Standing Out on Shopify and Amazon with an Artful Spin - RainCaper | Ep. #017

January 26, 2022 | Author: Andrew Maff
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In this 17th episode of The E-comm Show, our host and BlueTuskr CEO Andrew Maff is with Lindsay Hagerman of RainCaper. Standing out in Amazon and Shopify is tricky but she got it figured out for you.

Manufacturing high-quality, uniquely styled travel and home essentials and giving it a creative artful touch as well as running the correct ads in a perfectly timed manner made them very successful on their e-commerce journey.

If you enjoyed the show, please be sure to rate, review, and of course, SUBSCRIBE! 



Have an e-commerce marketing question you'd like Andrew to cover in an upcoming episode? Email: hello@theecommshow.com

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standing Out on Shopify and Amazon with an Artful Spin

SPEAKERS

Andrew Maff and Lindsay Hagerman

 

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

 

About Lindsay Hagerman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay Hagerman and her mother are the Co-Founders and Co-Owners of RainCaper. They design and manufacture high-quality, uniquely styled travel and home essentials. The flagship product, the artfully designed RainCaper, is a travel cape for rain or shine that provides a light layer for the elements. The company expanded its line of apparel with umbrellas, shawls, texting gloves, and face masks, and RainCaper has recently launched Accent, a line of beautiful gifts for the home and entertaining. RainCaper stands out from the competition by carefully designing products that feature masterpieces from famous artists like van Gogh, Monet, and Tiffany. RainCaper can be found on our website as well as in hundreds of independent gift shops, boutiques, and museum gift stores. www.raincaper.com

 

 

 

Transcript:

 

 

00:03

So the stores start to trust them if they've always brought them this is the latest and greatest from these brands that you're gonna love working with. That is a great relationship. And so for the right brand to connect to those sales reps with the right type of stuff, it's a terrific fit. This is Joe Shelerud from Ad Advance. Hi This is Lindsey Hagerman of RainCaper.com.

 

00:23

Hey guys, this is Jordan West from Mindful marketing and the Kindred studio and you're listening to and you're listening and you're listening to the show.

 

00:33

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

 

00:55

everyone and welcome to another episode of The E-comm Show. I'm your host Andrew Maff and today I am joined by the amazing Lindsey Hagerman of rain caper. Lindsay, how are you doing? Ready for a good show?

 

01:05

I am absolutely I'm sure. Thanks for having me.

 

01:08

Awesome. Super excited to have you on the show a ton of questions I'm already kind of prepared for. But let's do the usual I'll give you your opportunity to kind of tell everyone about your business and then we'll kind of go from there. Okay. That sounds great.

 

01:21

So let's see I'm in business with my mom. We own and operate rain keepers where we design and manufacture travel accessories like travel, capes, umbrellas, texting gloves. And we recently added a collection of beautiful gifts for the home and entertaining. A lot of them with an artful spin that's a big part of what we do is bring beautiful impressionism like Monet and Van Gogh, and de Gama to things you want to gift and receive wine, totes, tea towels, LED candles, so beautiful products.

 

01:51

What made you get into this?

 

01:53

So let's see, we have a long history in retail. You know, my mom started a bricks-and-mortar gift store in the Philadelphia area when I was a kid. So we have worked together off and on for almost my whole life. And so we really brought that background of being a successful brick and mortar gift store, to the vendor side of things when we closed the retail business down in 2015. So she is our visionary and she has a beautiful eye for products and what somebody wants to buy in a beautiful store at Mainstreet USA. So we do a lot of our product development to support the stores that our customers, that's a lot of, you know, drives what we do. And right now fine art and Van Gogh, in particular, is a huge hot item. For a lot of consumers who are finding Van Gogh through these immersive experiences, that's been a big change for us to share.

