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317 – The Smart Way to Brand Corporate Gifts with Chelsea Martin of Noms Bake Shop
Episode 31710th May 2021 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
00:00:00 00:59:50

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If you've ever wondered how to sell corporate gifts to companies, today's guest has some tips that will definitely help you out. How To Sell Corporate Gifts To Companies with Chelsea MartinChelsea is the co-owner of Noms Bake Shop, the industry expert in the art of convenient corporate gifting that leaves a lasting impression. In a noisy world of email marketing and forgettable corporate tchotchkes, Chelsea and the Noms Bake Shop team provide a premium solution to corporate and personal gifting that delights clients and showcases their brands. Chelsea has extensive experience in marketing and real estate and is passionate about helping companies impress, retain and grow their customers and client base. She lives in Scottsdale Arizona with her husband Trevor and two dogs.

BUSINESS BUILDING INSIGHTS

  • When someone you don't know has a powerful response to your product, that's a great validation there’s a market for your product.
  • Create connections with potential clients by getting them to experience your product. Putting your product in front of them will do a lot of the selling.
  • Research as much as you can during product development so you can come up with effective strategies to scale your business.  There will be investments to produce the quality of the product you are aiming for.
  • Find a way to stand out in your industry. Understand where your product fits in your niche and differentiate to create a unique product.

How To Sell Corporate Gifts To Companies

  • Don't send your logo-marked products to potential customers you have no relationship with. There's not much motivation for them to keep it.
  • Once you do have a relationship, your logo products will be more welcome. Make sure you're in the right place of the customer journey or are already connected. <-- Pro tip! 
  • Events like trade shows are the perfect place for promotional logo products such as pens.
  • Guide your clients on the best ways to use or present your products.
  • For the gifting industry, It is important that your product arrives in amazing condition since it represents the brand of your client. The whole experience should be exciting for customers.
  • Deliver joy across the country. The goal of your product is to make a person’s day and connect with them.
  • Share value-based content on social media that your customers can use in their own business
  • Tune in to hear how Noms went from a small farmers market seller to a nationwide corporate gift powerhouse!  Tons of amazing tips you can learn about building your own business

Chelsea's Contact Links

WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Twitter | Linkedin

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Become a Member of Gift Biz Breeze If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you'd like to do me a huge favor - please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: Rate This Podcast Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify Thank you so much! Sue

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Transcripts

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Gift biz unwrapped episode 317.

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No, it wasn't a neighbor.

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It wasn't a friend saying,

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wow, you're making a good cookie.

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It's a stranger.

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Who's giving you their money.

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Attention. Gifters bakers,

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crafters, and makers pursuing your dream can be fun.

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Whether you have an established business or looking to start one.

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Now you are in the right place.

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This is gift to biz unwrapped,

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helping you turn your skill into a flourishing business.

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Join us for an episode,

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packed full of invaluable guidance,

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resources, and the support you need to grow.

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Your gift biz.

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Here is your host gift biz gal,

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Sue moon Heights,

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my beer.

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And thanks for joining me here today.

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Gosh, it has been a few crazy weeks.

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If you've been following along,

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I just finished up three masterclasses and now we're winding down

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to accepting new students into maker's MBA.

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This is my business development program.

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Only offered once a year and doors are closing this Friday.

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If the idea of starting a business by selling your handmade

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products has been something that's been swirling around in your mind.

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There's never been a better time to get started with your

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business. That's because the attraction for handmade products along with the

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focus of supporting small businesses is at an all time high.

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When you join maker's MBA,

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you get step-by-step guidance and support.

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As you grow a business of your very own think of

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this program as a lifetime resource on how to,

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and what's next for every stage of your business.

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Once you're in,

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you have access for ever,

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including all the updates and enhancements to the training.

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If you want to check this out,

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you can go to gift biz,

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unwrapped.com forward slash makers,

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MBA for all the details,

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but act fast.

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As I said,

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I only do one class a year.

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So if you miss out 2022 will be your next chance.

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If this has been something that you've been thinking about for

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a while,

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don't wait any longer.

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I've got your back.

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And the time is now gift biz on wrapped.com

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forward slash makers' MBA.

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My guest today didn't let her dreams pass her by in

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fact, she and her husband started right at the beginning,

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just like we all do not knowing whether people would want

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her product and having no idea how she was going to

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get sales,

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but they started small and they followed along through all the

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growth steps to get to where they are today.

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Not without challenges,

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mind you,

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but the point is they took action and they got started.

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And where would we be today without their delicious cookies?

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I I'm getting ahead of myself here.

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So let's just go ahead and get into the show Today.

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I am so excited to introduce you to Chelsea Martin.

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Chelsea is the co-owner of noms bake.

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Shop the industry expert in the art of convenient corporate gifting.

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That leaves a lasting impression in a noisy world of email

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marketing and forgettable corporate chotchkies Chelsea and the non bake shop

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team provide a premium solution to corporate and personal gifting that

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delights clients and showcases their brands.

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Chelsea has extensive experience in marketing and real estate and is

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passionate about helping companies impress,

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retain and grow their customers and client base.

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She lives in Scottsdale,

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Arizona with her husband,

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Trevor, and two dogs love the addition of dogs there.

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Chelsea, welcome to the gift biz on wrapped podcast.

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Well thank you for having me.

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Well, you're going to love this because actually in the time,

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since I've connected with you,

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we have three dogs now because my husband who will never

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say no to a challenge,

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I guess he took what I said to heart.

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When I said that nobody can surprise me because I always

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have my spidey senses up on things.

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And I had casually mentioned that one day about how nobody

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is able to surprise me,

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not on purpose.

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I'm not digging,

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but I they'll just give it away in some way.

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And he came through with a surprise one morning,

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right before leaving for work,

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where the doorbell rang and I opened it and there was

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a woman holding a great Dane puppy as a surprise.

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So we have a third little puppy family.

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Oh my gosh.

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I love that.

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And so now you have to tell me the names real

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quick. Okay.

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So Julius is our boxer mix.

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He's adorable.

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He's a boxer Mastiff.

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He's the smallest of them.

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And Remington is our great Dane.

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Who's the older one.

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And our newest addition is Bo.

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And we call him that he's got these cute little,

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like kind of bow legs,

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cause he's a puppy.

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And so he's also a great Dane puppy,

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but he's 65 pounds in 12 weeks old.

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Oh, adorable.

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While we're going to switch from being animal lovers to,

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I'm going to start talking about another thing that I love.

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I don't know if you do or not Chelsea,

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but it's candles.

