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Selling to retailers using wholesale platforms - with Em Royston- Chasing Threads
Episode 14827th January 2023 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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This week my guest on the podcast is Em Royston from Chasing Threads. Chasing Threads make stitchable accessories and cross stitch kits for the modern world. The first collection of unique, stylish and functional accessories that can be stitched and personalised, born from the idea to 'sew where you go'.

Em has an interesting background, having previously worked for product brand Suck UK. We talked about how this combined with her passion for crafts and travel led her to set up Chasing Threads. Em has has great success selling her products through distributors and wholesale platforms such as Faire.

Em explains how it works, her top tips for making those platforms work for you, and how she got started. 

It’s really inspiring, and my guess is after listening to this podcast you will be hurrying over to Faire to see if it is the right platform for you.

Listen in to hear Em share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:18)
  • How and why she started Chasing Threads (02:02)
  • Setting up her business whilst living in Hong Kong (04:16)
  • How being in Hong Kong dramatically increased the speed of getting her products manufactured (05:07)
  • Launching a product via a kickstarter campaign (07:01)
  • Whether she would recommend running a kickstarter campaign again (09:50)
  • Setting up on Woocommerce, then moving to Shopify, and selling on Etsy and Not On The High Street (11:28)
  • Starting to sell via wholesale and trade shows (14:12)
  • The challenges and advantages of running a business from Hong Kong (17:29)
  • Selling globally via distributors, and how this can help you circumvent Brexit issues (18:43)
  • Selling through Faire (24:19)
  • Tips for nurturing customers through Faire (27:02)
  • Faire alternatives including Ankorstore (30:01)
  • Top tips for selling on wholesale platforms (31:01)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (33:58)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Chasing Threads Website

Chasing Threads Facebook

Chasing Threads Instagram

Chasing Threads Pinterest

Suck UK

Top Drawer

Maison Objet

Faire

Ankorstore


LET’S CONNECT

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

Find me on Instagram

Work with me


Mentioned in this episode:

This month’s podcast episodes are proudly sponsored by my own book - Bring Your Product Idea to Life

Have you ever had a great idea for a product? Or does creating a product to sell appeal to you? Where do you begin? How do you come up with a product idea? Or, if you have an idea, how do you know if it’s even viable? In Bring Your Product Idea to Life, I take you through the process of creating your product, step-by-step. From developing your product idea, to finding suppliers and launching your product we cover it all. The book includes advice on how to price your product, where to sell it and how to find out if anyone will actually buy it. Designed to help you make real progress, Bring Your Product to Life is both practical and motivational. Every chapter includes clear action steps, so you know exactly what to do and when. This isn’t just a book for reading - this is a book for doing.

Buy my book!

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Transcripts

Speaker:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical advice

Speaker:

and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Speaker:

Here's your host, Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Today I am speaking with Em Royston from Chasing Threads.

Vicki Weinberg:

Chasing Threads makes stitch book accessories and cross-stitch kits for

Vicki Weinberg:

the modern world, the first collection of unique, stylish and functional accessories

Vicki Weinberg:

that can be stitched and personalized.

Vicki Weinberg:

Born from the idea to sew where you go.

Vicki Weinberg:

I had a really great conversation with Em today.

Vicki Weinberg:

We spoke a lot about the inspiration for her products, how she got

Vicki Weinberg:

started, and also about wholesaling.

Vicki Weinberg:

Em has wholesaled her products for years now and she's achieved a lot

Vicki Weinberg:

of this via wholesaling platforms.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, specifically Faire.

Vicki Weinberg:

I haven't yet spoken to anyone who uses one of these platforms

Vicki Weinberg:

to wholesale their products.

Vicki Weinberg:

So as you can imagine, I was really interested, um, we spoke about this in

Vicki Weinberg:

lots of detail and if you you have ever considered wholesalers, but perhaps

Vicki Weinberg:

the thought of picking up the phone or sending whole emails is putting you off.

Vicki Weinberg:

I really think this is something that you're going to be interested in.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I'd love now to introduce you to Em.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, hi Em.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for being here.

Em Royston:

Hi Vicki.

Em Royston:

You know, it's great to be here.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can we start with you?

Vicki Weinberg:

Please give an introduction to yourself, your business, and what you sell?

Em Royston:

Yeah, absolutely.

Em Royston:

Um, yes, I'm Em Royston.

Em Royston:

Um, and my brand is called Chasing Threads.

Em Royston:

Um, and basically it's a kind of, um, modern cross stitch

Em Royston:

travel accessories brand.

Em Royston:

Um, and we make, well the original idea was to sew where you go.

Em Royston:

So it all started from the idea of, um, just marking kind of

Em Royston:

a destination with a cross.

Em Royston:

Um, and that grew into a number of products, which I developed, designed,

Em Royston:

um, I get manufactured, um, and now I yeah, sell market and sell kind of

Em Royston:

internationally through my own website and throughout the platforms and wholesale.

Vicki Weinberg:

Wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

We have a lot to talk about.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I'm going to start right at the

Vicki Weinberg:

beginning if that's okay, Ash.

Em Royston:

Sure.

Vicki Weinberg:

And can you tell us how and why you started Chasing Threads?

Vicki Weinberg:

So were you a big cross stitcher?

Vicki Weinberg:

Where did it all begin?

Em Royston:

Yeah, so, um, yeah, basically I've always loved making things.

Em Royston:

Have been kind of sewer and crafty sort of person since forever.

Em Royston:

Used to make my own clothes and things when I was a kid.

Em Royston:

Um, and then I went on to study design, um, at university.

Em Royston:

And I always, yeah, I loved product design.

Em Royston:

That was kind of the area that I went into and yeah, it wasn't so much cross

Em Royston:

stitch necessarily back then, but it was just like, yeah, making things.

Em Royston:

Um, this idea of kind of personalizing things I got really, um, interested

Em Royston:

in at university and how the kind of the customer can personalize

Em Royston:

things and make them their own.

Em Royston:

Um, and that was sort of worked through projects that I did at university.

Em Royston:

Um, yeah.

Em Royston:

And then I just went on to try and find a job in any kind of design capacity,

Em Royston:

um, which isn't always the easiest.

