Four years ago I started selling my own range of premium bamboo baby products at Tiny Chipmunk.

It’s fair to say it wasn’t an easy process (as my early blog posts will show!)  

Today I share my story, including why I got started and more on my background.

I also tell you the top three things I’ve learnt and how I can work with you and support you now, to help you in your own product creation journey.

USEFUL RESOURCES

Tiny Chipmunk

My blog

My product creation and validation online courses

Product creation checklist

SPI 266: How to Start Selling on Amazon with Ryan and Nick from Online Selling Experiment

LET’S CONNECT

Find me on Instagram

Work with me

Transcript
Speaker:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast,

Speaker:

practical advice and inspiration to help you create and sell

Speaker:

your own physical products. He is your host Vicki Weinberg.

Speaker:

Hi, I'm so pleased that you're here today. Say today

Speaker:

is going to be a bit of a different episode,

Speaker:

too. Some of the ones that have had previously So

Speaker:

so far, and hopefully if you've listened to some of

Speaker:

the episodes before, you'll have heard of me giving you

Speaker:

lots of advice and tips, and Practical how to use

Speaker:

on how to get started with your product based business

Speaker:

and hope that you'll also listen to some of our

Speaker:

fun or fantastic guests interviews as well. We have also

Speaker:

shared a lot about their journeys, what they've learned and

Speaker:

their best advice for you, but what I've realized you

Speaker:

haven't actually had up until now is as much of

Speaker:

an introduction to me. And some of you, you might

Speaker:

know me, maybe you've been following me on social media

Speaker:

and, or maybe, you know, me personally, but many of

Speaker:

you won't. And so I just wanted to talk to

Speaker:

you a little bit about who I am and how

Speaker:

I got to where I am today, you know, to

Speaker:

be having to be hosted in this podcast.

Speaker:

And I thought it was quite timely as well, because

Speaker:

I am recording this at the beginning of June. It's

Speaker:

the sick of June today. And I realized that I've

Speaker:

actually missed a four year anniversary of my product based

Speaker:

business. I know this because I don't know why I

Speaker:

had to have an exact date when it started, because

Speaker:

as a, as you will find out, when I go

Speaker:

into the story at D took me many months to

Speaker:

come up with the idea of I'm going to launch

Speaker:

a product. So actually launching it, it, that was actually

Speaker:

quite a long process, much longer than it needed to

Speaker:

be. But the actual idea for this business did to

Speaker:

happen just over four years ago. And the reason I

Speaker:

know this is I actually remember when it happened, so

Speaker:

our town and hold an annual food festival apart from

Speaker:

this year, obviously, but if we have a year or

Speaker:

so, a lot of foot food festival and the first

Speaker:

one was for years ago.

Speaker:

And then at that point, my baby was put, my

Speaker:

second baby, I should say was probably six weeks old.

Speaker:

And my eldest was just turned three. And we went

Speaker:

along as a family. And I remember I don't do,

Speaker:

you know, I don't remember much about being there apart

Speaker:

from, for some reason, my three year old really wanted

Speaker:

a smoothie and we couldn't find any way that it

Speaker:

did to movies. But as another story, that was probably

Speaker:

the main thing I remember from that. But what happened

Speaker:

afterwards is the baby. And my six week old to

Speaker:

fall asleep, I used to have even like a sling.

Speaker:

So it was like strapped on to my chest and

Speaker:

she'd probably fed and been changed or whatever. And she

Speaker:

fell asleep, but it was just as we were about

Speaker:

to let you know. And so I walked home with

Speaker:

my husband and my son, and then 'cause, she was

Speaker:

asleep. I thought, you know what, I'm just going to

Speaker:

have it on walking.

Speaker:

'cause any of you who, who our parents probably know,

Speaker:

or like how lovely it is when your child to

Speaker:

sleep and you just get back a little bit Headspace

Speaker:

space. My husband had recently around that time, he just

Speaker:

got me onto the podcast. He'd been recommending all audio

Speaker:

books for ages, but it was just like, when am

Speaker:

I going to, you know, it's gonna take me months

Speaker:

and months to get through a book, a podcast, him

Speaker:

quite doable. And so he'd suggested a podcast by a

Speaker:

guy called Pat Flynn who host a podcast called smart,

Speaker:

passive income. I don't know if you've heard of it

Speaker:

is a great podcast. I will link up to it

Speaker:

in the show notes. And I'll actually link up to

Speaker:

this specific episode that I listened to as well. But

Speaker:

something I need to, to look up for you because

Speaker:

that episode I listened to, it was all about to

Speaker:

men who had launched the business selling products on Amazon

Speaker:

and they were selling yoga products.

Speaker:

I don't remember too much of the ins and outs

Speaker:

of their story. Apart from one, they made it sound

Speaker:

relatively simple. You know, it, it sounded like something I

Speaker:

could do. And also they was talking to a lot

Speaker:

about the freedom, I think from memory or that I

Speaker:

haven't gone back and listened that they both lived in

Speaker:

different parts of the world that didn't perhaps live close

Speaker:

together and they will running their businesses online. And they

Speaker:

was talking to a lot about the freedom they gave

Speaker:

them. And I thought that it just sounds like exactly

Speaker:

what I'm looking for. So to go, maybe back to

Speaker:

the beginning, so you can see like how I got

Speaker:

to that place. So I had a corporate job. I

Speaker:

used to work for a really large oil and gas

Speaker:

company in London. I was there for a lot of

Speaker:

years.

