource manufacturing, but instead make everything themselves and have a small studio space. The speaker also explains that they love making and will continue to make products until it’s what’s keeping them back, and that they prioritize quality and attention to detail.
- 00:20:00 In this section of the video, the speaker discusses the benefits of manufacturing with a US-based company. Kayla Hutchinson is a maker of greeting cards and notebooks, and she explains that she prefers to use a US manufacturer for her company, as it allows for quicker turnaround times and ease of communication. She mentions that she designs her products much earlier than she needs to, and that big companies like Target and Anthropology Paper Source are buying in May, which means that she must start designing before she is even halfway through the process. She also notes that there are benefits to outsourcing manufacturing overseas, such as lower costs, but she is hesitant to do so because she wants to be able to connect with the people making her products and ensure that they are being made to the highest quality. However, she is open to exploring overseas manufacturing in the future, she mentions that she has gotten quotes for some of her notebooks to be done overseas, and it is something that she is considering if the demand for notebooks increases.
- 00:25:00 In this section, the speaker mentions their experience with licensing their own designs, but they have not yet implemented it in their business. They discuss the importance of product photos and reviews in driving sales on Etsy. The speaker has had a 30% review conversion rate, which they attribute to the care they put into packaging their products and sharing their story. They also mention the importance of building customer relationships and recommending products to existing customers, which can increase customer loyalty and repeat business. Lastly, they mention the importance of SEO in optimizing their listings on Etsy to improve visibility and drive sales. Overall, the speaker emphasizes the importance of high-quality product photos, reviews, and building customer relationships in achieving success on Etsy.
- 00:30:00 In this section, the speaker discusses her experience with nurturing customers to leave reviews for her product after they make a purchase. She highlights the importance of understanding one’s audience and what they care about in order to offer them the best experience. The speaker also discusses the challenges of marketing outside of Etsy, such as social media marketing. Additionally, the speaker talks about the importance of photography in selling online, specifically mentioning her own struggles with capturing great photos. She mentions hiring people to take lifestyle shots for her, while also acknowledging the value of the knowledge and skills gained through learning how to take good photos herself.
- 00:35:00 In this section, the speaker discusses their experience with using Amazon as a marketplace for their product business. Despite analyzing all the research such as shipping costs and the percentage taken by Amazon, they found that their manufacturing costs were significantly lower than the typical 333 rule. However, Amazon was still taking about 90% of the cost of the product. The speaker decided to take their business to Etsy as they didn’t want to make Amazon money and felt that they didn’t need it. They also mention that despite never making a purchase on Amazon, they have purchased items from other sellers there. The speaker further discusses how they outsourced their production process and were able to sell their products on Etsy for a higher profit.
- 00:40:00 In this section of the YouTube video, Kayla Hutchinson talks about her fulfillment and shipping process for her greeting card shop. She creates all the products herself, which gives her control over inventory management. She charges for shipping, but offers a free shipping threshold for orders over a certain amount. She ships stickers for free internationally, but charges for other items. Kayla acknowledges that free shipping can have a psychological effect on consumers and encourages them to upgrade their orders to avoid shipping costs. She also notes that as a small business, she cannot offer free shipping like larger companies.
- 00:45:00 In this section of the transcript, the speaker discusses the effectiveness of free shipping for online commerce. According to the speaker, offering free shipping can be a deterrent for some shoppers, and it is important for small businesses to consider the impact of this deterrent. The speaker has a strong focus on email marketing, which is Dana Kayla’s signature conversion tool. Dana uses automations, such as abandoned cart and abandoned search, to increase revenue through her business. She also talks about the potential of paid advertising, but has not yet decided to incorporate it into her holiday advertising strategy. The speaker has a strong presence on TikTok and Instagram, where she sees significant traffic through these channels.
- 00:50:00 In this section, Kayla Hutchinson discusses her experience with Instagram and why it is an effective platform for sharing her business. She connects with others who are involved in gardening, embroidery, and other interests she has in her personal life, which leads to improved customer relationships. She also discusses the importance of self-care and taking a stand for mental and physical well-being in entrepreneurship.
- 00:55:00 In this section, the speaker discusses mistakes made in productivity, particularly in overloading one’s calendar. They also discuss the usefulness of tools like Fair for small retail shops and businesses, and give advice on sales and marketing for entrepreneurs.
People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode
- Artificial Intelligence
Book: Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
What You’ll Learn
Interview with Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.
|[00:00:08] Introduction to Treptalks and Lucky Dog Design Co.
|[00:01:00] Welcoming Kayla Hutchinson
|[00:02:00] Kayla’s Background and Entrepreneurial Journey
|[00:03:00] Kayla’s Creative Side and Passion Projects
|[00:04:00] Balancing Full-Time Job and Entrepreneurship
|[00:05:00] The Desire for Freedom and Business Goals
|[00:06:00] Learning from Past Failures and Patience in Growth
|[00:07:00] Product Selection and Experimentation in Business
|[00:15:11] Design Tools and AI Democratization
|[00:16:02] Self-Manufacturing and Sustainability
|[00:17:59] Embracing the Maker Culture
|[00:19:00] Overseas Manufacturing Considerations
|[00:20:10] Challenges with Greeting Card Production
|[00:22:15] Multi-Channel Sales Approach
|[00:24:00] Exploring Licensing for Design
|[00:26:00] Winning on Etsy: Strategies & Success Factors
|[00:30:29] Customer Contact Strategies on Etsy
|[00:31:00] Building Connections Beyond Marketplace
|[00:32:00] Photography Challenges & Learning
|[00:33:36] Pricing Strategy & Market Comparisons
|[00:35:22] Amazon Marketplace Experience
|[00:37:00] Amazon’s High Costs & Business Decisions
|[00:39:00] Recovery & Success on Etsy
|[00:41:00] Shipping & Fulfillment Strategies
|[00:43:21] Sushant Misra discusses suitcase stickers and free shipping
|[00:44:00] Psychological effect of free shipping and customer behavior
|[00:44:25] Kayla Hutchinson on small business transparency and shipping thresholds
|[00:45:00] Importance of email marketing and its effectiveness
|[00:46:00] Kayla Hutchinson details her email marketing processes
|[00:47:00] Email marketing as the biggest revenue driver for Kayla’s website
|[00:48:00] Kayla’s experience with paid advertising and Google search
|[00:49:00] Social media traction and impact on Kayla’s business
In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.
- Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown)
- An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: Artificial Intelligence)
- A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend/Productivity Tip. (Response: Make a To Do list)
- A startup or business (in ecommerce, retail, or tech) that you think is currently doing great things. (Response: Faire)
- A peer entrepreneur or businessperson whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Her colleague Nina Gibson an SEO Expert)
- One networking tip or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships.
- Best business advice you ever received (Response: I say, put in the work, sell every single day in some capacity.)
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 Kayla Hutchinson to the show. Kayla is a self proclaimed paper nerd and the founder of Lucky Dog Design Company. Lucky Dog Design Company is a stationery shop that specializes in colorful greeting cards, stickers, notepads, art prints, and desk calendars. That that inspire and connect humans and today i’m going to ask 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 kayla, thank you [00:01:00] so much for joining me today.
I really appreciate your time
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here and get into detail.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, you know, we were just chatting and you were telling me that you had a very interesting, um, you have a very interesting background and some of the things that you’ve done in the past, including, you know, hula hoop girl and also being a reporter.
So maybe that’s where we should start. You know, can you share a little bit about your background and How did you get into entrepreneurship and um, is this your first business or have you done like other businesses in the past as well?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yes. Um, so fun fact is I don’t think my business was started. I started at six and a half years ago, but I don’t think it was started then.
Um, I have been Handmaking paper with Hope and Lint in sending cards since I was two years old, so I like to think that. Even though this happened six and a half years ago, I’m still, [00:02:00] uh, it’s been in my blood forever. Like this is something that’s ingrained with me. Um, but I did own a business before that for eight years and it was a custom event stationary business.
So, um, that’s where my, my Previous background into the paper world came in, but before that I was also a newspaper reporter for various, um, daily papers across the Midwest, uh, East Coast of the United States. And I’ve had a lot of fun with that and a lot of really crazy stories to tell, but paper’s kind of always been in my blood, I guess.
That’s, that’s just how it is. And yeah.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Um, so do you consider yourself more like a creative kind of a person who is just using, um, business as an outlet to share her creativity with the, the, the bigger
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: world? Oh, yes. I do consider myself a very creative person. I [00:03:00] dabble in so many creative things.
I embroider, I hula hoop, dance. Um, I I’m, I’m getting into calligraphy, which is fun. And of course, within the paper world, I do a lot of digital illustrations and all of that. I like to keep myself busy with creative stuff. I like to have outlets. I love to garden. I am. Always always creating in some facet.
I think my husband thinks I’m going a little crazy all the time But I just like to keep busy with fun
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: things And uh, I mean, it’s it’s also very interesting that even right now I believe you you have a full time job as you were saying, you know, you’re a manager for a startup. Um So is this, do you really consider your e commerce business, uh, kind of like a side project or, um, um, a way to, you know, uh, use your creativity, uh, or is this [00:04:00] really, you know, you started this because, you know, you, this was going to be like a source of additional income for you.
What was the motivation behind, um, Behind your all your, you know, business projects in the past and this
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: one as well. Yeah, I, I started business like I started my event stationary business as it being kind of a side hustle. Um, there are a lot of In person, like there, there’s a lot of points in station and event stationary where you’re not really creating in the way that you want to you’re creating for someone else.
So when I started designing cards. It was more about me and what I wanted to design and it was so freeing to actually be able to put my thoughts and everything I’m thinking onto stationery. But I do not consider [00:05:00] Lucky Dog a side hustle. I am full force in it. I have two employees as well, and we, we’re building a business, you know, it, it, it does go at a slower pace than a lot of people who are able to dedicate.
Full time to it. Um, but I ended up, I ended up putting like full time hours in any way. I work every, almost every night. I do take Fridays off no matter what. And I typically work on the weekends. Um, so yeah, I do, I do consider it. Um,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, the reason I was asking that is because for a lot of entrepreneurs, you know, the reason they start side hustle or they start a business is because they have this inherent desire for freedom, right?
A lot of the entrepreneurs are driven by. Freedom and the ability to be able to control their own time. And for you, is it, you know, you said that this is a very serious project for you, you are spending a lot of time is, is the goal for you also as an [00:06:00] entrepreneur that, you know, maybe two, three years down the road, or maybe even sooner, you would be able to kind of go on your own and your business is going to be like your main thing, or, you know.
For you, do you continue to want to do like a full time job because, you know, that gives you some, you know, that meets some other need for you?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah, I do want this to be full time at some point. I, full transparency, and this is, this is a side, um, I’m happy to talk more about, but, um, years ago, I went full time with my event stationary business.
I had all of my funds, I had regular income coming in, predictable income for a long time, um, and I went, I went all in. I decided to quit my job and go into, uh, working full time for myself, and I failed miserably. [00:07:00] I didn’t have the structure that I needed to go in every day and continue to build it with so much time.
I just had all this time and didn’t know how to use it. Well, I was so focused on how much income I was bringing that it just completely. Took away any passion I had for what I was doing and it destroyed me. I burnt out completely. I didn’t create anything for two years straight, like no designs, nothing.
I stopped and I honestly learned so much from that, digging myself out of that hole of just. Not knowing what my true passion was, like, feeling like I was at the bottom depths of this whole, um, of depression, essentially, from this, and so I’m not… Eager to go full time. Like I will take my, I will take my time.
