Side Hustle That's Worth Seven Figures - Coco Moon | Ep. #010

December 08, 2021 | Author: Andrew Maff
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On this 10th episode of The E-comm Show, our host and BlueTuskr CEO, Andrew Maff, is with Amber Thibaut of Coco Moon Hawaii. From a side hustle in Oahu, Hawaii to a brand that is now worth seven figures, Amber shares their secrets to growing a million-dollar business. Tune in to Amber and Andrew as they talk about how to put soul into your brand, create an original and authentic brand story, and manage different marketing strategies to better cater to D2C channels. 

 

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Side Hustle That's Worth Seven Figures

SPEAKERS

Andrew Maff & Amber Thibaut

 

CONNECT WITH OUR HOST: AndrewMaff.com  |  Twitter: @AndrewMaff | LinkedIn: @AndrewMaff

 

 

About the Guest Speakers

 

 

 

 

 


Amber Thibaut, the founder of Coco Moon, grew up the daughter of a Maui waterman. Adventure-filled and ocean-loving childhood years in Hawaii gave Amber a lifelong connection to the island culture that remains at the heart of the Coco Moon brand.
Graduating from Stanford University in 2006, Amber worked in a variety of industries before becoming a mom of two boys. She created Coco Moon as a side hustle after having her second son and realizing that there weren't any high-quality, genuinely designed, island-inspired products for families on the market. Her business savvy, ambition, and passion soon elevated Coco Moon to the 7-figure brand that it has become today and earned her the award of HVAC (Hawaii Venture Capital Association) Consumer Packaged Good Entrepreneur of the Year in 2021.

 

Transcript:

 

 

00:03

I think it helps to kind of think of our product, not as a blanket or a piece of clothing but we're really selling the opportunity to create beautiful memories as a family

 

00:16

this is a Johnna from Bow Wow Labs. Hey, This is Amber with Coco Moon. Michael Speciale of The Comfy that sensation you saw on Shark Tank and you're listening and you're listening to the you're listening to The E-comm Show.

 

00:31

Welcome to The E-comm Show, presented by BlueTuskr. The number one place to hear the inside scoop from other e-commerce experts share their secrets on how they scaled their business and are now living the dream. Now, here's your host, Andrew Maff. Hello,

 

00:52

everyone and welcome to The E-comm Show. I'm your host Andrew Maff. And, today I am joined by Amber Thibaut of Coco moon, Amber, how're you doing today? Ready for good show?

 

01:01

I'm doing great. Thanks. And yes, ready to go?

 

01:04

Perfect. This one's gonna be a fun one. I love your category. I find it to be super fun, but also super challenging. So I'm excited to dive into this one. But I'll let you do the normal. Go ahead and introduce yourself. Let everyone know a little bit of your business and we'll go from there. Okay.

 

01:19

Okay, great. So my name is Amber Thibaut, and I'm the founder of Coco Moon, Hawaii. And so obviously, I'm coming to you today from Oahu and Kailua actually in Hawaii. And I started the business in 2015, shortly after having my second child, and Coco Moon designs, buttery soft, baby essentials inspired by our beautiful home here in Hawaii. So our line includes a collection of baby blankets, baby and toddler clothing, hooded towels, and even some items for moms and grownups. Because we heard time and time again about parents and older siblings borrowing their babies blankets, we actually went ahead and created a line specific for them. But yeah, I'm a mom of two and just really happy to be here and have survived the last few years and have a business that's still thriving,

 

02:06

surviving last few years. Well, we'll definitely dive into that one. But how did what inspired you to start this what was what's kind of the story behind how you got into this product line?

 