Speaker:

If you looked me up on LinkedIn or something, you

Speaker:

can probably find out where that was. I loved it.

Speaker:

And I had a great time. I had a global

Speaker:

role, which meant quite long hours. So I would say

Speaker:

sometimes start quite early. I can sometimes start it quite

Speaker:

late to accommodate speaking with colleagues in different parts of

Speaker:

the world. It was a busy road and I spoke

Speaker:

to a lot of people and I was really happy.

Speaker:

Then I became pregnant with my son. So my first

Speaker:

child and went on maternity, leave selling 10. Then that

Speaker:

would take him a year. We got, you know, we

Speaker:

were really lucky. We've got a year off and I

Speaker:

thought, yeah, I'm going to take that year. And then

Speaker:

I'm going to go back. And the idea was that

Speaker:

I would always go back part time. Don't believe it

Speaker:

was something that I share before I left. Honestly, you

Speaker:

don't have to worry, but in my mind, I thought,

Speaker:

yeah, I'll have the baby.

Speaker:

When he was a year old ILM, I'd go back

Speaker:

a couple of days a week in that and we'll

Speaker:

be fine. And it actually isn't what happened. So after

Speaker:

he was born, I suffered to a postnatal depression, which

Speaker:

wasn't, I don't know. I was about to say it

Speaker:

wasn't picked up that early, but I think a lot

Speaker:

of that to be really honest with you, it was

Speaker:

probably a result of me not being honest if myself

Speaker:

or other people, my husband certainly thought something was wrong.

Speaker:

I don't know if my friends did or not really

Speaker:

actually, it's something, you know, I've never really asked, but

Speaker:

I do you remember speaking to the health visitor? And

Speaker:

I got the feeling that she thought something was wrong.

Speaker:

'cause she seemed to come around a lot more than

Speaker:

she did. So, you know, some of my friends you'd

Speaker:

have babies at the same time, but still nothing really

Speaker:

happens.

Speaker:

And then I think it was about in the nine,

Speaker:

10 month months when my son was nine or to

Speaker:

have months. And you know, my former employer contract is

Speaker:

me and we started to have the conversations about me

Speaker:

going back to work. I feel like things kicked up

Speaker:

again. Then, you know, it got really hard, really heavy.

Speaker:

I went to the doc, so I got an official

Speaker:

diagnosis and he said, you know, I'm going to sign

Speaker:

you off set. If you don't need to go back

Speaker:

to work, when you need to, because of the conversations

Speaker:

I was having about going back to work, I was

Speaker:

wanting to be stressful. And I don't know if this

Speaker:

makes sense to anyone listening, but I found it really

Speaker:

hard to think about my baby being in the town

Speaker:

where we live and me being like a 40, 45

Speaker:

minute train journey away, like being in London.

Speaker:

I don't know. It just, my husband works in city

Speaker:

as well. And I just kind of felt, I don't

Speaker:

know if I can just deal with like him being

Speaker:

in one place and us being somewhere else in what

Speaker:

if something happens? Well, if we can't get back or

Speaker:

if the trains were like, I don't know, as something

Speaker:

that really gets me. And then at the end, we

Speaker:

made that decision as a family that she wouldn't go

Speaker:

back to that job, which was good. But then it,

Speaker:

obviously there was the question of, well, what was I

Speaker:

do then? Because, you know, I still needed to be

Speaker:

working. I wanted to be working. I've I've worked my

Speaker:

entire life. I didn't go or not. This is relevant

Speaker:

to anything, but I, I will tell you, I know

Speaker:

I didn't go to university. I did an apprenticeship when

Speaker:

I was 16. I did a business apprenticeship and I've

Speaker:

worked ever since where I'm kind of, you know, I've

Speaker:

always worked.

Speaker:

I'm used to working like working. So I, and I

Speaker:

wasn't quite ready to be a stay at home mom,

Speaker:

also, my son and I was down to a 10

Speaker:

nurse or a few days a week as well, because

Speaker:

obviously when we fought, I was going back to my

Speaker:

job in London, we'd signed him up for a nurse,

Speaker:

will be paid the deposit and all of that. And

Speaker:

I think by then he might even have had some

Speaker:

sort of set and in sessions and things like that.

Speaker:

So we were like, well, you know, we've got childcare

Speaker:

sorted. There was no reason I couldn't work. The issue

Speaker:

was, you know, the, the traveler thing really at that

Speaker:

time, because I was starting to feel a lot better

Speaker:

in myself. And I actually felt that having something to

Speaker:

do outside of the home and outside of being a

Speaker:

mom would actually be really good for me.

Speaker:

So I looked around for something that might be suitable,

Speaker:

kind of something that was work arounds, having a small

Speaker:

child, you know, work with in schools and that kind

Speaker:

of thing. And then I came across completely by accident

Speaker:

as an opportunity to start my own business or to

Speaker:

buy into a franchise, teach in baby and children and

Speaker:

yoga. And that's an amazing, absolutely perfect. So at this

Speaker:

point I've been practicing yoga myself. Four I don't know,

Speaker:

years since like in my late teens really enjoyed it.

