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Emily Goodall is the Founder of BundleBean. Emily created her first, unique product to meet a need she had as a Mum with young children. She soon realised that every parent could benefit from the product she’d created!

Listen in to hear Emily share:

  • An introduction to her business (0:41)
  • A description of her unique products (3:12)
  • The inspiration for creating her products and how it was originally something she created because she needed it (5:32)
  • How she expanded her range by creating the products her customers were asking for (08:06)
  • The importance of building a team (13:04)
  • The process of getting a completely unique product manufactured (18:20)
  • How she got her products stocked in high street retailers – plus some of the negatives and things to watch out for (25:36)
  • Some of the things she loves about having a products business (34:37)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (39:35)


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Creating a product to meet a need – with Emily Goodall, BundleBean

INTRO (00:00:08):

Welcome to the, bring your product ideas to life podcast, practical advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg (00:00:22):

Emily Goodall is the founder and director of BundleBean. It's grown from a one product concept to a small business that sells a range of travel products for babies and wheelchair users at best name for their adaptable and practical waterproof covers that are sold all over the world. So Emily, thank you so much for being here today.

Emily Goodall (00:00:39):

Very welcome. Very happy to be here. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (00:00:42):

Thank you. And can we please start by you giving an introduction to yourself, your business and what you sell please?

Emily Goodall (00:00:48):

Yeah, certainly. So my name is Emily and I started Bumblebean 10 and a half years ago when my two kids were in the fall. There were three in one and I was a young mum living in a flat we're very short on space. We very short on money. We're very short on time, probably like lots of young parents. And we lived on a top and a very small top floor flat, and I just w and the sort of person who has to be outside. And I used to get desperate to get out and about, and just to stop me going completely mad in a confined space with two little ones.

Emily Goodall (00:01:29):

And I just became so frustrated with all the kind of care and the caboodle and lugging push chairs downstairs very quickly. I started choosing a slang for little one. Anyway, it occurred to me somewhere along this route that I, in those sort of early months, that there must be a simpler way to keep my kids both warm and dry. And that was where we began with bundling go, which is our sort of original hero product. And the idea was that it could be, it was warm and it was waterproof, and it could adapt to go on the stroller, the car seat, the slang, whatever you had to do, what, however, your day unfolded, whoever was screaming, whoever needed to be curried would go in the Bucky wouldn't, whatever happened.

Emily Goodall (00:02:16):

You were going to have babies you're warm and dry. So, I mean, it literally began. I made one at home very badly on the sewing machine. And from there, I just sort of networked and found a factory and fund retailers who were interested. And so what began as a kind of hobby on my maternity leave has grown now 10 and a

half years later into a sort of multinational company with a whole range of other products. So that's sort of where it all started. So now I, I'm obviously still running the company and I live in a much larger house. I'm

happy to report with a bit more space to great galumphing teenagers.

Emily Goodall (00:03:02):

And I live now in the wheelchair countryside. I'm still running the business and, you know, expanding every year, our range and our reach and all the rest of it

Vicki Weinberg (00:03:12):

So much for that overview. Emily, do you think you could describe what your products look like for us? Because obviously this isn't a visual platform and it would just help people get an idea of what you sell.

Emily Goodall (00:03:22):

Yes, certainly. So BundleBean go has a waterproof to lab when it's backed in fleece. It is 90 centimeters by 60, and it can go from being completely opened up flat. So you can use it to prove side down as a little map, somewhere to lay your baby, perhaps you're in the park and your baby wants to have a regular boat and the sun on a slightly dump lawn where you can use it as a, for quick nappy change on the go. And then the up each edge, there was a zip you zip up the sides and it forms an elasticated section, which then hooks over the legs. When you're in Australia or Kasey over a slang, the two straps are two elastic straps that can adapt fit onto any single application.

Emily Goodall (00:04:12):

It also rolls up really small and stuffs in its own little bike. So when you're out and about it fits into a tiny for the bag. So that is the go, of course, there is now a whole other range of other things as well, but that's, yeah, that's, that's where we began.