Em Royston:

So I actually just ended up working for other small design brands that I liked.

Em Royston:

Um, and I actually started in kind of more of a sales sort of role

Em Royston:

because I was just like, I need a job.

Em Royston:

Um, and so I worked for other little design companies, one of which being

Em Royston:

Suck UK, which is like a kind of quirky design brand, bit of a bad name.

Em Royston:

It was.

Em Royston:

Everyone's like, Suck UK?

Em Royston:

Um, but um, yeah, and, and it was that kind of company, um, after

Em Royston:

a few others that I, I worked for about five years and sort of worked

Em Royston:

my way back into design a bit more.

Em Royston:

And I designed a product for them, um, which was called a cross stitch map.

Em Royston:

And the idea was that it was, well actually going back again, the,

Em Royston:

um, yeah, so I designed the cross stitch map for them and the idea

Em Royston:

was, um, a map of the world that printed on a cross stitch fabric.

Em Royston:

Because I'd done a road trip in America with my partner and cross-stitched

Em Royston:

the actual roadmap that we'd used.

Em Royston:

Um, and it showed the travel in thread.

Em Royston:

And I thought just, I love this idea of showing your travels in thread

Em Royston:

and that you kind of, um, yeah, marked this map with little stitches.

Em Royston:

Um, and see I developed that product for them and they, they still

Em Royston:

sell it and distribute it now.

Em Royston:

Uh, and then a few years later I went on to start my own brand.

Em Royston:

And that was one of the kind of key ideas that I wanted to take forward.

Em Royston:

Um, which I developed into a range of passport covers, notebooks, tote bags, all

Em Royston:

this idea of stitching where you've been.

Em Royston:

So I don't know if yeah, makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's great.

Vicki Weinberg:

No, that does make loads of sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm sure I read something on your website.

Vicki Weinberg:

Am I right in thinking that you weren't actually in the UK

Vicki Weinberg:

when you set the company up?

Em Royston:

Yeah, so it was, I was working in like UK um, at the time.

Em Royston:

And then, um, yeah, my husband got an opportunity.

Em Royston:

Moved to Hong Kong.

Em Royston:

Um, and I thought it was, you know, a great chance for me to

Em Royston:

sort of, I've always wanted to start having my own company.

Em Royston:

I don't know why.

Em Royston:

I've just always kind of imagined myself having, um, my own brand.

Em Royston:

And when I was at Suck, I was always just jealous of like the

Em Royston:

product design meetings going on when I was in the sales team.

Em Royston:

And then when I was in more of a product side, I was, you know, wanted to know what

Em Royston:

the kind of the bigger brand strategy was.

Em Royston:

And I just, yeah, I found the whole process really interesting.

Em Royston:

So I, I knew I kind of wanted to, to have my own brand to have kind

Em Royston:

of more control over everything.

Em Royston:

Um, and so yeah, so when we moved to Hong Kong, uh, that was the chance to,

Em Royston:

um, I just kind of worked part-time and then started on the side developing

Em Royston:

products, um, and designing and then getting kind of manufacturing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And where, do you mind me if, I hope you don't mind

Vicki Weinberg:

me asking this, but where were you getting your products manufactured?

Em Royston:

So locally to us, so it was, um, it was actually, yeah, a

Em Royston:

really kind of interesting place to be because it's, it's so close to, you

Em Royston:

know, the hub of Shenzhen and China and manufacturing and everything.

Em Royston:

Um, they say everything kind of happens more quickly in Hong Kong.

Em Royston:

It's like a very, you know, fast paced, uh, sort of place to be in.

Em Royston:

I found that was really true.

Em Royston:

You know, you could get samples back from suppliers within a day or two.

Em Royston:

And yeah, it was just a, yeah, a really great place to be for that.

Em Royston:

And I've worked with one supplier still that I met then and just regularly

Em Royston:

traveled to visit them and developed the products and, and now they're,

Em Royston:

yeah, at a really trusted supplier.

Em Royston:

So that's been.

Em Royston:

Yeah, invaluable really to have that proximity.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really, what's the word, Serendip?

Vicki Weinberg:

Serendipitous.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's the right word.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I, I speak to lots of people who sort of

Vicki Weinberg:

set products from China, but for, for lots of people, particularly

Vicki Weinberg:

over the last couple of years.

Vicki Weinberg:

But actually in general, because it's so far away and so

Vicki Weinberg:

expensive, um, most people, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Never get to meet their supplier face to face or go and have a walk around

Vicki Weinberg:

because it's, you know, there's, there's so many reasons why that isn't possible.

Vicki Weinberg:

But that must have been amazing.

Em Royston:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

You could visit and really get to build relationships.

Em Royston:

Yeah, absolutely.

Em Royston:

I think, um, you know, it's obviously, there's mixed sort of, um, opinions

Em Royston:

on, on trying to manufacture and things and I, I totally understand.

Em Royston:

Um, but it's been, yeah, it was amazing to sort of, you know, actually see and

Em Royston:

experience and get to know a company because it's obviously a a lot different

Em Royston:

when you're just on the other side of the world ordering something blindly.

Em Royston:

Um, and I definitely had learned my lessons from other suppliers as well,

Em Royston:

um, where I didn't go and check kind of the products before they were

Em Royston:

sent out and that kind of thing.

Em Royston:

And, um, you know, you get a horrible surprise when it's not what you'd

Em Royston:

expected and the quality wasn't the same as a sample and that kind of thing.

Em Royston:

But yeah, now I just know, you know, the suppliers that I do work

Em Royston:

with, um, totally trust and have been working with them for years.

Em Royston:

So, yeah, that's a nice outcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, and coming back to when you got started, am I right in thinking

Vicki Weinberg:

that you, you ran a Kickstarter campaign in the early days?

Em Royston:

Yeah, so it wasn't actually for the very first,

Em Royston:

first product, but um, to develop.

Em Royston:

So the passport cover was like my kind of original, and that was like, um,

Em Royston:

still is the best seller actually.

Em Royston:

It's like the kind of the starting product.

Em Royston:

It's still the star.