Speaker:

I like the idea of teaching. I like the idea

Speaker:

of working with babies and young children in their parents

Speaker:

and their characters. And I thought, you know, the answer

Speaker:

was work arounds, having a child of my own because

Speaker:

people are only going to want the classes for children,

Speaker:

you know, during the day, but my son can be

Speaker:

in childcare.

Speaker:

So that was great. So I sort of retrained to

Speaker:

how to teach to babies and children. And I started

Speaker:

running those classes and while a lot about it was

Speaker:

great. And if you listen to this, we run any

Speaker:

kind of service business will know is not quite as

Speaker:

simple as, you know, you're just going out at nine

Speaker:

o'clock or whatever to look for in some classes and

Speaker:

coming back, because there is kind of like the markets

Speaker:

in for those classes. There was a set up, you

Speaker:

know, for ones, for classes that I was teaching Four

Speaker:

parents and children, as opposed to a nurse to be

Speaker:

in preschool settings, I actually had to find a venue

Speaker:

myself. I had to find venues and, you know, check

Speaker:

they was suitable and booked them. And then I need

Speaker:

to do marketing to fill them up. And then there

Speaker:

was sort of the admin of getting people signed up

Speaker:

for classes and taking payments and then the actual preparation.

Speaker:

So preparing the classes, making sure that, you know, I

Speaker:

had any, all the props and the thing that I

Speaker:

needed and keep it on top of keeping everything clean

Speaker:

and hygiene it, that was just, just a lot and

Speaker:

invoicing and all the rest of it. That was, there

Speaker:

was a lot more, is it a lot more involved

Speaker:

obviously than just running the classes? And it was a

Speaker:

yeah, a definite a case of trading time for money,

Speaker:

which as I've kind of started my product's business, that's

Speaker:

something I'm going to, I'm sure I've talked about this

Speaker:

before that I really appreciate it. It's the fact that

Speaker:

how much you can earn selling products. Isn't there, isn't

Speaker:

a direct correlation between the amount of time you put

Speaker:

him with this business. So I had, then that was

Speaker:

absolutely the case and a lot of this all by

Speaker:

the way, and realizing with hindsight mean some of it,

Speaker:

or at the time I was like, Oh, you know,

Speaker:

I didn't think I'd be working in the evening or

Speaker:

for it.

Speaker:

I would just be, you know, I'd be able to

Speaker:

work between nine and three or whatever. I didn't think

Speaker:

I'd be spending my evenings great. And Facebook posts and

Speaker:

post is to market the classes, but, you know, that's

Speaker:

how it was. But anyway, it was still pretty good.

Speaker:

It was really a great way to start running my

Speaker:

own business because it was a franchise, which meant that

Speaker:

there was no support from head office. You know, wasn't

Speaker:

entirely on my own. I got some, a bit of

Speaker:

a training and experience in how to, to run a

Speaker:

business. You know, something I had never done before. We

Speaker:

had always been employed up until that point. And you

Speaker:

know, it was great until a few years in, I

Speaker:

became pregnant with my second child and fairly early on

Speaker:

in that pregnancy, it became clear that teaching yoga wasn't

Speaker:

going to be viable much longer, not at all, really.

Speaker:

So I had some problems with my hips and the

Speaker:

main impact of that was it was really hard to

Speaker:

me to get down on to the floor or, and

Speaker:

then back up again. And obviously when your teaching yoga

Speaker:

that as you know, there's quite a lot of up

Speaker:

and down and, you know, I couldn't bend it the

Speaker:

way. It was quite a lot of things that I

Speaker:

couldn't do. And I had intended that I would carry

Speaker:

on teaching and you know, well, in to my pregnancy,

Speaker:

'cause I thought that it would be a viable, but

Speaker:

It, it just, it just wasn't.

Speaker:

So I had to recruit some teachers to take over

Speaker:

the classes that I was teaching and I, it was

Speaker:

just sort of running the business side and that was

Speaker:

it. That was fine. My son then, you know, I,

Speaker:

I dropped his nurse three days is a little bit

Speaker:

to where he spent more time at home with me,

Speaker:

which was lovely, so that we have some more time

Speaker:

before the baby came as like, I wasn't doing any

Speaker:

prep for classes that wouldn't do any, any teaching. So

Speaker:

work wise, it was a lot less to do and

Speaker:

yeah, all good. Really. And then my second child came

Speaker:

along and I had decided to take the proper maternity

Speaker:

leave. So I handed over it with the admin time

Speaker:

as well. So I had someone else or my team

Speaker:

that manage the marketed and the finance, and I thought

Speaker:

like, I'm going to take a complete break.

Speaker:

And then it came to this day, I mentioned earlier

Speaker:

where I was wandering around the food and wandering around

Speaker:

after the food fate table with a sleeping baby, strapped

Speaker:

me food table, food festival, even sleeping baby strapped to

Speaker:

me had this Pat Flynn podcast. And Four, Oh, this

Speaker:

might be what I'm looking for. And I'll be honest

Speaker:

up until that point. And I didn't even realize I

Speaker:

was looking for anything, you know, just, yeah, my baby

Speaker:

probably was five or six weeks old. And, you know,

Speaker:

I had an older child and, you know, how do

Speaker:

we really had a business that was running? I didn't

Speaker:

even realize I was looking for something else, but I

Speaker:

think as I mentioned earlier, I've always worked. I've always

Speaker:

wanted to do something more.

