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If you have ever taken a small child swimming you know the struggle of getting them dry afterwards. 

My guest this week decided to solve this problem. Karen Burke is the founder of Go Goosey is an online retail company that sells her unique product, the Kids unisex quick drying onesie and microfibre towel. We talk about the process of designing and creating the product, and the importance of not rushing this stage.

We also talk about the USP for Karen’s products. Karen is really good at articulating what makes her product so unique. Everywhere I see her, whether it’s on Amazon or on her website, she’s just nailed her USP and how she talks about her products. I think that’s something that lots of us can learn from. Plus there are lots of little nuggets about mindset and overcoming challenges that I am sure you will find helpful. All in all it’s another great episode. 

The Bring Your Product Idea to Life Podcast  – Best Business Podcast Award, Independent Podcast Awards 2023

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Go Goosey Website

Go Goosey Instagram

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Karen Burke Linked In

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This episode was sponsored by Jennifer Cooper Timesaver

Jenny is a timesaving business mentor and strategist. She empowers purpose led entrepreneurs to achieve more in their business by being savvy with tech, growing their visibility and detangling mindset blocks. With over 20 years of business and retail experience, Jenny combines compassionate mentoring, custom solutions and commercial know how to help you grow a profitable feel good business.

Jenny is the founder of Team Timesaver, who specialise in providing done for you business services, covering social media, email list & podcast management, website tweaks and business management tool set ups.

Find out more about how Jenny can help you at www.jennifercoopertimesaver.com

Instagram – @jennifercoopertimesaver

Linked In – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-cooper-timesaver/

If you enjoy this podcast, and you’d like to leave a tip, you can do so here: https://bring-your-product-idea.captivate.fm/support

Transcript
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Welcome to the bring your product idea to Life podcast.

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This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products or if you'd

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like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product

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creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly,

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practical advice as well as inspirational stories from small businesses.

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Let's get started.

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Hi. So today on the podcast, I'm speaking to Karen Burke, the founder of

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Goosey Goosey is an online retail company that sells her

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unique product, the kids unisex quick dry and onesie and microfiber

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towels. I had a really great conversation with Karen. I know I'm always telling

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you I'll have good conversations, but I really do. Karen's story is really

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interesting. She had a really clear vision for her products and a real clear need.

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She created a product to help other parents like her

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who had similar struggles with keeping their kids dry after swimming

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lessons. And we cover so much in this conversation.

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We talk about Karen's inspiration for the products, as I've just touched

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on. We talk about how she actually created it and how long

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it took. It took a lot longer than you might expect. And Karen is really

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open about why that is. And we also

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talk about the USP for Karen's products. Karen is someone who, in

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my opinion, is really good at articulating what makes

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her product so unique. Everywhere I see her, whether it's on Amazon or

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on her website, or when I see her social media posts, she's just

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nailed her USP and how she talks about her products. And I think that's

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something that lots of us can learn from. And

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yeah, she just shares so many little nuggets and mindset points of

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view that I think that you will hopefully be inspired by and learn from.

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So I would love now to introduce you to Karen.

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So, hi, Karen. Thank you so much for being here. That's ok. Good to be

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here. So can we please start with you? Give an introduction to yourself, your business,

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and what you sell. Yeah. My name's Karen. I'm the founder of

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Goosey. My main product is the kids unisex quick

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drying onesie, and it's for kids use after

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swimming, so no need to dry first, just pop on and go. So it's my

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own product that I came up with. That's amazing. And I think that's the

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product that all of us sort of parents who take our kids swim in need,

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actually, Karen, because the bit when they get out the water is just a

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nightmare. Yeah. So I would love to know, is that what inspired you to

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create the product. Yeah. So my daughter always laughs

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and says, I inspired my mom to make this product.

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And I was like, yes, because you had tantrums that I came up with this

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product. So my background is that I

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adopted my daughter when she was two and a half. So she hadn't really got

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in the pool before then, so took her swimming. The

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swimming part was great. She really enjoyed it. Coming out as

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we spoke before was just so stressful. I mean, it

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was. I was cold, she was cold, she was screaming.

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Everyone was looking at you, you're trying to get them dried and dressed. You're trying

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to get yourself dried and dressed. And I thought, surely there's got to be an

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easier way. So I went home, and as you do, you're lying in bed going,

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there must be an easy way. So then I thought, do you

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know what? I'm going to come up with something. What can I come up with?

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And I know they had towels and I thought, you need something that they need

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to put on and stay in, not have to change them again.