Vicki Weinberg (00:04:27):

Thank you so much for that, Emily, as I said to you, before we started recording, I think this just sounds like such an amazing product, and it's definitely something I wish that I knew about when I first became a parent.

Emily Goodall (00:04:38):

Well, it's really useful because you can use it on every different application. It also extends as they get older. So you start off with a newborn with the sides right up top, and then it will extend all the way through to three, four years old. When they're at that age where they're still kind of occasionally hopping in and out the push chair, you know, they're quite happy to walk, but all of a sudden they get exhausted and they want to hop in for the walk home from the park or whatever. So it will, it has a very long lifespan. We find it, they get punted on to younger siblings or one to nieces and nephews, friends. You know, I meet moms who say, Oh, this is on its 11 fuser. You know, it was my mum, it was my sister-in-law's.

Emily Goodall (00:05:18):

And then I was coming to me and it's gone through all my kids and they're still working. So their real

investment for 34 99, you know, it will last forever and be useful for a whole range of things

Vicki Weinberg (00:05:33):

Coming right back to the beginning of your story, Emily, where are you looking to produce a product that you would, you know, be able to sell and be used by a lot of people or at the time, were you just looking to create a product that met the need that you had at that point in time?

Emily Goodall (00:05:48):

Well, so I'll be out. So I thought this is, well, obviously it was my own need, which is probably like all the best intentions it's from, you know, from your own need and your own difficult situation. What, what was interesting? So I thought this is going to be the solution to everything. This is going to be, you know, every parent in the world can need one of these and after a year or so, I realized lots of parents wanted this and needed it, but actually there was an opportunity for other products. And that's when we expanded our range to have, we now have a range specifically to support sling wearing so bigger, wider, longer with a hurt the baby, because we realized actually some parents were carrying their kids way beyond the sort of newborn years.

Emily Goodall (00:06:43):

And so we needed something bigger and longer to support that obviously that sort of trend has really expanded even in the year, since we've been up and running, that's now much more mainstream. And so we, so we, I would say, yeah, so I think the thing is never assume that you've nailed it in one hit. You might well find, you need more than one product. Also much easier to go into the market with a range of offerings for different retailers, different customers. We also found that we sold a lot in the autumn and winter, but we didn't have an offering for the warmer weather. So we have a lightweight range now as well, which is sort of nearly the same thing.

Emily Goodall (00:07:25):

It's very similar concept. It's just a very thin waterproof lab and like a Mark rather than your big waterproof winter coat stuffed down into a tiny little bag. And that just means that it stands our range for the whole year and also for countries abroad where they might experience heavy rain, but not the cold weather, the monsoon countries. So we're always listening, adapting, and expanding our offering. So that was, that was a really interesting lesson. Like I say, we thought we'd nailed it with this one thing, but actually of course that's nonsense. There's a lot of different things every year. We, we, we add to our range.

Vicki Weinberg (00:08:07):

Thank you. It definitely makes sense to me. It's come out with one foot up as you need to start somewhere and then to expand your range, especially, it sounds like your range has expanded to meet the needs of your customers.

Emily Goodall (00:08:18):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, what was really useful in the early years was exhibiting at shows and events and actually meeting the customers because nowadays everything is so online. And even back in the early days, you know, we went through retailers. So I didn't have that many opportunities to actually meet the customer and actually speak to them because, you know, you don't, I'm in my office and everything happens without me. But so that was really, really useful to actually meet customer, especially as my kid starts to get older. And I was sort of out of the baby's own, was to listen to what the customers were asking, asking for and observe the sort of evolution of modern styles of parenting and adapt to meet those needs.

Emily Goodall (00:09:11):

Also the enormous, you know, surprise for us was the number of customers who unbeknownst to us were using the go for that kids with special needs, because whether it was kids were in hip casts or kids with autism, a whole range of different special needs, which as, as a mum with kids who don't have special needs or loved me unaware of this. And so we spoke, lots of customers got in touch with us to say, it's been fantastic for my kid.