Speaker:

I've always liked the idea of pushing myself and challenging

Speaker:

myself and learning new things. And this just seemed like

Speaker:

something I literally could do. Well, the baby steps, you

Speaker:

know, it seemed really the way that it was described

Speaker:

in this podcast episode, creating a notching, a product seemed

Speaker:

completely doable and something that, you know, definitely achievable. And

Speaker:

so I thought, great. Well, okay, I'm going to do

Speaker:

that then. So that is when I am, the idea

Speaker:

came up for my baby brand, which is called Tiny

Speaker:

Chipmunk. So Tiny Chipmunk sells premium bamboo baby products. So

Speaker:

as you know, I don't know, I don't know how

Speaker:

much do you know about Bamboo, but it has lots

Speaker:

of fantastic natural properties.

Speaker:

My products aims keep the bamboo as natural as possible.

Speaker:

So we don't use any chemicals or dyes or bleaches

Speaker:

or anything in them. I saw a few products. They've

Speaker:

all of my own designs. We sell much into a

Speaker:

little brand kits. I set up hooded towels. I sell

Speaker:

plates and bowels at the moment. I'm hoping to expand

Speaker:

the range at some point, but I'll be honest when

Speaker:

everything else is going on right now. I'm just thankful

Speaker:

that I'm still selling the products that I have as

Speaker:

a few people will ask me about the name, the

Speaker:

reason for the name Tiny Chipmunk is that it's the

Speaker:

nickname we gave our youngest because she was a really

Speaker:

tiny baby, but she had really big cheeks, like a,

Speaker:

like a Chipmunk. And I just have a reason for

Speaker:

the actual, you know, the whole thing of selling these

Speaker:

premium baby products was that when my second child was

Speaker:

born, I actually realized how few things that we'd kept

Speaker:

in my first, we are actually suitable for using a

Speaker:

game.

Speaker:

Like we had some Muslin cloths and I think they

Speaker:

were meant to be organic cotton. It caught it, I

Speaker:

think, but they were all like crinkly and hard. And

Speaker:

I mean, I feel like I'd do, I'd take care

Speaker:

of her things, but, you know, they just weren't great.

Speaker:

And then we had some towels I remember getting out

Speaker:

town was for her and they just looked like a

Speaker:

large napkin that were really small. And I could see

Speaker:

that they just weren't going to last very long. And

Speaker:

in fact, I'm sure that with my eldest, Hey, you

Speaker:

know, tell us what he was a bigger base, where

Speaker:

we are a small baby, but he got quite big

Speaker:

and I've got a feeling later and he lasted till

Speaker:

like a month or two, just, eh, nothing just seemed

Speaker:

like design to lost. And that's kind of what the

Speaker:

USP of Tiny Chipmunk is, is that I want my

Speaker:

products to be really high quality, but also at good.

Speaker:

Do you know? So my town is for example, and

Speaker:

I know I'm going off on a bit of a

Speaker:

tangent here, but the bamboo, her details that I sell,

Speaker:

they still fit my youngest. And as I've mentioned, you

Speaker:

know, my business is really, it is just over 4

Speaker:

years old shes, just over four years old and they

Speaker:

don't drag it on the floor have any more, but

Speaker:

there were a good size, I would say they're probably

Speaker:

gonna lost her. Whates probably until she was five. And

Speaker:

she's not a particularly small, I'd say she was like

Speaker:

an average and average height for a four year old.

Speaker:

And yeah. And there's definitely a loss. So a bit

Speaker:

long when this is kind of what I was after,

Speaker:

by the way, it did go off on a bit

Speaker:

of a tangent there. So I just want to share

Speaker:

a little bit about how I got started really.

Speaker:

So, as I said, I had, I listened to that

Speaker:

podcast and I thought, yep, this all sounds really doable.

Speaker:

I'm really achievable. I'm just gonna go up and do

Speaker:

it. And as I mentioned earlier, that it then took

Speaker:

me, I think it was a nice six months to

Speaker:

then have my first product, which was missing in a

Speaker:

swaddle blankets actually on Amazon available to Sal. It was

Speaker:

five or six month's. Anyway, part of the reason why

Speaker:

it took that long I'll have to be honest is

Speaker:

well for a few reasons. One is the obvious. It

Speaker:

was the first time I was doing it. And, you

Speaker:

know, subsequent product launches, I've done much quicker. 'cause, you

Speaker:

know, I have a process in place now as a

Speaker:

process, I also teach him my product creation costs, which

Speaker:

I will link to in the show notes.

Speaker:

But there is a process, like a step by step

Speaker:

process. You can follow me to come to have a

Speaker:

product idea to get it listed. I don't know the

Speaker:

process at the time that Find, if you, you know,

Speaker:

lab, we have experience and refined It as I've gotten.

Speaker:

And as I launch more products. So that was one

Speaker:

reason. I guess the other reason was, you know, I

Speaker:

did have a six week old and a toddler and,

Speaker:

you know, husband working full-time and a little bit of

Speaker:

childcare, but it still, you know, I did have a

Speaker:

baby at home all of the time. And while they

Speaker:

sleep a lot, they never sleep as well. My children

Speaker:

never see it as much as you hope that they

Speaker:

will. And so, you know, it, it was dating and

Speaker:

we have been tired and pay them and say it,

Speaker:

and you know, all of this oldest, you know, all

Speaker:

this stuff that happens when we have a small child.