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So obviously, the onesie was something I already had in my head and it was

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something that was already out there, but I thought, well, that doesn't dry them.

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So over the years, I then started getting

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different fabrics from different places,

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researching they were coming from America, it was

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coming from Europe, just trying these different fabrics, wetting them, seeing how

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quickly they dried, and suddenly found this

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material actually from the states, and

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thought, this is it. This is it. And then obviously, you

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then have to go through the designing stage. Well, I have

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no retail or fashion experience whatsoever, and it was kind of a bit like

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impostor syndrome. I think to myself,

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I'm just a mum who's come up with an idea, how am I going to

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get this to market, or will I ever get it to market? So it

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took me about six years from start to finish

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to put things in place, find a

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designer, and we're now selling

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well. That's amazing. And thank you for sharing that. And thank you for being so

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honest about how long it took as well. Because I think when you look at

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other people's stories, I've spoken about this on the podcast before, it always feels like

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everyone's got it together, they know what they're doing and everything gets done really

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quickly. So it's really good for you to say. Actually, I didn't know, and it

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took a long time because that is the

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reality for lots of us. I mean, when I launched my first product, like you,

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I did not have a clue did not know what I was doing. And I

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found at the time it wasn't. There wasn't a lot of information out there. It

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was almost that there was too much out there and it can be a bit

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overwhelming. So well done for persisting. I mean, I

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think you must have had such a conviction in your idea to keep going for

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all that time. I think I was just passionate about. This is just something that

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parents need, something that is going to make their lives

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easier. It's not just for me to make a quick buck

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out, it's to go, I'm passionate about this. It's

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helped me and I want it to help other parents. Yeah. And I can

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definitely tell because, as you said, I mean, your daughter, was she still an age

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where she needed it once it was ready, that must have been nice, if so,

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to be able to use it. Yes. So she's in the ten

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to eleven now. She's eleven, but she's in kind of twelve

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clothing size, so she's just about growing out of it. So she said, can't

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you make a bigger one? And I'm like, well, that's something

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that's going to happen later, I think. So that's in the pipeline. Well, that's

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exciting. How did you talk us a little bit through? How did you actually

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get something made? Because you spoke about the fabric and you found a fabric that

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worked. But as you said, having the fabric, knowing you want a

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onesie, surely there's a lot in between. I don't know

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how talk us through what you actually had to do after

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that. So first of all, I needed to see whether it worked on a

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body. So I got my friend who was really good at sewing, because

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I was used to sewing even. I bought a

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simple pattern, onesie pattern,

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gave her the material, she pulled it together and we tried it.

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So then she said, well, that's all I can do. I'm not really experienced

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to do anything more than that. So first of all, I did find

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a fashion designer because I wanted something designed.

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And we worked together for a short amount of time,

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but our visions were different and it was becoming more

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about her product and not my product. It's not that I wanted it, I

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wanted her ideas, but I just knew where I wanted

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to take it. And it was becoming far too elaborate. I just wanted to keep

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it quite simple. So we parted ways on good

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terms. And then I thought, you know what a fashion

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student. So I looked up on LinkedIn. I

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saw a local fashion student, contacted her, said, would you be interested in working with

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me, I can pay you. It'll only be. It won't be a

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lot, but I'm happy to pay an hourly rate. So

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in between my job, I used to meet her at lunchtimes. We used to talk

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through exactly what I was looking for. She would come up with drawings and ideas

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and then she put together a tech pack and

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put something together, which was amazing and it was exactly what I wanted.

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And we've done some tweaks since then, but generally

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she came up with the overall design. What a good

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idea to find a student to work with. That's really

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clever, because I guess it helps both of you out because you're obviously getting someone

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that can help you and I assume that you pay them less than you would

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pay a designer with years of experience. But also then she's getting

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that practical experience I'm hoping she can use in her. I don't know what

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they have nowadays, coursework or whatever it is. Yeah. Portfolio.

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Yeah, that's really good. I really

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like that. Yeah. So it's utilizing

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a local graduate to give them experience, but I think it's nice.

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And this is what we all do and this is what everybody's doing now in

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kind of industries, it's supporting local businesses. So

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there's lots of things that I don't know how to do

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in business, including putting together my product. But

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I think there's so many people out there that are

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willing to give their help and give their advice

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and it doesn't necessarily have to cost you a lot of money. And if they're

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local, even better. Tap into their

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knowledge, tap into their skill set. If you don't know how to do it, find

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someone that can. That's really good advice. And I like the thought

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of keeping it local as well, because you're right, it is really nice to be

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able to support another small. Exactly,

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exactly. But, yeah, then after that

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I thought, right, ok, I've now got to find the

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material in bulk. So obviously I found this

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material in the States, but it was working out too expensive to bring.