02:15

Sure. So prior to becoming a mom, I, you could probably describe me as being a really driven kind of career oriented person. And then once I decided to start my family, I was lucky enough to be able to have the choice to kind of step back and stay at home. And I was super grateful for that. And I love spending all that time with my kids. But I was also going a little bit crazy, you know, I really missed using my brain using my creativity being a part of kind of that fast paced startup environment. But at the same time, I knew I didn't want to fully immerse myself back in that environment. I wanted to have more control over my time and ultimately over my family's time. So I embarked on what my husband likes to joke as my idea of the month phase where I really was actively trying to find something that I could start a business around. And it took me a good while so it wasn't until after I had my second child that it finally clicked the idea really came to me and I realized it was worth pursuing. It was the one if you will. But it came to me really in the middle of the night as I was nursing my son. And I kind of looked around the room as I was sitting there and I saw baby blankets, baby products kind of strewn around the room. But when I looked down nursing him I was using one of my favorite potatoes or a sarong in lieu of a baby blanket. And so I kind of find myself wondering, you know, why am I using this put a time and time again, instead of all the baby products that we have. And I came to realize it was because I really had no connection to those products, you know, they really didn't represent Hawaii, they didn't represent our lifestyle, our lifestyle, our values, none of that. And any products at the time that were quote unquote, Hawaiian, or from the islands, were really geared toward the tourist market. So they were really cliche, oftentimes tacky, and very, very often low quality kind of scratchy or would fall apart. So that was kind of the genesis of it, you know, I realized there was this kind of gap in the market. And so that was the spark to kind of get this thing going.

 

04:16

Nice. So I we have not had anyone on the show that's outside the domestic United States. So it's very interesting to hear this story. Because one of the things I'm always curious about, you see a lot of sellers around here, they'll offer you know, free shipping for XML, blah, blah, but it's always within the domestic United States. How does it work being based out of Hawaii? Do you only offer free shipping in Hawaii just to spite the domestic side because I wouldn't blame you.

 

04:46

tempting but no. shipping and fulfillment has hands down been our biggest pain point over the entire course of the business. And so we do fulfill everything out of the state here. And we actually did experiment was splitting our inventory, so we'd have a warehouse here and ship locally here. And then we had one in Nevada for a few months this year trying to use that as our hub for the mainland orders. But ultimately, it just kind of all of my worst fears with that came true. And we were often having to split shipments. So we would inevitably run out one product and one of the other warehouses, we'd have to ship from two separate places. So ultimately, our costs were even higher than if we had just had everything if we had kept everything here. And we actually, oh, well, at least before 2020, we had a really robust wholesale channel, and it is slowly coming back now. But the majority of that wholesale business is here locally within the state. So we decided ultimately moving everything to a different out of state facility wasn't a good match for us either. So we're back here, our fulfillment is here, our postage is through the roof. But we're hoping to kind of bring that down as we grow. And we're going to start offering more in person pickup options for our Oahu customers, later next month. Nice.

 

06:07

So if I'm not mistaken, this started off a little bit as kind of just like a side hustle for a while, and then it started to grow. And now you're clearly doing this as your as main role. What was it that kind of pushed it over the edge that actually like kind of got you guys going and broke that seven figure mark?

 

06:26

Well, I think last year, as with so many companies, we were forced to make the switch from focusing on the wholesale channel to the direct to consumer channel. So prior to the start of the pandemic, we were probably about 75%, wholesale and maybe 25%, direct to consumer. So in a way it was the direct to consumer side was important, but it was not as important as the wholesale. So when we had to switch, it kind of just switched our whole mindset. And we've really been pouring so many resources into the direct to consumer channel. And it's been a great feedback mechanism for us as well. So with direct to consumer kind of being somewhat of an afterthought, we had never really invested heavily in paid advertising. And I almost took a little bit of pride in that in a way I was like, you know, we're not paying much we're just growing organically and all know how that goes. But then once we decided to to kind of pull that lever, it was like a faucet had opened, it was just kind of all the potential I had thought the brand had was kind of proven through kind of the success of our paid advertising programs. And then piggybacking on that, we really invested a lot in email marketing as well, which has been super successful and has become a huge chunk of our overall revenue. So the pandemic

 

07:41

probably really helped because it forced you to pivot but actually ended up being a positive event. My right,

 

07:48

yeah, of course. And I mean, of course, there was countless challenges. But in the end, the silver lining for us was a really great silver lining. And it brought about a lot of really positive changes, and ultimately a lot of growth for us as well.

 

08:01

When you realize you needed to pivot and you know, go direct to consumer, what was the first thing you guys tackled to like, kind of start heading in that direction.

 

08:11

I think we really made the leap of faith and investing in a great marketing agency that could help us with those paid ads. So I had worked with different people kind of leading up to that point. But we had never really had much success, you know, we would see some purchases come through. But it wasn't this overwhelming proof of our validation of investing in the ads. And so I started working with a company here in Ottawa who actually called charisma marketing. And they've just been phenomenal. So they're just really engaged with the brand and really kind of think outside the box on different promotions, they've really pushed me to think of really creative offers that we can feature in the ads. So I think that was a really great catalyst for not only paying the money to invest in ads, but really having somebody to force me to think differently, and kind of pushed me outside of my comfort zone to try a lot of different new things.