Speaker:

So I think that's part of the reason why, but

Speaker:

then I think there was another element, which is it,

Speaker:

it all just felt really confusing. So I listened to

Speaker:

this podcast where it all sounded really easy, but then

Speaker:

when I started to actually do it, it, it didn't

Speaker:

seem so easy anymore. I think a lot of that

Speaker:

was, it didn't seem to be a great deal of

Speaker:

good advice out there. And I'm not saying that there

Speaker:

wasn't, but because perhaps there was, and I just couldn't

Speaker:

find it. I'm not saying that there isn't now, because

Speaker:

obviously for years on, I think there probably is some

Speaker:

better advice out there for them. But when I was

Speaker:

looking for people to sort of people to follow, I

Speaker:

was looking at blogs and podcasts.

Speaker:

I'm just trying to find people that I could learn

Speaker:

from what I've found was that for every one that

Speaker:

I could find at that time, they were all men

Speaker:

and there's nothing there's nothing wrong with, of course, but

Speaker:

there are all men and they will all sort of

Speaker:

so much further ahead of me that it kind of

Speaker:

at the beginning kind of felt motivational. I'll be honest.

Speaker:

So I was listening to podcasts and the guests were

Speaker:

saying all the good, the hosts and the guests actually

Speaker:

were talking about, you know, how they made the went

Speaker:

from zero to, I don't know, a million pounds in

Speaker:

sales in their first year, or, you know, they, they

Speaker:

were doing six figures with it and, you know, months

Speaker:

in, I was thinking, Oh, that sounds pretty good.

Speaker:

And maybe I can do that, but soon realize that

Speaker:

actually, unless you have got a bit of Capitol to

Speaker:

put it behind it, to kind of buy the amount

Speaker:

of stock or that you'd need, I don't believe that

Speaker:

you are going to see that, you know, that much

Speaker:

success that soon. I'm not saying you can't build things

Speaker:

so many over time in my business is definitely grown

Speaker:

a good way. But over the past few years, I

Speaker:

said to me was, you know, I don't know any

Speaker:

sellers pers personally. And I know, and I know a

Speaker:

lot now he'll be making six figures within there first

Speaker:

few months. And I think when I did a bit

Speaker:

more investigating look like a lot of the people that

Speaker:

I was looking to, you know, they had other businesses

Speaker:

and this was something they were perhaps doing, you know,

Speaker:

on top of that.

Speaker:

So they already, perhaps in some cases had an audience

Speaker:

or they already had some, capital's a person. And by

Speaker:

the way, I'm not criticizing any of this, but I

Speaker:

guess what I'm getting at is what I found really

Speaker:

hard is that everyone felt so far ahead of me

Speaker:

that after a while is stopped to be motivational and

Speaker:

got really daunting because it was just such a big

Speaker:

gap. And then the other thing was, is that I

Speaker:

was looking for, I, I just couldn't find a roadmap

Speaker:

of exactly what I needed to do and in what

Speaker:

order. So, I mean, I just went in and tried

Speaker:

my best. I'll be really honest. So I just thought,

Speaker:

okay, pretty motivated. I'm quite an organized, I put it

Speaker:

together a plan, where is that what I thought the

Speaker:

steps were and I'd got going.

Speaker:

And that, that was great. Although it certainly, I certainly

Speaker:

made some mistakes and actually this is probably a good

Speaker:

time to talk about something that I thought it would

Speaker:

be worth to be sharing with you today. Hopefully it

Speaker:

will be valuable. Is that the top three things that

Speaker:

I do I learn throughout this process. And I guess

Speaker:

the first one is, is that done is better than

Speaker:

perfect. This is something that she lived by. So I

Speaker:

didn't really know why I was doing it at the

Speaker:

beginning and I put it together for a rough plan.

Speaker:

And do you know what? I might say many mistakes.

Speaker:

So I first one I made, like I said, I'm,

Speaker:

I'm happy to show all of these is that when

Speaker:

I was getting samples from my first product, I got

Speaker:

samples of the products, but it didn't get any samples

Speaker:

for the packaging.

Speaker:

And so it wasn't until my product's actually involved in

Speaker:

an Amazon warehouse. And then people started buying it that

Speaker:

I realized there was actually a, quite a fundamental problem,

Speaker:

which was the packaging was so flimsy that we've all

Speaker:

been the handling. So my products at that time all

Speaker:

made in China. So in the process of coming from

Speaker:

China to the Amazon warehouse and then getting unpacked and

Speaker:

going on the shelves and then get impacts into individual

Speaker:

boxes to be sent to a customer is like all

Speaker:

of that handle in like the packaging was ripping or

Speaker:

denting. And it just, it was almost like, how do

Speaker:

I describe it? Like thick Brown paper? Where was I

Speaker:

had envisioned like a sturdy Browne couple, but if you

Speaker:

go on to my website, which is Tiny, Chipmunk dot

Speaker:

com, you'll be able to see sort of images of

Speaker:

the packaging is how it looks now.