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It

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was. I was looking in the UK. I really wanted to use a factory in

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the UK, but it just wasn't feasible. One. A few

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of the factories didn't want to know my product just because it wasn't

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probably big enough, because you have minimum order quantities

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and also it was too expensive.

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I'm a single mom myself. I had a particular

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amount in mind that I wanted to charge and it just wasn't

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making it even the closest bit feasible. And I thought, I want this for everybody.

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I don't just want it for the elite and for the people of Harrods or

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anything like that. So I then thought

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China, but then thought, I have no contacts in China. So

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I then looked up a local company, say

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local in Lewis, who do

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work between you and China. So they help

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put together the tech pack, they've got those

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relationships, they sort out all the shipping so they

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can give you a landing price. So the landing price is the

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unit cost. It's going to cost getting it to your door, rather than what

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it costs just to be made. And I thought, I need that person

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who's got that experience to do it. And, yes, they take a cut from it,

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but you've got somebody to go to if there's any

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problems, if something's not quite right, if you want something

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changed. And they've got that relationship already with that factory,

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so I still work with them to this day.

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We launched in September 2021, so we're obviously coming up to

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our three year mark in September

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and it's still building. Still building. I mean,

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it's a lot of work. I'd say more work

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to the marketing, which you know about,

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than it probably is to package them up,

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because once they're made, I haven't got to make it. So once you've got your

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product, it's obviously there. I package it up and I send it out.

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So that's not the difficult part for me. I think it's just getting the brand

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out there and trying to show people. That

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is really hard. And we'll talk about that a bit more in a minute, actually,

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because I think that's something I would really like to talk about. I just had

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one did say with the onesie, just so I'm clear, because I'm

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nosy. So were the factory making the fabric and

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then making the onesies from the fabric, or were they able to source the fabric

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in bigger? So they sourced the fabric. So I said,

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the fabric came from the States and they said, you'll be able to get it

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in China. They said, we will find the fabric. So they were sending me lots

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of different fabrics and I was. No, yes, yes. Let's try that

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one. Let's pull it together in a sample and let's try

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it. So there was some touring and know we had to send it

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here. Try it. Can we tweak that? Can we do that? Had to go

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back again. Try again. Probably had a couple of goes

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of getting it right. And even since then, I've been getting

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feedback from customers. I've tweaked it again, but obviously, for the next

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order, it wasn't that the first one didn't work, it was just

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certain design points that just. I wanted it easy to put

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on. So our cuffs, we've made a bit shorter now because

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they were slightly longer. Yes, they can be stretched, but I wanted it easy.

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So that's been changed. The hood I've made slightly bigger

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so that it can completely cover. And especially people with children with. I

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mean, my daughter's hardly got any hair, but a lot of children have loads of

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hair, so you want it to be able to cover and keep them nice and

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snug and warm. So we've changed that as well. So,

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yeah, it's those tweaks that you make with

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the people in the interim company

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that's really good that you're able. To make all of those tweaks as well, because

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I think you're right in that. When you first start out with a vision, obviously

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you were thinking of your daughter at age two when you started this,

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and then six years later, the products launched. I think it's really good that you're

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able to see what other people think and how they find it and whether

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it's easy to put on or whatever it is, and then adjust your products for

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that, because I think it can be really hard when you've got

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a clear idea of what it is. I think it's really good to have all

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that feedback. And also what's quite difficult is every child is a different

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size, and again,

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it's learning from that. So I've actually, with my

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new design, have gone bigger on the measurements

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because people were ordering, say, your four year

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old, so they were ordering a four to five and yes, it

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fitted them, but it wouldn't last them long, and I

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want it to last them long. I mean, my daughter's been in hers for 16

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months now. So when you buy the product, yes,

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it's obviously more expensive than buying a normal onesie, but it doesn't do what the

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other onesies do, but I want it to last. And

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when you buy something at a cost or something

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slightly more expensive, you do want growth, you do want ease of

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putting on. And because it's a onesie, it doesn't matter if it's actually a bit

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baggy, because we've got the cuffs, so on the ankles and

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on the wrists, they put it on.