I will, I will. [00:08:00] I love the stability of having that full time job there. I love the benefits. I love also having this other creative outlet. I do email marketing for a living. I get to go and I get to write and I get to, to just. Put another creative outlet, especially essentially out there. And it helps me manage all of that as well.
So, uh, while I do hope that lucky dog and that’s what I’m working towards goes full full time at some point, I am patient with it. I am. Taking it with whatever time I have and it allows me to really grow in a strategic way like I I don’t need to put all let’s say put all of this time into social media I know what actually moves the needle and I can kind of strategize and use my time wisely The time that I do have,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: no, I think that’s, uh, you know, I think every business owner, every entrepreneur has their own goals of, you know, what their [00:09:00] business, you know, what they want their business to be and how much time they want to spend in it, um, uh, and, and things like that.
Um, but one thing that comes to mind is that a lot of entrepreneurs, because to me, it seems like you’re more of a creative person. Um, they, you know, in this kind of situation, you like, you know, they, they, they kind of. Want to compliment their skill set by finding like a co founder who’s more of a, you know, business person who’s doing like that day to day operations kind of a thing and let the creative person do the creative work, create the products.
And I think that that kind of synergy helps, you know, balances the yin and the yang and helps the project move forward. So have you ever thought about like, you know, Finding a co founder. I don’t know if in your team, do you have more people who are, you know, taking over more and more of the business responsibilities and so forth?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Um, I don’t have a co founder. Um, I do have two [00:10:00] employees. I have a chief technology officer who kind of takes all of that burden off, um, of having. To set up all of my systems, like that’s something I don’t have to worry about at all, which is really nice. Um, and then I have a wholesale manager who, um, researches shops that would be a good fit, does outreach for me, manages all of that communication and building rapport with all of these shops and, and stuff like that.
So I do, I don’t think I necessarily need a co founder in this, in this. Scenario, um, but I do, and I love the business side of things too, I should say, but I do, I do strategically have. The right people on my side, the right people working with me to build business, people who are passionate about it just as much as I am.
Um, and who are in the right places to help me. So like my wholesale manager, I was finding I was my own bottleneck. I had to [00:11:00] research, I had, I had to find shops. I had to reach out to them. I had to remember, remind myself to reach back out to them and then also nurture all of my existing customers that I do have.
And through all of that. There was a lot that was getting mixed because I also had every other part of my business to work on. So, um, I knew that I was my own bottleneck there, which is why I hired in that way too. You
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: talk a little bit, uh, which I guess may be your, uh, a topic that you, you, you probably are closer to, or maybe like to talk about, uh, your products.
So you have. Uh, a few different product categories, you have greeting cards, stickers, you have, uh, some desk and office related products, some gift related products. Can you talk a little bit about your product selection? How did you, like, where did you get started? And is the reasoning behind adding more categories or product selection is really that the more products that you have, [00:12:00] the more And so that the revenue.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah, so I started out with just greeting cards. That is my bread and butter. Uh, greeting, the greeting card market from a retail perspective, um, is really interesting. And I started it off as a subscription box. I did a Kickstarter and launched that and it went really well. And it was just thank you cards.
Um, I found myself that creatively I was outgrowing it. And then also my customers were asking for like birthday cards and like all of these different types of cards. Um, and. So I added, I started adding those to my site, removed the subscription box because I found just people wanted to pick their own cards.
Um, and then I moved into stickers. And the reason why I moved into stickers was because I saw this huge market. There were, everyone was talking about stickers. Everyone was doing things with stickers. Stickers were these [00:13:00] super cheap. Easy way to buy something. If you’re at a market and you’re buying from, from someone and you, and you’re like, ah, I don’t really have the money for all of these other things, the stickers.
Three to 5, like you can support a shop when not that much. And that exploded my business. Just adding stickers alone gave me this entire other market of people who just don’t frankly care about greeting cards. Um, and from there I expanded to things that I loved that I saw a need for. Um, so notepads.
having notepads that actually are undated or, or have a certain sentiment to it. Um, I do have quite a bit of snarky. And so people really relate to having that snarkiness on their desk, whether they go into a physical office or not. Um, and they just like to see their personality reflected on their desk.
So that’s a whole other market of people. So [00:14:00] I do. I’ve played around a lot with different products. I try to stick more with paper, but over the years I’ve tried a lot of different things. I’ve tried mugs, I’ve tried totes, I’ve tried shirts, I’ve tried hats. I’ve tried so many things and a lot of them failed and that’s okay.
But, um, I, I have the ability to kind of. Test different things and especially with paper. I make my own paper. I have or my own paper products. I have a commercial grade design print design focus printer. Um, or should I say like graphics photo photo, um, Specific printer. Um, I have everything that I need here that I can test and experiment with everything.
I just launched gift tags earlier this year and they’re going crazy. It’s just something that people wanted that just have this, this little thing that is something you typically [00:15:00] forget about. And when you’re doing gifts and sending gifts, and, um, so it’s, it’s a lot of testing and sometimes. And I think that’s, that’s failing, which is totally okay.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s, that’s so interesting that, you know, you are kind of building your own products. And that, that brings me to my next question. So, so you are, of course, um, you know, the design person, so you can create your own designs easily. And I think these days, you know, kind of designing is. Has been a little bit more democratized as well with the whole AI thing.
And also, you know, the tools that, you know, something like Canva product provides you, it really gives people the ability to create different kinds of designs very easily and things like that. But then to make that design into a paper product. Um, you’re saying that, you know, you can print it, but then do you also do like, you know, binding and all these different things as well?
Or is that something, uh, and is that really a cost effective [00:16:00] way of doing these things?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah. So that is a really good question. I do all of the work myself. I am at this point, a small shop. I, I am in just over 50 stores across North America. Um, and. My business is awesome. It’s doing great, but I have the ability to make everything myself.