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And I have a traditional question here on the show that

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gives us a little bit of another way to see and

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know you before we start our conversation.

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If you were to describe a motivational candle that would really

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resonate with you,

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what would it look like by color?

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And then quote,

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This is going to be strange.

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But I think as far as quote for me,

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something that resonates really,

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and this is very well known,

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but something that resonates with me very strongly is whether you

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believe you can or can't you're right.

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That is something that really has resonated with me over the

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recent years and all of the goals that I've started to

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pursue and the confidence that I've had in myself,

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this is a little strange,

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but I think it would be actually a black candle,

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but I think it would be covered in glitter because that

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just is me.

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I live in black clothes,

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all of my clothes are like black leggings.

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I'm very minimalist when it comes to design,

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I guess.

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And I try to be a spark of joy I guess,

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in life.

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And so I think I'm a little bit of a conundrum

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in regards to,

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I don't know if I'm an introvert.

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I don't know if I'm an extrovert.

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It just depends on the day.

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So sometimes I'm a black candle.

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Sometimes I'm a glittery candle.

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I have no idea.

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That's perfect.

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I love that.

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And just so you know,

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I am in black leggings right now and I'm a totally

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black girl.

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How many minutes did we talk before we started pressing record?

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Like, we'd be dangerous if we were together because we were

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just be talking forever.

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Yes. But I love it.

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And I love that technology has allowed us to even do

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this where we can connect like this and find people that

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you have so much in common with that you wouldn't even

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usually be able to connect with,

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but I totally am with you on it.

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And my closet is black and dark gray leggings Completely a

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hundred percent.

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I agree.

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Let's dive into the topic at hand,

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which is gnomes bake shop.

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I'm so interested in understanding and learning how you got your

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start and just share with us a little bit about that

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moment that you got to where you started thinking that you

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were going to start a business like this.

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How did it all come together?

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Absolutely. So this story or how this came to be was

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really a series of fortunate events,

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but just all of them occurring kind of at once to

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sort of create the onset of this business.

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And it really started way back in the day.

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I guess my husband,

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Trevor, he has two sisters and when they were growing up

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their father who is actually a retired computer programmer,

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but back then as a hobby,

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just for an interest,

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he would bake cookies.

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That was something he really liked refining the recipes and really

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making them the best they can.

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And I think a product of doing that is you're of

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course testing them out,

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which sounds like a kid's dream really,

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or anybody's dream.

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But when you're making cookies and you're refining them while you're

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going to have tons of cookies.

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And so he would bring them to Trevor or his sisters,

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Andy, or Alison,

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they would go to their sporting events or school lacrosse matches

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and things like that.

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And their father Mike would bring the cookies to those.

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And it was just like a way for people to gather

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and enjoy them.

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And so growing up,

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I kind of make jokes about how they messed up the

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calibration of what's a good cookie because they all grew up

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with these delicious cookies and everybody loved them,

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but that was the norm for them.

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And so I think their standard was way higher.

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Whereas when I try the cookies,

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I think they're amazing.

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It was normal for them.

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And so growing up,

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people would rave about their cookies.

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They would make holiday kind of gift baskets of cookies for

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the neighbors and things like that.

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But it was just more of a hobby and that continued

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on. And when my husband and I first met and started

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dating, we were going on a family vacation with my family

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to Lake Powell and kind of like a camping type of

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thing. And they sent a little basket of treats of cookies

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and brownies and bars and things like that with us.

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And so my husband brought them to my family and they

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did what every body does when they try them,

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which was rave about the flavor and how amazing they were.

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And I think when somebody is really good at something,

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people tend to say,

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you should sell this.

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If you are really good at jewelry,

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people say you should sell this.

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And so this was no exception.

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My parents are very entrepreneurial and they said,

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you should come to our office as a vendor and sell

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these cookies to the employees.

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And that's something that a lot of companies will have people

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come in for trail mix or different crafts or things to

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sell just onsite to employees.

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And we thought that that might be an interesting,

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just extra side kind of hobby type of thing,

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to get,

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to connect with people and all of that.

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So none of this was about really being a business yet.

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It was more of just,

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this is kind of a cool opportunity.

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We could do a little bit of business,

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but just a fun way to connect with people now that

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his dad is retired.

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And when he started selling cookies locally,

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the response was just really,

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really overwhelmingly positive.

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People would line up knowing he's coming weekly on this day

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to get their favorite flavor of cookies or they'd ask if

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he missed a weaker,

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didn't come,

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they needed their cookie fix.

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My husband was looking for a new project to get involved

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in and started to see that reaction.

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And that reaction from the product was from people that did

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not know us.

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So it wasn't a neighbor.

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It wasn't a friend saying,

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wow, you're making a good cookie.

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It's a stranger.

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Who's giving you their money.

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And they're excited about seeing you.

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And I think that that was a really powerful response.

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Yeah. I want to jump in here because that is so

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important. And it's one of the trigger points that I talk

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to a lot and give his listeners.

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If you have been following me,

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you know that I talk about this,

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validating the idea.

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And I love Chelsea that you brought it up because yes,

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your friends and family are always going to reinforce and support

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all of that you're doing right.

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But when you get that first person who doesn't know you,

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so they have no vested interest,

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then that should be like a Mark in the sand that

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your product is validated to move forward.

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And I love that.

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That just came up naturally in the story.

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I only wanted to point it out for everyone.

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Who's listening that if you get into that experience,

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that's a point where you should recognize,

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because like you said,

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Chelsea also that a lot of people will say to you,

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Oh, your product is so great.

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You should start a business.

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They don't have to run the business and invest in the

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business of time and money you do.

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So it's nice that they say that,

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but it's at this exact point that you're talking about where

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you've probably got something,

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you need to see it a couple more times and then

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you can be on your way.

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And it's all with good intentions,

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right? Your friends,

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your family,

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they're all supportive.

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And it's not that they're lying to you.

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It's that they love you and they love what you're doing.

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And they want to support you when someone takes out their

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wallet or lines up to give you their money in exchange

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for something that you've created.

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They're saying that what you're doing is a value and that's

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a really powerful moment.

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And so I think that that for us was really exciting

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and that really sparked interest with my husband.

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He and I are very,

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very similar in so many ways.

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But one thing that we're different in is I am a

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lot more cautious and reserved,

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and he is an entrepreneur.

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He was born an entrepreneur.

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I was built into one.

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And so it's natural for him.

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And he thought,

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okay. And now we have a proof of concept.

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People want these cookies,

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but cookies can live in a lot of different spaces in

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the world because people love cookies,

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but where do we fit?