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And I used to say to people with the old design, go

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bigger, just go bigger. They're going to grow into it,

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it's not going to fall down, they're putting it on after swimming, they're

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going home, they're sitting it. They're not going off to school in it. So go

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bigger. But now I've upped the measurements and I've say to people now

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go for the size that your children is wearing. So

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clothing size because your child might be a four, but wearing six to seven

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clothes. So I say go then for the six to seven because we've got

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five different sizes and from two to eleven

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years. So it's a case of now I

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don't get any returns to do with sizing

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because people buy it and go, oh, yeah, no, that fits them. And

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they've got some growth room as well. That's really good.

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Yeah, I really resonate with that because I am that parent whose children are

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always wearing things that are slightly too big because I want to get them, I

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want to get my money's worth. Absolutely. I could really see that. And

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that's really good. And it's really also a nice example of how you've reduced

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returns by making that change as well. Because

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that's really good that I think that you've been able to say, okay, people

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are making returns because of this and then been able to do something to

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address that. Yeah, but I've had no returns because

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of wallet can do. So that's great. So that's

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brilliant. I think I've had one return

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and I mean, I've sold probably around about 500 now.

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And I think one return because it wasn't quite right is

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brilliant. I think that's amazing. Wow.

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Yeah. As return rates go, that is fantastic. And let's talk a

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little bit about that now about why customers aren't returned. I

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think it's because, well, I like to know what you think it is, but I

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think it probably is that you articulate really well what your product is,

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what it does and who it's for. In my mind, this is something that you

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do really well, Karen, so I'd love you to speak a little bit to that.

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And also about your USP because I mentioned this

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before we started recording. I love that you tell everyone what's

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different about your product. You've having this conversation so far, you

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just drop in why yours is different to other onesies. And I think having a

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USP is so important. So share with us what yours is and then we'll talk

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a little bit about how that helps. So it's the material.

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So the material is water repellent, so it never gets soaking wet.

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So when it goes on your child, with or without a

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swimsuit, it never gets wet. Even when I take it out the washing machine,

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you will feel it within a couple of minutes and it doesn't feel soaking

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wet. So putting it on your child, even if it's slightly damp

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when it first goes on, it dries within ten minutes,

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which is amazing. And even with a swimsuit, takes slightly

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longer. But the outside never gets soaking wet, so it keeps them warm and

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takes slightly longer. But the kids don't feel it. They're nice and warm,

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they're happy. You can go home. So it just saves so much time.

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And that USP I use probably overuse

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a lot. Whenever I'm doing any marketing, whenever I'm mentioning

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the onesie. Quick drying. Unisex quick drying. Because the

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unisex bit is there's not a lot of. You buy for a girl, you buy

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for a boy. Why shouldn't it be for both? Why shouldn't it be that you

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can pass it on from sister to brother, from brother

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to know it shouldn't matter? So that's why I went for the

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unisex colors as well. And yeah, I do mention it

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a lot in. That's what I wanted to talk about,

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marketing. That's what I think is really good though, Karen, because I think

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it's really hard, I think for a lot of us to think, ok, what is

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my product's USP? How do I make it different? And I think you're an example

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of someone who's done that so, so well, because you're right. Everywhere I

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see your products, you're stating really clearly what makes them

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different from the others. I think you actually might even use that wording somewhere about

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why you're different from other onesies. And I just think that's fantastic.

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And I know it's hard because you can't talk from the other side, but do

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you think it makes marketing slightly easier because you have that sort of

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hook to talk about? Well, they know what they're getting. And

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I think by doing that, I'm

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tapping into, I thought, the after swimming

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market. But since then it's been on the

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beach market, coming out of the sea, putting it on in between

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splashes in the sea. People have said to me, tamping or it's something

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that I don't do. So they said, taking the kids to the showers,

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pulling it on. They run around, it's already dry. You haven't got

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soggy towels hanging up in your tent. Hot

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tub festivals. Someone says they're taking their

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kids with it to festivals. So actually, it's customers that have told

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me the many uses that it could be. I was

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concentrating on swimming lessons, taking them to the swimming pool,

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but actually it can do so much more. And that's what I'm trying to build

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on. Master mit. That's really helpful. And something I'm really taking from

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you is how much feedback you're getting from customers. Are you actively

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asking for that or are people just telling you, or a bit of

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both. So I do reviews. So

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whenever I send my project out, I put something in there to

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say, please, we're a small business, can you give us a trust pilot review?