Speaker:

And it's the, for the swaddles. They did actually pack

Speaker:

it. It looked pretty much the same about it. For

Speaker:

me, it was so much better and such a mistake.

Speaker:

'cause if I had gotten a sample of that earlier

Speaker:

on, I would have picked it up and I would

Speaker:

have known, but actually what happens is I got lots

Speaker:

of not lots, but you know, a fair few complaints

Speaker:

and a few bad reviews on a crime of the

Speaker:

packaging, which is fair enough, however, okay, this was a

Speaker:

mistake, but I, then when I placed my next daughter

Speaker:

up by then, I just sort of establish it as

Speaker:

a problem with a box. I had worked with the

Speaker:

supplier or we fixed it and we have no problems

Speaker:

with the boxes now. So you know why it wasn't

Speaker:

a great thing to happen.

Speaker:

You know, we learn from it and moved on. I

Speaker:

also made an honest mistake, which was when I was

Speaker:

importing goods in to the UK. I didn't realize I

Speaker:

needed something called an EOI number. I've probably told this

Speaker:

story before, and I can't even tell you what EO

Speaker:

stands for, because I don't remember, but I know it

Speaker:

was important. And I know that I've had to hold

Speaker:

it up in customs. And I vividly remember I was

Speaker:

meant to be dropping my son up for this school.

Speaker:

And I started got this. He, I think it was

Speaker:

an email that came from you. And I don't know

Speaker:

why I was checking my emails. Then I got this

Speaker:

email basically saying, we need this number when you need

Speaker:

to fill in this form and provide this. And I

Speaker:

remember sitting on the stairs when my husband was getting

Speaker:

my son dressed and I was on the stairs, are

Speaker:

on my mobile, try to fill in this form really

Speaker:

quickly.

Speaker:

And it was a really stressful, and that could have

Speaker:

been avoided if only I'd known. But as I say,

Speaker:

I couldn't find anything at that time to tell me

Speaker:

all the things I need to do. So I didn't

Speaker:

forget anything or didn't miss anything out.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

And actually that will come back to that point in

Speaker:

just a minute and when I've gone and I just

Speaker:

told you my next two things that I've learned. So

Speaker:

I think my second one would be to be really

Speaker:

clear on your brief. So what we mean by this

Speaker:

is be really clear on what products you're looking for

Speaker:

is because I think I work at another reason. It

Speaker:

took me a long time to get my product launch

Speaker:

is I don't think I had a good enough idea

Speaker:

in my head of what exactly I was after. When

Speaker:

I started sourcing the products. I think I started looking

Speaker:

for the products and the, and I think part, if

Speaker:

it was, I was like, I'll wonder how much this

Speaker:

will cost of wondering if, you know, I had done

Speaker:

some research into a sort of product.

Speaker:

I was looking for a bit, not enough, not as

Speaker:

much as I would do now. And not as much

Speaker:

as I recommend anyone does now. I had an idea

Speaker:

of what I can sell them for so that when

Speaker:

I started thinking, Oh, I wonder what it was going

Speaker:

to cost to produce them all, to just go and

Speaker:

contact some people and find out. But I did that

Speaker:

before having a really clear idea before, so I wanted,

Speaker:

and so I just ended up wasting so much time

Speaker:

because someone would say, Oh, well, do you need to,

Speaker:

do you need to wash the label on it? And

Speaker:

I was thinking, do I need to washing label on

Speaker:

that? And then they said, or how fit, or do

Speaker:

you want the Muslin fabric to be how many layers?

Speaker:

Not to think, Oh, I don't know And or it,

Speaker:

you know, question after the question people would ask me.

Speaker:

And I just was like, Oh my, I don't know

Speaker:

who that actually. And then I would say something and

Speaker:

then maybe to another supplier, they'd say, Oh, I can't

Speaker:

do this, but I can't do that.

Speaker:

And I would say, okay, well just quote me for

Speaker:

that. And then I ended up with a load of

Speaker:

cuase that weren't actually light for light because I was

Speaker:

getting everyone to quote for something slightly different because even

Speaker:

I didn't know exactly what I needed. And so that

Speaker:

was a thing, another thing that wasted a lot of

Speaker:

time. So I would say that before you get to

Speaker:

the point of, I mean, by all means, if you

Speaker:

want to go in and look at Alibaba or a

Speaker:

different sourcing site to get an idea Before, you know,

Speaker:

before you've pulled your final product specifications together, do that.

Speaker:

But two things I mentioned is one is don't take

Speaker:

these prices that you see on the results screen to

Speaker:

be accurate because they're not, there are an idea and

Speaker:

what they will actually charge you is, is almost certainly

Speaker:

going to be higher.

Speaker:

So yeah, that's worth knowing. And the other thing is

Speaker:

that I put out a podcast a few weeks ago

Speaker:

called how to write the product specifications, or if you're

Speaker:

at a stage where you're thinking about looking to find

Speaker:

someone to manufacture your product, that is a great episode

Speaker:

to listen to me because I go through what the

Speaker:

product specification is, how to put it together, what to

Speaker:

include, how to write it. I try and keep it

Speaker:

as simple as possible. I promise you, it is really,

Speaker:

it is really simple. And if you've done your research

Speaker:

into your product and your market, even if you do

Speaker:

some fairly basic research, you'll have enough to pull that

Speaker:

together, but it's definitely worth it to listen. And I

Speaker:

think the third thing of it I learnt is if

Speaker:

I'm going to guess it was on the topic of

Speaker:

research as well is not to listen to everyone.