 

09:07

So what what are some of like the top channels that you're selling on now.

 

09:13

So we do a lot of Facebook ads, and then our E commerce platform is Shopify, which I really love. And then we do have our wholesale channel trickling back in I think they're maybe at about 25% of our sales now. And so we do a lot of that actually through feiyr.com. We've seen a lot of success there. And then just by word of mouth kind of accounts here locally throughout the state, as well. Wow. So

 

09:40

one of the things I'm always interested in, especially in this space is this is one of those kind of products where the consumer is a baby, so you're actually selling to the parents. So how has that worked with your messaging and you know, how you're showcasing the product and yet how you're speaking to the customer knowing They're going to hand it down to the consumer, obviously, their child.

 

10:03

Mm hmm. I think it helps to kind of think of our product not as a blanket or a piece of clothing, but we're really selling the opportunity to create beautiful memories as a family. So I think, you know, like, how can we tap into that sentiment, and I reflect a lot on my own experience as a mom, where my kids would get attached to something, you know, and, and oftentimes, it was the ugliest thing we had, you know, carry them everywhere. And now it's in 1000s of pictures that I have of them, that one ugly shirt that they couldn't live without that one dirty blankets. So, you know, I come from that approach of what if we had pictures full of beautiful products, they carried around a blanket or had a favorite shirt that everybody in the family loved. So I think kind of having that approach to really like creating long lasting memories, memories, you can look back on fondly, and trying to kind of tweak our messaging to that. And also kind of tapping into capturing those moments. You know, everybody's taking pictures left and right these days. So there's lots of different trends in the industry specifically related to that. So trying to kind of cater our messaging and ultimately, some of our products to that as well.

 

11:13

Yeah. What made you want to go wholesale first, before you went direct to consumer.

 

11:18

So I started in 2015. So at the time, ecommerce wasn't such a hugely dominant force that it is now. And because I was starting small, I didn't really have any experience with digital marketing or selling online, I went to people I knew I had a friend of a friend that owned whose mom owned a boutique on Maui where I was living at the time. So I went to her first. And she actually kind of gave me that first validation. She's like, Oh, my gosh, I love everything, I'll take one of every print, which was great. And then she called a friend who had a boutique here on Oahu, she loved it. So you know, it kind of snowballed that way. And so as a small as a mom running it during nap times, you know, by myself and learning as I was going I mean, that was keep kept me more than busy for a while. And our wholesale business grew with that method for the first few years. And so I knew that I wanted to eventually get to E commerce, but I was kind of a I was kind of the limiting factor in that. And that was keep us busy for those first few years.

 

12:22

How's the wholesale side doing now?

 

12:25

It's slowly coming back. You know, I think what the what the market in particular is obviously, so tourism driven. So every time that there's a shift in the pandemic, the tourism industry here is directly impacted. So our wholesalers are primarily selling to tourists, you know, they're in high traffic and tourist locations. So, you know, summer was great. But things have definitely tapered off. I mean, this is typically the slower kind of shoulder season for us here. But it's been markedly slower just with the different restrictions and things related to the pandemic. But all the signs I'm seeing overall have been great from the wholesale side.

 

13:05

Are you doing wholesale retailer anything on domestically? Or is it simply in Hawaii right now?

 

13:12

So we do, we have probably about 20 accounts scattered across the mainland us, and probably about the same number here locally in the state. And then we also have a distributor in Japan that we have been working with for the last few years as well.

 

13:25

Okay, so are you selling globally direct to consumer? Also?

 

13:30

We do. So we do have that available in our Shopify store. We don't get a ton of traffic and a ton of sales, probably because the shipping costs are pretty restrictive. We basically pass through the international shipping cost. And I mean, a, a first class package under pound can sometimes cost 30 $40, depending on where you're sending it. So it kind of kills the sale most times, but it is an option for those that really, really want to get our stuff.

 

13:56

Nice. So alright, so you are retail. Locally, your retail a little bit in mainland, you're doing some globally, you're on Shopify, are you on any marketplaces at all? Or is it strictly your own website right now,

 

14:11

I'm strictly our own website with the exception of feiyr.com, which is kind of like a wholesale marketplace. So you know, we're not on Amazon or anything like that. I did really strongly consider Amazon earlier this year, but ultimately decided just to kind of keep the brand, kind of closer to home closer to the, to the personality, particularly the personal side of the brand, rather than kind of taking it to that level on Amazon. So we'll see how that goes over the next few years. But just based on things I've heard from other brands that have made that leap, they kind of feel like it kind of sucks away the soul of the brand. And we're in a highly competitive baby industry. So keeping that that soul is really important.