 

02:43

Nice. How can you tell me a little bit of how that works. So like the whole, like fine art side, as I looked at a bunch of your products, and you know, I see like you guys have some stuff like Starry Night on it and all this stuff and stuff. I was like this is awesome. Do you have to like get the licenses for that? How does that work? Sure,

 

02:59

people are often very curious about that. So it's not a very straightforward answer. Some things like Van Gogh are in the public domain, if they're old enough, they are its public domain. So as far as you can go, you don't have to do license anything. But we are actually very embedded in the museum storage space. There's a wonderful museum store association that we are a vendor member of. And we work with a lot of really prominent museums National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, we've worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and another dozen or two dozen museums. So a lot of times the museum will bring a piece to us and say we have an exhibition coming up for Prendergast or we have a beautiful Tiffany stained glass collection. And we want you to develop products that support the Magnolia piece from the child has remorse Museum in Florida. They have a magnolia piece by Tiffany and it's a great seller for them and they said Hey, bring caper Can you please develop an umbrella or a shawl or a raincoat for support that we do that work for them, we then pay them a royalty of the products that we sell on the products that we sell. So it's a little bit complicated because sometimes you're given the art and sometimes you're told to find some art. And sometimes the agreements aren't super cut and dry. So we learned a lot over the last couple of years about how to handle that. And we had really good support for museums. And it's really driven our product assortment. So what you see on our website, a lot of that we're paying royalty to New-York Historical Society for some of their Tiffany designs that are beautiful.

 

04:37

So originally, when you had retail space in Philly, you were, I assume obviously primarily direct to consumer, b2c. And so now it sounds like have you kind of pivoted to primarily b2b.

 

04:51

So once we've pivoted it is true that we are mostly a b2b company. We sell in hundreds of independent retailers across the country and then a few other countries. So our ranking or products are a great fit for an apparel boutique, a gift store, or even in the hospital, gift shops and museums stores. So we've covered a broad distribution. And then we also have our website and we have our Amazon distribution. As you know, almost no one buys anything anymore without Gulia first. So you know, it's really important as a web presence and to do to have the sales that we can there. But it's a bit of a fine line to walk because we do develop products for wholesale customers. And we value those relationships. So things like margins, markups and MSRP is really an important part of how we serve a wholesale customer and also sell to consumers. So when,

 

05:43

whenever I end up talking to a seller that's got that's gone b2b, it's always very interesting in the way that they went with it. And so do you have like, kind of like, not necessarily boots on the ground, but someone like a salesperson who's actively reaching for b2b? Or do you have more of an inbound approach where they like to sign into your website, and purchase wholesale, like in some kind of back end that they have their own portal for?

 

06:06

Yes. So so we are hosts, we started with wholesale. So a lot of, you know, e-commerce retailers, or E comm sellers. They're starting on their website, or Amazon or Etsy, or whatever their beginning store is. And then if they're approached by b2b, they're hit with this challenge of margins. And do I pay commission? And how does all that work? How do I find retailers? How do I afford it, you know, it's really the opposite direction. For us, b2b was our beginning. And as far as how we find our stores, it's, it's everything. So we work with independent sales reps. So because my mom and I had this back on in the gift store, the traditional model has always been that a lot of store owners go to the big trade shows, and they find new brands, they find new collections, what's hot this season. That's always been how it's done. With the advent of everything digital, that's shifting a little bit, but we still have a strong presence in the gift stores, I'm sorry, the gift markets. So that would be Atlanta is the big guy. There's New York, there's, you know, apparel and gift markets in Las Vegas. And then there are lots of small regional markets. So a lot of stores near where you and your listeners live. A lot of them are sourcing their products from a market in Massachusetts, or a small market in Arizona, or market in Seattle, because they're going local, they're, you know, not traveling very far. They're finding new brands. So we do that. And we work with a lot of rep groups who work those markets and who know their customers really well. So we'll work with a great rep group who knows the 100 stores in their territory and says, they need this, this other store needs something else. And let me help try to connect great vendors with great stores. So we use independent reps to pay them commissions. They bring us great stores and we bring them a great products. And there's also a wonderful marketplace called fair is really changed the dynamic dramatically in the last say four years. And I can speak more than if you'd like.