Speaker:

So when I was doing some research into things like,

Speaker:

you know, like, well, my first product is, which is

Speaker:

a bit less with my second product, which is my

Speaker:

towels. I thought I would do a bit more comprehensive

Speaker:

customer research and, you know, ask people what they thought

Speaker:

about them and what they thought about the price and

Speaker:

all of this kind of thing. And the information I

Speaker:

got back was it felt like it was all over

Speaker:

the place. So some people were like, Oh, I have

Speaker:

to pay 30 pounds for a towel. All of that

Speaker:

spec and other people were saying, well, I'd pay 10

Speaker:

pounds for that. And I was thinking, well, you know,

Speaker:

this is really high quality bamboo. And the quality is

Speaker:

really good at this house, this big that it's going

Speaker:

to last so long. So it's definitely worth more than

Speaker:

10 pounds. And I was a bit frustrated if I'm

Speaker:

honest, but then I realize when I took a step

Speaker:

back that actually the people who kind of work, not

Speaker:

undervaluing it because like, you know, what is it, what

Speaker:

they forced it was worth.

Speaker:

It was what they fought, but the people who were

Speaker:

put in the price and it was lower than what

Speaker:

I would have expected. And like, if I'm honest, weren't

Speaker:

actually my target customers. So for example, a lot of

Speaker:

them when in fact most of it may be all

Speaker:

of them, weren't parents and parents, and basically, you know,

Speaker:

my, my biggest customers, our parents, and yeah, because I

Speaker:

feel like perhaps if you don't know, I felt like,

Speaker:

yeah, PB, those we've what, how am I going to

Speaker:

wear this? I think I felt like if you don't

Speaker:

have children and perhaps you ma you may not always

Speaker:

sort of appreciate the fact that they're, like I was

Speaker:

saying before, about how will, you know, you get things

Speaker:

it's quite frustrating when they don't last very long or

Speaker:

when they fall the pole where the qualities would be

Speaker:

bad.

Speaker:

But I think, yeah, I think the, if you have

Speaker:

had more than one child and you've been through that

Speaker:

finger, why does no, nothing lasts longer than a couple

Speaker:

of weeks? You kind of get in a lot of

Speaker:

my message and is around that and how long things

Speaker:

last. So I think perhaps you'd get that a little

Speaker:

bit more. Is there any way my whole point in

Speaker:

is not to say who's right and who's wrong on,

Speaker:

on any of this, because I mean, it was all

Speaker:

fake person. And when we look for me, I think

Speaker:

some people would prefer a lower price point just to

Speaker:

have something that, you know, that's fine. And then that

Speaker:

will do. And some people like to invest in sort

Speaker:

of higher quality products, they're going to last a bit

Speaker:

longer. And now obviously that was all a personal choice,

Speaker:

but I think, yeah, My the thing I'm trying to

Speaker:

get out here at Here is that I was in

Speaker:

while I was asking people, which is great and something

Speaker:

I recommend you do ask people about, you know, your

Speaker:

product idea about products like yours.

Speaker:

You have to ask the right people. You can't ask

Speaker:

every time. I mean, you cannot ask everyone if you

Speaker:

wanna say, but you really need to think about who

Speaker:

you're listening to. And if their not your ideal customer,

Speaker:

you know, that they're not perhaps the right people to

Speaker:

have a conversation with. So those are the top things

Speaker:

that I've learnt. I thought it was a shame of

Speaker:

you. Is it coming back to something I said earlier

Speaker:

about how everything was confusing and I couldn't really work

Speaker:

out what it was meant to do and how I

Speaker:

kept making so many mistakes would, that was actually what

Speaker:

prompted me to start my blog. So if you haven't

Speaker:

come across a blog post, you may well have done.

Speaker:

If you haven't, it's blog.TinyChipmunk.Com. I'll link that up in

Speaker:

the show notes. And I started that because I was

Speaker:

like, this is a bit of a fare, like a

Speaker:

bit of a mountain to climb actually, when I was

Speaker:

getting started realizing a lot of things, I didn't know.

Speaker:

And it felt like a bit of a challenge. And

Speaker:

I just thought, you know what, I'm going to start

Speaker:

blogging about this. And then hopefully some other people we'll

Speaker:

find that we'll find a blog to be honest. So

Speaker:

don't think they did because I didn't really know anything

Speaker:

about a blog then. And then if it wasn't very

Speaker:

well optimized for SEO or anything like that, but anyway,

Speaker:

that's beside the point, but in my mind, I thought,

Speaker:

you know what? I documented all of this and it

Speaker:

might be really useful to someone else one day. So

Speaker:

that was how the blog started to it. As I

Speaker:

said, my original post was pretty bad, but there's still

Speaker:

there. You can go in and read them. I don't

Speaker:

know that that actually going to tell you a great

Speaker:

deal, but I just really wanted to document what I

Speaker:

was doing, what I was learning mistakes I was making

Speaker:

just to stop, you know, other people making the same

Speaker:

mistakes as me.