Emily Goodall (00:09:52):

Now he or she is beginning to get too large for your range. Would you make a larger one for about a year? I said, no, we don't. We don't make custom things. Absolutely know it's not our thing. We're just on the under three market. That's what we do. And then I thought, actually, this is quite interesting. And this might be a nice sort of offering, perhaps we'll do a large range for special needs kids. We'll see what happens. And we exhibited that show kids North sort of special needs kids exhibition up in Manchester. We sold the whole lot by lunchtime. It was like, okay. So we're obviously onto something here. And from that now half our business is, is the special needs market.

Emily Goodall (00:10:34):

We sell to adult wheelchair users as well. And there's been a fantastic response to our range of wheelchair cozies that don't let remotely medical. So we're sort of targeting kids, young adults, grieving grannies, as we call them, you don't want a talking rug or a, you know, dull Navy, burgundy, whatever. And yeah, but that was entirely because I listened to our customers. I didn't need jerky. I didn't listen to one and think, right. Yeah, let's make it. Cause that would be ridiculous. But there was a definite trend, quite hard to do market research on there's very little information out there about how many heads or young adults who are in wheelchairs.

Emily Goodall (00:11:19):

So I had to kind of feel in the dark a bit, but yeah, it's been very rewarding and we're very happy to, to vented that alternative market

Vicki Weinberg (00:11:29):

Sounds like speaking to your customers and being in constant contact with your customers has been really

important to you.

Emily Goodall (00:11:35):

Yeah, absolutely. If I tell him that has been largely by events, exhibiting events, and we've really missed that and this last year with lockdown, and obviously there have been no events at all, no exhibitions, and we've really noticed an absence of that. So we've had to make sure that we reach out on social media. We're always asking questions, asking customers feedback really, really important for us. And, and even not even just with new ideas, but is our offering at the moment working, is there anything wrong with what we sell? Are the instructions clear? You know, did it arrive on time?

Emily Goodall (00:12:16):

W w you know, it's really important to us that we really look after customers, their needs are being met. And we're always, always, always tweaking everything we do never a year or a month goes by. That was looking at what we're doing and fine tuning it. But we do make mistakes. We have had a couple of Duff offerings, which after a year we've had to quietly shelve. So we don't always get it right. But we try,

Vicki Weinberg (00:12:44):

You know, nobody does. And at least you tried and at least you gave it a go and stopped when you realize that it wasn't working for you. Yeah.

Emily Goodall (00:12:51):

Move on. Yeah. Yeah. You can do all the market research in the world and still just not, not hit it on that and not hit the nail on the head, but that's life learn from it. Learn from it. Move on. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (00:13:04):

It sounds like you've had to be really adaptable this past year to make sure that you're still in constant contact with your customers. I noticed that you said we a few times as well. So is there a team around you now?

Emily Goodall (00:13:15):

Well, the Royal we, the are, we, there is a very, very small micro team, although, I mean, I'm very lucky in a way, although we have expanded hugely over the years, it is still largely me, but I have a fantastic team who are all self-employed, they're mostly working mums. They are pretty much all based at home. Well, certainly

at the moment, they're all based at home. And I have not, the legal looks after all my customers. I have some who does our marketing and sort of online advertising.

Emily Goodall (00:13:57):

I've got a fantastic lady who does the books for me. And we have a warehouse outsourcing. We've outsourced all the warehousing. And we have a fantastic crew that look after all the stock and all the orders

and sending stuff out overseas and getting all this stuff that stock in from overseas. So, I mean, we, yeah, so I've, I've outsourced as much as I can, but I don't actually employ anybody. So we're very lucky we have, we're pretty nimble operation, but yes, the role we, it is largely me. I'm the only official member of the team, but I rely heavily on my wonderful network of helpers.

Vicki Weinberg (00:14:40):

Thank you so much for sharing that. Emily, the reason I wanted to touch on that is I know that there will be people listening who are perhaps quite early in their businesses and why at the outset, when you're doing everything yourself, it can seem a lot, can seem quite overwhelming. And it's good to know that 10 years down the line that you are outsourcing some things and you are getting some help. And then that's definitely something that, that is possible.