Em Royston:

Um, but I wanted to develop other products and I didn't really have the, the cash

Em Royston:

to reinvest in another production run.

Em Royston:

So yeah, I did do a kickstart product project.

Em Royston:

Sorry for the, um, notebook.

Em Royston:

So, um, yeah, that was really, it was quite a scary thing to do actually.

Em Royston:

The kickstart I found.

Em Royston:

I thought it was going to be just like, oh yeah, you know, you'd see, I've seen

Em Royston:

ones really take off and, um, generate about 20,000, you know, just, um, easily.

Em Royston:

But obviously it's, when you're actually doing it, it's quite a lot of of work.

Em Royston:

Um, and I think I raised over 5,000 pounds to, um, to kickstart

Em Royston:

the production of that notebook.

Em Royston:

And, um, yeah, it was really exhilarating when I did finally get

Em Royston:

that, that kind of, um, pledges all.

Em Royston:

Um, in from, um, people that, yeah, obviously originally friends

Em Royston:

and family, but then also just people that like the product.

Em Royston:

So yeah, it was really good if you are, you know, at the beginning and

Em Royston:

you have a kind of, I think it works really well with sort of simplistic

Em Royston:

ideas as well, kind of products that people understand quite quickly and, um.

Em Royston:

Yeah, I think it was definitely worth doing as a way to, to get

Em Royston:

some funds to, to launch something new without that big risk.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I guess there was an advantage that it wasn't your first

Vicki Weinberg:

product because presumably you had some customers and people who liked

Vicki Weinberg:

what you did, that then you could then approach, you know, for your Kickstarter.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah, because yeah, exactly.

Vicki Weinberg:

We had someone on here talking about, um, Kickstarter campaigns or, or

Vicki Weinberg:

any kind of crowdfunding last year.

Vicki Weinberg:

And the big thing I took away from that episode is how much work it is.

Vicki Weinberg:

I had no idea that it would be almost like a full-time job to, to run a campaign.

Vicki Weinberg:

Was that your experience?

Em Royston:

Yeah, like I definitely didn't put as much into it as I

Em Royston:

could and should probably have.

Em Royston:

But yes, it was because it's like you kind of launch and I think there's an

Em Royston:

expectation that the, the website will generate quite a lot of views for you.

Em Royston:

But actually there's so many projects going live all the time that unless you

Em Royston:

are picked up by Kickstarter team, you know, it's very unlikely that you're going

Em Royston:

to get traction without bringing your own.

Em Royston:

So yes, it was a lot more work than, um, than I kind of expected and it

Em Royston:

was a bit scary when you are only halfway and you've gone over the half

Em Royston:

the time because it is all or nothing.

Em Royston:

Um, but yeah, and I was also already wholesaling a little bit

Em Royston:

then, so that was quite good.

Em Royston:

I could also, um, I had a few shops that pledged to sort of stock the products.

Em Royston:

Um, so that was the nice thing as well as using direct to consumer

Em Royston:

customers that I'd already had.

Em Royston:

Um, but kind of using those stores that I'd been working with, um, yeah, to get

Em Royston:

behind the project and the, a new product.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that's great and we'll talk about that, um, in a

Vicki Weinberg:

moment, a little bit more, where you were selling and how that came about.

Vicki Weinberg:

But one thing I'd love to know actually is with the Kickstarter,

Vicki Weinberg:

hypothetically, let's say you came up with a completely new product idea.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now, would you, would you do it again?

Em Royston:

Yeah, good question.

Em Royston:

Um, I think because I'm now working with supply that I don't have to sort

Em Royston:

of, um, commit to massive quantities.

Em Royston:

Um, and the things I'm making, I sort of, you know, don't order so

Em Royston:

many, and it's not like there's not a big tooling investment or anything.

Em Royston:

Um, I wouldn't, unless, unless there was a product that was like, you

Em Royston:

know, I need to order a big amount to make it happen, or there's a big

Em Royston:

kind of, um, initial startup cost.

Em Royston:

Um, and then yeah, I would consider it, I would definitely

Em Royston:

consider it for that, um, purpose.

Em Royston:

I can't see that at the moment, but um, yeah, I'd be open to it because it is

Em Royston:

such a clever kind of idea of having the kind of almost pre-sold the stock

Em Royston:

before you've even manufactured them.

Em Royston:

I think it's, you know, it's a very good way of reducing risk

Em Royston:

for, for brands that are kind of giving something a go if you're not

Em Royston:

entirely sure it's going to do well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yes, because you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because as well as getting those original sales, you're also getting people to sort

Vicki Weinberg:

of put their money where their mouth is and say, yes it is actually a good idea.

Vicki Weinberg:

Which can be hard, can't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

People will often tell you they think something's good, but then

Vicki Weinberg:

will they actually part of any money?

Vicki Weinberg:

It's a different thing.

Em Royston:

Yeah, exactly.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

It's like, yeah.

Em Royston:

And that kind of, um, emphasis on supporting the community and,

Em Royston:

and supporting small designers.

Em Royston:

Um, yeah, it's, it is really interesting area.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, it's really good to know that, um, it's something that hasn't,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, tightly put you off doing again.

Em Royston:

No

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so you mentioned before that you were selling direct

Vicki Weinberg:

to consumers and that you also were doing wholesale at that point.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can we talk a little bit about sort of yeah, all of that really.

Vicki Weinberg:

So where you started selling and how that evolved.

Vicki Weinberg:

So did you start off with just a website, for example?

Vicki Weinberg:

Let's, let's go from there.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

I basically just, um, at first I was using a WordPress, a very basic

Em Royston:

WordPress site that I sort of taught myself, you know, how to make.

Em Royston:

Um, it just did the trick with commerce, but it was a bit, you know, a bit shoddy.

Em Royston:

Um, and then got my products on Etsy.

Em Royston:

I actually very nearly didn't continue to put my products on Etsy because I thought

Em Royston:

they will have to be kind of hand -made to be on there, but I, in the end I would

Em Royston:

just thought, oh, I'll put them on there.

Em Royston:

Um, and you know, if they tell me to take them down, then fine.

Em Royston:

But I think their policies have changed and it was an original design still.