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That's another important part with this as,

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okay, I have a product,

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but where do I fit in the world?

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Because I can go to the gas station and buy cookies.

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I can go to a bakery and buy cookies and sit

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down and have some coffee.

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I can go online and buy cookies on Amazon.

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So where do we fit in this world,

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in this space?

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And so at this time,

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as well,

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simultaneously, I had mentioned before,

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my parents also owned a company,

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their entrepreneurs,

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and it was around the holidays and we were over at

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their house and their countertop was starting to stack up with

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holiday gifts.

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And that's normal around the holiday season.

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Businesses or professionals send holiday gifts to other professionals,

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whether that's a business owner to clients or it's business to

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business. And it's partners just saying,

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thank you for being an amazing partner throughout the year,

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or congratulations on your success.

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There's so many different reasons,

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but a lot of companies do holiday gifting.

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The problem with that is if you're a business owner,

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you know,

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you are so busy all the time.

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You and I briefly talk offline and talks about how making

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time during vacation for work.

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And it was like,

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well, it never really switches off.

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And it's not a bad thing.

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It's just that you are always working because this is your

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life. This is the thing that you're building.

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Well, if you're busy,

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the biggest thing is you don't necessarily have time to send

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out a ton of client gifts and you don't have time

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to send out a ton of client gifts that are personalized.

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So basically you end up sending out something because you want

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to say,

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thank you for being such an amazing client throughout the,

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you want to send something as a gesture of gratitude,

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but you're also super busy.

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The quarters closing out the years,

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closing out.

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So you end up doing something that's convenient.

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And I think most of us have seen the gift basket

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that has been gifted because it's a staple in the holiday

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gifting world.

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And that's because you're so busy,

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but you want to send something beautiful and nice.

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And so you end up sending a gift basket.

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Well, if you're a business owner and you're sending 50 or

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a hundred gift baskets,

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depending on how big your business is,

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you're likely also receiving a bunch of gift baskets because all

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of those people that you're sending to are also in the

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same boat as you.

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They're also busy and they want to say,

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thank you too,

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but what are you going to do with 12 gift baskets

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of crackers on your countertop throughout the holidays?

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I'm going to eat them all.

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Just if you wanted an answer,

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Parents didn't necessarily eat them all,

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but the children did.

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So we were those scavengers going through all of them.

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But what worked for us is that actually in a way

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was kind of a spark of,

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Hey, maybe this is a space for us because actually gourmet

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gifts are really great,

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especially during the holidays,

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but throughout the year,

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because what it is is it's something just like you said,

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it's something you're going to enjoy,

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especially in the holidays that brings people together.

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But really it's something everyone stops and enjoys and they look

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through it.

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And it kind of just gives you a little bit of

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joy for a moment.

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It's a treat.

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And we ended up going through and we're like,

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all of these gift baskets are great and they're beautiful.

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And they cost a lot of money,

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but they all have the same thing in them.

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They're all the same pretzels.

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They're all the same crackers and kind of like not old

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cookies, but like the harder cookies that can last through the

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apocalypse. So they all have the same thing.

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So we thought,

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well, the Gore make gift is still a good idea,

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but how can we insert ourselves?

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And we are pretty obsessed with our product quality.

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So how can we deliver these amazing cookies around the holidays

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and stand out from the gift basket while still being something

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that you can enjoy.

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And that's really where our company started to find our footing

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in that we have created a gift that is a customizable

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gift box.

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So it can have your branding on it,

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or it could have your messaging,

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or it could say made,

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especially for SU we can make fully customizable gift boxes that

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are filled with our gourmet cookies.

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So it allows that extra special touch that stands out that

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says, I've made this for you.

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I specifically made this for you,

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but it's just as convenient as sending a gift basket,

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but it has that extra meaning that it feels like you

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went the extra mile,

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even though you are a busy professional and you don't have

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the time to necessarily go the extra mile,

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if that makes sense.

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Totally makes sense.

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Okay. So I love this because you've really identified where you

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will stand within the industry.

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And I totally agree with you.

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You don't know this Chelsea,

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but I come out of the gift basket industry.

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I had a gift basket business.

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I'm very still LinkedIn to that business.

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So I want your thoughts on this too.

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And I think I just said that I had a gift

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basket business way back in the day.

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And the thing that I liked so much in mine were

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all gourmet gift baskets,

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customized, all of that.

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But the thing that I felt was so good about the

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gift baskets and specialty gourmet is right now,

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lots of people.

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And to your point,

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they don't need to see branded products.

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People, especially if you're a corporation,

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what do you get for all your customers?

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If it's consumable and can be an experience for somebody versus

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yet another Chachi,

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as you said,

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I love that you use that word.

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Let's say that word.

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I love it so much,

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but you present something totally different because you've been talking this

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whole time about how the quality of the cookies are so

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different from anything else that's out there.

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So you're taking something that I'm already seeing within the industry

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is really good,

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but in terms of a consumable product as a gift,

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but you're enhancing the experience because it's something that many people,

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unless they've tried cookies from mom's bake shop before they would

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never have had before.

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Absolutely. And I use gift baskets because they sparked what,

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the path that we went on,

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because we were seeing in the case of people who have

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these large companies,

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they truly had 12 or more gift baskets on their countertop.

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And so that was the thing that sparked our path.

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But exactly what you said,

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like when we started to investigate the space,

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it's not just about gift baskets.

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It's also,

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okay. Well,

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what are people doing in the corporate space?

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Well, they're sending pens with their logo on it,

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right? And turning to get eating.

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I'm trying to make a connection with,

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because beyond here's the other part,

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it's not just about the holidays.

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Gifting in the corporate space happens throughout the year for different

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reasons. And one of those being prospects,

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I'm trying to create connections with possibly or potential new clients.

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And I am trying to cut through the noise of email

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marketing and I want to send them something to stand out.

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Well, why is sending a pen with my logo necessarily going

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to get a callback?

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What does that say to this prospect?

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So we really wanted to create a gift where it says

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like, Hey,

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I'm not only sending a gift about me.

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This is for you.

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A lot of our gifts actually,

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while they might have the client's logo on it,

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they put the recipient's names straight on the box that says,

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no, I took time out of my day.

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I specifically want to connect with you.

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This is not just a big send of generic pens.

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It might be in a way in the sense of they

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might be wanting any business is trying to connect with multiple

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people at once.

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But it's about making that person feel special and unique and

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not just another name on a list and not just another

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email recipient from a marketing campaign.