 

08:06

Yeah, please do. Okay, so

 

08:08

bear with me. So it's FAIR E they first started off as not an SC but an SE adjacent concepts really geared for the sort of handmade, but what they are now is they're actually created by former sales rep as an alternative for maybe a more tech-savvy buyer to find brands without spending the money to go to Atlanta. So there are the people who you know, really want to shop in person and they know that model and they love that model. And then there's a lot of younger or less mobile store owners who don't need to do that. And so they're going to fair they're getting pretty generous signup bonuses as a store and they are shopping, a really attractively presented nicely curated list of small brands that you'll find candles, apparel, housewares, gourmets, all kinds of stuff. So the stores are finding really great brands, many of whom are really small. Some of them are big guys. And they're often getting terms of fair. Brands are paying a commission to fair who was bringing them these stores on the marketplace. So if it works for you, for a brand's margins, it's a pretty great place to start. It's pretty low. Low commitment, low entry. Yeah, so no hassle. You upload your product file and your images and you wait. And ideally, you know, you can gauge right off the bat, but it does not pay to play at the moment. So you're not going to what it stays that way because I think that keeps the marketplace a little bit cleaner. There are certain incentives for brands who fulfill well and who get repurchased, they track your reorder rate. So if your brand is all once and done that's less appealing to them. They really want to develop relationships and get stores coming back for more who have then exposed these other terrific small brands that are unfair, that also fit their product. Zortman Whether that's

 

10:02

all kinds of stuff, do you work for fair? Because that was a great pitch?

 

10:06

No, I don't, but it helped me. Commission and no. We started there a couple of years back. And it was Italy, it was not a whole lot and incremental sales. And it's now pretty significant. And I have a number of peers who have their own e-commerce sites on Shopify and woo and wherever, who are adding that as a kind of an avenue to get into wholesale to get their toe in the water without paying for an inside salesperson, or having to develop a print catalog, we catalog and it costs a bunch of money and a lot of time and someone's brainpower to, to typeset it and print it and all of that, and it's important for us, but for a lot of brands, you want to just see, can I work with retailers? Do my margins support it? Is this a good way to sell and it's a nice, it's nice, you know, low barrier to entry to get your footing and see if it works for you? And then you can change your business model or you can, you know, get better pricing from suppliers to make that work more if it's a good fit for the brand.

 

11:09

Hmm, that's pretty cool. I never heard of them. And that's awesome. What is there like? Is there any kind of like requirements that they have to even sign up? Can you get rejected? Or is there a certain type of retailer that they go to work with?

 

11:24

I suppose some people could get rejected, just like some marketplaces, there may be restrictions on product types that could be considered risky or dangerous. And beyond that, I don't really know if they have a style or an aesthetic that they're, you know, that that they reject people on I don't really know the answer to that. But any, you know, any small brand that wants to check it out, would really be good at a fair.com I think there's a list for how to sign up and kind of get started. It's been beneficial for us and for most other friends of mine with different businesses who have put their toes in the water through there. Yeah,

 

11:59

I apologize. I know that you sold it. So well. I asked you a question like you work today. That's so that's, that's very impressive. Actually, it's pretty cool. Because, you know, a lot of times when I talk to different e-commerce sellers, like it's always it's very, like, I'm solely focused on Amazon, or I'm solely focused on my site, or maybe I'm, you know, I'm diversified a little bit, but you don't hear that many sellers that also find ways to get into different retail outlets. And plus, like, as I'm sure you know, retail is very complicated and is juggling a ton of different late relationships. So you had mentioned that you have a bunch of great sales reps in certain territories. How do you decipher a great sales rep verses like, okay, this person is not working out?

 