Em Royston:

Um, so it didn't matter that I wasn't the one actually physically making them.

Em Royston:

Um, and yeah, that's been one of my biggest platforms.

Em Royston:

Etsy still does, yeah, probably half of my direct consumer sales is through

Em Royston:

Etsy, um, because it's such a good kind of international marketplace and

Em Royston:

a lot comes from America, from Etsy.

Em Royston:

And then, you know, it's obviously grown in the UK as well in the

Em Royston:

last few years, quite a lot.

Em Royston:

So yeah.

Em Royston:

And then more recently, well a few, three years ago maybe, um, got into

Em Royston:

Not on the High Street as well, which is obviously again like a really nice

Em Royston:

platform that's got a good, um, you know, customer base and the products

Em Royston:

work well because it's, yeah, that kind of creating your own, um, idea and, and

Em Royston:

personalization, that kind of thing.

Em Royston:

So, uh, yeah.

Em Royston:

And then I've since, um, developed my store on Shopify, which is a

Em Royston:

lot better than the e commerce one.

Em Royston:

A lot less glitchy, um, and yeah, I've kind of dabbled in doing

Em Royston:

Facebook ads and things to get the air traction on that, going a bit better.

Em Royston:

And yeah, I think that's about it.

Em Royston:

There's a few other marketplaces I am actually, I do have some of the

Em Royston:

products listed on Amazon, but I haven't really invested much time in that and

Em Royston:

I'm, yeah, it's probably not the main focus for my products at the moment.

Em Royston:

But um, yeah, the se, the central world as well is just so unpleasant to be in and

Em Royston:

I just can't spend too much time there.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, well if you ever need a hand, you know where I am.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well it sounds like you're doing really well and, um, I

Vicki Weinberg:

agree with you about Shopify as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think Shopify, if anyone is wanting to build their own site to

Vicki Weinberg:

sell their products per personally.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now, like I said, this is not, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I've got no links with Shopify, but I just think it's

Vicki Weinberg:

great because it is so easy.

Em Royston:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it looks really nice as well.

Em Royston:

Yeah, it is.

Em Royston:

It's so easy to set up a shop like in a day, really you can.

Em Royston:

And um, yeah, and it, it kind of, it syncs to everything, so yeah, it's great.

Em Royston:

I definitely also highly recommend Shopify.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you mentioned, um, so we've spoken a lot about

Vicki Weinberg:

selling direct to consumers.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you mentioned earlier that you were stocked in a few stores

Vicki Weinberg:

as early as a few years ago.

Vicki Weinberg:

So how did you first start wholesaling and talk us through,

Vicki Weinberg:

through what you did there.

Em Royston:

Yeah, sure.

Em Royston:

So that was actually probably one of the biggest benefits of, um,

Em Royston:

when I started at Suck UK, I was working in the kind of sales side,

Em Royston:

which wasn't really my intention.

Em Royston:

I just wanted to get kind of into a product design world.

Em Royston:

Um, but actually it's, it was so useful because I was essentially, um,

Em Royston:

kind of an ad, you know, uh, account manager for these wholesale shops.

Em Royston:

So selling stock products to stores and being.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Uh, customers, yeah.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Being the kind of admin person for those sales.

Em Royston:

So I really understood, uh, when going to trade shows for them.

Em Royston:

I was, um, sorry, I , I, yeah, so I used to go to the trade shows for them.

Em Royston:

Um, and I would, I just got to learn kind of the wholesale pricing, um, how to

Em Royston:

approach stores, um, you know, all of that pack sizes stuff that I just, I suppose

Em Royston:

I would have just had to learn from.

Em Royston:

When I started my business later, I kind of had all that knowledge.

Em Royston:

So it wasn't so scary.

Em Royston:

I think I approached Halsa right from the beginning.

Em Royston:

It wasn't actually a case of waiting for that long.

Em Royston:

I think I, I launched a Top Drawer, um, in my first or second year because I,

Em Royston:

I just, that was like the way, that was the path that I knew that you would sell

Em Royston:

some direct to consumer, but wholesale was sort of the end goal for me.

Em Royston:

Um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

It must have been invaluable having that experience.

Vicki Weinberg:

When I was selling my range of products, I never did much wholesale,

Vicki Weinberg:

just a few local shops, because to me it was just an absolute minefield

Vicki Weinberg:

of things that I didn't know.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I can imagine having all of that experience and contacts as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

I, I assume, um, I mean, you don't need to tell us whether you were speaking to the

Vicki Weinberg:

same, but you don't need to disclose that.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I imagine just knowing people in that world must be really helpful.

Em Royston:

Yeah, definitely.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

And just kind of, um, just having yeah, having that kind of, background

Em Royston:

knowledge of, of how, if you want to approach a department store,

Em Royston:

you know, you just give it a go.

Em Royston:

Um, and the big guys are probably doing the same as, as little

Em Royston:

businesses just, you know, trying to look up buyers' details and, and get

Em Royston:

in front of them as easy as they, you know, the best way they can.

Em Royston:

Um, and sending samples and all that kind of thing.

Em Royston:

Um, so yeah, it was really invaluable and yeah, I was lucky to get a few

Em Royston:

wholesalers sort of straight away.

Em Royston:

Um, and since then it's grown.

Vicki Weinberg:

So the first wholesalers you got where they through Top

Vicki Weinberg:

Drawer, you mentioned that you went there where you were just sort of

Vicki Weinberg:

starting thinking about wholesaling.

Vicki Weinberg:

Was that what kicked it all?

Em Royston:

Yeah, I think I had, um, just from direct emailing some other stockers

Em Royston:

that I knew, I had a couple of, of, um, customers before then who were actually

Em Royston:

selling through, Not on the High Street, and I wasn't selling it, not through,

Em Royston:

Not on the High Street at that time.

Em Royston:

So it was quite perfect.

Em Royston:

They kind of dealt with that side of things and I would sell wholesale to them.

Em Royston:

So that was my first wholesaler I remember, which was, yeah, so exciting

Em Royston:

when I first got the first orders, I was like, oh, it's actually happening.

Vicki Weinberg:

So where are they selling your products?

Vicki Weinberg:

On Not on the High Street?