I am very particular about what I use. Um, my paper comes from a very specific paper mill that is It’s using completely recycled products and it is 100 percent windmill powered entire factory. So I haven’t been able, like for some things I haven’t been able to find somewhere where I’m comfortable sending my, my designs to, to be manufactured.
However, I’m a maker at heart. So it doesn’t hurt at all. Like I, I would, I would rather [00:17:00] until my hands are bleeding from putting things together, or I find that I am my own bottleneck, like with the wholesale manager, I will proactively look more for those sources and find a printer. Um, but I’m, I’m very picky about it.
I, it is a lot more work. I. I’m also in my own studio space and it’s not that big so I have different ways that I have worked to get everything in such a small space, which is another reason why mugs didn’t work for instance. Um, but yeah, I, I. I love making, I don’t, I don’t want to stop making and I will continue to make products until it’s the one thing that’s keeping me back.
So I can make products really fast. I’m really good at it. I would rather hire people to help me make then potentially send to.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: [00:18:00] Um, if somebody was creating similar products, let’s say, would it be so? So one thing that you said, you know, you’re using a very specific kind of paper and maybe that’s because, you know, you are sustainability conscious and things like that.
Are you buying that paper within the United States? And would you have gone to, uh, you know, some sort of Asian country, you know, China or India or Vietnam somewhere? And, You know, could your business model look something like where you’re doing the design, you’re creating prototypes at your place, maybe you’re, you know, creating, uh, some of those items, testing it out to see what sells, what doesn’t sell.
And then once you have kind of validated the idea or the product, then you kind of. Send it to mass manufacturing and somewhere where, you know, uh, you know, you’re saving time because you’re not doing it yourself every day and you’re getting, uh, maybe even the cost is less of producing it. [00:19:00] Um, like, is that, is that, um, a, because you are a creator and you like creating yourself, of course you’re doing it, but if somebody else was doing like, would that be a.
Uh, a feasible way of running this kind of a business?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: To a degree, yes. There are a lot of things that you can, um, realistically get from overseas manufacturing. Uh, notebooks, planners, notepads, um, any, like, gift items would be good. The one thing that doesn’t really work well is greeting cards. Especially depending on what kind of greeting card maker you are.
If you do pop culture, you’ll find that you’ll sell a ton of one card in a few months. And then it dies off and you’re done. And you have to be really quick on reacting and [00:20:00] creating based off of that. There are a ton of U. S. manufacturers, uh, for greeting cards too. So I think, uh, it’s, it’s pretty common to use a U.
S. manufacturer for U. S. based companies because it’s just easier to get, to get things. You don’t have as much shipping. Timeline there. You can really react to what’s going on in the world and, and, and, um, like I’m already designing for instance, I’m already designing greeting cards for Christmas and all of the winter holidays in.
April? No, March. I’m designing them in March. And it’s, and it’s still nine months away. And that’s just with manufacturing them myself. Because these big, big companies like Target, Anthropologie, Paper Source, they’re buying in May. So you have to have it done way earlier. So it’s, it, and you still want it to be [00:21:00] on topic and honestly, you know, and, and, and kind of focused on what your specialty is within the greeting card space.
So I do think there is a lot that, that is, that can be done overseas. I’ve actually gotten quotes for some of my notebooks to be done overseas and it’s awesome. Like it’s so, so notebooks are fairly new for me. So I’ve been making them, I’ve been producing them, but if. They explode even more if it’s something that people want to see and I’m testing it out Then I am definitely going to be going with overseas mark manufacturing The cost is so low you can find a really good person to work with and to communicate with and It’s not as scary as people think it is Um, and at least in the product base, it’s just like, Oh no, I don’t know what to do.
I’m, I can’t actually go in and see the product. And it’s so much, it’s so much product. Is this even going to [00:22:00] work? Um, but you, you can work with, with the right people and get it produced. And, and I will absolutely be looking at that in the future. If notebooks take off. Yeah.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Um, can you talk about your, uh, sales channel?
So, of course, you have your website. Uh, do you sell on some marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, others? And, you know, you mentioned some of the retail, um, like department stores kind of, you know, Target and others. Are you, are you in some of those department stores?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Not in any department stores. No. Um, I will continue to try.
Every week to try to get into department stores. That is a continuous goal of mine. Um, however, I sell, of course, on Etsy. I feel like as a maker, you should, I’ve been on Etsy since 2011, I want to say, so. It’s working well for me. I don’t [00:23:00] have to do much. It just people already like the SEO has built over there.
So as Etsy just makes sense. Um, I’m, uh, have my own website. I tried the Amazon and Amazon is not a good option for me. It’s a whole other fail story. Um, but, uh, through after Many, many, many hours, um, realizing Amazon’s not for me. Um, however, I am on places like Fair and Handshake, which are both for wholesale marketplaces.
And I, and then of course, um, in a little over 50 shops around North America, I think two in Canada and the rest in United States. Okay.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, one idea that comes to mind is of course, you know, you, you, you said that you are always trying to get into these department stores. I’m, I’m assuming, you know, that if you can get into one of those, I’m, uh, you know, that probably gives you a little bit more, [00:24:00] um, Exposure to mass market, you know, more volume, I guess, but with your skills of designing or coming up with these new, newer designs every year for Christmas, for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, whatever it is, can you sell your designs to some of these bigger greeting companies?
Is that something that you’ve ever tried and is that, is that something that, you know, they’re open to, to, to getting from like, you know, um, Outside created people.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yes. Licensing licensing is huge in the greeting card world because, uh, for instance, a, a company like American greetings, they do not make all of their cards.
They license a bunch of them from different makers. And what that does is for different designers. And what that does is it allows them to use their paper. Their style of printing their manufacturers. So it is pretty big. [00:25:00] Um, and definitely something I have been looking at when, when I do reach out to these department stores and big companies, that is something I always mention, especially if that’s a part of their core, like business plan and business model is licensing from, from different designers.