Emily Goodall (00:15:01):

It's a common issue and I've speak to lots of startups. And it's a really hard issue knowing when to make that leap, it's quite, it's quite an investment sort of hiring someone. And when you're, especially in the first few years, you might not be earning a lot yourself. If anything, even at the start, you know, lots of people don't, they don't earn anything for the first year or two. So it can be slightly overwhelming to have someone else who's earning some money when you're still not as the entrepreneur. But I would, if anyone ever asks me for advice, I mean, outsourcing, the things you are worst at is, is I would say it's one of the best bits of advice I could offer anyone.

Emily Goodall (00:15:44):

You know, from day one, I saw the occurrence. It's not my bag. I'm rubbish with numbers. I can do it. If it's quite simple, I understand it. And I'm quite logical. I could no more file about return. Then I could fly to the moon. And that was, I sourced that from day one because I just knew it was going to take me hours of time. I didn't have likewise that sourcing customer service to Natalie has been the best thing I've done in recent years. It means the customer's needs are always being met. She is completely on it. I was just unable to do that as well as everything else.

Emily Goodall (00:16:25):

And I was beginning to miss miss emails. I wasn't looking after people as well as I wanted. And the minute I realized it wasn't happening, I added sourced it. But yeah, I wouldn't say start by outsourcing the things you are worst at. And that's probably the things you hate are probably the things you're worst at. It's probably a wise investment warehousing as well. You know, don't queue up every day for two hours at the post office. If you're doing that, you've got to ask yourself a serious questions. Look, some warehousing outsource that.

Vicki Weinberg (00:16:58):

Thank you for sharing that, that will make so much sense. I mean, for myself that I know that two things are I really dislike doing at the beginning were packing and walk into the post office. And I think at times as well,

some of these tasks that we do can end up taking us away from other things where perhaps I was home could be a bit better spent.

Emily Goodall (00:17:16):

Yeah. I mean, also the thing I try to always make sure is that I do, I do understand what everyone else is doing. So although, you know, everyone I work with are far better than me at what they are doing. Natalie is far better at looking after customers. For me, some knows far more about advertising than I do and marketing and all that. Everyone is an expert in what area they are working in, obviously, otherwise, you know, they would be, you know, but I always try and make sure I know exactly what they're up to every day. So if I lose any of them at any time, I can step into the car to them.

Emily Goodall (00:17:58):

That's been particularly useful in the last year because with homeschool and all the barriers, things we've all had to go through. There have been spells when members haven't been able to work efficiently and I've had to step in and do all sorts of things. So I always make sure I understand what everyone's up to because no member of the team has dispensable.

Vicki Weinberg (00:18:20):

Thank you, Emily. And if you don't mind, I want to go right back to the beginning. So you mentioned that festival of your product, you had something that you were sort of, so yourself, how did you get from that to having a product ready to sell in large quantities? I think people find that really interesting because yours wasn't a product that was sort a duplicate or, or very close to anything else on the market. It was completely original. So I think it'd be really interesting to hear some of the steps you went through, please.

Emily Goodall (00:18:48):

Well, it took, I mean, the first thing I'll say is it took a lot longer than I could have imagined. So due to, for anyone listening, who is at the very, very early stage, don't rush it. Don't rush it, take your time because you can waste a lot of money and a lot of time by rushing it. And there are lots of pitfalls. We, we had a pretty clear idea of the product I had done various sort of mock-ups and my husband had helped me and we'd gone through various kind of ideas and we pretty much knew what, what I wanted it to look like.

Emily Goodall (00:19:31):

We took it to a manufacturer in Wales who made a really good, and I went up there back in the day when you could just jump in the car and going to have a meeting with someone, ah, you know, and they made the first 30 for me. And we took those to a trade show and we got a lot of interest from various big high street retailers. And from that moment we realized it wasn't going to work. Having them made one at a time or 2030 to time, we needed these to be mass made. And we decided to go at that point into high street retail, we needed to lower our production cost to give us that margin, to go into retail.