Em Royston:

Yes, they were.

Em Royston:

Yeah, so they, since they don't anymore now, I, I took it over because I wanted

Em Royston:

sort of my brand to be there as a whole.

Em Royston:

But yes, originally they were buying my products a wholesale and then selling

Em Royston:

them on, Not in the High Street.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess that also probably gave you some confidence when you decided

Vicki Weinberg:

to sell them on Not on the High Street directly, because presumably you knew

Vicki Weinberg:

then that they were, they were selling on Not on the High Street, and obviously

Vicki Weinberg:

they'd passed the application process to get on there in the first place.

Em Royston:

Yeah, exactly.

Em Royston:

And they were based in the UK and at that time I was still in Hong Kong.

Em Royston:

So it was, it just made more sense.

Em Royston:

Um, I think at the very beginning, I, I didn't have a warehouse, so I,

Em Royston:

yeah, I was relying on sort of me posting out orders or having friends

Em Royston:

in the UK helped me post out orders.

Em Royston:

Um, so it was a bit difficult until I was established with a, a warehouse properly.

Vicki Weinberg:

I didn't actually think about that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, of course.

Vicki Weinberg:

So how many years were you running your business from Hong Kong?

Em Royston:

Uh, yeah, like, um, I think like four.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh wow, that's quite a long time.

Em Royston:

Yeah, it was and it was, yeah, it obviously had its drawbacks as well as

Em Royston:

its sort of advantages, you know, the kind of time difference thing was sometimes

Em Royston:

awkward and I would get, you know, look at my phone in the middle of the night

Em Royston:

and get emails and be like, oh God, no.

Em Royston:

Only, you know, the having different working hours was quite difficult.

Em Royston:

Um, but basically because I had the warehouse set up, um, and orders

Em Royston:

would just go out through them.

Em Royston:

It was, it wasn't too much of a barrier, but it was obviously, yeah,

Em Royston:

it's e it's been a lot easier since I've been back in the UK, but then

Em Royston:

I was establishing that sort of the supplier side of things in Hong Kong.

Em Royston:

So yeah, it's a good mix.

Vicki Weinberg:

So when you were, um, getting started to wholesaling,

Vicki Weinberg:

was, was the idea always to find wholesaler hard, find stores in the UK?

Vicki Weinberg:

Was that always the intention?

Em Royston:

I was actually open, I've always been open to

Em Royston:

kind of stocking everywhere.

Em Royston:

Yes.

Em Royston:

Like definitely the UK has always been sort of my strongest market for

Em Royston:

stockists and it's now definitely kind of where I have the most stockists.

Em Royston:

Um.

Em Royston:

But yeah, I, I was kind of, again, from the start, I was confident that

Em Royston:

we could sell anywhere, um, in theory.

Em Royston:

And America was one of the places that even from quite early on,

Em Royston:

I had a few stockists there.

Em Royston:

And yeah, you know, I was looking also for distributors because I used

Em Royston:

to deal with distributors at Suck UK, so I knew that was another option.

Em Royston:

And I did work with a few distributors, uh, in Europe.

Em Royston:

And it has, some of them have worked out, some of them haven't.

Em Royston:

So, But, um, yeah, I was very much open to like, I'll sell anywhere.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well that's great.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I, I, you know, I don't think I've ever spoken to anyone

Vicki Weinberg:

who's sold via distributors, so would you mind just explaining a

Vicki Weinberg:

little bit about how that works?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because that, that might be interesting to someone who's never

Vicki Weinberg:

thought of going down that route.

Em Royston:

Yeah, sure.

Em Royston:

Like, I think, um, especially at the moment, especially in Europe, I think

Em Royston:

it's, can be a really good solution.

Em Royston:

Um, because obviously since Brexit, all the import issues have, have

Em Royston:

been a nightmare personally.

Em Royston:

And I think lots of other brands also found that what used to be

Em Royston:

quite a straightforward process of just importing is, you know,

Em Royston:

delays and expensive import fees.

Em Royston:

And, um, so yeah, if you can find a distributor, I worked with some good

Em Royston:

ones in camp for Germany, for example.

Em Royston:

And basically they would have exclusivity for Germany with my brand.

Em Royston:

So I wouldn't sell to any other, um, shops in Germany.

Em Royston:

And if anyone approached me in Germany, I'd say, please get

Em Royston:

in touch with our distributor.

Em Royston:

And so, yeah, they would basically buy at like maybe 30, 35% discount on my

Em Royston:

wholesale price, but the benefit is that they were buying bulk and they would

Em Royston:

sort out the delivery from my warehouse.

Em Royston:

So yeah, so they would kind of deal with the whole, they would just pay

Em Royston:

me in a lump, then they hold the stock in Germany, um, and then sell

Em Royston:

to stock stores from their warehouse.

Em Royston:

So for, for stores in Germany, it made sense for them because they weren't

Em Royston:

having to import and worry about duty charges and excess things like that.

Em Royston:

And then the distributor would do trade shows to promote the

Em Royston:

brand and yeah, contact there.

Em Royston:

And they would obviously represent other brands as well.

Em Royston:

So they would go to a store with, you know, selection of different

Em Royston:

brands and they could sell products from all these different companies.

Em Royston:

So yeah, in, so in theory, it's, it's a really good.

Em Royston:

I mean, it is a really, can be a really good model.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Is approaching a distributor, because I'm assuming it's, it's a case of you

Vicki Weinberg:

approaching them in a lot of cases.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm sure that now your brand is, you know, really well known.

Vicki Weinberg:

Maybe you're getting people approaching you, but when it comes to approaching

Vicki Weinberg:

distributors yourself, does it work in a similar way to approaching retailers?

Em Royston:

Yeah, I'd say very similar.

Em Royston:

I think like the best way probably to find a distributor is to look at brands

Em Royston:

that are similar to yours or brands that you know, not necessarily in competition

Em Royston:

because you don't really want to have competing brands, but brands that

Em Royston:

yeah, you, you are in the same realm.

Em Royston:

You know, they're distributors for very specialist things, so you'd have like

Em Royston:

maybe kitchenware distribution or I think generally I would always fit into kind

Em Royston:

of gift, um, distributors, but you want to be like, not at that novelty level.