So yeah, I’ve also looked into licensing for a lot of different things. If I can design, if I can draw. Why not? But I, I’m more slow to that because a lot of my time is spent with designing my own products and running my business and, um, gathering new shops and, and, and bringing more people into the lucky dog world.
So it’s definitely on the radar, but I have not done that yet.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I want to talk more about marketplaces because that, that’s very interesting, especially for this kind of a product. So you said that Etsy works really well for you. And then Amazon did not work. And that was kind of like [00:26:00] a story. Um, is Etsy your biggest sales channel?
Like it’s, it’s, does Etsy perform better for you than your own website? And it does. And, uh, but I’m assuming that Etsy probably has many other creators like yourself who are selling similar kinds of products. Um, and even with, you know, the kind of traffic that Etsy gets and, you know, the SEO capabilities and things like that, how does, how does a person who is kind of looking or browsing around greetings, you know, that they’re looking to send for Christmas, how do, you know, you know, how do, how do you, do you have any.
Well, besides just your design to, uh, to, to, to make one person buy your product rather than a competitor’s product. So how do you, can you talk a little bit about Etsy and what is the recipe to getting on Etsy and [00:27:00] succeeding on Etsy?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah. Um, yeah, Etsy is such a high performer for me year after year. It’s just, it’s what brings in the big bucks, I should say.
It’s, um, it does perform better than my website. However, my website performs wonderfully. I have an SEO, um, who does help me with all of the work that I have there, but Etsy is a unique beast. It. It is so finicky because you need great product photos. If you don’t have great product photos that clearly show what you’re selling, it’s going to go terribly.
Unless you have this just super unique product that someone wants to get, no matter what it looks like in a photo, it just won’t do well without a good product photo. So that’s, that’s the first thing. Uh, second is reviews. It’s, it’s like a catch 22. [00:28:00] You kind of need reviews to, to get, uh, orders, but you need orders to get reviews.
So like, which, like, how do you do this? I had a, last time I checked, I have a. I don’t want to misspeak. It’s in the thirties, 30 percent ish, um, review conversion rate. So 30 percent of the people who buy a product from me leave a review. And it’s all because of everything that I put into their package.
What I ask them, what I, what I share my story on my packaging. I talk about how much the reviews really help others find my shop. If they love their experience as well. Um, So that’s another big one is, is really, you, you don’t have very many returning customers on Etsy. If it’s just from the marketplace, if it’s just people searching for things.
However, if you play that right, you can build up that customer rapport on there. I have people who have been buying [00:29:00] bulk cards for me on Etsy for five years now. They just come to me every few months and they’re buying bulk cards. So it, you really can build a rapport if you do it the right way. Uh, another big one is SEO.
Uh, there are awesome tools out there that you can use to understand what search volume each keyword has so that you can put keywords in your title. So Etsy is a little different from most, like, e commerce marketplaces where, like, the, the thing to do is stuff your title with keywords. Um, so you put what the, what it is up front and then you just add in afterwards what else it is.
So I can pull up a few examples so I can reference it well, but it’s, it’s really about what, knowing what people are searching for another way you can do that without those tools is using the search bar, like starting to type in something and seeing what pops up first. [00:30:00] Um, so I would say keywords. Great product photos, key, absolutely key, and reviews.
How are you asking people for a review when they, when they buy your product? Is the experience good enough for them to decide to go leave a review? It’s hard to get someone to leave a review. Um, it takes time out of their day. They’re busy. Uh, so how do you nurture them to do that?
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, uh, I assume one challenge with the marketplace is that if somebody buys a product from you, you don’t get their email address, you know, the Etsy keeps their email address or contact information.
Right. So I think the, the, the thing that you shared about the unboxing experience or, you know, what they receive when they unbox the product, have you ever tried or tested something like, you know, offering them? Like a free download or, you know, something like a free sticker package or [00:31:00] something like that.
So they come on your website and they actually have to check it out on your website. So you, you get their information and then you can market to them. Have you tried anything like that?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Every single order? Yes. Um, everyone who orders from me gets a coupon for 15 percent off in my shop. It’s a QR code. I also have the link there, but it sends them right to sign up for my list in which they get 15 percent off.
And that is pretty decent. I’ve heard from others who have Etsy shops that this doesn’t really work really well, but I really think it’s about how you’re asking them, how you’re bringing this information to them. Another huge driver for just. eyeballs outside of, of Etsy is giving, asking them to share and tag me on Instagram when they get their orders.
So I get like unboxing videos, TikTok, unboxing videos, like everything, um, um, you could imagine. And They [00:32:00] get a code, they get a 15 percent off code as well for sharing. And so they follow me. They’re the people that follow them sometimes follow me. So it’s really about giving them like knowing what they want.
Just know, understanding who your audience is and what they care about. If it’s Etsy, it’s typically they’re looking for a handmade item. That’s Etsy’s bottom line. That’s, that’s their driver to keep going. Um, arguments out on whether everything is handmade, but that is, that is the reason why Etsy exists.
So you, you have to imagine that these people really want to have these unique and small shop kind of like just that, that kind of captivating, I guess, vibe of a sort, you know, of just working with a small shop that’s. Handmaking this item for them. So [00:33:00] if you can capture that in what you’re sending, you can get them beyond Etsy as well.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I’m just looking on your website. I mean, your, your cards are quite, I, I would say, I mean, they’re pretty reasonably priced. Like the eight, $8 is pretty reasonable. I think in Canada, most cards, like if you go to buy, uh, in a general store are somewhere, you know, eight, 10, maybe more like 12, $14. So, so I would say, I mean, given that you’re doing everything yourself, your pricing is pretty, pretty reasonable.
Now you did mention that, um, Photographs are really important. Uh, and I’m assuming given that you do everything in house, you’re, you’re creating the photographs. I mean, you, do you have like a little, uh, photo studio that, that you use to, to take your own photographs? How do you, how do you create like really great photographs that you say are, you know, absolutely [00:34:00] essential for, for selling on Etsy or on
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: your website?