Emily Goodall (00:20:17):

And we needed to be able to make, you know, hundreds, if not thousands at a time. So from there, we, at that same event, I met a couple of other sort of industry colleagues. If you like, who are still very close friends of mine to this very day. And that would be another bit of advice I would say is network in your industry, find people who, who think like you and work like you and you can trust and help each other out because that is, has been more important to me than anything else. So a couple of them stayed. We stayed in touch and we spoke and they recommended that agent who was getting things mass produced in China. So I had a UK based agent who was manufacturing in China.

Emily Goodall (00:20:59):

So that's where we began actually then two or three years after that, we found our own factory and our own agent who's based in Hong Kong. And we've been with them for the last eight years, very happily. So, so we've gone down the route of having an agent who handles the liaison between us and the factory, because it is really complicated. And otherwise to communicate directly with factory language is an issue just endless misunderstandings. It's really hard to communicate exactly what you want. The factories are very good at replicating something, but they're not very good at interpreting.

Emily Goodall (00:21:39):

Let's say a plan. We are words, written description, a photograph, things do get very easily lost in translation. So for us, an agent has been very, very useful. There they speak English as a first language, I was able to Skype them and they would then interpret that information and go make sure it was working fine at the factory. I've never been to the factory in China. That was the plan for this year. It remains to be seen whether I'm going to get there. So I've done it all with the help of an agent. I personally, I would recommend it. I know other people have gone straight to the factory. It obviously saves you some money, but for us, the agent's been a really good buffer.

Emily Goodall (00:22:29):

If you like for product development, quality control, making sure the stock gets here on time, getting it through customs, all of those things, making sure they're all packaged correctly in the right cartons with the right labeling, with the right barcodes, all of that. It's a minefield. And unless you really know what you're up to, you can go badly wrong. So yeah, I would recommend finding a trusted agent to help you. Sorry. I slightly forgot. I hope I said the question very long answer to possibly not even the question.

Vicki Weinberg (00:23:07):

Thank you. That's really interesting to hear, especially found interesting here, when you're talking about working with an agent, that's something that I've never done before. However, I guess that my products are, you know, they're very simple, they're straightforward. There's, there's, there's a lot less that could go wrong I suppose. And I think for anyone listening, it's important to think about what is that you're asking for. So what your product consists of and whether you feel that's something you can communicate effectively on

your own or wherever you feel like you may need a bit of help to make sure that the product you end up with is the one that you know, that you anticipated, that it completely meets the spec that you have

Emily Goodall (00:23:42):

Agree. Agree. Absolutely not. You can't. I mean, what I've learned is you can't expect the manufacturers to have any innovative ideas or they won't, they won't offer you any recommendations on if you did it this way, it would be easier, but fast. It would cost plus money. Have you thought about using this instead of that? There's none of that. Cool. So when you're sitting at home in your office in the UK and they're right there, that's what you sort of need from them, but I didn't get any of that. So I needed the agent to sort of, to have that knowledge and that understanding. I mean, I guess the other thing is if you have the space, the time and the energy to go out, that I think it would be incredible.

Emily Goodall (00:24:24):

But when I started, obviously I had little ones. I couldn't leave them on it. Didn't have the money part from anything else to go out there for a week or two at a time. Whereas now I'd love to go. But having said that we do now have a luggage, small luggage range, which we do liaise directly with the factory because however many years down the line and I'm sort of know the pitfalls and that's actually working really well. And we also have a couple of Rangers made in the UK, which is absolutely lovely. And again, in the ordinary way, I'd be able to jump in the car and go and spend the day with them looking and touching all the different things and working it out because now we're doing it all on zoom, like everything, but it's really nice to have a range made in the UK.

Emily Goodall (00:25:10):

I can meet less of something it's quite good for testing out the market without having to go and make a thousand of something. And it feels really nice to support UK manufacturing. So obviously it's more expensive, but it's, it's been a nice, it's been a nice thing to do, and I hope we'll be able to do more of it in the years to come. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg (00:25:36):

And what's your plan from the outset TSL by retailers as well as selling directly on your website? Or was that something that just evolved as time went on? Was, was retail always the plan?