Em Royston:

So, um, yeah, finding kind of the right kind of fit.

Em Royston:

If you can see that the products that they're selling, you would see those

Em Royston:

in a, in a store next to yours usually um, then it's probably a good fit.

Em Royston:

And so, yeah, I, I would usually just approach the, yeah, the same

Em Royston:

way as a retailer, basically.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Just contacting and saying could be a good fit.

Em Royston:

Would you like conversation?

Em Royston:

And if you can go to trade shows to meet them, that's

Em Royston:

another good, good thing to do.

Em Royston:

If you have the, the time and, and money to do it, to go to, you know, visit

Em Royston:

ambiente, for example, or, or and, and see the, the kind of the biggest stands

Em Royston:

where they're representing a few brands.

Em Royston:

Um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, of course.

Vicki Weinberg:

I didn't think about the fact that distributors, of course, are

Vicki Weinberg:

attending trade shows as well.

Em Royston:

Yeah, usually.

Em Royston:

Um, so they might find you, like for the top drawer, often we get some

Em Royston:

distributors kind of wandering around, um, and they might find you that way,

Em Royston:

but, and also if they're, they'll be exhibiting, um, on their home turf.

Em Royston:

Um, yeah, which is where you could find them if you are, um, yeah, if you're

Em Royston:

particularly looking for, for France, for example, then yeah, go to Maison

Em Royston:

Objet and see kind of the stands.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually thinking about it, when I went to Top drawer last September,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, that was the first time I'd been, and I did actually meet a toy

Vicki Weinberg:

brand distributor that who was, had a, who had a stall there as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And um, I know, you know, they were a distributor because I spoke to them,

Vicki Weinberg:

but I, I think it's probably fair to assume that some of the bigger

Vicki Weinberg:

stands could have been distributors.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, certainly not all of them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Some of them would've been brands, but I'm sure that it, I think if it's probably

Vicki Weinberg:

a case of if you were interested, I, I don't know what your thoughts on this

Vicki Weinberg:

are but I, I suggest that people maybe go to a trade show, walk around, talk

Vicki Weinberg:

to some people, and yeah, just keep an open mind and just see who you can meet.

Em Royston:

Yeah, absolutely.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Talking to, talking to other brands that you kind of admire or that are on the

Em Royston:

same sort of, same path as you, um, is yeah, really, really invaluable to, to

Em Royston:

get those contacts and, um, it's often by like a, a word of mouth introduction.

Em Royston:

Like, oh, you should try, yeah.

Em Royston:

Try talking to these guys.

Em Royston:

And that's certainly how, yeah lots of my agents and distributors

Em Royston:

have worked out, so yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's good.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's good to know that it is infact useful to try.

Em Royston:

Yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you mentioned earlier that you also wholesaling your products

Vicki Weinberg:

in the US so how did that come about?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I'm, I don't want to assume that you didn't go away from there and hold a

Vicki Weinberg:

lot of trade shows, but, um, did you do that or did you do something different?

Em Royston:

Yeah, no, I've never done a trade show in America, actually.

Em Royston:

I would like to, but no, um, it definitely, I don't think

Em Royston:

it's necessary to get started.

Em Royston:

And yeah, I actually sell, um, through Faire and that's probably,

Em Royston:

the, the majority of my US stockers have come from, um, is through this

Em Royston:

wholesale platform called Faire.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think, um, I've heard of Faire because again, when I went to Top Drawer,

Vicki Weinberg:

they were one of, I believe, I think they might be one of the sponsors.

Vicki Weinberg:

They were certainly giving out coffee at the station anyway, and uh, yeah, that was

Vicki Weinberg:

the first time I'd come across them and I've had a look and I've been, am I right

Vicki Weinberg:

in thinking they're a wholesale platform?

Vicki Weinberg:

Small, well, perhaps not only small, but retailers can go on there and they can buy

Vicki Weinberg:

product in wholesale direct from the site.

Vicki Weinberg:

Is that how it works?

Em Royston:

Yeah, exactly.

Em Royston:

They've just basically kind of made it like a, a sort of Etsy

Em Royston:

platform for business to business.

Em Royston:

So yeah, you list your products, it looks just like an online

Em Royston:

store and then customers can buy only in packs of your minimum

Em Royston:

quantities, um, at wholesale price.

Em Royston:

And I think they have to qualify through Faire, you know, to prove

Em Royston:

that they're like a physical store or they have a website.

Em Royston:

But yeah, once they're qualified, it's kind of the orders just come to you.

Em Royston:

It's, it's very much, um, like an easy kind of way of

Em Royston:

just turning on a tap orders.

Em Royston:

Like you don't really have to sort of have that, you know, usually with stockists

Em Royston:

you'd kind of get in touch and introduce the products and send the catalogue.

Em Royston:

Send over a price list, whereas it's, it's a lot of kind of cold customs coming

Em Royston:

in and just having an order that you accept, which is great because obviously

Em Royston:

it saves all that time of, um, you know, you finding the customer and things.

Em Royston:

Um, so yeah, we've had a lot of success with Faire.

Em Royston:

And another great thing about them, although this might be changing now, is

Em Royston:

that they have been, um, covering the delivery fees for you and the customer.

Em Royston:

So, um, that's been kind of amazing really, that, you know, um, you just

Em Royston:

have to say, I guess I accept this order, and then you ship it with

Em Royston:

your, you know, FedEx, whoever, and then you type in how much it costs.

Em Royston:

And then Faire will cover the, the cost of that shipping.

Vicki Weinberg:

That, that's amazing.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

It's pretty, it's it like, it's, it's kind of too good to be true, and I

Em Royston:

think now they are actually starting to say that those offers are limited

Em Royston:

and it's only limited to insiders, and soon Faire.It's just, yeah,

Em Royston:

definitely worth being aware that those.

Em Royston:

I think they wanted to get, you know, all the, they want to get as many shops buying

Em Royston:

that way as possible, get as many brands on the platform as possible, and the terms

Em Royston:

will probably be less favourable, I guess, after the initial sort of getting you on.

Em Royston:

But it's still a really great platform.