 

14:51

Yeah. So it's a very good point on that note. How are you differentiating yourself from all of the competition This is a very competitive space. So how do you kind of steer away and really kind of stand out amongst your competitors?

 

15:08

Well, I think there's kind of two main ways we do. So kind of the first visual side is our prints are super unique, they're really bright and vibrant. And they're really identifiable as something from the island, something big something from Hawaii. So I think if you see our print for the first time, it immediately kind of conjures up those feelings of kind of being at the beach with your family, or maybe you vacation in Hawaii, or maybe you're born and raised here. And maybe now you live in New York or something. So even so for those that aren't necessarily here, still experiencing our products, they can still experience that touch of Hawaii through our products, and just visually seeing that they're able to kind of connect with that right away. So I think kind of at a really basic level, that's kind of one way that we differentiate ourselves. And then because of our connection to Hawaii, we try to be really vocal about the stories behind our prints and the story behind our brand in general. So one of my favorite collaborations that we've done, is actually working with a master Hawaiian quilter, who I would guess she's in her late 70s. Now, and so the tradition of Hawaiian quilting has been around for hundreds of years. And it's a really beautiful craft, it takes probably five to 10 years sometimes to create a queen size, Hawaiian quilt, traditional Hawaiian quilt. And they're oftentimes very, very expensive, because of the time it takes to put into these. So I had the idea of bringing that art to life in a really modern way that was accessible to families all over the world. And so I was able to connect with her, her name is Patricia, les Marie. And she was able to design us a quilt in the traditional way. She do every single stitch line by hand, she has this really cool corner mirror. So she kind of set up the whole thing. But then we digitized her design. And even though we digitize it, you can just really feel the passion and the love that she put into it. And there's so many different layers of meaning behind it as well. Our upcoming design with her features a traditional Hawaiian pineapple pattern on the quilts. And pineapples are just really representative of welcoming. And just gathering and inclusivity. And so she really poured that into the design and you can really feel it. So I think that kind of sharing those nuances underneath the immediate visuals of each print is another thing that really helps to differentiate us.

 

17:30

Prior to that, were you the designer,

 

17:33

I am not as designer by trade by any means. So we usually work with local artists, either through direct collaborations, like I just described, or with kind of local graphic artists. So I'll have an idea. And I'll kind of sketch it out in my really rudimentary way. And then I'll put some shine on it, polish it up and help me help me bring it to life.

 

17:54

How do you stay ahead of like, trends? Like what is that cycle look like in your industry in terms of like, you know, if you have to get stuff ready for spring or summer, like when do you start designing for those and when do you start ordering those?

 

18:08

Luckily, we are not as bound by the traditional seasons like the fashion industry are. So we are usually pretty last minute actually, as we're designing things. But my goal for next year is to really plan further ahead so that we can kind of just gain efficiencies across the board by planning ahead further, but for so for right now, for example is September, I have our plan our prints and our products pretty much planned out through summer of next year.

 

18:36

And what what deciphers the frequency of how often you're coming out with new products.

 

18:41

So it's been a lot of experimentation. And one of the things that I think has really helped with our growth is actually coming out with new products really often. So we actually launched at least a new print or new product once a month, or at least we've been trying to. And I think that's really driven a lot of our growth. So as soon as we do a launch, we see a great spike in traffic and sales and all of our returning customers are really active when we release new products. So that's been really great. And I'm seeing actually the consequences of not releasing a new product directly this month, we had some production issues with a product we were supposed to launch this month. So we weren't able to and our sales are definitely a lot slower this month than they have been at other times during the year. So I think that it's a cadence that is definitely a little stressful because it's a lot of planning, not only on the development side, but also on the marketing and execution side. So it's become a really time consuming piece of the business. But I've definitely see kind of direct results each month that we launch a new product, our sales grow and grow and grow

 

19:45

where those production issues due to supply chain issues and everything that everyone's having issues with right now.

 

19:53

One of them was yes, it was directly kind of pandemic consequence, and the other was just a quality issue that we were luckily caught ahead of time. We had to remake everything. So it's delaying us a few months.