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And so I think that's really where we've started to really

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shine beyond just the holidays where we are a really great

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gift to give at the holidays for the exact same reasons

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you said.

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And like the gourmet gifting,

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like I mentioned,

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it's a good thing.

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It gathers people around.

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It makes them happy.

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But on the year round spectrum,

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we stand out from the pack because we're not sending a

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tumbler that necessarily has my logo on it.

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Because if I receive that,

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I don't have a connection with you.

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I don't know you.

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So why do I want to keep the tumbler with the

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logo on it?

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But if you send me a box of cookies or something

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that has my name on it,

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and like a handwritten note or some kind of personalized note

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in there that it's like,

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wow, this person cares.

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They really want.

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Yeah. I mean,

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I totally agree with you about those promotional products.

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And I think this is a good place to talk about

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it because I always am sensitive to when people have just

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bought 200 mugs with their name on it and they're giving

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it to their clients,

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you know,

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things like that.

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I mean,

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yeah, there's a place for promotional products.

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Trade shows is a great place for promotional products because people

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will pick up that stuff all day long.

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But when you're doing a more intimate,

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personal gifting,

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even if it's corporate out to a number of customers,

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I am a hundred percent with you.

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And I guess I just want everyone to be thinking about

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that, that,

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how do you feel when you're receiving logoed products from people

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that you're not really even doing business with yet,

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or just on a very light basis?

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I guess I'd say the value of the logo is for

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the company.

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That's sending it to you.

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It's not you receiving it.

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Right. Do you have anything else to say about then I

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want to go back to how your business evolved,

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but since we started talking about this for anybody else,

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who's considering doing some logoed products or already has some promotional

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products that they're going to be using.

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Do you have any direction for them on that?

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I think that's a good point to make,

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because I don't want people to hear this and think,

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wow, well,

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that's the direction I was going is doing logoed products because

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that is what we do.

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Right? We do that.

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But what's important to us is that we guide our clients

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and how to present that in what strategies to use.

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So for example,

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we do all of our customization in house.

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We have laser etching machines and printers,

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but when we're talking with our client,

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we're asking,

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what is your goal here?

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Because it could be that the approach is,

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well, you can still use logos on things,

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but maybe send it your recipients logo.

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Are they a business owner?

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You do the same tactic,

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but can you pivot in a way,

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because if I send something with someone else's logo on it,

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they are so impressed because guess what?

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You love seeing your own logo on things,

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right? So if you send the recipient's logo on a box

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or on a pen or a tumbler,

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right, they love it.

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They love seeing their own thing.

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And then also you've just now reinforced.

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They know exactly who sent it because it means something to

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them. So there is still a methods to the madness,

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you know,

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and there's still approaches you can take,

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and you can still send things with your logo on them,

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but just make sure that you're in the right place,

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in the journey or in the relationship with those people.

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Because for me,

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I would send something to someone with a noms logo,

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like maybe a mug there's mugs that have like the little

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cookie holder underneath it,

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where you can put one cookie,

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but I would send that to them after they've had a

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connection with us right after we've had a partnership or in

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some companies maybe after they have,

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if you have a membership kind of company after they've joined

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your membership or after they've joined on been onboarded onto whatever

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your program is,

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so that they feel like they're part of your team and

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connected with you,

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that's a better time to send something like that.

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Just not always when you're trying to make that initial connection,

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it's just about knowing where in the relationship to do that.

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So it's not that you can't ever send it.

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It's just,

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and even like you said,

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like events,

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I will tell you this there as much as I say,

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Oh, like logoed pens,

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don't get me wrong.

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Exactly. What you mentioned at there is an expo at my

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former job that they'd have every year.

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It was like a health and wellness expo.

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And every year I was ready for that expo because I

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was heading to this one specific insurance booth because they had

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the best pens and I would collect them.

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And I would like that year,

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I'd get my year's worth of pens.

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And I would rock those pens all year because they were

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the best pens.

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So as much as I say that there was a time

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and a place for those pens,

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like I loved him.

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And so there is a right time,

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right place.

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It's just about knowing where that is versus trying to push

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chotchkies on to people as a method of getting your name

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out there.

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Yeah. I agree.

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I like what you said,

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it's the right place in the journey,

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right. Place in the customer experience.

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And I think different things with your logo.

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So your own business logo,

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not the client's logo,

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right. There are different things that fit in the right place.

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Like you were just saying at a trade show.

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Yes. And man,

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I cannot keep pens at my trade show booth.

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I can't like they go like,

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so I have a good pen and we just switched them

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up and they're still there even better now.

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So heaven forbid when we get out there again,

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you know,

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it's crazy,

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no pen,

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this, they go right away,

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but that's good because if someone was interested and takes a

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pen, then they are going to remember being at your booth.

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Maybe they had further questions that they want to ask you.

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So there's a trigger for the reason your logo pen is

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at your booth and you want people to take them.

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There's a purpose for it there.

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Right. So I think what you're saying is the place in

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the journey,

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but then also what's the intention.

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What are you trying to do if you're spreading your logo?

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And if you're trying to do it,

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I don't know,

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to like force your brand on people.

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That's not the right thing if you're doing it.

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Because like you were just talking about that mug with a

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little place for your cookie.

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That makes me really interested.

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And you know,

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so for example,

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the pens,

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right? Not to beat a dead horse over the pens,

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but you would think that at a trade show or at

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an event,

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our cookies would be an excellent thing to have.

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And they are right.

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Cookies are going to get people to your booth.

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Everyone's going to come over.

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They swarm the booth,

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they all grab cookies.

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Well, guess what?

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They don't do very well for us for events,

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for exposure,

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because what happens is people grab the cookies and then they

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eat them and then they throw away the wrapper and then

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they completely forget who we are.

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And then we're gone because they just wanted a snack.

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Yeah. And there's nothing to take away or any lasting connection

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or memory.

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So there's no retention of our company.

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And that's something that we had to learn through trial and

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error because we,

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of course,

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you're going to think cookies and we're always going to have

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cookies, but that doesn't actually get anyone to remember us or

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call us after the next day.

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It's just gone.

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It's a fleeting memory.

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And so it's such a funny thing because you would have

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thought, well,

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surely that's going to be great,

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but actually pens are longer lasting.

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So when you're going out to trade shows,

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your intent is not for people to like your wholesale,

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like have your cookies in a shop or things like that.

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Your intent is to create client relation programs where you're sending

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boxes of cookies to their clients for retention growth,

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all of that.

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Right? Right.