12:44

That's a good question, I'm going to back up a sec to something you mentioned about that. Retail is complicated. And I think that's part of what makes our, our brand and our company kind of stand out from some of our competitors is, first of all, working with family can be amazing, or it can be challenging, and my mom was awesome at what she does. And so for us to bring our background to what we do it. You know, it's part of who we are, it's part of our brand story, it's part of how we present our products. And it's something we're pretty proud of me tooting her horn a little bit. So she's back at the office, working, developing great products for 2022. You asked about a sales rep. So I'd say before we get the sales rep is most sales reps are in a sales rep group are also called the agency sometimes. And when we work with a couple that is very small, we have, you know, husband, wife, team, a couple of those, we have some dual partner teams who won services, us here, middle and tech. And they're great. It's a pair of ladies who have known each other for 30 years. And I tell you what they know about their market, they know the stores, they have a circuit, they have people who trust them and call them up and say you know, their apparel reps. So for us, you know, we sell gloves, we sell silk shawls, capes, the apparel accessories, not you know, tops and 12 sizes. But so these reps are great because they know their customers and they know what their customers need. And it's not in the sales rep's interest to match the wrong brands, the wrong stores. So the store starts to trust them if they've always brought them this is the latest and greatest from these brands that you're gonna love working with. That is a great relationship. And so for the right brand to connect to those sales reps with the right type of stuff, it's a terrific fit. And it's hard to find them sometimes. A lot of it is word of mouth is that if we knew a brand who was like us or might work well with us rap would make that recommendation, but it can be kind of hard to find them out of the phonebook. What I often recommend to brands who are considering getting into Wholesale is to go to the market nearest them, get a buyer badge, and walk the market. It's not very expensive to attend a show the first time you know it's a plane ticket. It's a hotel may be, and you kind of walk the aisles of the sea who's selling? Are these people? Their stuff? Good in the store next to my stuff? You know these the right? Yeah, right? There are these the right reps and you kind of talk a little bit, you talk to a brand that's adjacent to you and say, Man, your, your things are really neat. My stuff would do well in stores or your stuff would do well, who reps you, and you talk to them. And then what's neat, don't I actually really like my reps, but I could look at these guys, I just haven't called them yet, you should give them a call. Because the agencies are always looking for great brands, the brands are the best agency, it's a good fit. And the stores that are reps, I like to rely on those reps. So it's really relationship-driven. As so much in all of us having to sustain our businesses is a great relationship. Years and everybody. That's,

 

15:45

that makes a lot of sense. So you I know you guys have you know, kind of at this point you surpass seven figures a while ago. So what is it? You think that like, really helped you guys kind of get over the edge

 

15:57

with that? Over what the seven-figure threshold or what edge?

 

16:03

Yeah, so let's Yeah, that's a good question. So let's, let's start there, right? So the seven-figure one I always see like when sellers are first starting out, that's like a big, like getting over that hump is really difficult. And then even far surpassing it, which I know you guys have started to do as well, like, what do you think was kind of the milestones that really helped you guys kind of continued your growth.

 

16:25

It is a huge milestone, I think the first time a seller hits a, you know, a $10,000, month $100,000 month and we have these are big milestones to celebrate and see screenshots in different groups. And for everyone working towards whatever your milestone is, keep at it, you know, they're so meaningful, they shouldn't be meaningful, because it's a big darn deal for us. So I'm going to say it was probably a continuation of the rep groups because it was how we started. We worked with this local Mid-Atlantic pair of women who were terrific. And then they said, you know, we have someone like us who's in Florida, and we rep some of the same lines, and we run into him in Virginia Beach, or we run into him at this other market in Myrtle Beach, you should work with him, too. We said, Okay. And that's literally how we started, we got another rep group. And then we got one in Atlanta. And the Atlanta market covers the 10, southeastern states, it's one of the biggest markets in the country for gifts. So networking to the right reps at the right time, really amplified everything we were doing, because it's a different skill set. So probably most of your listeners and your YouTube channel, viewers are used to their skill set, which might be driven by Tiktok or Facebook ads or crushing it on remarketing or SMS or so so many really amazing digital tips and tricks. And then it's kind of a different skill set that my company specializes in. And we're not as strong as some of the digital wizardries, we're doing better here, and then you fall down or, you know, it was on wizards five years ago. And that just changes every few months. But for us, it was continuing that wholesale model to get our stuff in the right stores. And then now a lot of those stores, they're repurchasing hundreds, and then 1000s, and then 10 1000s, you know, every year, and won't last forever, because there's a product lifecycle. But that was really huge. And then the museums are a big part of what we do with stores. The buyers are so cool and so interesting. And you really feel like you're bringing beautiful products to people who I don't know what they're still supporting their museums, I think that's a really important part of the cities I go to and the culture I enjoy. And so to be part of that is really neat, something we're proud of. So you

 

18:38

you mentioned digital wizardry. And you know a while ago, things five years ago, you were killing it on Amazon, what happened there.

 

18:46

So I suppose the focus, you know, as you're scaling for maybe a solopreneur, or maybe have a partner, you know, many of us are really small. It's just us that maybe you add a VA and then you sort of have to tailor your hiring and your budget to what's critical right now. And for some people, it's digital marketing, or it's an agency or it's Facebook, mega spend without that mega spend all of a sudden, you know if you don't spend you know, or, and that's a tricky place to be in and we weren't in that place. Exactly. But for us, it was a man if we can dedicate more resources to get a better catalog or a new trade show. You know, if we spend, it costs ballpark five to 10 grand to exhibit a show by the time you factor in your booth, your travel your merchandise, your hotel, you know the time away from running your business. So for us, it was expanding that direction. I missed the tail end of your question. I'm sorry.

