- 040 | Rebekah Tennis, Wild Ink Press on responsiveness, reliability and how she pitches wholesale buyers
Rebekah Tennis is the founder of Wild Ink Press, a letterpress studio and retail storefront located in northern California. Rebekah started Wild Ink Press in 2009 and was part of our very first Tradeshow Bootcamp class in 2011. The Wild Ink Press brand offers witty and pretty greeting cards, stationery, and other paper goods that can be found in hundreds of retail shops nationwide including the Container Store, Papyrus, and Paper Source.
On today's episode, Rebekah talks about the power of slow, organic growth and why it's okay to not have all your ducks in a row when you're starting out. She also shares her thoughts on responsiveness, reliability, and why she likes sending catalogs and samples to prospective wholesale buyers.
ON TODAY’S EPISODE:
- How Wild Ink Press got its start and what lead Rebekah to starting her own business
- How she first got started with greeting cards
- When she first hired a team member and how the Wild Ink Press team grew from there
- The catalyst for wanting to open up the retail shop and the benefits it provides
- How her wholesale marketing and outreach has changed due to the retail shop
- The way she decides if she wants to carry someone’s work
- How long she recommends waiting to reach out to a retailer after you’ve mailed them a catalog and your samples
- Her schedule for sending out catalogs
- How she nurtures relationships with the stores that she’s working with as a manufacturer
- The way that she manages her business life and her family life
- How she handles times of transition in her business
- The advice she would give to someone just starting out in a product based business
- What’s next for Wild Ink Press
“I'm making a card because I think, this is real to me and funny to me or interesting to me or I would send this to somebody.” - Rebekah Tennis
“Hiring anyone for your team is definitely a risk and it feels very big.” - Katie Hunt
“I try to find what my employees enjoy doing.” - Rebekah Tennis
“What's amazing is, I didn't expect what a beautiful benefit it [the retail shop] would be to our business. I did not know that it would just automatically pay for itself. I did not know that customers would love coming in to see our work. There's all these things that were just surprises because you think it's going to be a hassle.” - Rebekah Tennis
“I feel like the biggest way you can show someone respect, value, and nurture relationship is to be so responsive.” - Rebekah Tennis
“I want people to know starting Wild Ink Press and all the various things that I do, we never had a smash hit. We never had a viral card. We never were the "it" person at the show.” - Rebekah Tennis
“Each of the times that I found that I'm under more stress, I found that you find something in yourself to rise to the occasion.” - Rebekah Tennis
“Don't be afraid to not have your ducks in a row.” - Rebekah Tennis
JOIN THE TSBC FAMILY:
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We’re talking about product development sales tools, trade shows, marketing, working with buyers, sales reps and the press. Attend live or online. It’s the similar content, available in different formats.
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ABOUT PROOF TO PRODUCT:
Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at ProofToProduct.com. If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!
- 2018-01-16 09:00:00 UTC