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So most of our events we've pivoted to more of the

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events where we can capture people that would have a need

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for gifting to their clients or prospects.

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Yes. Right.

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That makes total sense.

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Okay. This has been a fabulous conversation on that.

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Let's back up again in terms of company development.

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I know we're jumping around a little bit,

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but I want to get kind of a flow of how

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you did this.

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So you got to the point where you had validation that

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someone who didn't know you was starting to buy the product.

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So there was some reason why they were attracted to your

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cookies. Where was the transition then to formally establishing the business

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more from Chelsea on numbs bake shop development,

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right after this quick break.

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Yes. It's possible increase your sales without adding a single customer.

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How you ask by offering personalization with your products,

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wrap a cake box with a ribbon saying happy 30th birthday,

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Annie, or at a special message and date to wedding or

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party favors for an extra meaningful touch.

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Where else can you get customization with a creatively spelled name

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or find packaging?

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That includes a saying whose meaning is known to a select

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to not only our customers willing to pay for these special

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touches. They'll tell their friends and will spread about your company

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and products.

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You can create personalized ribbons and labels in seconds,

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make just one or thousands without waiting weeks or having to

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spend money to order yards and yards print words in any

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language or font,

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add logos,

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images, even photos,

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perfect for branding or adding ingredient and flavor labels to,

Speaker:

for more information,

Speaker:

go to the ribbon print company.com.

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So my husband decided at that moment,

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and he had worked in various things including real estate.

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And he was just,

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I think at this point he was thinking,

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okay, I see an opportunity right now to build something.

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And like I had mentioned before,

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I think he just has this entrepreneurial spirit about him.

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He will just jump in,

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which I think is why he had been in things like

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real estate,

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because that's something that's an independent professional where he can just

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really dive in himself.

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And so he saw this and thought,

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all right,

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I'm going to start looking for packaging.

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And because now this is not just a cookie that we're

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sealing with our hands and just handing out at a call

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center. What are we going to do for packaging?

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For the boxes?

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There were a couple of logistics that we had to figure

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out one,

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are we going to ship these?

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Because the goal is not to just live in Arizona only

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it would be we're sending gifts.

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So that means that how do we ship nationwide?

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Well, we can,

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but we don't want to ship baskets of cookies nationwide because

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if we put them in a basket,

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how do we want to pack that?

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We wanted the presentation to be different.

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I feel a little bit resistant saying this,

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but we wanted it to be like Apple asked in the

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sense of it to stand out and be different for awhile.

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We were saying,

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we're not your grandma's cookies and it's not because it's not

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great. The Garmin doesn't grandma makes great cookies.

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It was just because we were trying to say,

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we want to look unique from the other cookie competitors.

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How do we do that?

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And so we started looking at boxes and that's where my

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husband started doing a lot more research.

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And that made us realize what a tip of the iceberg,

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this whole process really was.

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Because then we realized if we wanted to manufacture these cookies

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and we wanted to ship them.

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We also had to look at the laws in regards to

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shipping across state lines.

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So we ended up getting a commercial kitchen facility,

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well, to get a commercial kitchen facility,

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we either have to rent one or we have to buy

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one. And my husband is a two feet in all at

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once a type of person.

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So he started researching where we could acquire a property,

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which we did.

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We acquired a property.

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Now we have to design a commercial kitchen.

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Well, none of us are bakers.

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None of us have this experience.

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This was not something where we were born.

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And Trevor's grandfather has been a Baker since the early days.

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And we grew up around this.

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This was all of us figuring this out from a home

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kitchen to a commercial kitchen.

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And I know this because my son-in-law is a chef.

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And I had no idea about this,

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that you just don't take a recipe that you make in

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a kitchen.

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And then when you're going to do it in bulk,

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you just don't use the same proportion to it's totally different.

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Oh man.

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Yes. So we went from baking 24 cookies at a time

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to being able to bake 2,500

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cookies. And even that little part,

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which was just one tiny component of all of these moving

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parts is a huge undertaking.

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So Trevor's sister,

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Andy actually ended up working with Trevor's father and my father-in-law

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and they ended up working together and she kind of started

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to take on the reins as the head Baker and learn

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how to scale up a recipe and that whole process of

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testing it.

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Because again,

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this company is about our recipes at its very core.

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It's about the cookies.

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And we were not sacrificing that.

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We did a ton of research,

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which I say with a smile on my face,

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because who doesn't want to do a lot of research by

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ordering a ton of competitors,

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cookies and eating them well,

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you did a ton of research and we ordered so many

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cookies and I have to tell you another part of this

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whole process was our clients are not the end recipient,

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99% of the time.

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This is such a unique industry where the person buying this,

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doesn't actually see how it arrives.

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And if you saw how some of these actually arrived,

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you would not be buying them because you wouldn't want that

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gift to represent you.

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That is so true.

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Yeah. Get cookies in tins.

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Well, a cookie in a tin can thing that gets shipped

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nationwide and we live in Phoenix that gets delivered in Phoenix.

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Even if it wasn't the summer months say it's spring time

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and it's been rattled around on a delivery truck.

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We actually have some that we are not the type that

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are like very negative or after anyone.

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But there were some that we actually did have to contact

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the company and say like,

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we shouldn't pay for this.

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They arrived as dust.

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They were in a tin can.

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That was aligned with plastic.

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And then the whole bag was just crumbles.

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And somebody is buying that as a gift for somebody else.

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But now if I received it and it was that bad,

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I might tell the sender,

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but if you receive it and you have broken cookies,

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usually you just think the sender,

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you're not going to tell them,

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Hey, just so you know,

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your cookies arrived,

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bro. Like you don't want to be.

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Right. Right.

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And that does reflect,

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even though they recognize that the company that sent it,

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isn't the company that made it because it's a gift that,

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and they're using another source.

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If you will.

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It still indirectly goes back to the initial sender and it

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reflect well.

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So I think that that is really important.

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And first off,

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I love the fact that you did all that research.

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And how fun was that?

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Probably like you said,

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to taste all those cookies.

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I have to interject for a half a second because it

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brings me back.

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And it makes me smile.

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When I had my gift basket business,

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I had one big corporate account that for the holidays I

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had more than one corporate account,

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but this particular account for the holidays,

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we sent a particular brand of toffee.

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It was a bananas,

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foster flavored toffee.

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It was so unbelievable.

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And we sent enough in volume that I agreed with them

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that we would not carry this product any other time of

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year. And I wouldn't offer it to anybody else in that

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exact manner.

Speaker:

And that company got known for that holiday pro because we

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also branded the boxes with their names.