 

19:45

I like the Amazon side too because you mentioned about five years ago to Amazon.

 

19:50

They think we devoted more resources to other avenues. And he wouldn't say it fell off. We just will actually at the beginning we were doing arbitrage as many people did. In 2016, so you find your course you get your gurus, you can figure it out, you start importing stuff, and you kind of start throwing things to the wall to see what products are really going to be something that you want to continue with for years and years. And so we were arbitraging and white labeling and private labeling all kinds of stuff. And eventually, you know, things rise to the top and some things you can just let fall apart. And so some of it, you know, we stopped focusing on then we hit this great product type. And as it turns out, keywords for some of the products that are strongest products aren't something people are looking for on Amazon. So that's never something we're ever going to be selling 10,000 units a month, like certain other products are, are better fit for. So that became clear that we could devote a ton of research to Amazon, we were never going to hit a million dollars a year on Amazon. That's not right for our product type. But what is right, this is working. So we devote our resources and our bandwidth and our learning and our networking towards things that supported that part of the business. And then as the other brands, we let kind of die off and we devoted more time to ring keeper. That's how our allocation shifted from, you know, 95%, Amazon, and a few bucks at Shopify to now we're something like 75 80%, wholesale, or major Shopify are Amazon, and then we do a couple of TV sales a year, that is nice revenue. That's

 

21:24

nice. That's, that's really impressive because you usually find sellers that will, you know, they'll stick to Amazon. And they'll just be like, no, like, they'll just keep beating at that wall trying to try to make Amazon bigger and bigger. And I completely agree that there's there are product lines that were not a good fit for Amazon as it's, it was wildly different. And the audience that they have is completely different. So it's great that you guys were able to figure out like, okay, Amazon's not exactly perfect for our product line. And I know, you said that you're on your website, obviously, you're on fair, what other marketplaces or other channels are you guys selling online?

 

22:02

That's the bulk of them, there's a fair competitor called abound for us has been very, very minimal. Very minimal, about Amazon, items on Amazon, and even for Shopify, and we talked to a couple of agencies at the beginning of our brand, and we're sort of told there's no keyword market for you, I can't take your money. And it hurt at the time, I thought, are you kidding? Like, what's wrong with us? And what's wrong with me? And, you know, why would you work with me? And the reality was they were right, that there's not a ton of keyword volume for certain products? Or have your listeners probably know that they sell products that aren't marketable in certain ways because of you know, various regulations, or they can't sell on Shopify, or they can't get a credit card processor. So rather than you know, I was hurt briefly. And then you said, Okay, well, let me focus on what really is working. And then with our new products, it's more Amazon, audible. And we have a great content request, who helps us with what's latest and greatest, and I don't have to learn that as much anymore. Because I'm focused on running my business. And I have a tractor that says, you know, my five clients, and these guys are doing this, you should try this tactic. And it does or doesn't work for us. So that's improving. But you know, more than one egg in a basket is critical. And I think that I suppose for many of us, Amazon is the Mistress You don't want to have, but you didn't come dependent on it. For Amazon, ministers out there, but yeah, you know, I'm grateful that we're not completely dependent on it. I appreciate the revenue stream, but it's risky stuff. Every group I'm in the High Rollers group and these other you know, Facebook groups, something scary every week, somebody says that businesses on you know, it's frozen, because of a competitor file this nonsense complaint. What do I do? How do I hack my, you know, plan of action? Or how do I make my real invoices look like what Amazon was without doctoring them illegally? I mean, that's, that's ridiculous. Amazon has rewritten the rules of business in a way that you have to play by these non-normal rules to make it work. Like they got much power and it's pretty scary. Yeah,

 

24:07

I completely agree. I mean, we could have an entire episode on just the things that are wrong with Amazon. We had we were working with a seller once that was clearing eight figures a year on Amazon alone, a very keyword-driven business. So it was making a ton of sense, but changed out his credit card and was shut down for two weeks because they were like, they thought something was wrong. And they were like, Oh, you got hacked or something and completely shut his business opportunity. It was stuff like that, where you're just like, that's amazing that you can just shut off a small business like that.