 

20:08

Yeah. How are you preparing for q4, knowing that? This is always an interesting question for me. And I, it's always fun to hear this one because like to me, on the marketing side, I go, Oh, let's let's do a big sale, let's do all this stuff for, you know, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all those things. But then now you kind of have to factor in like, Can the consumer even get it in time? Is it going to get shipped? Is it? Are we even going to have stock? So how are you decipher during how big of a sale to do if at all? And when to order inventory? Like what's that looking like for q4?

 

20:39

Well, we learned a lot of lessons last year for q4. And so we bumped up our inventory, we're ordering a lot more inventory than we had last year, a lot earlier. So we're actually getting shipments now for our holiday items. And we're going to start selling them by end of October, early November, so almost three, four weeks earlier than we did last year. So I think kind of bumping up the quantity that we have on hand, pushing everything up a few weeks is hopefully our plan to kind of mitigate some of those things. But last year, we had a crazy busy q4 November specifically. So I'm kind of thinking this year might mirror that and just bump it up a little bit earlier. And we are going to offer in person pickup this year, which we didn't last year because of COVID concerns, but we're going to go for it this year. And so I hope that that helps ease some of the tension on kind of shipments at least locally and also on our warehouse team as well.

 

21:34

Nice the in person pickup, do you you have a retail brick and mortar as well? Or is it they can stop by the warehouse? They'll stop by the warehouse. Nice. And so you have your own warehouse that you're overseeing

 

21:48

  1. Mm hmm. So we worked with an accelerator company here locally, and they've been really great about helping us figure out the fulfillment thing. So we've partnered with a great company. So they're kind of like a three PL but they're a little friendlier. They're not as not like a big three PL by any means. So I think it should be a good mix. It should be a good fit for us Fingers crossed. We'll see how he goes.

 

22:13

Nice. So how many, so you don't really have to deal with the employees of the warehouse, which is a great thing. How many people do you have on staff right now and outsourced like what's that look like?

 

22:24

So we have one full time person and two part time people actually the second part time people person is about to start full time next month. So we're a team of four in total, which is doubled last year, last year, it was just myself and one other person. So it's been really fun to grow the team. It was actually a big source of apprehension leading up to it. And I was just really anxious about it. But now it's actually become my favorite part of the business is having that team around me working together. But other than the in house employees, we outsource our fulfillment. We outsource a lot of our marketing efforts with that agency I mentioned earlier, we also outsource accounting. So there's a lot kind of oversight on those three kind of big pillars, but everything else is more or less done in house. Yeah. Nice.

 

23:13

So you outsource a lot. Great. Obviously, we know what it was that kind of helped you get over that seven figure mark, what do you think is gonna be the thing that you guys have to focus on in order to break that eight figure mark?

 

23:26

Yeah, that's been the question of the year for sure. Is really, you know, I feel like getting to a million dollars was really tricky, but kind of once we got there was like, Oh, that wasn't that bad. You know, we made it. And then now I'm like, Oh, my God, this hill to the next eight figure mark just seems massive. So I think we definitely need to diversify our paid marketing efforts. So right now, we've been investing a lot in email and Facebook. As I said, we haven't tried Google, we haven't tried SMS, you know. So I think that diversifying some of our channels, and it really experimenting to see what works is going to be is going to hopefully help us kind of get a little bit closer. And I think for myself personally, just building more of a personal brand getting out putting my face out there more often on Instagram on tick tock, we haven't even started tick tock yet. But I know it's important for us to get there. So you know, just trying more things. And then I think video is going to be another big one for us too. So we do a lot of beautiful photography, but we very rarely do any video. And I think that's a big missed opportunity for us, especially in terms of kind of programmatic marketing, YouTube ads, which are actually far less expensive than Facebook, and things like that. So I think hopefully some combination of those things will get us there and also investing more in the team. I think we need to probably bring on at least one more person in the pretty near future.

 

24:53

Yeah, what would that extra person end up handling?

 

24:57

I think probably supporting me more on The marketing. So we've got a great marketing assistant. And she really is kind of boots on the ground doing the day to day, really making sure things are getting done, but as having more support from a higher level kind of steep, thematic approach, I think would probably help push us over that ledge to make

 

25:20

sense. So if you were to go into so you're only running ads on Facebook, Instagram right now correct? What's the next channel you think you're gonna try? Is it another social channel? Or is it Google or something along those lines?