Yeah, that is, that was my greatest nemesis like three years ago and I’m constantly learning. Um, So I have hired people in the past to take more lifestyle shots for me. So some of my photos are from that. Like some of my best sellers I sent off to be photographed. Um, and I hire someone who can really capture that, um, capture the color and the vibrancy.
Um, but otherwise it’s just me. I have a little studio, uh, down in my basement and I have lights set up and I have. Taken courses and practiced and realized that my pictures were crap and then tried it again. So it does take a lot of. Especially for someone like me who has no, like I used to take pictures as a, as a print journalist, but those typically were in black and white on a [00:35:00] page.
Um, so it, it, it’s been a struggle for me to learn, but, uh, a great skill set to have and definitely vital, definitely vital to a product
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: business. Awesome. Um, the reason Amazon did not work, was it because of course Amazon is very different marketplace than Etsy, right? Amazon people are looking for value.
You know, people are like mostly looking for lower cost item. They probably don’t care that much about, you know, the design aspect of things. And, and of course there’s so many choices on Amazon as well. What was You said, you know, it was, it was a learning experience for you. What, what happened on Amazon?
What was your big learning for Amazon?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah. So I love to do a lot of research before I dive into something. And so as I was trying to decide if Amazon was for me, I was looking up how much it costs, like how much a percentage, what percentage of a product. sale do they [00:36:00] take? What percentage is typically for shipping, especially with this very lightweight product?
I did all of that. And there’s this well known 3, 3, 3 rule where, um, shipping costs or Amazon takes a Basically a third your product manufacturing should cost about a third of what someone’s paying and then you take home a third that’s that’s pretty standard. Um, but my manufacturing costs are way lower than that.
So I was able to kind of fluctuate a little bit. I got everything set up. I was all in for Prime. I think if you’re going to go on Amazon, I, I, I personally avoid anything that’s not Prime. When I go on there, if I’m going on there, I want something fast. I live in a big city, so I can just get it next day or same day.
Sometimes I don’t know how they do it, but [00:37:00] I want to be on prime if I do this. And so I did all of the metrics I signed up, I got approved. I got my listing started, actually submitted my listing and they were taking about 90%. 90 percent of the cost of the product, of what someone is paying for it.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Really?
90%? 90 percent So if a greeting card is 10 and they’re taking 9, that doesn’t make any sense. Oh, because they’re doing everything. They’re doing customer service, they’re doing fulfillment and everything. So you are basically kind of like… It’s almost like a, um, uh, what is it called, um, drop shipping kind of a model.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah, but I’m still making everything, you know, I, I’m still the maker, I still have all those costs. And, um, I was, I was ready to, to make in bulk and send them off. But at the end of the day, I didn’t want to do this to [00:38:00] make Amazon money. Yeah. It, that, that’s what it would have been. It would have been me pretty much in the hole for it and just making Amazon money.
I don’t, I don’t think I have ever gone and bought something from someone’s store that I’ve gotten from Amazon before, you know, like I haven’t, whereas on Etsy, I have done that. Like I, I, I just, this, this business exists on Amazon and that is it in my head. That’s just. what’s there and you can’t, you can’t discredit how other people use Amazon as well.
And so I was not going to just make Amazon money. They didn’t need my money. They didn’t need that. Um, so I, I, I took that experience. I actually made thousands and thousands of thousands of prepared for this. And it’s just, [00:39:00] Something that was in the hole. I was able to, I actually made a very specific set of products that were lower cost.
Like I went down in quality and kind of printed on this. Um, it’s not cheap paper, but it’s just, it’s not my typical paper. And so that it was lower costs for people. That’s what people want. They want bulk, they want. Like I was making these big packs and everything like that. And I actually outsourced all of that and I got someone like I made a bunch and then I had someone else help me make a bunch and I was in the hole for all of that product.
But I was able to flip it around and sell it on Etsy for what it was actually worth. And those are some of my best selling products at this moment. I have. Made so much more off of it than I would have if I just continued to sell on Amazon. I have paid it off. I was in the hole for a while, but once those [00:40:00] listings picked up on Etsy, I didn’t, I like that.
I I’m sticking in my lane. If I like, I, I don’t need Amazon. They don’t need me, but I, I know where to spend my time and my money and my resources. And that just wasn’t one of them.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I am so surprised that Amazon would charge 90%, but if you had not gone with Prime, um, and you were doing some of these fulfillment and things like that yourself, then you probably would have made more money, but of course.
You probably wouldn’t have attracted as many customers because most people are looking for quick shipping and all those benefits that come with prime. That’s, that’s so interesting. Um, can you talk a little bit about your fulfillment and shipping? I mean, um, I know you are creating all the products yourself, so you probably have a really good control over inventory management.
You know, [00:41:00] you’re not creating large, um, batches of products where, you know, they’re just sitting around. Um, Do you charge your customers for shipping or is that something that you kind of bake into your product pricing? Um, and, um, and how do you ship it out? Um, you know, do you use a special kind of, uh, uh, shipping like a two day, two day, three day kind of a thing or is that, you know, really just a United States Postal Service?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: I love the USPS. I will, I will forever use the US, use the United States Postal Service. Um, please go buy stands if you’re listening to this. Please go buy some stands. I know it’s, unless you’re in another country. If you’re in the US, please support. Um, I do charge for shipping. I, it, so to put it, to put it in, To perspective, um, from U.
S. dollars [00:42:00] perspective, my card costs 5. 50, and shipping it costs between, in the U. S., costs between 3. 50 and 4. 75, just for the cost for shipping. So it doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense for me to eat that costs. And it also doesn’t make sense for me to charge 10 for a card. Um, so I’m just, I’m very, I’m very transparent about it.