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Change that now to Google review. So I've got quite a lot of

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trust pilots, but I learnt, and I'm learning all the time

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because I'm doing different courses when I've got time, because I've got another

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job. So in between all that, I'm

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learning that Google reviews really help as well. Amazon

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reviews, that's a bit more tricky. And what

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I'm kind of doing with the Amazon ones is,

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which is fantastic. I'm getting repeat orders from Amazon. So when I

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see it's a repeat one, I handwrite something in there going, thank you

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so much. We obviously love the product you've ordered. Again, I really do appreciate it.

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Can you do a review? I got one.

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So out of every probably four or five messages I'm writing, I

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am asking for it. But it's so important to get those

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reviews, whether it's Amazon, whether it's trust buy, because that helps

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your ranking as well when people are looking up your

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product. So, yeah, anything you can do to

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encourage people to go to your website is worth doing.

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Definitely. And I think obviously you're reading the reviews as well, because it sounds like

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you're taking a lot from them in terms you've already mentioned, you've adjusted the sizes,

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you're talking about different uses. So it's really good that you're doing something with

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them as well. They're not getting reviews for the sake of having lots of reviews,

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which, by the way, does help. But I really like that. It sounds like you're

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being quite thoughtful with what you do with the information in the review as well.

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Yeah, and also, I mean, I was talking to my manager about this the other

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day and it hasn't happened to me yet, touchwood. But sometimes

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you do get bad reviews. And he said, I don't think that's

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a bad thing. I've had

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people give feedback within those. It would help if we

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could have this or they weren't putting the product debt on. They were

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just trying to help. But if you do get a bad one,

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you're not going to make everybody happy. And I think that's a

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difficulty. You just want to please everybody. You want it to work for

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everybody. As I said, I haven't at the moment had any

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bad reviews, but if I did, don't react to it

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badly. Just say thank you for your feedback or take

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those ideas on board. I'm sorry you had a bad experience.

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But I am so quick at, I think, being a small business as well,

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I want to over deliver. So I used to

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think when I first started the business, oh, that's fine, I'll fill it in with

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my other job. I'll just look at orders Monday,

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Tuesday, Friday and work around it. No, I

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am literally, as soon as that order comes in, first do a happy

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dance, then I'm literally

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there, getting it out, getting it packaged up, getting it ready for

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delivery, making sure it's out. And if I wake up in the morning and I

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see a delivery has come in overnight, I will have it out that

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morning. That's amazing, because

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I go with every hermes,

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I have to have them out by eleven. So when I do, it's got to

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be kind of on the school run. I've got to drop them off. So I

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have them out as quickly as I possibly can. I don't leave it a couple

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of days and the standard delivery with them is two to

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three days and they're pretty good. They do get it out within about

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three days. And I want people to go, oh, wow,

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rather than, oh, God, that's taken ages. So I want them to go, I only

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ordered that yesterday and that's coming in a couple of that's arrived in two

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days time. I think you're right. That does give a really good

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impression. I ordered something yesterday and I got something

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this morning saying, we've dispatched your order. And immediately I went,

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oh. Because I knew it was a small business. I'd specifically chosen a small

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business. And when I saw how quickly it went out, I just sort of did

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a little, oh, that's really. It makes you feel really positively

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towards. That company, especially when you're trying somebody new.

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I think if you know, with the likes of know if you've got prime that

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you're going to get it the next day, you just know that. Whereas when

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it's a new company and often I suddenly realize that

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I've ordered something and it's coming from America and I never realized it was coming

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from America. And it takes three weeks to come, or it doesn't come at

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all, which is what I've had recently with one of them. So,

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as you said, coming from a small company and you getting it within a few

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days. And I had a lady at the weekend saying,

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actually, I have ordered the wrong

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size, so I've actually replaced it

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before she's even sent the other one back. So

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I've not had an incident yet where I've not got it back.

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And in fact, now I have learned as well, I've given them when

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I go above and beyond, I mean, it was them that obviously wanted to send

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it back. So I do sometimes

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say I'll pay for the delivery or

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if it wasn't quite right. Not that it was my mistake,

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but I think it's just that over delivering, I think. I think when you're a

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small business, you want to just people please what it

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is. Yeah. I don't even know if it's just people please. And I think it's

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just giving people a good something to make you different.

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Because not everyone, a lot of small businesses are great, but not

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all are, as you say. I've done the same thing where I've ordered something and

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then, you know, a couple of weeks later, you go, sure, I ordered something. And

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then you look in your emails and you say, oh, that was weeks ago, and

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I haven't had anything. But when you have a positive experience, you remember

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the company, it gives you a good feeling about them and you're just so much

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more likely to talk about them, to recommend them to other

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people. So I think that sort of thing is really

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important. And getting repeat orders is just brilliant.