Em Royston:

Like I, I, I wouldn't have, you know, I've, I've had, I don't know, hundred, a

Em Royston:

few hundred kind of stockers that I, I'm really sure would, would never have found

Em Royston:

my products without being just unfair.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Em Royston:

Yeah, I mean the, you know, they can have smaller, well, I, you

Em Royston:

can set your minimum order as well.

Em Royston:

So these are kind of generally smaller orders.

Em Royston:

I think I've set my minimum quite low just to make it easy.

Em Royston:

But yeah, it's worthwhile because you get you, it's very low effort.

Em Royston:

Um, I would say definitely if you are, if you're going to do go through Faire

Em Royston:

and I would recommend just trying it because it's free to list the product.

Em Royston:

Just be, yeah, the first order is 25% commission to Faire and then reorders,

Em Royston:

you'd pay 15% commission to Faire.

Em Royston:

So it's really worth, um, nurturing, still nurturing those kind of customers.

Em Royston:

I always try and send, um, like a thanks so much for email message and, um, you

Em Royston:

know, kind of try and get them onto my mailing list, um, as well, so that

Em Royston:

in the future, so um, so they'll come back in the future and place another

Em Royston:

order and, you know, reorders, yeah, it's going to be less commission.

Em Royston:

So it's worth kind of keeping them as a customer.

Em Royston:

Um, and if you send them your link directly, then it's 0% commission.

Em Royston:

So it can be a really good way for customers that are maybe already ordering

Em Royston:

that they can make the most of a free shipping deal that Faire is offering,

Em Royston:

or, um, there's discounts that they often have that I give 5% Faire, give five.

Em Royston:

So the customer can really, um, yeah, make the most, and they can order any time.

Em Royston:

It's not like having that back and forth of business in stock, um, because it

Em Royston:

follows my Shopify, uh, stock levels.

Em Royston:

So it's like live ordering, um, which I don't have as, I don't have

Em Royston:

a wholesale platform that does that.

Em Royston:

So, um, yeah.

Em Royston:

So there's lots of benefits.

Vicki Weinberg:

Wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, I'm sold.

Vicki Weinberg:

There's, not like I sell anything.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Should I, I would be sold because that does sound great.

Vicki Weinberg:

It should, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Does it completely sync with Shopify then?

Vicki Weinberg:

Does it pull in the product details and everything?

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

So yeah, so you can like upload the products that way just by, um, getting

Em Royston:

them synced over and then you can choose not to, or you can choose to

Em Royston:

sync it to your Shopify for stock.

Em Royston:

So yes, so it's just one more thing list thing to manage.

Em Royston:

If you know you're marking things that's out of stock, um, it

Em Royston:

should just do all of it for you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's certainly a lot more passive.

Vicki Weinberg:

So making lots of phone calls or sending emails, and I'm not saying there's

Vicki Weinberg:

anything wrong with doing that because I think there's, well, you've definitely,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, told us you're doing, you're doing both, but it definitely sounds

Vicki Weinberg:

worth doing as something additional maybe.

Em Royston:

Yeah, definitely.

Em Royston:

If you can afford to be selling, you know, to, um, without 25% commission, like it's,

Em Royston:

it's definitely worth giving it a go.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

It'll be interesting to see how it kind of progresses from here, because

Em Royston:

obviously, yeah, I think they, they have all these big incentives and free

Em Royston:

shipping and they were even covering duties and taxes, which is, you know,

Em Royston:

amazing because I think that's something that puts, um, international customers

Em Royston:

off from ordering from, you know, um, UK brands, for example, in America, they,

Em Royston:

you know, they don't like that there might be duty and taxes on bigger orders.

Em Royston:

And yeah, Faire for a while we're covering all of those.

Em Royston:

So that was just like a really good thing to be able to say, like,

Em Royston:

don't worry if you do get charged, you know, Faire will cover it.

Em Royston:

So yeah, it's, I I would definitely recommend.

Em Royston:

Um, the other one is Ankorstore as well.

Em Royston:

I don't know if you've heard of, of them.

Vicki Weinberg:

No I haven't.

Em Royston:

So that's another, um, B2B marketplace and I think they're

Em Royston:

more, um, focused on Europe and I do sell on there as well, but a lot

Em Royston:

less, because I haven't really been put putting that much effort into it.

Em Royston:

But, um, it's another, it's very similar.

Em Royston:

I think the commission rate's probably kind of the same,

Em Royston:

but yeah, they, they kind of specialize, I think more in Europe.

Em Royston:

So that's another one to check out if you're looking for b2b,

Em Royston:

that's really worth knowing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I, and I'm assuming that certainly at the moment, there's no restrictions

Vicki Weinberg:

to how many you can be on, so none of them say all you have to be

Vicki Weinberg:

on us exclusively at the moment.

Vicki Weinberg:

I know these things change.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

No, um, no, as far as I know, and I think, you know, they've have,

Em Royston:

I think at the moment they just want to grow as big and as quickly.

Em Royston:

I went to some of their kind of drinks and they've got big plans.

Em Royston:

So, um, I think, yeah, they're not keeping on top of it, in that way at the moment.

Em Royston:

No.

Em Royston:

So, um, yeah, I would say kind of no po, no reason not to be on multiple platforms.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And is there anything else you think people should know about

Vicki Weinberg:

using wholesale platforms?

Vicki Weinberg:

Any tips or advice?

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, you've told us a lot already, so don't worry if there isn't.

Em Royston:

Um, no, I mean I think, um, you know, I guess your images

Em Royston:

really have to sell the product because there's not much else to go on.

Em Royston:

Um, and you, you know, you don't really have a, like a pretty

Em Royston:

catalogue necessarily that they're going to, people are going to see.

Em Royston:

So yeah, just make sure images are good and I think adding new products

Em Royston:

regularly helps you stay sort of at the top of the, the page and

Em Royston:

to be on, on the found section.

Em Royston:

Um, so it can come in lulls.

Em Royston:

I find that it's very much when I'm busier, I get busier and busier.

Em Royston:

I think maybe, you know, if, if brands are ordering, I think

Em Royston:

you tend to climb up the ranks.