I put it everywhere that I can. Um, and I also have a free shipping threshold. So if you spend 35 with me or more, you get free shipping. And that is based off of my average order value, which is typically around 27. And which is pretty damn good for a, for a greeting card shop, but I then bump it up for The free ship shipping threshold to 35.
Um, I, yeah, at this point it [00:43:00] doesn’t make sense for me to ship things out for free. However, the only thing I do ship out for free is stickers. I always ship stickers out for free. I can put them in a little envelope. Um, internationally it’s only 3. It’s super, super inexpensive to get a sticker as it should be.
Everyone should have a million stickers. So I make sure that it’s, that
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: that’s free. I was actually recently looking for a sticker for my suitcases when I travel. So I’ve been looking at it on Amazon, but I was looking for more like larger stickers so I can stick it on because, you know, you always run into this challenge when the suitcase comes out of the airplane and it’s like, is it my suitcase or not?
There has to be a way to recognize it. So yeah, stickers are great for that. Yeah. But I’m assuming, you know, free shipping has this. There’s a psychological effect. Like when I go to buy some, something from somewhere and it says, you know, um, minimum 35, there’s the psychological effect. [00:44:00] I never want to pay for shipping.
So it’s like, you know, if I have to pay 6, 7 for shipping, that’s like waste cost for me. So I would much rather get something, you know, that I need or, um, you know, um, upgraded so that I don’t have to pay for shipping. And like, do you see with this offer 35 that most people Want to take advantage of it or are there like a group of people who are okay with paying for shipping?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Um, honestly, it’s it’s hard to tell because I get a ton of orders that are under that threshold, you know people paying the five dollars Um, I know it’s a barrier Amazon exists everyone expects free shipping everywhere, but we are still Small businesses. We still like it. We are much, much different than these big, huge companies that can eat that cost.
Um, so at the end of the day, I’m very, just very transparent about it. Hey, I’m a small business. This [00:45:00] is, this is just the cost of it. I am not these big companies that can give you free shipping for even just like the tiniest thing. Um, however, I do find that. It does help with when people are trying to make that decision who hit that like 30 mark, you know, like they can, they can just add another card and get free shipping instead of paying the 5 to get it shipped.
Uh, so I definitely think it helps, uh, but I do know that it, it is a big deterrent for a lot of people when shopping. And that’s just something that the small business product community and, and. All of us have to deal with we always have to deal with the fact that we are going up against and people have the Mindset of these big huge companies
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Uh, can you quickly talk about your email marketing?
I know you said that you use email marketing as like another creative outlet um, and of course, you know you have [00:46:00] Your audience on your website. So I’m assuming, you know, email marketing works. Can you talk a little bit about, you know, what your email marketing processes look like and, and does it, um, does it work for you?
Like, is it, does it convert?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Email, my emails are my biggest conversion on my website. Okay. Um, I love email one. So it’s, it makes it easy. Um, but I have so many automation set up that the only thing I have to worry about are writing weekly emails that just are kind of like touch bases. Here’s what’s new flash sales, stuff like that.
So I have abandoned carts. I have abandoned like search, like people who are, who they know on the, like my email service provider knows their email address already. And they’re just searching on the site. It sends them an email with things that they were looking at. Uh, I think it’s called browse abandonment.
Um, I have, A [00:47:00] welcome series. I have a loyalty program. Um, I’m trying to think of, like, all of it. There’s just so much. I have a sticker gl sticker club, uh, list. Like, all of these things kind of work for me. And… Like it, it is my biggest, uh, income revenue driver that I have in my business, as far as my website goes, uh, search is also really good.
So just like organic search, but email is number one. Um, it’s fun. I love it.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, I think, you know, if something works, then you definitely get to love it. Yeah, for sure. Um, do you do, I’m assuming you don’t do any paid or do you play with some sort of a Google or, you know, uh, social paid advertising at all?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: I don’t do any paid advertising. Um, I have played with it in the past, as anyone who says they don’t do paid advertising says. Um, but [00:48:00] it is something that I think I don’t think Facebook or Instagram like the meta universe. I don’t think that kind of paid advertising is in my future. Um, however, I do really, really well with Google search and I do really well in the Google shopping tab.
Uh, so I have definitely played around with the idea of starting to, um, Advertise for the holidays, like, not advertising for the holidays, but starting advertising in August and September to build up those advertisements that go through the holidays. Um, I do think Google would work really well, but I’m kind of…
Waiting because the way that AI and Google Bard is just changing how the, how you look at a page, like I, I’m just kind of holding off for that just to see how, what that does to even organic search. Let [00:49:00] alone paid search.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: What about Social I do see that you do have a tiktok account and an instagram account.
Is that kind of just Brand building mostly or do you see any traction through those? Channels,
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: I see a lot of traction through those channels, which is awesome. Yeah. Yeah. So instagram is my Fourth biggest revenue driver on my website. Um, and Facebook’s kind of, it drags along a little bit, but I have some older audiences there who have been sending cards since they were young.
Like this is one of my, my target markets that are, that is completely separate from my core group, but they’re just like 60 to 70 years old. And they send out cards like crazy everywhere. Um, and I. I still stick to Facebook because they come through there. Facebook is more of a [00:50:00] brand building and I don’t spend as much time there, but Instagram is the place that I’m at and the place that works best for me, especially since my products are just so visual.
And I have all of these interests in my life, gardening, embroidery, reading, all of this stuff. And I get to share and, and connect with people who are very similar. And I find that when I’m sharing like that, when I am sharing more into my personal life, and what it means to be a business owner that has a full time job, that has all of these loves and, and…
And dreams in the world and they just connect they know they they they know this person It’s not just a brand. It’s a person at that point. And I think that’s why instagram does so well.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome Um before I move on to the rapid fire segment, I asked this questions question to everyone Um, you know every entrepreneur Goes [00:51:00] through a learning process.