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It's even more exciting. You just notice that they've like, oh,

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my God, they've ordered again. And it's not necessarily that they've ordered again

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because they've had to order the next size up. They've ordered for someone else, they've

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ordered it as a present and then given a good

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review as well, which is fantastic. It sounds like you're

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doing lots of good things. I actually have an interview coming up with a lady

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who focuses on customer retention, so it hasn't that episode. Let me

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have a look. Actually, I think that'll be published after your episodes. But it's about

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customer retention and the things we need to do to keep customers coming back.

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And I have to say, you are doing those things. Yeah.

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Really reassuring. Because that was something I'd never thought of,

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actually, about how important it is to get people to keep buying from you. Than

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always looking for new customers. So that'd be a really good

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episode as well. And coming back to what you were saying about reviews, I

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really like your take on that as well because I think, I don't know about

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lots of us, we could have 105 star reviews and you get

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that one, one star and it ruins your day or your

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week because one person doesn't like your product. So I really

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like your take on it and I'm going to try and remember that as well

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because you're right, you can't please everybody. And you don't know

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why. When I

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receive an email, I go, oh, no, why have I received an email? And

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automatically you think, oh, no, something's gone wrong or they've not received it or something's

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happened. And actually it's either something positive

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or it's just something simple, something simple that you can

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rectify. And, you know, as long as you

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can sit back at the end of the day and go, I've done my

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best. And if your best isn't good enough for them, then

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there's not a lot you can do as a small business. You're

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passionate about what you sell, you're passionate about your service,

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and if it's not up to standard, as I said,

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sometimes it's beyond your control. Things like, I mean, I had somebody

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the other day. She goes, I just wanted to let you know that here's a

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picture of the box when it arrived. And it was battered, absolutely

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battered. She goes, the product inside was fine because they come in bags. So

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luckily it was fine. She said, but I thought you'd like to know. And I

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said, thank you so much. And I've reported it and I must say

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I've seen a few where this has happened. Luckily, as I said, it doesn't

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affect the product, but it doesn't look very good. I mean, I've spent ages, I've

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stamped my boxes with goosey on, I've got my return

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address on the bottom, I've put my leaflet inside and when it turned, she said,

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I couldn't even read the leaflet inside. So it looks like it's

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not a good image for my business when it's arriving like that.

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Absolutely not. And I think the reason, though we do get upset by

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some of the more negative feedback, is obviously because we all care a lot about

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our products and are really passionate about them. But I do think your advice that

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as long as you have got, and obviously you tick all of these boxes, as

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long as you've got a great product and you're providing great customer service and you're

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doing all you can. If one person doesn't like what you're

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doing, I think you have to sort of be able to say, okay,

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that's one person, it's a shame. But of how many?

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Yeah, I mean, when I look at reviews, I mean I booked my holiday

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recently in 20 reviews. There was a bad

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review. And you think, oh, well, that's their opinion.

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I often think maybe they're having a bad day. Sometimes I read a review and

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I think, I think they might. And also something else has happened. I mean, I

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used to be an estuar desk, so sometimes we get people absolutely

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going mad on board. And I was a person, I actually said to the people

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that the crew said, look, they're actually not having a go at

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you, they're having a go at the company. And actually it's what's come

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before that. Maybe they were late, maybe they had a long queue, maybe they had

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a screaming child and then they came on board and you didn't have the meal

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that they wanted. They've lost it. And they haven't lost it just

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because of that meal. They've lost it because of everything that's gone before that.

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So you have to think of that as well. Yeah, that's really good

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advice. Now you mentioned earlier, Cameron, that you're selling your products

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on Amazon as well. Now I'd really like to know what

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your experience has been on

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this. I do know this for the benefit of everyone who does

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this. Yeah, it's hard. I think they just make

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it quite complicated and putting it

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all together, it takes so much time. And this is why I came to you

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and you just broke it down so quickly and easily and it was fantastic.

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I think once you know what you're doing and you're doing it on a regular

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basis, but for me, coming in, putting those products down and then

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that's it, you then hope that they sell it is

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a minefield. I just don't think they make it easy, to be honest.

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And also the different emails that come in

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and it's very confusing, I have to say, very confusing.