Em Royston:

Um, at the moment it's really quiet.

Em Royston:

Obviously it's January as well.

Em Royston:

Everyone's a bit quiet, but, um, yeah, so maybe, you know, in the quieter times,

Em Royston:

adding new products and maybe putting on a little sale or discount, um, just to

Em Royston:

entice people, it's probably worthwhile.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really good to know.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think that, that certainly makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that work, a lot of platforms work that way, don't they?

Vicki Weinberg:

That the more sales you get, the more you are shown and therefore

Vicki Weinberg:

the more you get, which is why it can be so hard to even get started.

Em Royston:

Yes, because you're just getting absolutely bike

Em Royston:

of those who are doing well.

Em Royston:

Continue to do well.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's super useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I didn't think about that with the images, but yes, I guess it's

Vicki Weinberg:

like a lot of marketplaces where, where presumably customers are

Vicki Weinberg:

searching and then just getting a page of results, which are pictures.

Vicki Weinberg:

So that's really useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that was a great point you made also about the margins as well and just

Vicki Weinberg:

making sure you can absorb those fees.

Em Royston:

Yeah, yeah, it's um, it's definitely worth thinking and then

Em Royston:

delivery on top or, um, yeah, or not, and yeah, I guess the last one is really

Em Royston:

just to nurture those because you know, you don't know at what point Faire might

Em Royston:

suddenly not be, not be an option anymore.

Em Royston:

It might stop, um, altogether.

Em Royston:

So if you can sort of have contact details, you, so that you don't lose that

Em Royston:

store if anything were to go wrong with Faire and they could always order direct.

Em Royston:

You know, I think it's, it's good to try and start a relationship.

Em Royston:

It was quite hard because it's quite a faceless sort of platform and I

Em Royston:

don't get much back and forth usually from customers, but sometimes, you

Em Royston:

know, it's always worth just sending a message saying, oh, thanks so much.

Em Royston:

It means a lot that you're stocking the products and sort of show that human side.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's excellent advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because you're right, there's, with all of these platforms that we

Vicki Weinberg:

don't own, there is always a chance that they might just vanish so

Vicki Weinberg:

yeah, that's, yeah, that's useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, and I'm assuming that Faire don't give you the customer details

Vicki Weinberg:

either, so, um, unless they choose to add themselves to your mailing

Vicki Weinberg:

list or send you their email address.

Em Royston:

Yeah, exactly.

Em Royston:

You just have to sort of ask if they'd like to.

Em Royston:

Yeah, to, to sign up with you kind of thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, it definitely sounds like doing that proactively.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you so much for that was just, yeah, I think that's been

Vicki Weinberg:

invaluable, everything that you've shared.

Em Royston:

Oh good.

Em Royston:

I'm glad.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I've got one final question for you before we finish em, if that's okay.

Em Royston:

Sure.

Vicki Weinberg:

Which is, what would your number one piece of advice

Vicki Weinberg:

be for other product creators?

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know it's hard and I know you've shared a lot.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you wanted to leave us with something, what would it be?

Em Royston:

Yeah, no problem.

Em Royston:

I think it's probably maybe more down to kind of how I think, you know, a lot

Em Royston:

of product creators and small businesses work on their own and the whole kind of,

Em Royston:

um, the benefit of, of having your own business is, you know, that flexibility

Em Royston:

of lifestyle and, um, but I think that can be quite hard to kind of, to work

Em Royston:

with your own energy and like, you know, work with your own time when you are

Em Royston:

feeling creative and when you are feeling actually, like, I can't, I don't, I don't

Em Royston:

feel creative today, but you know, I guess basically what I'm trying to say

Em Royston:

is like the whole point of of being your own boss is to be a good boss to yourself

Em Royston:

and not sort of give yourself a hard time if things aren't like going that well.

Em Royston:

I, I used to just set myself kind of a nine to six working day, but actually

Em Royston:

I found that that's not necessarily the best way to be productive.

Em Royston:

And you know, if I'm just sat at my computer just not really achieving

Em Royston:

anything, then I do just go for a walk and listen to podcasts.

Em Royston:

Or I'm lucky that I can stitch as part of my kind of work.

Em Royston:

Um, even though it feels really weird, especially like a cross

Em Royston:

stitch, uh, sorry, a trade show time when I'm trying to stitch up samples

Em Royston:

and I'm manically cross stitching.

Em Royston:

It doesn't feel like work, but um, yeah, I think just kind of, yeah, allowing

Em Royston:

yourself to, to use time as, as it works for you and, and give yourself a break if,

Em Royston:

you know it's not all happening every day.

Em Royston:

Because I think I went through a few years at the beginning when I really did

Em Royston:

late hours and weekends, and I really put all of my energy into my business.

Em Royston:

And that's, you know, put me in the position I am in now, um,

Em Royston:

where I don't necessarily have to burn the candle all the time.

Em Royston:

And yeah, just allowing myself to sort of work with my energy

Em Royston:

when I'm feeling creative and, and know that it'll come back.

Em Royston:

Um, so yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's great advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I can definitely see that if you're doing something creative.

Vicki Weinberg:

You can't, it's not something you can just turn on and off, is it?

Vicki Weinberg:

You're either feeling it or you are not.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think yeah, that makes so much sense.

Em Royston:

Yeah.

Em Royston:

And kind of this idea that, you know, always having to launch.

Em Royston:

I think I felt like I always had to have new products coming, but yeah,

Em Royston:

I think, you know, people just, you know, they have not, everyone's always

Em Royston:

seen everything that you've done in the past, so you can always just present a

Em Royston:

different product in a different way.

Em Royston:

Um, yeah, and still it feels new, even if you're not making new, all the time.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much and thank you for everything you shared then.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm going to link to your website and your socials and

Vicki Weinberg:

everything else in the show notes.

Em Royston:

Lovely.

Em Royston:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

We'll go and take a look and thank you again.

Em Royston:

That's great.

Em Royston:

No worries.

Em Royston:

No, it was great to talk to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening right

Vicki Weinberg:

to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources

Vicki Weinberg:

on my website, vicki weinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it,

Vicki Weinberg:

and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful.

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