You know, there’s mistakes made lessons learned failures and in the entrepreneurship process What has been your you know, a biggest mistake? I know you you talked about Amazon, but anything any any other big failure that That sticks out for you What did what was your learning? What can other entrepreneurs learn from your mistakes?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Yeah, I think going full time when I wasn’t ready is one of my biggest mistakes. I, I don’t like calling it a mistake. We all fail. Like if you’re not failing, then you’re not trying enough. Like you’re not trying enough things. Um, just keep trying everything. And so I don’t like to necessarily call it a mistake cause I’ve worked through that.
But, uh, when I failed full time, like I said, I went into a deep burnout. Where I wasn’t creating, I wasn’t doing anything. [00:52:00] And one of the greatest lessons I learned from that was that I need to take care of myself first. And so I found myself, not really, but like I, I took care of myself. I found new hobbies.
I talked to mental health professionals. I got through it and learned. The boundaries that I need to set every single day. I can, I can see burnout coming from a mile away now. And when I do that, I know to shut down my computer. I know to tie up any loose ends and just take time off doing the things you love.
I will do that with my full time job too. I will say, I’m sorry. I, Like if it’s, if it’s burnout coming, I will say, Hey, I need to take a couple of days because your mental health, your, your physical wellbeing, you cannot run your business without it. Like you just can’t, it should be top of the pyramid when it comes to [00:53:00] what you need to be taking care of with your business.
Um, so I learned that the hard way and I’m very, very grateful for it. And sometimes you have to learn things the hard way.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. I think you definitely have to prioritize your health, whether it’s physical, mental, because without that, nothing, nothing’s going to work. So it doesn’t matter how much effort you want to put into something.
If your health is not right, I think it’s not going to work. 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 couple of words or a sentence or so. Um, one book recommendation for entrepreneurs and why.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Hmm. It’s going to be a little different, uh, Atlas of the heart by Brené Brown. She is excellent at teaching you how to communicate and how human emotion plays such huge roles in entrepreneurship. And I really believe that understanding the people around you is, is critical to [00:54:00] your
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: business. For sure. Uh, an innovative product or idea in the current e commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Okay, this one might be cheesy, but I love the creativity happening with AI right now. Like being able to do keyword research, blog outlines, search creative subject lines, turning like your meetings and your podcasts into sound bites, photo editing, like it’s crazy and I’m so excited to see like how it continues to evolve.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. You know, I’ve been hearing AI with so many people. Yeah, for sure. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tip.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: All right, we could have a whole other podcast on productivity. I love it. Um, my tip is to make your to do list every day, very manageable.
So literally sit down and write out the meetings you have, write out the breaks that you [00:55:00] need, which should be second, and then find the pockets that you have and fill them in with tasks. Your to do list should not be a mile long. And those type of to do lists tend to burn you out. And then you have things on there that stay on there and don’t matter anymore.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Yeah. I think the biggest mistake with productivity is like to put too much on your calendar. I think, uh, yeah. Uh, a startup or business in e commerce, retail, or tech that you think is currently doing great things.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: I think fair, I make it a lot of hate and love for this, but they have revolutionized how retail store owners can connect and buy from makers of every size that used to be such a hard thing to get through or to find people and it makes it easier for small makers and businesses to be found by shops.
Um, I think there’s a lot of room for growth and learning for, for fair, but it’s an incredible resource right now for both parties. Thank you.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I didn’t ask you, [00:56:00] is FAIR working for you, actually, like, do you, do you actually see some traction through there?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: I, FAIRE is my, one of my biggest wholesale order drivers.
Yeah, I do have people who still, uh, give me, like, send me orders via, like, an order form, but most just want to go through FAIR because they provide terms. They allow, um, shops, retail shops to pay, like, net 30 and net 60, where small shops cannot. Typically get that at all or give that kind of payment plan for sure,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: uh, appear entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Uh, right now, uh, my colleague, Nina Gibson, she’s an SEO expert and she is changing the game. It is so cool to see what she’s doing. She is all about no bowl, whole lot of heart. And she’s saying things that. Others refuse to say that, [00:57:00] uh, she’s leading her business with in the field with integrity. And it’s really, really cool to see her, see her and see how she’s growing as well.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Final question, best business advice you ever received, or you would give to other entrepreneurs.
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Okay. Uh, I think it is. No one else is sitting there thinking, Oh, how will I make Kayla’s dreams come true today? How can I help her business? I say, put in the work, sell every single day in some capacity.
I had a mentor who once gave me this analogy of, uh, being a retail brick and mortar shop. Someone walks into your store. What is their experience? Is everything merchandised and looking great? Are there price tags on your pieces? Is there someone there to greet them or help them check out? Is the door even unlocked and the lights on?
A retail [00:58:00] store owner is selling every single day, and that applies to every single business. Without the sign on the door, without the lights on, without you telling people you’re there to help them, how will they know you exist?
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I think, I think that’s a great advice. I think, you know, I see so many businesses who, who kind of don’t do, I think as much as they can in terms of selling, you know, it’s like, there’s a, you know, sometimes I go into a place and I am looking to find some help and, you know, nobody’s there to help or, you know, they’re not really helpful.
And that, that’s a big turnoff to be honest. And, and I think, yeah, no, no business. Can exist without selling so so I think that’s that’s an awesome advice. I think Um sales is business So well, those were all the questions that I had Kayla. Um, thank you so much for joining today Thank you for for your time for sharing your story very interesting story Uh, [00:59:00] if anybody wants to purchase your products, what is the best way they can do that?
Kayla Hutchinson of Lucky Dog Design Co.: Thank you for having me. Um, people can find email@example.com, not.com, dot co. Um, and I’m on Instagram at Lucky Dog Mail Club. Uh, so I’d love to connect. If you have any more questions from this, I’m happy to answer, so please don’t be shy. Awesome.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Well, Kayla, thank you so much again. Uh, really appreciate your time today and wish you all the very best, uh, in your business.
So thanks again and really appreciate you joining us today at TrepTalks. Thank you.
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