Emily Goodall (00:25:50):

No, not at all. I mean it to be, it's been a bit of a roller coaster to be honest. Right, right, right. At the outset, it didn't even occur to me in a million years that I'd ever be stopped by a major high street retailer. I didn't really have a plan. I mean, I really didn't, I can't emphasize enough to anyone starting out how little of a clue I had. It was literally a kind of hobby idea. It was just a sort of note something to fill the hours on maternity leave. Never, never thought I'd be here now. But when I exhibited at that trade event, I, I won a free stand. Would you believe?

Emily Goodall (00:26:30):

It says the only reason I was there and we got approached by quite a few high street retailers, he said, Oh, this is absolutely perfect. So I did literally kind of rewrite the business plan sort of on the hoof at that event. And we then kind of starts to live again. We then went to mass manufacturing overseas. We looked at gun pricing. We realized Metro, we had enough margin to go into retail. And that's really where we started. So we

did start by launching straight into a range of very well known high street retailers.

Emily Goodall (00:27:12):

Fast forward three years, I realized there are actually massive negatives of being stopped by these retailers. We had difficulties meeting that sort of erratic orders. Suddenly out of nowhere, I'd get an order for a thousand units, which I didn't have. And obviously manufacturing overseas has a pretty long lead time. They take a lot of margin and as the world moved online and people started to buy more and more from retailers online and then more and more from Amazon and from our website, I sort of realized not really sure I need them.

Emily Goodall (00:27:53):

I actually think I've got enough of a customer. I think the customers are quite happy to buy online from us, from our website. And slowly over the years, I have noticed our web orders go up up and up. Amazon goes up every year exponentially and we not only supply very special favorite retailers. They're either customers we've worked with for years and we like them. We know them or they're specialists in their field. So they are specialist sling, waring retailer who give customer advice. One-to-one advice. So that for us, it's really nice cause we can't offer that. Or they're a specialist retailer for kids with special needs or whatever it is.

Emily Goodall (00:28:37):

So actually we've come away from high street retail in the UK, but we do still supply high street retailers in Europe through, through our network out there. So it's a bit of a mixed it's. Yeah, it's been a roller coaster, but I think the world has moved online, especially in the last year. It has dramatically altered the landscape

and I don't necessarily think it's necessary to supply any retailers at all. Having said that it's really nice to work with them because it does widen your,

Vicki Weinberg (00:29:11):

Thank you for saying that. So what's that first trade show, your first step into veto. And did everything just sort of happened from there?

Emily Goodall (00:29:19):

Yeah. Yes. Yeah, it did. I was really lucky. It was a bit of a, it was a really lucky, lucky event. I met distributors. I met retailers, I met editors of national magazines. You name it. And I met industry colleagues who I'm still in touch with now. I mean, it really was a, it was a sort of amazing immersion three-day immersion. I did. And

like I said, I wanna free Stan through a sort of entrepreneurs, rags to riches or something. It was called never been so nervous in my whole life.

Emily Goodall (00:30:00):

And I, I, I won this free stand, which is the only reason I was there and I was in the worst spot upstairs far. And no one came over this dark little corner cause I was on a free stand. So I quickly abandoned and the storm they were wondering about and just started networking and it was the best thing I could ever have done.

Vicki Weinberg (00:30:23):

That's amazing. Thank you. And I would just love to know from your point of view, do you still think it's worth attempting to get stocks in retailers? A lot of people are interested in that and do aspire to that, but obviously a lot has changed for retail in the past year. So I'd love to know your thoughts on that please.

Emily Goodall (00:30:39):

Yeah, absolutely. I think it really depends what you sell. I think it really depends what you sell. The, if you sell small, small items, you know, skincare or something, you're probably gonna want to be in a supermarket, a pharmacy range, et cetera. But you know, things are just, I think they're just large enough to be something that you would research online and possibly order online. So for us, I think we are quite neatly, we're quite a neat online offering. Whereas for smaller items, it might be, you know, something where you spot it in the supermarket and you just love it in your basket.

Emily Goodall (00:31:22):

I think it really depends what you sell, but obviously there are advantages, not just volume, which is a huge one, but I think it can add a cache to your name. If you are stopped in, you know, insert name of high street retailer and definitely in the early years, it helped to give us credibility, which maybe now we don't need because we're more established.