 

25:34

So actually, starting October 1, we're starting Google and SMS. So those will be our two that we're going to try for a few months. I'm I'm sure we'll probably continue with SMS after the first kind of three month experiment. But we'll see how it goes with Google.

 

25:49

Google's always an interesting one in apparel, it can be very difficult Are you do I assume the agencies handling most of it? Or they do you know, if they're doing shopping, or search or display or all of them? What's the?

 

26:03

Yeah, I think they're doing a combination, primarily display and shopping. But I think they're going to kind of allocate some budget, smaller level of our budget to some of the other areas. I am definitely a bit a little bit nervous about it, because I know it's highly competitive. But it's been something that they've been recommending, I've seen other kind of local brands have great success with it. So we're gonna try it. You know, I think that's one of the things that's also helped me over the last year is switching my mindset from a success or fail black and white to more of a curiosity. Let's try it. Let's see, let's experiment with it. Let's see how it goes. And then we can stop it if we need to, we can pour more on the fire, if it's great, you know, but just kind of being curious is gonna see how it goes.

 

26:47

I think that's a great thing about paid ads is you know, you always find a lot of people, they'll be like, I don't want to commit to that much for a month or two months or whatever, you could turn it off whenever you want. Usually, it's not working, then stop it. So I agree, I think it'd be a good a good thing to try. One of my favorite questions is like to kind of peek under the hood. So you mentioned you're using Shopify, what other like apps and plugins and software are you like, can't live without.

 

27:13

So in terms of customer service, we really love using gorgeous. I think that customer service has actually been a really kind of great hallmark of our brand. And really making sure that we just give phenomenal customer service and gorgeous helps us manage that because they really keep track of a customer's history. So right there on the screen, you can see their order history, you can see if they Facebook messaged you, you can see if they commented on Instagram posts, all of that right there. So it really helps to connect the dots, you're having to switch between a bunch of different windows to figure out what the heck's going on with them. I also our team also uses Asana as our project management tool. So we're in there every single day tracking tasks, kind of planning out our marketing calendar, our product release calendar, our customer service, to do is our track there as well. So that's kind of the hub of the operations. And then I also really like inventory planner. It's a inventory forecasting tool that syncs with Shopify, it also syncs with our inventory management software. And that's been really helpful in helping us plan what we should be ordering. So prior to getting started with that, with that software, were more or less guessing how we thought a new print would do how many we thought we should reorder. But this actually looks at our historical data, it looks at our percentage growth rate over time, and it makes a recommendation based on all those different variables. And it's been pretty spot on. So it's been a really nice confidence booster as we put together our orders and reorders as to be able to look at that data. Yeah.

 

28:49

I love to hear Asana. So, so high up in that list. So many people skip over project management, like how do you even know what you're doing at any time without a project manager? I couldn't live with it the same way we use inside of here, too. So with all that, what's what's your day to day? Like? Like, what do you like to focus on in the business?

 

29:09

Um, I try to but right now, I'm really heavily in the new product development space. So I'm really have that goal to really plan out our new product releases through next summer. So kind of working with all the artists to make sure those are up and running. So I just started also using an email app called superhuman, which has been really great with managing my emails, because a lot of times I feel really overwhelmed by email. So usually in the morning, I will check in with my emails, do a quick scan. If there's anything I can answer really quickly, I'll do that. Or if there's anything really urgent, I'll tackle that. But after that, I try to kind of hide my emails and just kind of pick what I need to focus on for that day and try to get that done first, then I'll kind of circle back on emails, see if there's anything I missed or anything like that. And then I meet with my team on one on ones at least once a week to kind of keep my keep aware of any issues that they may be tackling that are not directly in front of me and kind of help solve any issues there. So I think I'm kind of bouncing back and forth between emails, bigger picture products and team.

 

30:11

What's your end goal? Are you hoping to sell one day? Are you hoping to hand it down? What do you think and is where it's gonna end up?

 

30:21

Well, I have two boys at home, and they want absolutely nothing to do with this. My husband has restaurants and they're just all so excited about the restaurant. Yeah, and do all this, but no one wants to help mom, but we're not gonna I don't think we have the vision to to pass it down necessarily to them or to anyone else, I think selling it one day would be a great outcome. But I think I don't want to, I had kind of had that goal. And I was kind of wearing myself thin, you know, like, grow, grow, grow more and more and more, you know, like, as fast as we can. And it was just becoming it took the fun out of it, it had become too stressful. So now, you know, we're just, we're not going to sell anytime soon. We're going to grow as as well as we can. We're going to make really amazing products. We're going to make our customers super happy. We're going to give back to our community. And then hopefully, something bigger and better comes out of that. But we're focusing on that right now. Makes sense?