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And I'm still getting to grips with it, but it is

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getting results. And I have to say, before Christmas,

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majority of my sales were through Amazon and not through my own

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website. It's actually balancing out now, which is

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great. But I have to say most of my sales, if it wasn't for

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Amazon sales, I probably wouldn't have had much before Christmas. I think last year was

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quite quiet for retail.

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Yeah. And it's getting my brand out there and I just get so excited when

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I see Scotland, when I see all over the country and it's

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reaching a different part that it's not gone to. I thank you for

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sharing that about Amazon. And I think you summed it up really well in that

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it could be a great opportunity because, as you say, your sales,

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we did some work at the end of last year. Your sales are going up.

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Hopefully that's going to continue. So it is a great way of selling your

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products and getting more visibility. However, it isn't the easiest

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place and I think it's really important for you to say that because I often

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tell people it's not that easy to get started on Amazon, not to put people

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off, but because I always like to be honest and I think it's really

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good to share that because I think a lot of

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us, when I first started selling on Amazon, I thought I was doing something

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wrong, because I was like, why can't I make this work? Why can't I

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figure out how to do? I honestly thought it was me. And then over the

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years I've worked out that it's actually them and then. Not the rest of us.

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Sometimes there's some comfort in that, I think. I mean, I was on the help

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desk this morning and they weren't helpful at all. I

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mean, I was just asking a couple of questions and they've got their set things

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that they want to say. You gave me a very

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good bit of advice that actually talk to them, get

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them to call you, which I'd never used before, because

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normally with these big companies you think, oh, I'm not going to bother with that.

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No one's going to call me. And actually I was busy doing something else and

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I missed a call from them because it came through quite quickly. I actually did

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this via a chat this morning and I've worked out

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the reasons, but it wasn't a good interaction. I felt that they

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were just wheeling off, sending me,

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look here, look here. And it's like, no, I'm just asking you a question,

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why has that happened? And then if you didn't reply within 30

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seconds, they said, we're ending the chat. And you're like, oh, no, don't go, don't

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go. Yeah, I think getting someone on the phone, I think for

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anyone struggling with Amazon, getting someone on the phone is always super

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helpful because there's nothing like being able to

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pin someone down, really, which is what you need, I think,

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often, just to pin someone down. Okay, this isn't what I'm asking. This

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actually is what I'm asking. And I'd like an answer before you hang up, please.

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And I think nine times out of ten, that does actually work.

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Yeah. No, so the only time that I have actually spoken to them, they did

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sort it straight away. So I can't fault that the chat this

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morning wasn't so great, but it's more frustration

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of knowing the reason why that they can't do something.

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So more work for me to do on there. But I got a resolution,

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I suppose, with them. But, yeah, keep going with

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know if you want to get your brand out

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doing. It's called FBA, isn't it, where they have the products

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for you and send you out. I'm not doing that at the

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moment just because they take so much commission from it, I think.

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So I'm trying to carry on as I am, whether when

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I get bigger, I will go into that

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and whether that means, and that's something I probably need to ask you, is

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by doing FBA, does that mean that they then deal with all the customs if

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it does go out to different countries? I don't. So. Because

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I'd love to get out to other countries, but

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customs, it's just that minefield of.

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I just worry about the customs charges, the shipping charges,

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if anything, I might go out to America and

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Australia, but I'm not going to go out to Europe because I think they're making

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it too mean. I'll give you. The short

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answer is, yes, you can absolutely sell on Amazon in

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other countries, or you can sell in the UK,

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but let them send your products to other countries. So if

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someone from Italy happens to go on Amazon UK and they really want your product,

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Amazon can send it. So all of this is possible,

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but to make this apply to everyone, I'll just say looking at the

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fees is really important. So for

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some people, I think it's absolutely a great option.

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For others, not so much. It really depends on what your products are,

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the size of them and how much they sell for, because all of these

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factors together impact the fees. And

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the fees is really on Amazon. Most people that I know that

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aren't doing something, whether it's FBA, whether it's selling their

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products in Europe, it's because the fees don't make

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it really comes. That's what it really comes down to. Yeah. Some point we'll have

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to have a very specific chat about your products and what will and won't work.

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But I think you're taking the right approach as well, which is start

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off, when I say small, start off fulfilling orders

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yourself and just build from there. Because

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one of the great things about Amazon is the flexibility. So if you could decide

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tomorrow that you wanted to send some stock in and just do,

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like, you have to have everything set up from day one. It's not like you

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can't change your mind. And I think that is one of the.