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So they had no idea like private labeled and people would

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talk all year long about that product.

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And so like that was an obvious order every single year.

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But that just shows the value of doing something like that

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when your product is that good.

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Right. So I could totally see people wanting to reorder holiday

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gifts from you because your product is so good.

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And then that company,

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which is your customer right.

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Gets known for it because that's what they send every year.

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Right. And that is something that we've talked to certain companies

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because later in the journey we have that scalability of like

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creating products in volume.

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We have had people approach us,

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Hey, we'd love to send maybe a specialty flavor.

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And if they're willing to buy at a certain volume,

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we're all about it.

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Let's do it.

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Let's create something cool and unique to you guys that is

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also speaks to your brand because sometimes there's companies that have

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certain things that they think that would be really cool and

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compliment their brand.

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And so we love doing something like that,

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where we can actually create something that a brand is excited

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about and it becomes their thing.

Speaker:

And coupled with the fact that you had mentioned,

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a lot of recipients would understand if cookies came broken or

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not at a hundred percent,

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because it is a third-party.

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Well, I do agree with that because most of the time

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they do,

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but the positioning that we are in,

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we want our gift boxes have your brand all over it.

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Right. So we're showcasing your brand on the box.

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So even though that I think in the back of their

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mind, they know,

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okay, this insurance company,

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isn't a cookie provider,

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but the whole box is branded with their logo or whatever

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that is in a way we do sort of remove ourselves

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from that.

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So it is kind of a little bit extra of a

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representation of that brand.

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So it is extra important to us on top of everything

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that our product arrives in an amazing way,

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because that's representing that company even more so with their logo

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all over it.

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And we just really wanted to stand out.

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We just really wanted people to open the box and see

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all the different,

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because all of our cookies are individually packaged.

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So have all the different cool,

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colorful packaging,

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and then have each cookie really be the quality that got

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us here in the first place.

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We didn't want to let any of that fall off because

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we are now mass producing.

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Well, and to your point earlier,

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you used the word or the term Apple-esque,

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it sounds to me with what you were just describing.

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I mean,

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you're really paying attention to when you're talking about the presentation

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and the unpackaging,

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if you will,

Speaker:

just like people talk about unpackaging a new iPhone,

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it's the experience of discovering what's in the box and each

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individual cookie,

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as much as it is,

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how the cookies taste.

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So it's like a double layer experience.

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Exactly. And that's exactly what we're going for is just that

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we really know and believe our cookies are good.

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I mean,

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I can't be around them too much because it's dangerous,

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but I believe our cookies are good,

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but we really wanted the whole experience to be exciting.

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One, you weren't necessarily expecting anything to land on your desk

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and then you get this white box with a magnetic kind

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of closure and a full color insides.

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And then on top of it,

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the cookies are good.

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It just,

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we wanted each layer to be impressive and really make someone's

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day. And ultimately that helps fulfill the goal that the sender

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is wanting,

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which is one to,

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of course,

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make that person's day,

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but to really connect with them.

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And especially in these days where we're not connecting,

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I mean,

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we're getting there where we're connecting in person,

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but now this is also a way to really connect and

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share cookies and get that meeting virtually let's share cookies over

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a zoom meeting or something like that.

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But it's a way to kind of deliver joy across the

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country and still make connections as if you were just across

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the table.

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Yes, for sure.

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Okay. Question here that I've been wondering about and trying to

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slip in,

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but I just have to ask it because I know everyone's

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going to be wondering.

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So you're talking about all the research that you've done,

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finding that you're going to need a commercial kitchen uncovering all

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the packaging solutions on how you actually want it to look.

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Where was the point that you actually started selling?

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Were you already selling and then building this up as you

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were selling or were you putting this all together before you

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even went to market?

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Oh man.

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Okay. So yeah,

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it's like the chicken or the egg or the cart or

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the horse.

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So this was a very tough place to be in because

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we were already selling,

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but it depends on what you define as selling because we

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weren't selling at the scale that we were building,

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we were selling at the farmer's market call center scale,

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selling cookies in just individual packaging without the gift boxes we

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were selling first.

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And that's where we got that proof of concept.

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And then we had to start to figure out how to

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build a site and do the commercial kitchen.

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We had to do all of that and invest in all

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of that to be able to provide the product,

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how we wanted to provide it in the sense that we

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had to invest in the commercial kitchen.

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We had to invest in starting to build a website.

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We had to pre buy all the packaging in order to

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then offer it so that we could start selling.

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So it was sort of both,

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but it was really more that we were investing in that

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stuff before the real selling began because we weren't making the

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level of money from the local farmer's market type of things.

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We weren't making that kind of money to grow into it.

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So I kind of call it,

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like, I don't know if you know this,

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but like kind of call it like goldfish syndrome.

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And I don't know if that's actually a term,

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but when I was younger,

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my girlfriend had a goldfish that she got from one of

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those elementary school fairs that costs like 10 cents or something,

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or you win it.

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And she kept putting it in larger jars because it was

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getting bigger.

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And because she didn't realize until later until we were in

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high school,

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that the reason it was getting bigger was because she kept

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putting it in larger jars.

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We didn't know that goldfish grow to the size of their

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environment. So she had this massive goldfish.

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Well, this was kind of like what we did in the

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beginning, which was that we were a small goldfish and my

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husband was like,

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no, we want to be a big goldfish.

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So we're going to create the environments.

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We didn't do the traditional we're in the home kitchen.

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Let's rent a commercial kitchen for a little bit and wait,

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and then let's go and get a bigger one.

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We went from zero to a hundred.

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There was a lot of growing pains in that,

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but we definitely had to invest in the infrastructure in order

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to offer the products.

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But that's the nature of our product.

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It doesn't always have to be that way.

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It was just that for us to ship across state lines,

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we had to have a commercial kitchen for us to offer

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the packaging that we wanted.

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We had to buy it in bulk first.

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So there were a couple of things with our particular industry

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that might not apply to every other business that we just

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had to make some of those leaps to do.

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And I have to say that was a challenge for me.

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My husband handles that stuff very well,

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but like I said,

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I was a little bit more conservative.

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So that was a challenge for me to do almost like

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you definitely have to invest in yourself.

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Yeah. I mean,

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it's a decision that you make right.

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And different people have different levels of risks that they're willing

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to take.

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I love where you talk about how you started at the

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craft shows to get proof of concept.

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And then from there you just made a huge leap and

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jump all at one time.

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Other people will grow step by step by step.

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And you can't say one is better than another,

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obviously the way you chose to do it is paying off

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very well.