 

31:20

To bomber your son's won't want it but I get it. Yeah. Yeah, Dad wins. What are there any like brands that you follow that you kind of use for inspiration when you know you guys are going through marketing or even if you know anything about their operations, like is there anything you're keeping an eye on?

 

31:41

There is a brand called Aloha collection. They were founded by two women from Hawaii, they live in California. Now the brand is based there, but they make splash proof bags. And I just love everything about their brand, they do a great job of telling the story of who he connecting at here, but also having kind of a global reach and a global either things. And they just are great to work with, we actually did collaboration with them, where we put one of our prints on one of their beautiful bags, and it did great. And so I was able to kind of work with them a little close more closely than I would have otherwise and learned a little bit. So I really love following them. I feel like they're a few steps ahead of us. And obviously in a in a totally different industry. But because of their connection to Hawaii, I look up to them a lot and kind of keep an eye on on what they're doing.

 

32:26

Yeah, it's smart. You don't hear a lot of sellers doing partnerships with other companies when I think like that's the best way to leverage someone else's audience. Is that something you're pursuing with other brands that you're looking into? Is that like a direction you guys are thinking about going?

 

32:42

Yeah, definitely. And I think they were the first time we were able to totally branch off into a different product. I think other collaborations we've done have been kind of print driven. And so we are kind of continuing to do that. And I have a really potentially exciting one with a really iconic coffee brand and company hopefully for next summer. So I'm really excited about things like that and kind of building upon each other's audiences to to grow both sides.

 

33:09

Yeah. Nice to keep an eye out for that sounds cool. Um, what do you what, what do you think is the most complicated part about this category? I know, clothing is difficult. Baby category is difficult in itself to combine the two is is very difficult, like what do you think is the biggest challenge that you weren't prepared for when you got into the industry?

 

33:34

Um, I think inventory and fulfillment, I just never expected that to be the focus of so many of my days. And it's not necessarily baby industry specific, but it really has been our biggest challenge even before the pandemic, it's just been kind of that real. I feel like it's a Rubik's cube that we can't quite crack. Like I just, I always have this feeling like there's got to be a better way to do this, some other company has had to have figured this out. So I've reached out to various mentors, I've been connected with other people that have been in this industry and it kind of turns out everyone does it their own way. For better or for worse, there is no kind of way to crack that code that I've found. So that's been kind of good news, bad news, frustrating that we haven't been able to find a shortcut, but kind of comforting that you know, we're learning as we're going we're figuring it out trying not to order too much or too little inventory and you know, that is a big challenge as we grow as well you know, the bigger you get the more inventory you need to buy the more POS you need to have money for so you know playing that balance not only from the supply chain side, but from the financing side as been a challenge and will probably continue to be a challenge as we grow as

 

34:48

well. Yeah, that makes sense. That's why I've always stuck to marketing, inventory and fulfillment. I'm always like, it scares the crap out of me. I can't

 

34:59

inside of the Business more power

 

35:00

to you. I don't want to take up too much your time. I really appreciate having you on the show. This is that stereotypical moment where I'd love it if you would let everyone know. You know where they can find more about you more about Coca moon, and then we can wrap it up.

 

35:16

Okay, awesome. So I'd love for everybody to visit our website CocoMoonHawaii.com And we're really active on Instagram. Our handle is Coco Moon or Coco_Moon_Hawaii. So of course

 

35:31

Amber really appreciate having you on the show. And of course to everyone that was listening, please make sure you subscribe to our podcast, wherever you choose to listen to it or on our YouTube channel, head over to ecommshow.com For more information, but we will see you all next time. Keep selling and have a good day out there.

 

35:47

Thank you for tuning in to The E-comm Show head over to ecommshow.com to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform or on the BlueTuskr YouTube channel. The E-comm Show is brought to you by BlueTusker, a full-service digital marketing company specifically for E-commerce sellers looking to accelerate their growth. Go to BlueTuskr.com now for more information. Make sure to tune in next week for another amazing episode of The E-comm Show.

 

 

 

 

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