Vicki Weinberg (00:31:50):

Thank you. And I guess it also depends on your margins as well. If your margins are really tight, obviously it might be something that just isn't viable for you.

Emily Goodall (00:31:58):

The, the, the margins, absolutely. Also the volume of stock, you know, are you happy to hold however many units of stock in case you've got a big order? You know, I find that really hard in the early years, you know, we would order a huge amount of stock and then we'd wait and just hope we got the orders because we had it tough enough to be able to supply them at short notice, but we never knew when the orders were going to come. I found that incredibly stressful and it put a very, it put a big strain on us in terms of cash flow, which again, in the early years is often where small companies come and stuck.

Emily Goodall (00:32:39):

So we did manage to ride, ride the wave, but it, it did put us under a huge strain. And if I was to go back and do it all over again, I'm not sure I'd be so keen to leap or certainly not with all of the big red Turners all at once. But again, we had long lead times they're quite expensive items to manufacture. So it was, it was a big outlay every time we didn't all that. It was a huge outlay, you know, terrifying

Vicki Weinberg (00:33:10):

And the hand, how does it work with retailers typically, Emily? Is it that they pay you once you've delivered the order? In which case, I guess it can be perhaps quite hard to manage your cash play

Emily Goodall (00:33:20):

Very tricky. I mean, one of them used to pay 90 days at the end of the month in which they placed the order. So they would always place the order on the first of the month. So really you're looking at 120 days until you see a pound and bear in mind, you've already had to pay up front for the stock coming from China, and then it's got a month C. So there could be six months, seven months from your first outlay to even receiving the

first, first income. And that is, that's hard. That's really hard.

Emily Goodall (00:34:00):

It was terrifying. And we very, nearly came on several, several times in the early years. And I would say that is probably where most startups do do hit those hurdles. Yeah. Something to be aware of my first with Emerson, you get the money. I think I get paid every two weeks. So it's just lovely. I have to say it's lovely. And it goes, pop, pop, pop. I never have to ask for it. I never have to worry if the invoice is outstanding and it comes and it comes and it's yeah, it's lovely. I have to say.

Vicki Weinberg (00:34:37):

And can you please tell us a few of the things that you love about running a product business?

Emily Goodall (00:34:41):

I, well, number one, I love being self-employed. I think I was probably a terrible person to employ apologies to all my former employers. I love being able to work my own hours. I probably worked longer hours than I've ever done in my life, but I love being able to work around my kids. We'll send my dog for a walk. You know, I, I love that when the weather's nice. I go out and work in the garden. I absolutely cherish that so much. And it's one of the reasons why I'm very happy to have staff who work from home because they can all work in the same way.

Emily Goodall (00:35:21):

And I know that they all love that as well. I absolutely love my customers. I know it sounds really naff, but I really, really love hearing from them. I love knowing that we have helped mum to get out and about for a walk

with her newborn when she was tearing her hair out or that a mum with a kid who's in a wheelchair was able to get onto to the snow. It honestly, we get lovely messages. We get emails, we get pictures and every single one makes me so happy. Yeah. I, I just love what I come into work in on a Monday morning, you know, I come into work, I walk the short distance from the kitchen to my office and I never mind coming to work.

Emily Goodall (00:36:10):

In fact, in the holidays, biotechnology, I quite miss working and I quite look forward to coming to work. I love new ideas coming up with new fabrics is really good, fun. I really like everyone I work with. So I'm always happy to pick up the phone to anyone of my colleagues. I feel very, very lucky and all through lockdown. I never felt happier than to have a company that I, you know, to keep me, keep me employed and entertained. You know, it's my hobby as well as my work. So yeah, I'm one of those no work life structure at all.

Emily Goodall (00:36:51):

It's just all one in the same.

Vicki Weinberg (00:36:53):

That's really good though. And it sounds like things really are working for you.