 

24:40

It's pretty scary. They can hold you or they can seize your payouts. It's I think it's a good thing for every seller to get started where they can and then diversify where it makes sense. And for some people, it's, you know, to Amazon or Amazon plus Shopify or plus in-person sales. And for us, it's been wholesale.

 

24:57

Do you have any luck on a social media site?

 

25:03

We certainly in the short answer, no, we found that a lot of our social media interactions been with our stores, which is neat, but not beneficial, because they're already our customer. So we kind of let that all go during COVID. And then recently, we have a new director of marketing, who's going to reengage in that, but that's pretty slow for us. A lot of times our core customer is a more mature woman who maybe isn't engaging on Facebook and likes that on Tik Tok. So it's one of those things, you know, you have finite resources. So we've not focused on that. But there's not only more capability that we're not mining quite now,

 

25:41

I was because the only reason I asked was that I was looking through your products where we spoke, and the only thing I can think of is, if you're gonna try anything new, I give Pinterest a shot, you seem like a good Pinterest brand. Because that's I have the same issue sometimes with different sellers, where it's like, you know, there's a certain keyword that like you're trying to target on Google. And it's like, you're going up against so many people that are just doing the race to the bottom thing. But the nice thing about Pinterest that a lot of people don't understand is like, they're not committed to a brand. They're not searching like, you know, Nike, purple shoes, they're just searching purple shoes, and then you kind of just get to show your stuff there. And in your case, your stuff is, you know, you have this beautiful artwork that's basically on all of it. And so being able to showcase that without having to deal with certain search terms, I think it would do really well for you guys that have your try that if you haven't yet,

 

26:29

go back to my director of marketing, say, intelligence that she's itching to do it too. But as with many small businesses, we're trying to hire great people with creative product designs that we're bringing on board, like, hopefully, this week, that will change the bandwidth. So we can focus on some other things. But thank you, it's a good tech,

 

26:48

I have to ask, what is it like working with your mother?

 

26:53

Honestly, it's a great fit for us. And yes, I mentioned before, we've been working together since I was in middle school, we ran the store together the last couple years before she decided to you know, we just had to close it. It's a great fit, we are complementary skill sets. She's a visionary, she drives a product line, she has a great feel for what's in the market. And that comes from 40 years of experience. And she was a buyer for emotional fields in the 80s. And then she's been going to these markets for 25 years, she sees what the trends are with the stores need. And as much as retail is shifting, bricks-and-mortar stores are still going to be around for a while. And so she excels in that section. And then I do our operations, the HR, the finance, or a lot of the networking and then you need to think let me go do some research and find the thing and do here's the best choice. So we are very complementary, we're not really stepping each other's toes. And we're usually the same wavelength and don't always know how that's gonna work until you're in it, whether it's a buddy that you start your business with, or, you know, an employee partner, it's often hard to know, and sometimes you hit it right the first time, and sometimes you find something that's really challenging for both parties and doesn't feel good. And that's probably a hard relationship to continue working together. That's a lot. You know, we have an extra suite in her home, we have a wing with three or four employees there and several offices. And it's, it could be a lot for the role fed and we are lucky she's great. Yeah. So

 

28:25

a hot topic going on right now is obviously an as of this recording, we're in q4 still. And with supply chain issues and all that fun stuff. How are you guys fighting that? How's that looking on your end?

 