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You know, the FBA thing is something I

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may be doing the future, but as I said, I am just going to stick

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to the, I say the small

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sales at the moment. But yeah, no, as I said, it

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made up most of my sales before Christmas. So definitely worth doing. Absolutely.

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And I'll just add to that that is because you put the work in. I

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will say that everyone I know that's doing really well at the moment is because

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they've put some work in you. Unless you do that, it's a lot

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harder. And you probably saw that once you gave it a bit of

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attention, it did make a difference. I haven't

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even done ads yet. I haven't even started on ads yet because I think that's

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another thing that I need to get my head around

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getting the ads out there. But from what I can see,

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I'm fairly high up. And again, I'm tweaking it all

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the time. I'm learning. You said about the keywords in Amazon,

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I suddenly realized that people are putting in robe when they're looking, changing

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robe. So I thought, it's not a robe, but in the

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keywords, I've put in robe so that when people do a search, they look it

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up and go, oh, well, I can see it's not a robe. I can see

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it's a quick drying onesie. But it's having

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those key areas just right.

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Yeah. And that's what I mean by doing the work, because it is tedious doing

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the keyword research and tweaking your listings. And it can feel

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like, it can just feel like work. But I'm really pleased that

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it's paying off because that is, unfortunately, especially when you're not

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using ads, unfortunately, on Amazon, that is what it takes because it's

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all search driven. And if you're not coming up in search, you

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don't stand much of a chance. Well, as far as I know, I am. But

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whether I'm putting in those keywords, I don't know. No,

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you're. And you're doing a good job. Yeah. Thank

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you. So I have one final question before we finish,

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Karen, which is, what would your number one piece of advice be for other

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product creators. Don't, I can't even

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say it, procrastinate. So yes, I took six

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years and six years of that was

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binding fabrics, working with a designer. But a lot of that was,

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how can I do this? I'm a single mum. How can I even

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think about putting a product out or building a brand,

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but just do it. And there's people out there, as I said before, there's people

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out there that are willing to give you that advice,

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that are happy to. I've tapped into people on

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LinkedIn, there's women that started businesses,

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there's mentors. You can get free

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mentoring help. I mean, I've had, through where

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I live in Kent, the local government give money

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out and through this company called Smarter Society, I've had 8 hours

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free marketing advice. A fantastic guy called

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Richard Liverman, really good. He gave me invaluable

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advice. Just don't wait and sit there and

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think, I don't know how to do that, or I don't know how to do

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that. If you don't know how to do it, find someone that can and they'll

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help you. Because we're the people that have had the idea.

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We're not expected to know everything. That's really good advice.

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Thank you. And it's interesting because I've spoken to a

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few people recently who've said, oh, I got free mentoring or

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advice or grants even from government

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or different organizations. And I think a lot of us just don't know this is

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out there. So I think that's also a good reminder for people. Go away

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and see what there is that you can take advantage of. Because I think a

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lot of these schemes aren't actually very well advertised and unless

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you go looking, you're not maybe likely to come across them.

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So thank you for that. I think that's a really good reminder for everyone to

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go and see. What could you be taken advantage of that you're not currently,

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definitely. And they want small businesses to do well.

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It's good for the local businesses, it's good for

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whatever your product is, whether it's something for local, something

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for national. And there's so many different, there's networking places that

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you can go along to if your product. There's craft fairs. I mean, I've

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tried fairs and I'm not sure they work for my particular

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product, but so many people do do them and do fantastically well

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through them. Then you stand next to a

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storeholder who gives you another bit of advice. So I think that networking is because

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when you're a business owner, you're working on your own most of the time and

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it can get quite demoralizing. And like, will

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I ever get this product out there? Whereas if you're talking to somebody else and

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you're at these networking or you're at the affairs, and they can give you that

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advice and you go, actually, it's not just me. They're going through exactly

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the same. And they can actually give you a bit of advice of where to

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find someone else that you're looking for, something that you're not able to do yourself.

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So, yeah, don't sit there on your own. Just ask for

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help and say, I don't know how to do. Oh, that's

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so helpful, Karen, thank you so much. Thank you for everything you've shared. We'll link

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to your website and all your socials and everything else in the show notes. Thank

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you. Brilliant. Thank you, Vicky, thank you

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so much for listening. Right to the end of this episode, do remember that you

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can get the fullback catalogue and lots of free resources on my website,

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vickyweinberg.com. Please do remember to rate and review this

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episode if you've enjoyed it and also share it with a friend who you think

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might find it for you again and see you next week.

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