Emily Goodall (00:36:57):

Yeah. And I've really missed the events. That's the thing, that's the thing I'm most misread locked down. It's meeting my customers. I absolutely love being out and about. And speaking to people already have a bundle bean and they tell me all about it. That I've really, really missed that being, being stuck at home. Yeah, no, I do feel really lucky. I li I absolutely honestly can say I love my job, my cult thing, what else I would ever do sometimes I think about it. And the thought of going back to work for anyone else is RT waffle. So I'm going to have to keep on forever. I think until I retire,

Vicki Weinberg (00:37:37):

I actually think Emily that you're the guests I've had safer who has been doing this for the longest. And so it's really great to hear that your sitting joy in what you're doing, and also that you're still looking to develop new things. And the fact that you, you know, you still see a lot of ahead of you as well, I think is, is really exciting.

Emily Goodall (00:37:54):

I think it is, it it's, it took me longer than I could have anticipated to be comfortable in what I do. You know, again, if I known how stressful the first years were going to be, not sure maybe no one would ever start their business, if they knew what was ahead. But, you know, like I alluded to earlier with the retailers, there were some really, really stressful times when I'd look at the number of units I needed to fulfill orders for the coming six months. And I realized I didn't have the money and the bank to pay the deposit, let the full amount.

Emily Goodall (00:38:38):

And I just, you know, so although it was a successful company, it was cashflow sleepless nights. We've had issues with manufacturing where we've had, you know, thousand units are all wrong and we've had to recall products. And I mean, there have been some really, really stressful times, especially working when you've got a young family and you know, all the rest of it, all the normal hurdles of life that we all have, but it's really nice having been going now for 10 and a half years. I can't believe it is. I'm now in a very comfortable, I feel very comfortable doing what I do.

Emily Goodall (00:39:19):

I sort of know I've really learned the ropes and it's lovely to be here, but it did take me quite a long while to get here. I don't know whether that's encouraging for your listeners or off-putting, but it's just as, just as the reality.

Vicki Weinberg (00:39:35):

Well, thank you. I do really appreciate you sharing that. So I've just got a few questions before we finish up. I would love to know what would your number one piece of advice be for other product creators?

Emily Goodall (00:39:46):

Wow. I could give advice for hours. I mean, I could, I could host an entire talk show, just imparting my advice, which no one probably wants to even listen to. I think honestly, I mean, plan and plan plan plan, rewrite the plan, rip up the plan. Start again, write another plan. But actually I think more important than that is, is, is outsourcing. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to get experts. Find the experts, find the people you really trust. See if you can get them to work on an, on a reasonable, hourly wage and outsource the stuff you are really bad at because you cannot do it all your self, maybe not in the first year or two, but the minute you start to scale start outsourcing because you cannot scale without help.

Emily Goodall (00:40:39):

There is only so much any one human can ever do. Having said that, make sure you keep your company really lean. You know, don't suddenly hire someone on a massive wage. We are a very, very lean operation and I'm thankful for that because I never have to worry about my overheads, but yeah, outsource and just hire trusted fabulous individuals. And not only will it help you in your working life, but also it's really nice to have other people to speak to on the phone or to come into the office when you're able to do that. You know, it's, it's a, it's a really lonely real world otherwise, and it's really important to have a little network around.

Vicki Weinberg (00:41:19):

Thank you so so much Emily, for everything that you've shared today, where is the best pizza place people with scope and find you and find out about more about you and about your products,

Emily Goodall (00:41:28):, a new website launching in a that's what I'm working on this month. Although I've as

mentioned about I've just answered sourced it because I've realized I'm rubbish at building websites. So that's the best way to find, find out all about us.

Vicki Weinberg (00:41:46):

Amazing. Thank you. And when this episode goes live, your new website will be live. So I'll be sure to link to everything in the show notes as well. So people can go over and take a look.

Emily Goodall (00:41:55):

Thank you. Thank you, Vicki.

Vicki Weinberg (00:41;58):

Hi, thank you so much for listening as always. I would absolutely love to know what you thought of this episode. Please do remember to rate and review the show and also most importantly subscribe. So you don't miss out on any future episodes. And as a reminder, I release a new episode every single Friday. So take care and look forward to speaking to you again, then.