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It's just a choice you make as a business owner.

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Right? That's all Absolutely.

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And I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone.

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Whereas my husband,

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it was a little bit more comfortable for him.

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It depends on the industry and knowing what you did,

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but at the same time,

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there is a reward to it.

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I will say one of the best feelings that I have

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had recently is that to us,

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one of our biggest competitors at the time,

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isn't even a competitor,

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that's a blip on other people's radar nationwide.

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But for us,

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we came out of the woodwork and we ended up showing

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up on people's radars and causing them to change the way

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that they did business.

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We caused them to change the way that they did business

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because we ended up disrupting their low by how we did

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it. And it was because we made that jump.

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So there were things that there are rewards to doing it,

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but like you said,

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there's not one better than the other.

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It's about knowing what your ability is,

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where you are in the industry,

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what you're offering.

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So it's just doing your research on your,

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your particular business model.

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Okay. So let's talk now about your building,

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the commercial kitchen,

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or you're up to the point where your producing product from

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that kitchen.

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So you're able to now get national business.

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At what point did you start approaching corporate accounts to get

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the business?

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And how did you do that?

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I love your response to these questions.

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That's funny.

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The reason why is it's so funny because going through this,

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I remember being in the depths of all of this,

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but going back,

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I'm like,

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wow, we just did not know what we were doing,

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but we were learning along the way.

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And I think that's all that mattered.

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We not only had no experience in manufacturing cookies,

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but we didn't have sales experience or it's sales team.

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Oh, it just,

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when I think about it,

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we actually had our friends.

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This is not recommended,

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but we had our friends and family members as our sales

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team basically.

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And they tried everything.

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So they were calling,

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they were almost doing door to door sales,

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just trying to sell cookies.

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Like in general,

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if we were not thinking strategically about how to get these

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accounts, we were thinking how to sell cookies.

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And it started off completely like,

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Oh, how do we,

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I mean,

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they were going door to door locally at like talking to

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companies. And then finally we started to think about it a

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different way.

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Okay. What kind of industries would be sending gifts?

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For example,

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one would be real estate.

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They have clients.

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They want to send house-warming gifts or referral gifts or thank

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you gifts all these different gifts.

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Okay. So how do we tap into that market?

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Is it going to open houses or is it,

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how do we meet those people?

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So we'd start to go into realtor events and then connect

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with real estate.

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Agents and events are really where we started.

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And that's where we started to learn.

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Just handing out a cookie doesn't really do anything.

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You have to make the connection with the people and then

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making those connections to other connections.

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And those were independent professionals.

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So then we thought,

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well, how do we meet more professionals on the local side?

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There's a lot of networking events or there's a lot of,

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I guess,

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like entrepreneur groups that you can join.

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And so then we started putting each of our team members

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in these weekly entrepreneur groups to make connections with people,

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to see if anybody had gifting ideas.

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It was a very challenging way to approach it before we

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ended up developing a sales team and then taking a step

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back and saying,

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okay, are we looking at the right people?

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Because we were looking at independent professionals,

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which are still people that are sending gifts,

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but how do we target companies like larger organizations?

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And that's where we had to take a step back and

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do the,

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who are our personas,

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who are the people that are buying these gifts?

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So I had worked in corporate marketing for a travel company

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before this was like a larger corporation.

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And I worked in corporate marketing.

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So that meant,

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I knew who was buying holiday gifts or who was buying

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gifts for different reasons within that company.

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And so I had to look at that and we had

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to say,

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well, what does that position look like?

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What does that title look like?

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Okay, let's look at that title in different companies or in

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different industries.

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So we had to basically start to map out what the

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personas of our own clients or who would be purchasing our

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clients look like that was challenging in itself.

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It's a little bit easier depending on what your business model

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is, because that title might be the same.

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Whereas with our company,

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that title is different because it could be a sales manager

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who heads up a bunch of teams.

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He could be in charge of making the decision,

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or she could be in charge of making the decision of

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when they're buying gifts.

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Or it could be the corporate marketing manager or the director

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of marketing or the CEO.

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Those could look different,

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but we had to start to do some research on what

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those people look like.

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And then how we approach them.

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Is it sending them a box of cookies for us?

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That's what we started doing.

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We actually started using our own product to then connect with

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the people that we want to connect with and using that,

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to demonstrate the power of our products,

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because we truly believed that our product spoke for itself.

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And that's how we actually started getting a lot of the

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leads or a lot of the connections that we needed was

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actually just by taking them on the same journey that we

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wanted them to use us for.

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So sending the box sometimes,

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usually on announced was the first method,

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but yeah,

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we would send it and have it arrive on their desk

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and it had their name on it.

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And it had a note and then we would do follow-up

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and a lot of times people would want to send what

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we sent them on a larger scale.

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So once we found the proper person putting our product in

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front of them really did a lot of the selling.

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And now we have a lot more strategy behind how we

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identify them.

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We have an actual fleshed out sales team.

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We're doing digital marketing in the sense of we've identified who

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those people are.

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And now we're doing targeted marketing for that.

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But before on a very small scale,

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it was doing a lot of manual research and then just

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sending them our box because once they had the cookies and

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they had the product,

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they really did call us back.

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Yeah. That makes total sense.

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And exactly like you were saying before,

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they don't,

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wouldn't normally experience your product unless you sent them a sample.

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So taking them through that experience,

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especially when it's high quality as you're describing,

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well, they want their business represented in that same way.

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And so you're demonstrating it through that experience.

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So that's such great information.

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So where does social media fit within your whole marketing perspective?

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Social media is actually,

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it's a very interesting question because we are changing a little

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bit of our social media here.

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Soon. Social media in itself was also unique because we consider

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ourselves to be a B2B company.

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Most of our clients are corporations or professional sending a corporate

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gift for prospecting or the holidays and not a consumer gift

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like that.

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They would send their mom or their friend.

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A lot of our clients do that because they like our

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products. And once they realize what we're able to do,

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they will say,

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Hey, can you make a box that says happy birthday to

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my mom and send it.

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But the majority of,

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I would say 95% of our gifts are on a corporate

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side. So social media is unique because who follows you on

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social media?

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You know,

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I'm not hating on insurance.

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I don't know why I keep using insurance as an example,

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but I don't follow my insurance company on Instagram,

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for example.

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Right? So for us,

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if you look at our Instagram,

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it does have a lot of consumer Esk photos and things

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like that.

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And it's kind of odd because I don't think a lot

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of our clients would necessarily follow us because we're not like

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the big overstuffed,

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gooey cookies that a consumer would follow on Instagram.