28:39

It's been a bear. It's been a bear we, we made a decision with so we added a huge new product line sort of over summer, we're selling it at the July markets hope to bring it in by August, September and sell the heck out of it. So when you go to these markets, you pre you do pre-orders. So we had a sense of what was going to go well and we did our best to project the right products. And we realized kind of like July ish, maybe August that we were going to have to make a decision about how to get the products here if we wanted to sell them so we bet big and we put probably a fifth or so products in the air and DHL at 10 bucks a kilo and put a chunk of stuff on these fast boats at something like $4 a kilo, and then put the rest on slow boats and my slow boats been in Long Beach port for at least a month. And I don't think I'll get it till 2022. So we are very pleased that we chose to pay up for what we did because otherwise, we wouldn't have anything to sell. And a lot of sellers that are in that terrible position of having that entire, you know, a container of or more of products. unsaleable because they can't get the merch and it's heartbreaking. It's really frustrating. And we spend a lot of time and we're little, you know, with two owners and maybe a half dozen people. And every week it's well here's what the rates are and here's what the freight forwarder says and who's factories functioning this week. Whose factories are under a blackout? It's been, it's been bananas. We import the East Coast. So we already we're seeing container prices, you know, twice with the West Coast pays. But we're just doing the best we can. And I'm grateful that we don't have cash flow challenges. Don't have a line of credit friends, go get one from your bank, talk to your bank, talk to them. Don't use Amazon lending. Talk to a local banker. It's amazing what they can do for you, a local banker, and it's been a game-changer to have someone professional in our corner who sees the business for what it is and can take advice. Yeah, that was really helpful.

 

30:41

Do you see any light at the end of the tunnel? Like what's your opinion on that

 

30:46

opinion on freight rates? I haven't focused on a lot the last month we've been focusing on some other stuff, it's sort of is what it is for now. There are other experts that can give you better opinions. But most things I've been reading is it's going to go through at least the next two quarters possibly all of next year. I mean, it's so backwards in so many ways. But um, CDL truck drivers, they're so close, there are no trackers, there's no you know, it's just so pervasive, why I don't think they'll rebalance for several years, I have the rates dropped back down to something affordable. But for now, we've accepted that model, you know, we have a margin that works for us at wholesale, the margin retails better. So that's observable for now. We did a price increase recently thought long and hard about it was a hard decision. Because at wholesale, you're a little bit trying to align with how much something has sort of always been in general. And at retail, you can think to add a nickel and a quarter and $1. And that everyone will notice in a way that is easier to adapt. We were printing a 40-page print catalog, I get the prices wrong. That's just excellence. What so

 

31:58

Let's skip over the sad stuff, which is how I look at it right now. What's what So what's next for you guys? What's the game plan for 2022 new product line expansion what's what's the thought they're

 

32:11

All of it. Yes, new product line. My mom was hard at work. She's adding a stationery line for RunKeeper. So we're developing these beautiful, different note cards. Tiffany with different prints with line pages, note cubes like that you put on your desk sort of like posts notes without the sticky pens really think I you know, paper accessories, people are writing a lot of notes, people are feeling like it's a nice way to connect with someone that maybe haven't seen in a while. They're beautiful, the stores want them to store sell them, it's giftable. So we are adding that collection and adding more fine art designs. And then we're developing a lot of Monet and Van Gogh and things to support some of these inquiries we're getting from our customers, we're listening to our customers.

 

32:56

Oh, that's key. Be amazed how many people don't do that. Or don't know

 

33:01

how to because you don't connect with them and get useful feedback. It's it can be really hard. But we can pick the phone up and call our top three reps and our 10 most vocal stores and say what do you think about this, you know, and they love to be asked and we love to listen. So that is most really

 

33:21

nice. I don't want to take up any more time really appreciate having you on the show. So why don't you do the typical I'll give you a couple of minutes here like let everyone know where they can find out more about you more about ran caper and all that.

 

33:34

Okay, so our website is rain caper.com. So rain cape with one piece probably be in the show notes. You can learn a little bit about us you can check that we offer the travel capes are amazing on the airplane or whether it's raining or not. But great gifts for some of your life. They're really beautiful. I love our wine, totes, and lunch bags are new, on the tea towels, sort of some fun, you know, Pollyanna gifts, we are on Amazon as well. And it was n.com/rain paper I think is how the store URLs go. And if you are in the gifted apparel space, or you know what I want to chat about, you can send a message to us on our website. And I'd be happy to help any viewers that maybe want some suggestions or checkout fare. It's a really easy way to dip your toe in the wholesale space if you think that's a good fit for what you sell.

 

34:22

Appreciate it. Thank you so much Lindsay for being on the show. It's great. For everyone who tuned in thank you so much. Make sure you subscribe on whichever podcast platform you decide or obviously hit over the BlueTuskr YouTube channel. They've all these live. Well now they're not live but you know what I mean? They're up there. But as usual, thank you so much for tuning in and we will see you all next time. Have a good one.

 

34:43

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 BlueTuskr 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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