Speaker:

And that then led on a few years down the

Speaker:

line to be actually starting up my consultancies, so Vicki

Speaker:

Weinberg product creation. And this is where I work with

Speaker:

other people to help you to create and launch our

Speaker:

own products. So how do I do this as well

Speaker:

as a few things? So I still have the blog

Speaker:

that's still going. And obviously this podcast as well to

Speaker:

sit alongside it, hopefully the articles now are more comprehensive

Speaker:

and more useful than they were when I started all

Speaker:

those years ago with this certainly in my aim. And

Speaker:

I have an online course, I have two online courses

Speaker:

that actually, so I have for the full product creation

Speaker:

coarse, which takes you through from start to finish how

Speaker:

to create a product and get it ready to sell.

Speaker:

And then I have the validation course, which just takes

Speaker:

you through how to validate your product idea. So you

Speaker:

know, where it is worth going ahead with before you

Speaker:

actually invest in the entire course. So that mini course

Speaker:

is the first two modules. So you can buy those

Speaker:

first few months, two modules separately, go through those. And

Speaker:

then if you feel like actually your product is a

Speaker:

good idea, there is a market there's people out there

Speaker:

that will buy it, all that kind of thing. Then

Speaker:

you can, then you can go ahead and purchase the

Speaker:

other modules separately and take the entire course. I'm actually

Speaker:

at the time of recording, the course isn't yet is

Speaker:

an open at the moment for you or for new

Speaker:

registrations I'm at the time at this point, costs is

Speaker:

released.

Speaker:

It will be let see. So this is going to

Speaker:

go out. Yeah, that was 19th of June. So if

Speaker:

you're listening to this sort of in real time, is

Speaker:

it pretty soon after this episode is launched, you will

Speaker:

have a couple of days to get on to the

Speaker:

course if you're interested. So please get in touch if

Speaker:

you, if you'd like to tea and then I also

Speaker:

offer done for you services. So I can, I can

Speaker:

do you Product carry on your product research for you.

Speaker:

I can write product descriptions. I could advice on launch

Speaker:

strategies and I also have a consultancy. And that's probably

Speaker:

the favorite thing that I do. And this is where

Speaker:

I work at work with you on a one-to-one basis.

Speaker:

Although I'm planning on opening up some sort of group

Speaker:

coaching sessions later on this year, when things do you

Speaker:

know, we're in the world, it goes back to normal,

Speaker:

a bit boring, and I have a bit more head

Speaker:

space and no children here or one of the time,

Speaker:

but I do have an availability for one or two

Speaker:

more sort of one-to-one slots right now. So if you're

Speaker:

interested to get in touch and say, what I would

Speaker:

do then is we would talk through where you are

Speaker:

in your product creation journey. I answer any questions that

Speaker:

you have and basically help you out as much as

Speaker:

possible. And then we put together some next steps for

Speaker:

you to go off and do, and then we would

Speaker:

agree the next time we're going to me. And then

Speaker:

we would review your progress if you got stuck anywhere

Speaker:

my office.

Speaker:

So you can contact me by email or whatever it

Speaker:

is in between. And basically I would just help you

Speaker:

food, the product creation process, and the idea being that

Speaker:

you would do the work, or at least the majority

Speaker:

of the work yourself. Of course, it might be areas

Speaker:

sort of white in product descriptions. Why do you think

Speaker:

actually, you know, I just can't do this or put

Speaker:

up a photography that might be a little bits and

Speaker:

pieces where you need somebody else's help. But you know,

Speaker:

my goal is to just kind of empower you to

Speaker:

do this yourself. Should you want to, because while yes,

Speaker:

it's, it's challenging while there is a lot to it.

Speaker:

I just think that the benefits to you have been

Speaker:

able to do youth as yourself. We are just fantastic

Speaker:

because imagine that a lot of the confidence boost, it

Speaker:

gives you that you've done, that you've taken this idea

Speaker:

you had, and you've curated it into something real and

Speaker:

it's on the shelves, wherever that was Birch or real

Speaker:

life and people are buying it and we put up

Speaker:

using it and enjoying it and liking it and recommended

Speaker:

it.

Speaker:

I just think that's fantastic. And if I can help

Speaker:

you get there, Oh, it absolutely loved to sew. That

Speaker:

was my absolute favorite way to work with people is

Speaker:

to help you to do it yourself. And yeah, if

Speaker:

you're interested in that kind of thing, you know, you

Speaker:

can send me an e-mail is Vicki@tinychipmunk.com and I'll be

Speaker:

fine out a little bit more about how we could

Speaker:

work together and them, if you do it, do you

Speaker:

mention the podcast as well? And that's how you found

Speaker:

me, because this is always good to know how people

Speaker:

find, why you out. Okay. So I think that is

Speaker:

probably enough of me talking to you for today. So

Speaker:

thank you for indulging me or hate it. It's been

Speaker:

useful and interesting and yeah, and as always, I'm loved

Speaker:

to hear what you think so you can email me

Speaker:

Vicki@TinyChipmunk.com.

Speaker:

If you have the time to leave a review for

Speaker:

this podcast on Apple podcasts, I was absolutely loved that

Speaker:

I'm fairly new podcast still and you know, the more

Speaker:

reviews, the better, it really helps other people find out

Speaker:

about the show as well. So that will be fantastic

Speaker:

and tell all your friends, well, thank you so much.

Speaker:

Take care of it and speak to you soon.