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A lot of food Instagrams are built around that kind of

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appealing food or cheesy goodness.

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And so we've really tried to look this year at our

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approach to Instagram.

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And what we've decided is that we started to pivot in

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that we are going to start offering a lot more value

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based content on our social media,

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in that our clients would want to follow us because we're

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giving them information that would benefit them in their sales and

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marketing strategy.

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So for example,

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we might do the top three gifting mistakes,

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or how to get your client to call you back things

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that are of value for the types of people that use

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us for sales and marketing.

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We want to start to provide content surrounding that so that

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they can have a little bit more information on how to

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gift better or how to use gifting in their sales and

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marketing strategy.

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Maybe that they've only used us for holidays or how to

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incorporate their logo on their gift,

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but not in a tacky way or just different things like

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that. How to follow up after sending a gift or where

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to send a gift in the client journey or top five

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gifts to not send things like that,

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that are value-based,

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that's where we'd like to start to pivot and our content

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around our social media on Facebook,

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Instagram as well as LinkedIn,

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because like I said,

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LinkedIn is a great place for us because it is business

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professionals, usually sharing a lot of content surrounding,

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Right? What you're doing with that strategy is you're no longer

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making yourself a provider of cookies.

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You're making yourself a business partner in the strategic growth of

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their business.

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Exactly. We were trying to be an authority and gifting while

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also providing them value so that they feel like we are

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elevating their strategies.

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Yes. Go over and take a look at Chelsea's Instagram account.

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It's not numbs bake shop.

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It's get numbs.

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Yeah. I was just looking as you were talking Chelsea excellent

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imagery in terms of different types of photos,

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not always just the product,

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but lifestyle pictures.

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So when I harp on this all the time,

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like I do,

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this is a great example of different ways you can present.

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You're still showing your product,

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but it's a different messaging in the,

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in terms of what the visual is.

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So we're going to watch as that all develops for sure,

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as we start to close out here,

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is there anything else you want to share with us about

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what's going to be happening in the future?

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The only things I could think I could share that we

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are very excited about is we're continuing to listen to the

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market and kind of pivot based on the world.

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I think in the last year,

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it's taught a lot of people that we've got to be

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nimble. And so for us,

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we're really excited to start to launch some offers such as

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sending e-gift notifications,

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basically to recipients so that they can enter in their address.

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And our cookies can arrive fresh at the proper location.

Speaker:

Now that they're working remotely small things like that,

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that we're trying to offer our clients to really help elevate

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their products or their gifts to their recipients.

Speaker:

But we're just looking to continue to grow and give our

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clients unique things,

Speaker:

to connect with their clients.

Speaker:

And I think that that's something pretty exciting that I think

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hopefully your listeners would be interested in following.

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Perfect. Where would you direct people to go online to learn

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more about noms bake shop?

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Sure. So our website is actually it's get nom.

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So it's G E T N O M S.

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So like nom,

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nom, nom,

Speaker:

like a cookie monster.

Speaker:

So get noms.com

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is our website on there.

Speaker:

You can actually shop our cookies,

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but you can even upload a logo or a photo or

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anything to the gift boxes right there and see the different

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styles. We do wooden boxes that have like the slide top

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cigar box style that are amazing keepsakes that people can get

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so that they can keep around.

Speaker:

After the cookies are enjoyed.

Speaker:

We also do classic white gift boxes that have a full

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color sleeve.

Speaker:

So you can print on all four panels and we have

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a designer on staff.

Speaker:

So they're happy to create anything for you.

Speaker:

You don't have to create it yourself.

Speaker:

We're also on Facebook as nom speak shop,

Speaker:

and then you can find us on Instagram at just like

Speaker:

our website,

Speaker:

G T N O M S.

Speaker:

And you can connect with us on any of those.

Speaker:

You can always message us,

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ask questions.

Speaker:

You can also see tons of photos of how clients have

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used us just to kind of spark some inspiration and see

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if we can help you in any way.

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Fabulous. Chelsea,

Speaker:

thank you so much.

Speaker:

This has been such an enlightening and fun conversation.

Speaker:

I really appreciate your spending time with me today.

Speaker:

I had so much fun.

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Sue, thank you so much for having me.

Speaker:

Gosh, I wish I would've known Chelsea when she was doing

Speaker:

her competitive research.

Speaker:

Can you just imagine discovering all sorts of cookies out there

Speaker:

and analyzing their packaging and delivery system,

Speaker:

but mostly tasting all those cookies.

Speaker:

I'd seriously be in trouble.

Speaker:

If I hit a cookie business or salsas or talk lit.

Speaker:

Okay. Enough of fat.

Speaker:

If you recall from last week,

Speaker:

I told you this episode was going to be all about

Speaker:

Pinterest. Sometimes things don't go as planned and that episode is

Speaker:

coming up shortly,

Speaker:

but next week,

Speaker:

we're diving into your personality,

Speaker:

your emotions and your money as a final reminder,

Speaker:

make sure to check out maker's MBA while the doors are

Speaker:

still open.

Speaker:

So just for a few more days,

Speaker:

it's already shaping up to be a fabulous group.

Speaker:

Go to gift biz,

Speaker:

unwrapped.com for slash makers' MBA for all the details and to

Speaker:

grab your seat.

Speaker:

Thanks so much for spending time with me today.

Speaker:

If you'd like to show support for the podcast,

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a rating and review would mean the world to me,

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and it helps the show get seen by more makers.

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So it's a great way for you to do something special

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and pay it forward.

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Also make sure to follow the podcast.

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So episodes automatically download to your phone that way you don't

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And you might have noticed I've now added a midweek tips

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and talk portion to this show.

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And if you're not subscribed,

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you might be missing out on those and now be safe

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and well.

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And I'll see you again next week on the gift biz

Speaker:

unwrapped podcast.

Speaker:

I want to make sure you're familiar with my free Facebook

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group called gift is breeze.

Speaker:

It's a place where we all gather and our community to

Speaker:

support each other.

Speaker:

Got a really fun post in there.

Speaker:

That's my favorite of the week.

Speaker:

I have to say where I invite all of you to

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share what you're doing to show pictures of your product,

Speaker:

to show what you're working on for the,

Speaker:

to Get reaction from other people and just for fun,

Speaker:

because we all get to see the wonderful products that everybody

Speaker:

in the community is making my favorite posts every single week,

Speaker:

without doubt.

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Wait, what,

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aren't you part of the group already,

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if not make sure to jump over to Facebook and search

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